Ferry frequently showcases his extensive medical bone collection (and business) but many are wary of the young adult’s profession.
The human remains are genuine medical-grade bones that have fallen out of circulation and put into the medical market, according to one his TikTok videos from August 30.
“A lot of times, people ask, do we take modern body donations — we do not. That is completely different than what we do at Jonsbones,” he shared. Usually, the bones are found in places like people’s basements or estate sales per Insider reported.
Ferry loves using his page to educate others as well as showcase his rarest finds, like toddler and fetus skulls, and even has more than 100 human spines in his collection according to the Washington Post. The Jonsbones website states that a just one skull can be a few thousand dollars, vertebrae for $50, ribs for $18, and even individual teeth for a reasonable $14.
And while the Jonsbones mission statement highlights education and preservation, many are not supportive of what Ferry is doing.
“The poorer you are, the more powerless you are, the further down the pecking order you are, the greater the likelihood that it’s your people that can end up being collected like this,” Shawn Graham, a professor of digital humanities at Carleton University in Canada, told the Washington Post.
This means that bones that end up in the medical grade bone trade were taken from graves or forcibly brought into market and not donated by someone who knew they would be repurposed for science.
Experts also share how medical-grade bones are often not purchased for education as they are usually created into jewelry, chandeliers, or end up in people’s personal bone collections.
In one video from August 13, Ferry admitted he doesn’t collect tribal bones or bones with “a religious or spiritual origin” or ossuary/archeological skulls — which are places where humans are laid to rest.
“I don’t think that destroying these pieces are a solution,” he explained to the outlet, revealing how the wants the bones to be “preserved and used for the purposes that they were intended for.”
He also shared with the outlet that he does as much research as possible to ensure that the bones he purchases are medical grade, and while he could not disclose his buyers due to privacy reasons, he said he often sells his bones to college classrooms, museums, and law enforcement agencies to help them train cadaver dogs.
That being said anyone, really, can purchase the bones, which poses many ethical questions. But to Ferry, he belives it’s all about education.
“I really believe in trying to educate the next generation of anthropologists, doctors and educators,” he said.
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