susi the elephant skinned girl

SUSI -The Elephant Girl

Ichthyosis finds its etymological origins in the Greek term for ‘fish’, however the majority of human exhibits afflicted with the skin condition often adopted an Alligator-themed epithet. Susi’s skin, however, was particularly coarse and cracked and the title of ‘elephant-skinned’ seemed more appropriate and illustrative.


Esther Parnell was born in Kenly, North Carolina on March 5th, 1926. She was one of six children and while her sister and three of her brothers were born with perfectly average skin, Esther and her brother William were afflicted with ichthyosis. There are several forms of ichthyosis, a rare skin condition that derives its…

RALPH KROONER - The Elephant-Skinned Man

RALPH KROONER – The Elephant-Skinned Man

Ralph Albert Krooner was born in Montpelier, Vermont in 1888 and he owed much of his fictitious and show-worthy back story to the long-discredited medical theory of maternal impression. The theory of maternal impression was once a popular phenomenon that attempted to explain the existence of birth defects and congenital disorders. The theory stated that…

CAPTAIN FRED WALTERS and Other Blue People

CAPTAIN FRED WALTERS and Other Blue People

Skin tone is often a hot social topic. The conversations surrounding the perceived rights of ‘visible minorities’ has long been a heated one. However, what if your skin color placed you in a tiny minority? A tiny and very blue visible minority. The most famous of the blue people were the Fugates family. The blue…

COUNT ORLOFF – The Transparent Man

COUNT ORLOFF – The Transparent Man

Few Human Marvels can ever compare to the unusual case of Count Orloff.He was a human oddity sometimes incorrectly billed as ossified, and correctly touted as being transparent. Ivannow Wladislaus von Dziarski-Orloff was born in Hungary in 1864.While he was completely normal during his childhood, at the age of 14 he began to experience an…