MIRIN DAJO – The Extreme Human Pincushion


The man in the video is Dutch Fakir Mirin Dajo. He was born in 1912 as Arnold Gerrit Henskes and adopted his name, an Esperanto term that translates to mean ‘wonderful’. In 1947, at the Corso Theatre in Zurich, Mirin Dajo allow an assistant to plunge a fencing foil right through his body. The foil appeared to have pierced several vital organs and yet, the fakir remained relatively unharmed.

Needless to say, people were shocked, amazed and terrified by what they saw.

As word of his remarkable talent spread, a Swiss doctor Hans Naegeli-Osjord invited Mirin Dajo to the Zurich Cantonal hospital for study. Many people, including Naegeli-Osjord, the chief of surgery Dr. Werner Brunnerand as well as several other doctors, students and members of the press witnessed these tests. All were dumbfounded by what they saw.

In front of the witnesses assembled Mirin Dajo stripped naked to the waist and, following a period of meditation, once again had his assistant plunge the steel rapier through him. He then stood for some time, impaled, while the doctors examined him.

The doctors could find no evidence of trickery but many still refused to believe what they saw. Mirin Dajo agreed to an x-ray with the foil in place. The resulting image confirmed the legitimacy of his abilities.
Later that same year, Mirin Dajo was again submitted to examination , this time in Basel. There he actually allowed the doctors themselves to pierce him. Again, there was no evidence of trickery. Not only did Mirin Dajo insist that the doctors treat him roughly, he later jogged several laps while still impaled to illustrate his complete tolerance of pain.

Mirin Dajo was a very religious man and some media outlets labeled him a ‘Messiah’. According to some reports, Mirin Dajo could hear voices, a spiritual guide. His public displays were often concluded with a lecture and a message of peace.

How was Mirin Dajo able to survive this repeated trauma? Who knows. Luck, faith, unique biology, mind over matter – your guess is as good as mine. He kept performing his feat for audiences. Eventually, to prove his talent was real while on stage, he took to being impaled by three hollow skewers. He would then pump water through those skewers. He became a human fountain.

It is not uncommon for eastern fakirs to pierce themselves with swords, many of them can push swords completely through their bodies. However, the majority of them do so through the fatty and ‘safe’ areas their body. The piercing feats of Mirin Dajo were extreme.

It is important to note that his unique skill may have resulted in his demise on May 26, 1948. An autopsy revealed that Dajo died of an aortic rupture.

images: 1. promotional photo of Mirin Dajo – no known original source. 2. the x-ray image that shocked the medical world.

Author, researcher and an expert of the odd, J. Tithonus Pednaud has been chronicling bizarre history and highlighting the lives of those born exceeding different for over a decade.


  • Reply April 15, 2008


  • Reply April 26, 2008


    Re: Mirin Dajo’s death.

    An autopsy was performed almost immediately (even though the law stated that a period of three days had to pass before one was performed) and this revealed that Dajo had died of an aortic rupture – a verdict contested by De Groot and the surgeon, but whereby both were unable to officially contest it, if only because De Groot was a foreign national.

  • Reply October 9, 2008


    OMG i just started fencing and i found this while googleing foils. Did he just use the foil? I am doing a blog post on this, ill link to this site. elferkid.com

  • [...] Here is a lot more on this amazing guy- http://thehumanmarvels.com/?p=98 [...]

  • Reply October 9, 2008

    J Tithonus Pednaud

    Good luck with the fencing Kayla. Just try not to get run through like Mirin Dajo.

  • Reply December 21, 2008

    ralph anderson

    I have been told stories of a great uncle that went by the great Waximo has anyone heard of him this was in the mid to late 20′s His real name was Richard Andersson ( anderson)

  • Reply December 27, 2008

    J Tithonus Pednaud

    Waximo doesn’t ring any bells with me.

  • Reply July 13, 2009

    J Tithonus Pednaud

    I’ve heard that theory before, however it is generally held as being highly suspect.

  • Reply August 6, 2011

    John Lucas

    thanks for the greatpost

  • [...] What not to wear, a foil [...]

  • Reply January 9, 2012

    An avid reader

    Mr. Pednaud,

    The link in the first comment is no longer a valid link. Doing a YouTube search on the same video name, “Mirin Dajo” comes up with the following amazing link.


    If you are able to edit comments, replacing the top link with this one would benefit anyone coming to this site.

    Also, thank you for all the great content. This place is amazing.

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