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The Curious Case of the Woman with Four Legs

1800s | November 27, 2017

Myrtle Corbin, was known as the Four-Legged Woman, however, technically, only one pair actually belonged to her. The other pair belonged to her dipygus twin sister.

Born in Lincoln County, Tennessee in 1868, Myrtle's condition was incredibly rare. The tiny body of her twin was only developed from the waist down and even then it was malformed – tiny and possessing only three toes on each foot.

Myrtle was able to control the limbs of her twin but was unable to use them for walking. She herself had a difficult time getting around as she was born with a clubbed foot. Technically, the ‘Four-Legged Woman’ only had one good, fully-working leg.

Myrtle was a popular circus attraction with P.T. Barnum, and later with Ringling Bros. and Coney Island. She would often dress the extra limbs with socks and shoes matching her own, giving her a truly surreal appearance. Myrtle was so popular that she was able to earn as much as $450 dollars a week.

At the age of 19 Myrtle married a doctor named Clinton Bicknell. It was then that other aspects of her bizarre anatomy became evident. It seems that her twin sister was also fully formed sexually – thus Myrtle possessed two vaginas. She had five children and it has been rumored that three of them were born from one set of organs and two from the other. Whether this is true or not; it is medically possible. In Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine by George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle it was observed that both vaginas menstruated – thus indicating both were possibly sexually functional.

H/T TheHumanMarvels

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