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Martin Laurello
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Oddity
    (circa 1886-1955)
    Born in Nuremburg, Germany
    Birth name was Martin Emmerling
    Could turn his head 120 degrees to the rear
    Billed as ‘the Human Owl’ and ‘the Boy with the Revolving Head’
    Toured with the Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Brothers circuses
    Appeared at various Ripley’s Odditoria, Hubert’s Museum in New York City, and the Coney Island sideshow
    Last public appearance was on the TV show ‘You Asked For It’ (March 24, 1952)
    He claimed to deliberately dislocate several vertebrae to do his act.
    He was arrested during a performance in Baltimore for abandoning his wife and children (April 30, 1931).
    ’Monkey Girl’ Percilla Berjano said he ‘didn’t like the American flag’ and was ‘perhaps a Nazi.’
    Despite his billing, an owl can actually turn its head 150 degrees more than he could (270 degrees in total).
    He claimed to have spent three years practicing to get limber enough to do his act.
    Robert L. Ripley billed him as ‘the only person in the world who can walk straight ahead and look straight behind.’
    It was presumably tough to sneak up on him.
    If he had lived long enough, he could have been a stunt double for Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist.’

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2021, as of last week, Out of 8 Votes: 75.00% Annoying
 
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