WITH the amount of content flooding our news feeds, it’s hard to keep up with what is fake and what isn’t. So when US news portal Insider carried a story about an Indonesian fashion designer selling a handbag made of alligator tongues and a human spine, we thought, surely, it can’t be real.
Or can it? According to the publication, controversial designer Arnold Putra is selling the handbag purportedly made out of alligator tongues and an ‘ethically sourced’ human spine, which he says came from medical surplus in Canada.
Apparently Putra tried to pawn the bag off as early as 2016. Valued at $5,000, the once-off design is a basket-style handbag with a handle formed of what appears to be a single human spinal cord. And according to experts – the human spine is genuine.
The bag is advertised on Instagram under the account @byarnoldputra. Along with the post, it reads: ‘Alligator tongue basket bag. Handle made of an entire child’s spine who had osteoporosis.’
When asked by the publication about the Instagram post, Putra just said that he had contributed to it. And when questioned about the origins of the materials, he refused to say whether the spine did actually belong to a child.
Insider then contacted two child osteopaths and showed them pictures of the bag. Both said it was almost certainly a real human spine, but they did not agree on whether it belonged to a child.