Headless Humanoids??
February 21, 2007 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Cryptozoology question!

I'm looking for the well-known illustrations from the account of that "explorer" (whose name I don't remember) who published tales of fantastical beasts and strange humanoids hundreds of years ago.

In particular, I'm looking for the drawings of the headless people with faces growing out of their stomachs.

I know someone is probably going to answer this in mere minutes; I just haven't been able to turn up anything no matter how industriously I set Google loose on it.
posted by hermitosis to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The headless creatures are called anthrophagi.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:43 AM on February 21, 2007


D'oh, see also blemmyea.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:47 AM on February 21, 2007


I found pictures of the blemmyes and the giant-footed sciapods in Sebastian M√ľnster 's Cosmographia.
posted by moonmilk at 11:51 AM on February 21, 2007


Prester John was the mythical king of India. The explorer was probably Sir John Mandeville (links to a relevant extract from his work).
posted by nasreddin at 11:54 AM on February 21, 2007


Hey, is that a dufflepud?
posted by DU at 11:56 AM on February 21, 2007


Yep, that's what I'm looking for. Even knowing the name will make a big difference. Thanks a million!
posted by hermitosis at 11:59 AM on February 21, 2007


I think the drawings you want come either from the Nuremberg Chronicle (scroll down a bit to "Strange People: Headless") or from Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia.
posted by ourobouros at 12:12 PM on February 21, 2007


Alvy&: an anthro(po)phagi is someone who eats people; from anthro (man) and phagi (eater). Even says so in your link.

Which of course (for total derail bonus points) reminds me of Flanders & Swann's Reluctanct Cannibal.
posted by polyglot at 4:15 PM on February 21, 2007


polyglot: My first(Hasty, damn me) response was based on a confused memory of high school Shakespeare; having read Baudolino a couple of years ago I knew anthropophagi wasn't the term I wanted, hence my "D'oh" follow-up. The misspelling was just me being cockfingered. :)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:59 PM on February 21, 2007


I have a copy of The Travels of Marco Polo which has blemmyes, sciapods, dragons, unicorns, and men with dog's heads. I believe the illustrations are from a 14th-century French version of Polo's travels, Livre des Merveilles du Monde, in which the illustrator took some liberties with Polo's descriptions. They're the more colorful images in the linked search (but doesn't show the creatures you're looking for, sorry.)
posted by steef at 6:29 AM on February 22, 2007


Wait, here's an example.
posted by steef at 10:51 AM on February 22, 2007


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