[- Beard -]Josephine Clofullia, the most famous Bearded Lady of all time and a prominent attraction in P.T. Barnum's side show in the nineteenth century, had a Beard 6 inches long when she was only sixteen. Josephine was an ardent admirer of the French monarch Napoleon III, and she styled her beard after his. So sincerely flattered was the ruler when he learned of this imitation that he sent Madame Clofullia a large diamond, which she wore, appropriately, in her Beard.
[- Dwarf -]The shortest mature human of whom there is independent evidence was Gul Mohammed (India). On July 19, 1990, he was examined at Ram Manohar Hospital, New Delhi, India, and found to be an incredible 22.5 in. (57 cm) tall.
Another Dwarf named Richeborg, was raised as a servant of the Orleans family in eighteenth century France and who stood 23 inches high at maturity, was employed by the aristocracy as a secret agent during the French Revolution. Disguised as an infant and wrapped in swaddling clothes, Richeborg was taken in and out of Paris in the arms of his "nurse," all the while carrying crucial secret dispatches. Richeborg died in Paris at slightly less than a hundred years of age.
[- Giant -]The tallest man ever known was an American namedbRobert Wadlow. Born in Alton, Illinois, in 1918, Wadlow was 6 feet tall by the time he was eight years old, and at fifteen he was 7 feet 5 inches. He reached a final height of 8 feet 11 inches (and a weight of 491 pounds) on his twenty first birthday. He died the following year of an inflamed leg (caused by improperly fitted leg braces) and was buried in a coffin that measured slightly under 11 feet. Gigantism, the disorder Wadlow suffered from, does not, interestingly enough, attack the entire body. Usually it involves only the lower extremities, so that in most cases the head and trunk are of more or less normal size while the lower torso and legs attain extreme proportions.
Robert Wadlow, as well as other "giants" have a pituitary gland tumor that excretes large amounts of growth hormone resulting in what doctors describe as acromegalic gigantism. Death is usually a result of heart complications due to the fact of having to maintain very large amounts of circulation of blood.
[- Giant & Dwarf -]William Evans, a Giant in the retinue of Charles I of England who was reputed to have been over 8 feet tall, carried a Dwarf in his pocket whenever he came to court. The combination of Giant and Dwarf, it is recorded, amused the king.
[- Horns -]In the late nineteenth century doctors discovered a Mexican porter named Paul Rodrigues who had a Horn more than 4 inches long protruding from the upper part of his forehead. The Horn was divided into three principal shafts and had a circumference of about 14 inches. Rodrigues wore a special pointed cap to hide it. This case was by no means unique Sir W. J. Erasmus Wilson, a nineteenth-century English dermatologist, recorded ninety cases of human Horns: Forty four females and forty six males. Of these ninety cases, the majority of the Horns were situated on the head. A few, however, grew from the face (several on the nose), some from the thighs, back, and foot, and one from the penis.
[- Jaws -]Humans, on average bite at 170lbs. of force. Many Eskimos have, (or used to have, when they mainly ate tough whale meat), twice the biting strength than that of an average person. However, an american man once bit a force of 975 lbs.
[- Muscular Control -]In late-nineteenth-century France there was an individual known as "I'homme prote," or the "protean man." He had exceptional control over all his muscles and could protrude or distort any part of himself at will. He could harden the muscles of his stomach so that if hit with a hammer they would not recoil. He could distend his abdomen to create the appearance of enormous obesity or draw it in until he looked like a living skeleton. According to Quatretages, a celebrated French physician of the time, I'homme prote could shut off all the blood from the right side of his body and control the beating of his heart, feats he credited to his great Muscular Control.
[- Perspiration -]At a meeting of the Physical Society of Vienna on December 4, 1894, a five and a half year old girl was exhibited who weighed 250 pounds. She subsisted on a normal diet and was otherwise in good health. The only unusual feature of the girl's physiology was that she never Perspired.
[- Skin -]In 1657 Jakob van Meekren, a Dutch physician, recorded the case of a Spaniard named Georgius Albes, who could stretch the Skin of his left breast up to his left ear and pull the Skin at the base of his neck up over his chin. He was able to perform these feats because of a condition known as dermatolysis a phenomenon that also explains the abilities of many so-called India-rubber men seen at carnival side shows.