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Description of a Monster Born of a Ewe

(Translation of August 1708 Work)

The monster which is shown in the figure appeared in Buenos Aires on August 26. The contrast of three resemblances which it had, that of a child, a horse, and a calf, surprised all who saw it. I asked the person who showed it to me if I could examine it in order to describe it faithfully, but he never allowed me to do this. I examined it from quite close and drew its principal traits without his noticing. As soon as I returned to my room, having all the information about the monster vividly in my memory, it furnished what was missing from the drawing. I completed it and represented it in its natural color. The monster was 11 inches long; its head was covered with fuzz [like a newborn - Ed], and the rest of the body with smooth skin, denoting the fact that it was born prematurely; it had a human head , with a spherical cranium, at the top of the forehead was a limp horn which hung and hid a well-formed bull's eye in the middle of the face at the location of the nose and terminated slightly above the top lip; in my drawing it is shorter to avoid covering the eye. The forehead was well-proportioned; it lacked a nose; its mouth was located as ours is; the same with the chin; the ears on each side of the head resembled those of a horse, the same with the neck, and the rest of the body did not differ from that of a calf. The figure represented here, engraved from the original, shows the exterior appearance.

I think that the head of this fetus, even if it had gone to term, would not have lived since, without a nose, it could not have enjoyed the privilege of respiration. It is true that we do not know the reasons of nature, that celebrated anatomist, for this; it could have compensated elsewhere for this defect, which I could have discovered if I could have examined the anatomy of the fetus. It was still-born, and the small size indicated that it was pre-term.

 

 
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Last Updated:
June 11, 2003 2:22 PM