How Crystal Skulls Work

Other Crystal Skulls

Crystal skull from the British museum.
Crystal skull from the British museum.
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The Mitchell-Hedges skull is arguably the most famous crystal skull, but several others have been discovered (or publicized, depending on what you believe). Most of them do not have the same storied history as the Mitchell-Hedges skull, but each is still unique.

The British Museum crystal skull has been around at least as long as the Mitchell-Hedges skull. In 1936, G.M. Morant compared this crystal skull with the Mitchell-Hedges skull (then owned by Sydney Burney). It's also life-size, but the British Museum skull isn't as detailed. It has rounder eye sockets and its jaw doesn't detach. It's also made of cloudy quartz. Morant believed that the skulls weren't made independently of each other, but had no proof of this.

This skull was purchased by the British Museum from Tiffany & Co. in 1898. It supposedly came from Mexico and became the property of Eugène Boban, a French art dealer, before Tiffany's acquired it. In 1990, the museum displayed the skull in an exhibit called "Fake? The Art of Deception." Its label reads "possible of Aztec origin - the Colonial period at the earliest." The British Museum also has a smaller, cruder crystal skull called the Aztec skull.

The Paris skull is kept in the Musée de l'Homme in Paris. It's cruder than the British Museum skull and has a hole cut into the top, supposedly to hold a cross. The Paris crystal skull is half the size of the Mitchell-Hedges and British Museum skulls. It weighs about 6 pounds and is about 4.5 inches high and 6 inches long [source: Henderson]. This skull was thought to be Aztec. Alphonse Pinart purchased it from Eugène Boban in 1878 and donated it to the museum. The museum also owns a very small crystal skull that's about 1.5 inches long.

In 1992, the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution received a crystal skull in the mail. This skull is bigger than life-size, weighing a little over 30 pounds at 9 inches high and about 8 inches long [Source: Henderson]. The anonymous note accompanying the skull stated that it was an "Aztec crystal skull" and "purchased in Mexico City in 1960" [Source: Henderson]. It's made of milky white crystal and is crudely carved compared to some of the other skulls. It's also hollow.

In the next section, we'll examine the supernatural claims about crystal skulls, as well as what scientists and researchers have determined.