Don't bogart the skull, dude!

The idea of using old skulls for the consumption of intoxicants is fairly common. In fact, it's become the basis of more than a few legends. One of my favorites involves Nostradamus, who supposedly predicted that anyone who drank wine from his skull would gain his powers of prediction, but would die soon after. As the tale goes, three French soldiers decided to test this legend in 1791, but the one who drank was shot almost immediately. History doesn't record whether or not he offered any predictions before giving up the ghost.

Another great story involves the head of Edward Teach, the famed "Blackbeard." After years of ruling the seas off the East Coast of North America, he was finally killed in 1718. Rather than bring Teach's corpse back to port, his killers cut off his head and threw his body overboard. After Robert Maynard, the commander of the force that killed Blackbeard, turned in his head for a reward, Governor Spottswood of Virginia hung the trophy from a pike in Bath, Virginia. There are conflicting stories about what happened to the skull; my favorite is that it was gilded with silver and turned into a drinking vessel.

It's not too hard to see why people would contemplate using a skull as a beer mug. Apart from the grisly coolness of the finished product, it's not all that hard to do. Basically, it only requires removing the top of the head, blocking a couple of holes, slapping on a handle, and developing a strong stomach.