The Wishbone, aka the Furcula

As parents clean out the remains from Thanksgiving dinner, the majority of the carcass is tossed into the garbage except this slim bone:


This fragile v-shaped bone is called a wishbone. The common Western tradition is to wait for the bone to dry, then to have two people pull the wishbone by their pinkies. Whoever breaks the wishbone gets a wish granted. 

Fascinating, isn’t it? The wishbone is actually scientifically known as the furcula. It is a fusion of clavicles (collarbones) and all birds have it. The furcula is mainly used to support the effort of flight, and also helps with breathing. Yet as soon as it is taken out, we humans have taken this essential bone to grant our wishes.

The tradition of the wishbone started from Romans who read fortunes from bones, specifically bird bones. They thought that hens and cocks were able to tell the future since they signalled the beginning of the day with their famous calls.

Cool, eh? Simple traditions that we take for granted have neat stories behind them~ Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🙂


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