Sometimes you just can’t believe your eyes. We often say that nature has a way of doing things. And no matter how surreal some things look, they are very much real. The same applies to people as well.
We have a tendency of saying people are diverse, and that no two people are the same. But exactly how different are we? Due to medical conditions or body modifications, some people are just unbelievable. And when we say unbelievable, it means you cannot imagine that such people, in that particular shape or size, exist.
In the end, no matter our looks, we are all just people. But to really understand how diverse we are, let’s take a look at some of the “strangest” individuals out there.
1. World’s Tallest and Shortest Men
Sultan Kosen from Turkey is the world’s tallest man. He measured at 8’2.3”, or 251 cm. He grabbed the title in 2009, when he measured taller than the previous world holder, Xi Shun from China. Sultan became the first man over 8 feet to be measured by the Guinness Book of World Records in 20 years.
The shortest man in the world, on the other hand, is just 21.5 inches tall, or 54.6 centimeters. He is a doctor from Nepal, and when the Guinness World Records measured him, he was shorter than the length of a broadsheet of newspaper.
Jalisa Thompson looks like a cartoon character due to her bulging eyes. She was bullied for years because of her medical condition.
3. Erik the Lizardman
Erik makes his living performing as a freak before live audiences around the world. He has also made public appearances and paid television appearances. He lives in Texas with his wife and pet ferrets. He has sharpened teeth, a full-body tattoo of green scales, subdermal implants and green-inked lips. There were once rumors he wanted to get a tail transplant, but Erik stated it was impossible. He is one of the commonly featured characters in Ripley’s Believe It or Not books.
4. Platypus Woman
Some believe Grace McDaniels, known as the “Mule-Faced Woman,” suffered a rare disorder known as Sturge Weber syndrome. In any case, her face resembled a mule. Grace lived from 1888 to 1958, and during her time, her son Elmer managed her career when she joined a freak show. The reason behind her mule face was lip cancer, causing her lip to swell.
5. Most Pierced Man and Woman
The world’s most pierced man was Gerard M. Rogers for several years. He held the Guinness World Record for “most pierced person.” Ironically, he died because of his piercings. He tried to go through a metal detector at the LAX airport, and his face was completely ripped from his body when he entered the machine. Nobody knows if it was a suicide, as the security guards warned him about the machine, but he said he had gone through one before.
The most pierced woman is Elaine Davidson, who has 6,925 piercings. More than 200 of those are on her face alone. She married in 2011.
6. Tree Man
Another “freak” that passed away was the Indonesian known as the tree man. He died in February 2016, but he already has someone to continue the legacy. A young boy, named Ripon Sarker, is in the initial stage of the illness known as epidermodysplasia verruciformis.
7. Woman with Giant Legs
Mandy Sellars has a rare genetic mutation. As a result, she has extraordinary legs, which she tried to remove with surgery. Mandy was the subject of a TV documentary called “Losing One of My Giant Legs.” In June 2016, she finally started shrinking, 22 months following the surgery. For years, doctors were unable to diagnose the problem, as she had a size 10 upper body, but huge legs and feet.
8. The Blue Man
Paul Karason used a silver compound to treat dermatitis on his face for years. But after a decade of usage, as a side effect, his face turned blue. He became known as the Blue Man on the Internet. In 2013, he died of a heart attack at the age of 62.
9. Longest Fingernails in the World
Lee Redmond from the USA holds the world record for the longest fingernails on a female. She started to grow her fingernails in 1979, and with careful manicuring, she managed to get them to length of 28 feet 4.5 inches, or 8.65 meters. Lee lost her nails in 2009 due to a car accident, but she was lucky enough to have had her nails measured in February 2008.
At the moment, a 78-year-old man from India holds the record; his thumbnail is more than two meters long. He hasn’t cut his nails since 1952, when he was just 16 years old.
10. Man with Zero Percent Body Fat
Andreas Munzer is known as the guy with zero percent body fat. The bodybuilder wasn’t famous for his success until he died in 2015, and the autopsy revealed he had 0% body fat. According to doctors, men need at least 3% body fat to function properly.
11. Half-Man, Half-Monkey
After World War I, the Soviet Union tried to create “humanzee,” a hybrid between a human and a chimpanzee. The experiment wasn’t successful, as many had expected, but it seems that years after, we have someone who has managed to look like a monkey. The man in question is Yu Zhenhuan from China, a 33-year-old who has hair over 96% of his body. Because of this condition, he is nicknamed “The Monkey Man.”
12. The Zombie Boy
Rick Genest is actually a fashion model. Called the Zombie Boy, Rick is a Canadian artist who has corpse tattoos all over his body.
