The Split Head of Old Billy

A horse's normal lifespan is around 25-30 years, but Old Billy was an outlier. In fact, when Old Billy died at age 62, he became the longest-living horse ever known.  

Old Billy was born in 1760 in Woolston, Lancashire and worked as a barge horse, dragging barges in the canals from the shore for Mersey and Irwell Navigation. (This was a common job for horses prior to the arrival of boat engines.) As he passed his life expectancy and continued to live even as his back became bent and his bones protruded from his thinning flesh, he become something of a local celebrity.

When Old Billy finally bought the farm, so to speak, some of his remains were preserved. In fact, his head is in two places: the skin was mounted on a taxidermy head, and his skull was displayed separately. Part of Billy is now in Manchester, the other in Bedford. Read more about the horse at Atlas Obscura. Link


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