Homo Monstrosus

Annemarie de Waal Malefijt

Scientific American, 219:4 (October), 1968, 113-118

"The belief in the existence of monstrous races had endured in the Western world for at least 2,000 years. During that time a rich assortment of semihuman creatures were described by explorers and travelers, whose accounts were probably based largely on malformed individuals and the desire to enhance their own fame at home. No part of the human body was neglected; each was conceived as having elaborate variations. There were, for example, people with tiny heads, with gigantic headws, with pointed heads, with no heads, with detachable heads, with dog heads, with horse heads, with pig snouts and with bird beaks. In the absence of knowledge of farawy places (and about the limits of human variation) men populated them with creatures of their imagination." - author

Illustrations from early printed sources.

Language: English


Last update December 6, 2021