By Carolina Quijano

San Francisco is well-known for its eccentrics, so it should be no surprise that one SF resident has his own "bone palace." No, not a sex den, but a basement filled with a collection of more than 7,000 skulls and skeletons that have meticulously and painstakingly been cleaned by bone collector, Raymond Bandar. 

Bandar is a retired teacher, artist, naturalist, and volunteer at the California Academy of Sciences. He’s spent the past 60 years harvesting animal bones, retrieving them after death while sometimes even decapitating the dead animal himself. Some bones come from his travels around the world, including places like Alaska and Australia, though a lot of his collection is from the northern California coast. He’s collected the majority of the specimens himself, but others have been donated to him because of his affinity for bones.

You can check out the bones from Bandar's collection, along with other specimens, starting today at the California Academy of Sciences for its Skulls exhibit. "Bandar's Bones: Skulls of a Lifetime" is on display in the Naturalist Center on level 3 of the museum.


Photos by Nan Sincero, California Academy of Sciences