Acid gargles, amputations aboard 19th-century navy sailing ship





A young girl sick with a seven-foot intestinal worm, men struck dead by bolts of lightning and a child so transfigured by illness that nurses said she'd been "substituted by the fairies."

These are just a few of the bizarre and exotic episodes revealed by more than 1,000 British Royal Navy Medical Officer journals -- compiled between 1793 and 1880 -- that have been made accessible to the public following a two-year cataloguing project by Britain's National Archives.

They suggest a sailor's greatest fear was likely to be a blade-wielding surgeon.

They suggest a sailor's greatest fear was likely to be a blade-wielding surgeon....



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