03/15/2013 07:29 am ET Updated May 15, 2013

13 Most Bizarre Stories Of Famous Corpses

In 1658, English writer Thomas Browne knew what he was taking about when he wrote, "But who knows the fate of his bones, or how often he is to be buried?" That's the unofficial tagline for Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses. Like a morbid magpie, I've collected stories of the dead from across the centuries and continents, focusing on how famous corpses were treated by the living. The bodies and parts in Rest in Pieces have become mementos, means of accessing God, scientific specimens, and political footballs. They've been used to found cities, churches, and empires. And while historical and cultural remove can make some of the stories seem more strange than they would have to their participants, other tales in the book truly are bizarre. Below are 13 that strike me as the strangest.

Fates of Famous Corpses