Charles Darwin’s Whalebone Walking Stick

For you stick enthusiasts out there, go to the Science Museum in London to see Charles Darwin’s walking stick made from whalebone. Whalebone (like other horn and bone) is a great material for stick making as it is so strong and hard wearing.

The handle is ivory and is fashioned into a human skull, complete with green glass eyes. Darwin (1809-1882) called his stick his “morituri” which means something that reminds one of their own longevity and short time on Earth.

Charles Darwin's Whalebone Walking Stick
Charles Darwin’s Whalebone Walking Stick

It is quite surprising isn’t it? You would expect Darwin to have had a walking stick a bit like the one the scientist in the Jurassic Park film had, a stick with a wasp trapped in a ball of amber for the handle or something.