13. Woman with the Widest Hips
43-year-old Mikel Ruffinelli is the proud owner of the widest hips in the world. As Shakira says in the popular song “Hips Don’t Lie,” Mikel is a 420 lb mother, with her hips measuring 8 feet in circumference.
14. Unicorn Lady
This 102-year-old lady from China is called the Unicorn Woman due to a horn growing from her head. She decided to have surgery to remove her horn, which she did in 2015, thus removing the “devil horns” she grew on her head.
15. Man Without an Eyeball
In 2013, Billy Owen lost one of his eyeballs. He is a cancer survivor, and after losing his eye, he embraced his new life, joining the “Freakshow.”
16. The Couple with the Most Body Modifications in the World
Victor and Gabriela Peralta from Buenos Aires, Argentina, have a total 77 modifications on their bodies. Those modifications include 50 piercings, 11 body implants, five dental implants, four microdermals, two ear bolts, one forked tongue, and four ear expanders. And they do not intend to stop. Victor and Gabriela proudly show their body modifications, urging the world to accept their outward identity.
17. Boy with the Biggest Hands
Mohammad Kaleem from India was born with a rare illness: his hands grew to a gigantic size, measuring 33 centimeters (13 inches). In 2015, he underwent surgery to reduce the size of his hands.
18. Shortest Woman in the World
22-year-old Jyoti Amge from India is widely recognized as the shortest living woman. She measures just 2’1”, and looks like a baby in her parents’ hands. She has four siblings, but none is as short as Jyoti.
19. Man with a Giant Head
Sain Mumtaz looks like a monster. But not because he likes to be one. He suffers from a rare condition that has left him with a giant head. The Pakistani man suffering from the Proteus syndrome has been trying for years to find a cure for his illness.
20. Vampire Lady
Maria Jose Cristerna was your average lawyer from Mexico several years ago. But one day, she decided that she would show the world that she has always been very different. Maria underwent an extreme body modification, complete with fangs and forked tongue. She did it all just so she could become the Vampire Lady.
21. Real Life Magneto
Muhibija Buljubasic from Bosnia and Herzegovina is known as “The Magnet Man.” He is 56 years old, and says he discovered his unusual talent five years ago. And unlike Magneto from the X-Men franchise, Muhibija needed no practice or training to attach metal to his skin. He believes his body has special energy that attracts metals.
22. Conjoined Twins – Two Heads, One Body
Abigail and Brittany Hensel are twins. But they are more than just identical twins. They are conjoined twins, meaning they share most of the same body. They have one body, but two heads. They have two spinal cords, ending in a basin, but all organs below the waist are common. What is even more interesting is that their eating habits, their clothing, and their colors are different.
23. Giraffe Women
The fun part is that there is not one, but many giraffe women. The Kayan, an ethnic minority in Myanmar, are famous for their giraffe women. Females in the tribe are forced to wear brass coils around their neck, all in an effort to extend their neck. They wear these coils their entire life, starting from the age of five.
24. The Ice Man
Just as there are many giraffe woman, there are many ice men. It is all about a technique—a method workshop for a breathing technique that allows individuals to control their autonomous system. Once you finish the workshop, you are able to breathe easily while bathing in an ice bath.
25. Woman with the Smallest Waist
Working as a shop assistant, Michele Kobke from Germany is known for having worn a corset for three years straight. As a result, she has managed to reduce her waist circumference to 40.6 centimeters (16 inches). In other words, she has achieved the stature that many call the “wasp waist.” She says she feels beautiful, and after improving her stature with diet and sports, she decided to take the next step and get into a corset. Her goal is to break the world record, which is a waist circumference of 35.6 centimeters (14 inches).
26. Strongest Man in the World
At the 2014 Arnold Strongman competition, Zydrunas Savickas set a new world record at deadlift. He managed to lift 1,155 pounds, becoming the strongest man in the world. The record still holds.
27. Woman with Backward Feet
Some people are just born with disabilities. Wang Fang from China was born with backward feet, but she doesn’t want to be classified as disabled. She doesn’t make any excuses, and has turned down disability benefits. What is even more impressive is that the 30-something woman holds a job as a waitress. She jokes from time to time that she is just like everyone else, with the only difference being that she puts her shoes on backwards. Even though the doctors said she wouldn’t be able to walk, Wang has done much more than that, giving birth to a normal son in addition to working as a normal-footed person.
28. The Catman
Dennis Avner from the U.S. was obsessed with becoming a cat. Just as some people on this list wanted to become someone else, Dennis wanted to become a cat. So, in 2012, he got his face tattooed just like a cat, and become known as the Catman.
29. Man with the Widest Mouth
Imagine the surprise dentists have when this man from Oregon sits in their chair. He is a dentist himself, and he can open his mouth as wide as some people can open their legs.
