Jun 15, 2019 I Paul Seaburn

Woman Finds Mysterious Typewriter Made From Human Teeth

Are you looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything … including a taste for the macabre? Then you can’t go wrong with a typewriter made from human teeth. Wait … WHAT?

There’s a (formerly) locked room in our Airbnb that contains two guns, an erotic painting, and a typewriter whose keys are entirely made of teeth.
— Ashley Fryer (@ashleyfryer) June 11, 2019

We’re going to die here aren’t we.
— Ashley Fryer (@ashleyfryer) June 11, 2019

Well, Ashley Fryer didn’t die … she lived to tweet a picture (here it is) of the typewriter she found in a locked room of an Airbnb, although she did share that she felt “a bit mean posting a photo of someone else’s place so here’s a tiny snippet of the madness I’m talking about. The typewriter (it’s a thing people used to use to make letters on paper to mail to others before there were computers, the Internet and cell phones … ask your grandpa) would have require a skilled typist to use because the teeth don’t have the letters embossed on them like a normal QWERTY keyboard would. That’s about all we have to go on with this mystery -- Ashley Fryer made her Twitter account private before revealing the location of the strange Airbnb or what happened next.

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What's so unusual about that?

While a typewriter made out of them is pretty unusual, teeth have been used for a variety of non-eating purposes almost since humans began losing them. A popular way to display them is in jewelry items. Necklaces, bracelets and charms containing teeth have been found in ancient tombs around the world and modern, more elaborate (and whiter) versions are available online (a page of tooth jewelry on Etsy). Of course, they’ve also been used in costumes and masks for both real rituals and holidays like Halloween and Mardi Gras.

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Dad? Is that you?

Dental anthropologists tell us that teeth are used in some African cultures as a rite of passage – the more teeth you have pulled, the higher up you go on the management ladder. Losing teeth in a battle was a sign of strength – kind of like hockey players before the advent of mouth guards and face masks. Teeth were also used in rituals and games – while animal teeth were more popular as early forms of dice, human molars were used as well. Finally, because they’re so similar to ivory, teeth have been carved as miniature art objects and filed to points (the popular vampire look). Teeth have been used in rituals as charms or to ward off spirits, but they’re usually still attached to the skull of their owner.

So, what was the true purpose of the human teeth typewriter found in a locked room by Ashley Fryer? Was it a gag or a gag-inducer? Only the owner can tell us for sure. And, if he or she tells us through a mouth with no teeth in it, that’s going to be a most unusual and potentially movie-worthy horror story.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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