Strange woman with Bizarre History ( Julia Pastrana)


Famous naturalist Charles Darwin said that she was a “remarkably fine woman”. Julia suffered a genetic disorder called hypertrichosisterminalis, due to that her face and body were covered with straight black hair. Her ears and nose were unusually large, and her teeth were irregular. The latter condition was caused by a rare disease called gingival hyperplasia.

Julia was born in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1834. Later, Theodore Lent, discovered her in United States and convinced her to marry him. Lent toured her on freakshows through USA and Europe. She was dubbed the “Ugliest woman on the world”.But despite that, she had a sweet singing voice, have good taste for music and dance and spoke three languages.


Julia became pregnant of Lent at 25 years old. The child was born hairy like her mother but died few hours later. Due to labor complications of the pregnancy Julia died 5 days later.

Her husband’s greed did not end there. He made Julia and her kid’s bodies to be embalmed and dress them elegantly to show them in a tour through Europe. The bodies went through different owners until 2013 when she finally was buried in Sinaloa.

After Pastrana’s death, Lent sold her body and their son’s body to Professor Sukolov of Moscow University who permanently preserved them. Her body was taxidermically preserved. The process was a blend of taxidermy techniques and embalming chemicals. Although generically referred to as a “mummy” by some authors, her preserved body was technically not a mummy because it was not mummified. Her body was “stuffed”, as noted by renowned naturalist and taxidermist Charles Darwin. After the bodies were preserved by Sukolov, Lent re-purchased them from him and began exhibiting them throughout Europe. Lent later found another woman with similar features, married her and changed her name from Marie Bartel to Zenora Pastrana, becoming wealthy from her exhibition. Some sources claim that he was eventually committed to a Russian mental institution in 1884 where he died

Tina Smith

Tina Smith

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