30. Woman with the Largest Breast Implants
Mayra Hills loves giant tits. Not big tits, but giant tits. To satisfy her love for giant tits, she has undergone a number of surgical procedures. Today, one of her breasts weighs 20 pounds, and she says she has 10,000 cc of saline implants. Known as Beshine, she is the owner of the world’s largest fake breasts. What, you thought they were real?
31. Man with the Widest Tongue
Talk about a weird family. Byron Schlenker is the record holder for the widest tongue in the world. At his last measurement, representatives from Guinness measured his tongue at 8.57 centimeters (3.4 inches). The first time his daughter measured his tongue, it measured 7.9 centimeters (3.11 inches). But the strange part is that his daughter Emily is the woman’s holder for the widest tongue in the world.
32. Most Tattooed Woman in the World
Known as the “Illustrade Woman,” Julia Gnuse from Italy has the most tattoos of any living woman. She is 57 years old, and has tattoos on 95% of her body. Most of her tattoos are drawings from cartoons and jungle scenes with her favorite characters.
33. Man with Upside-Down Head
Claudio Vieira from Brazil is 39 years old, and he is known as the man born with his head upside-down. He has used his deformity to become an inspirational public speaker. When he was little, doctors told his mother to stop feeding him. Nobody believed in his survival—except his family. Claudio graduated as an accountant, and then continued working as a public speaker.
34. Man with the Biggest Mouth
One of the common guests in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Francisco Domingo Joaquim from Angola is the proud owner of the biggest mouth in the world. And we are not saying the biggest mouth in terms of gossiping. When someone says big mouth, he/she probably doesn’t mean Francisco. His mouth measures 6.69 inches, or 17 centimeters.
35. Longest Dreadlocks
Asha Mandela is the proud owner of the longest dreadlocks, measuring at 55 feet long. She has been warned by doctors numerous times that the weight from her hair could paralyze her. But she ignores the warning and continues to wear them, saying it would be like suicide to cut it.
Asha started growing her hair more than 25 years ago. Since then, she has overcome cancer, two heart attacks, and two strokes. It takes Asha two days to fully wash and dry her hair. When she goes out, she winds it up in a baby sling.
36. Man with the Stretchiest Skin
Garry Turner has a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. The condition is actually a group of inherited disorders, affecting mainly the connective tissues in the skin, joints and blood vessel walls. As a result, he has a skin that can stretch further than you can imagine.
37. Biggest Woman Bodybuilder
Joanna Thomas is the world record holder for the biggest female bodybuilder. She weighs between 128-134 lbs in season. Competing in the classic lightweight group, she has won the competition numerous times. The 40-year-old British professional is 5’2” tall.
38. Man without Half a Head
Called “Halfy,” Carlos Sosa from Miami is not the only man who has suffered severe head injury. But he is the most famous one. He was in an accident while driving a car. At the time, he was on drugs, and the moment he hit a pole, he flew out of the front window and landed on his head. Many believed he wouldn’t survive, but he did. He is now an advocate of policies that advocate no drinking and driving as well as no drugs while driving.
39. Fattest Woman in the World
In 2011, the Guinness World Records recognized Pauline Potter as the world’s heaviest woman. She weighed 728 pounds and consumed more than 10,000 calories per day. In 2012, she decided to shed some pounds and get healthier. To do that, she is eating less and has marathon sex sessions with her husband, during which she burns 500 calories. She says she cannot move much, but it is a great exercise just to jiggle around.
40. The Man Who Hadn’t Washed in 60 Years
Amou Hajii is 80 years old, and he claims he hasn’t bathed in more than 60 years. When he was 20 years old, he stopped bathing, claiming that cleanliness would bring him sickness. He has yet to shower, and is known as the dirtiest man. Hajii lives in a grave-like hole, smokes five cigarettes per day, and eats dead porcupines.
41. Wolf Girl
Supatra Sasuphan from Thailand is 18 years old, and she suffers from werewolf syndrome. It’s a rare disease, and scientists believe it can offer a cure for baldness one day. She has been called “wolf girl” and “monkey face,” but her Guinness World Record in 2011 made her popular at school. Her disease is caused by a faulty chromosome, and Supatra is just one of 50 people in the world suffering from it.
42. Human Barbie
Valeria Lukyanova from Ukraine is your real-life Human Barbie. She’s been a huge fan of the Barbie doll since she was a child, and when she grew up, she wanted to look like her. The Ukrainian model underwent several surgeries to look like Barbie, but then used her popularity to star in movies and become a singer.
43. Four-Year-Old Who Looks Like an Old Man
Called a real-life Benjamin Button, Bayezid Hossain was conceived with an interesting ailment. He has matured rather quickly, and at four years old, he looked like he was 40 years old. Doctors believe he won’t reach more than 15 years of age.