A centaur skeleton from an exhibition at the Tuscon International Wildlife Museum called “Mythological Wildlife,” the purpose of which was to explain how archaic cultures misinterpreted bones. Also in the collection was an elephant skull, which was often mistaken for a giant-cyclops skull, and a Narwhal tusk, which would wash ashore and be mistaken for a unicorn’s horn.
“The pills. It’s doing something to our powers.”
Maurice Tillet was born in France and was very intelligent and spoke 14 languages. In his twenties, he developed acromegaly, a rare disease that causes bones to grow wildly and uncontrollably. Soon his whole body was disfigured as a result. Afterwards, he fled France, became a professional wrestler in the United States, and won American Wrestling Association World title. Tillet was dubbed as the “freak ogre of the ring.” There are rumors that the Shrek character was inspired by Tillet’s look.
Among the many medieval plague victims recently unearthed near Venice, Italy, one reportedly had never-before-seen evidence of an unusual affliction: being “undead. The partial body and skull of the woman showed her jaw forced open by a brick (above)—an exorcism technique used on suspected vampires.
Vampires were thought by some to be causes of plagues, so the superstition took root that shroud-chewing was the “magical way” that vampires spread pestilence. Inserting objects—such as bricks and stones—into the mouths of alleged vampires was thought to halt the disease. MORE.