What Does the Spleen Do? A Music Video Starring Harvard School of Medicine’s Class of 2016

Accord­ing to Har­vard Med­ical School’s Admis­sions depart­ment, “to study med­i­cine at Har­vard is to pre­pare to play a lead­ing role” in the “quest to improve the human con­di­tion.”

It might also pre­pare you to play a giant spleen, as Richard Ngo, Class of 2016, does in this video for the Har­vard Med­ical School and Har­vard School of Den­tal Med­i­cine’s 107th Annu­al Sec­ond Year Show. 

In this anatom­i­cal homage to  “The Fox,” Nor­we­gian com­e­dy duo Ylvis’ delib­er­ate­ly bizarre hit, the Crim­sonites demon­strate a pret­ty straight­for­ward grasp of their stud­ies:

Lungs go whoosh

Help you breathe

Kid­neys fil­ter

Make your pee

If, as they freely admit,  they’re a bit murky on sple­net­ic func­tion, well, that’s why they’re at the top ranked med­ical school in the coun­try, right? To learn?

And to dance?

Their par­ents, par­tic­u­lar­ly the hard work­ing immi­grant ones, must have been so relieved to learn that music videos are a fall­back should the doc­tor thing not work out.

Though why would­n’t it? Secret male uterus? Ves­ti­gial fin? Pos­si­bly a back­up tongue?

They may be guess­es, but they’re edu­cat­ed guess­es!

For com­par­ison’s sake, here are two of the win­ning entries in the Med­ical and Den­tal School’s Organ Chal­lenge, an anato­my-based music video con­test for kids K‑12Oak­land’s Pacif­ic Boy­choir Acad­e­my’s Miley Cyrus-inspired take on the Diges­tive Sys­tem (above) and Poolesville, Mary­land’s local high school’s  “Hap­py”-fla­vored anthem to healthy car­diac func­tion (below).

I’d say those kids stand a good chance of get­ting into Har­vard.

(Don’t be embar­rassed if you remain a bit shaky on what exact­ly the spleen’s there to do. This sim­ple, non-musi­cal primer on the “Queen of Clean,” com­pli­ments of I Heart Guts, should clear things up right away.


Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load 100,000+ Images From The His­to­ry of Med­i­cine, All Free Cour­tesy of The Well­come Library

The Stan­ford Mini Med School: The Com­plete Col­lec­tion

Sci­ence & Cook­ing: Har­vard Profs Meet World-Class Chefs in Unique Online Course

Learn to Code with Harvard’s Intro to Com­put­er Sci­ence Course And Oth­er Free Tech Class­es

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, home­school­er and the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of The East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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