The Anatomical museum in Semey, inside the medical university, has a bunch of deformed foetuses, as well as a whole lot of other freaky stuff in jars. It is widely assumed these foetuses are deformed because of the radiation coming from the Semipalatinsk Test Site, where nuclear bombs were detonated for about 50 years. No doubt, many locals have been affected by the radiation, some being born deformed, many others getting cancer or leukemia.
However, the foetuses are actually not from the area. The jars consist of very rare deformities who come from all over the country and beyond. It is a medical university and the museum is used to teach students about disease.
What you may find
The museum used to be bigger: reports from older visits are no longer accurate, and many of the gruesome jars photographed in the past have disappeared from the exhibition. There are still some left, though. Enough to warrant a visit?
We feel there are more interesting museums in Semey, like the Nevzorov, the Abay museum, the Dostoyevski museum, and perhaps even the regional museum. Having said that: it does not take long to visit, and it’s definitely unusual. If you are not squeamish, it’s a jolt to the system.
How to visit
The museum is located inside the medical university of Semey, centrally located on the corner of Abai and Lenin street. After entering, cross the central lobby and head out into the courtyard. You will probably have to explain yourself to a security guard.
If you get past him, get out of the building and cross the courtyard. The anatomical museum is inside the blue-roofed rectangular building, back-left of the courtyard, behind the sports field. I marked the location on OSM. Entry is from the back. Here you will need to find someone with the keys to open the museum door. This person might demand an arbitrary sum of money, an invitation for you to make a counter-offer.
It is a university: your biggest chance of finding someone with the keys is during office hours on weekdays.