The philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was one of the mainstays of 18th-century rationalism. He provided much of the philosophical underpinnings of the modern justice system, like suggesting the theory of the panopticon, which posits (more or less) that people only behave themselves when they think someone's watching and arguing throughout his long, contentious, and prolific career for the cause of the rational over the superstitious, for science and a faith in the capacity of the human mind over religion. Bentham was a member of the Utilitarian movement, which advocated governmental systems that gave the greatest good to the greatest number of people.
And, as a result of his belief in science, he had himself stuffed.
One of the great moral debates of the mid-19th century was over the dissection of corpses. The religious contended that his was sacrilegious and would interfere with the body's eventual resurrection on the Day of Judgment. Doctors, on the other hand, contended that being allowed to dissect corpses would increase their medical knowledge, thereby postponing the production of more corpses. The controversy between the two positions bred scandal, including the infamous "resurrectionists" Burke and Hare, whose business of selling corpses to medical students began with grave robbing and ended with murder.
Bentham was a passionate -- and evidently humorous -- supporter of the cause of dissection. In the service of this cause, he directed in his will that his dead body be used for scientific study, and that when the surgeons were done with it, his skeleton should be encased in an artificial body, dressed in his clothes and seated in his favorite chair with his favorite walking stick by his side, and put on display at University College, London.
Bentham's friends and colleagues shared both his convictions and his sense of humor, and they followed his instructions, dissecting the body and reassembling it to be enshrined in a large wood and glass case in UCL. And there it is to this day. You can visit it any time during regular business hours, assuming you can navigate the maze of halls and corridors to find it (ask a helpful student; not too surprisingly, everyone in the building seems to know where Bentham is). There's a display on Bentham's writings (including some of his less well-publicized philosophical positions) on the wall near the case, as well as a series of photographs showing a recent restoration of the body.
Entry is free and well worth the difficulty of finding the darn thing. (Plus, you may find notices about a public lecture worth attending -- we went on to hear a major literary critic give a talk.) Even if you're a fan of mummies, you've never seen anything like this anywhere. Really.