Take your medicine

With this incredibly gross ring, I thee wed

The wedding ring you see above is made from human bone. It was created by extracting bone fragments from the groom’s jaw, during a wisdom-tooth operation. The bone cells were cultured in lab until they grew into a big enough chunk that a jeweller could carve it into a ring. The same process, repeated on the bride, produced a couple of extremely unique items they exchanged during their wedding ceremony. This was all done as part of the “Biojewelry” project, the brainchild of Tobie Kerridge and Nikki Stott, two design researchers at the Royal College of Art in the U.K. They advertised online for couples who wanted to give it a whirl, and received many eager replies, such as this one:

Many aspects of the Biojewelry Project interest me. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the idea of using our own own flesh and blood, so to speak, rather than metals and gems, to connect my partner and I fascinates me. I can not imagine anything more intimate, anything more symbolic of our bond, as two individuals, to each other.

Me, I can’t imagine anything more unbelievably ghastly. While the scientific and engineering aspects of this project are undeniably neat, this thing is just a little too Tolkienesque by half. Go check out the splash page for the Biojewelry site: There’s a lovely, sepia-toned photo of a couple standing in their back yard, blissfully married, smiling broadly, and WEARING A PIECE OF EACH OTHER’S BONE AS AN ORNAMENT. I was sort of thinking this had to be a media prank, until I clicked through the site and, nope, there they are: Exhaustively documented pictures of doctors extracting blood-flecked chunks of bone from some dude’s mouth. Man, if this is what these people are willing to do for their wedding tokens, I tremble to think of what was in their vows. One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them … and one ring to totally creep everybody out.

(Thanks to the Book of Joe for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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