14. Francesco Lentini
Lentini was born with three legs, sixteen toes and two sets of sex organs. He performed in a lot of circus shows and was highly respected among his fellow performers. He was often referred to as ‘The King’.
13. General Tom Thumb
Charles Sherwood Stratton stopped growing when he was six months old. He then began to grow again, though very slowly, until he reached a height of 2 feet 8.5 inches on his 18th birthday. He began his circus career as General Tom Thumb at the age of five.
12. Myrtle Corbin
Myrtle one-ups Lentini by a leg. She had four! Like Lentini, she had two pelvises, but each had two legs. She entered the circus scene at age 13 and married at the age of 19 then gave birth to four children during her lifetime. It is said that she had two vaginas and to have given birth through both. However, this claim hasn’t been proved.
11. Hottentot Venus
A circus performer from South Africa. She became famous because of her extremely huge hind quarters. Definitely the Kim Kardashian of her generation.
10. Isaac W. Sprague
Known as the Human Skeleton due to his intense malnourishment. He stood 5’6″ tall and weighed 18 Kilograms before his death.
9. Annie Jones – American Bearded Woman
An American Bearded Woman who toured with showman P. T. Barnum as a circus attraction. The cause of her condition is still unknown.
8. Koo Koo the Bird Girl
It is said that she was rescued from a Mental Asylum. She suffered from a rare congenital growth skeletal disorder called Virchow-Seckel syndrome, which caused her to have a very short stature, a small head, a narrow bird-like face and a beak-like nose, large eyes with an antimongoloid slant, large ears and mild intellectual disability.
7. Grady Stiles
Grady Stiles was born with ectrodactyly, where the hands and feet are fused into claws. He began performing as Lobster Boy at an early Age. Stiles was an abusive alcoholic. He shot and killed the husband-to-be of his daughter. He confessed and was convicted of third degree murder. He received fifteen years probation because no institution was equipped for his condition.
In 1992, his wife and her son from a previous marriage hired another sideshow performer to kill him. He was shot three times in the back of the head while he was watching TV in his trailer.
6. Pip and Flip
Pinheads (an abnormality with the dead) with the mentality of a 5th grader. They looked scary but were actually harmless.
5. Ella Harper – Camel Girl
Ella Harper was born with an incredibly rare orthopedic condition that resulted in her knees bending back the wrong way. Ella found it more comfortable to walk on all fours due to this phenomenon. It also led to her nickname the ‘Camel Girl’.
4. James Morris
James Morris, also known as the India Rubber Man was born with “Ehlers-Danlos syndrome,” the strange ability to stretch his skin to unbelievable lengths. He was extremely popular, especially when he took the skin around his neck and pulled it over his eyes. Little did viewers know that doing so was also extremely painful for James Morris.
3. Prince Randian
Prince Randian suffered from a rare form of tetra-amelia syndrome wherein he was deprived of all limbs. He had many aliases like ‘The Snake Man’, ‘The Human Caterpillar’ and ‘The Living Torso’. Part of his act included rolling and lighting a cigarette with just his lips.
2. Mirin Dajo – The Human Pincushion
His act, which involved having Fencing Foils inserted through his body, have baffled many doctors and magicians. However, he died at age 35 from an aortic rupture, resulting from swallowing a long steel needle.
1. Mike the Headless Chicken
A chicken that lived for 18 months after his head had been cut off by his owner. At first, it was thought by many to be a hoax until owner took him to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to establish the facts. The chicken was able to live because the axe that was supposed to behead him missed the jugular vein, leaving one ear and most of the brain stem intact. The Headless chicken moved on to be paraded in various circuses and shows.