The Adventures of Dan Donnelly's Arm

Irishman Dan Donnelly was an accomplished boxer around the turn of the 19th century. This was in the early days of prize fights, when there were no gloves and almost no rules. Donnelly, who had a reputation as a successful scrapper in his native Dublin, only fought in three official matches, but reigned as the heavyweight champion of his time, and was a hero to the Irish. Donnelly died of pneumonia at only 31 years old. He was honored with as many memorials as a national hero could ask for, but it was what happened to him after his death that really earned Dan Donnelly a place in the history books.

Donnelly's grave was robbed by body snatchers soon after his burial. His remains were sold to a surgeon who was surprised to learn the identity of the cadaver he was dissecting. The doctor returned Donnelly to his grave, or at least most of him. He couldn't resist sawing off the boxer's right arm, as it was the one that won those fights. Afterward, Donnelly's arm began 200 years of its own adventures, traveling across the world and being put to work. Read about Dan Donnelly's arm and its astonishing afterlife at Strange Company.

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