8. The Bunkers and The Yateses
Chang and Eng Bunker were conjoined twins born in Siam (their condition and place of birth created the term “Siamese Twins”). They were joined at the sternum by a small piece of cartilage. Their livers were fused but independently complete. Although 19th century medicine did not have the means to do so, modern surgical techniques would have easily allowed them to be separated today. The two became American Citizens and became respected members of the community, owning a plantation and slaves. On April 13, 1843, they married two sisters: Chang to Adelaide Yates and Eng to Sarah Anne Yates. Chang and his wife had ten children; Eng and his wife had twelve. In time, the wives squabbled and eventually two separate households were set up just west of Mount Airy, North Carolina in the community of White Plains – the twins would alternate spending three days at each home. The twins died on the same day in 1874.
9. Nero and Sporus
Suetonius (c. 69AD – 130AD) wrote that the Emperor Nero fell in love with a young boy, Sporus, and loved him so deeply that he tried to make a woman of him:
He castrated the boy Sporus and actually tried to make a woman of him; and he married him with all the usual ceremonies, including a dowry and a bridal veil, took him to his home attended by a great throng, and treated him as his wife. And the witty jest that someone made is still current, that it would have been well for the world if Nero’s father Domitius had that kind of wife. This Sporus, decked out with the finery of the empresses and riding in a litter, he took with him to the courts and marts of Greece, and later at Rome through the Street of the Images, fondly kissing him from time to time.
As bizarre as that sounds, there is another even more bizarre relationship:1. Dumas and dos SantosJean (or Juan) Baptista dos Santos is said to have been a “Gipsey”, born in Faro, Portugal around 1843, to normal parents with two other normal children. He possessed two functioning penises and three scrota, the outer two of which each contained a single testis. Dos Santos claimed that the central scrotum had also contained a pair of fully-formed testes, but that these had retreated into his abdomen when he was ten years old. He also had a third leg. Fortunately for dos Santos, at the same time there lived in Paris a women named Blanche Dumas who had four breasts and two vaginas (and also a third leg). Dumas was working as a high class prostitute. Dos Santos travelled to Paris and it is believed that the two had a torrid affair. You can read more about this most bizarre relationship on Cogitz.
Relationship: Man and mannequin
This is item 10 on the list because I can’t, for the life of me, work out whether it is for real. In June, 2009, Dauveed (whose surname is so complex I can’t work out what it is) had a faux-wedding ceremony in which he married Clara the mannequin. He telephoned a media company and asked them to record the ceremony. They did so and you can watch the youtube clip here. From my research I have found comments by people who claim to have seen Dauveed with his mannequin walking around Hollywood which would imply that the marriage was taken seriously in his mind. Regardless of whether Dauveed really is in love with Clara or not, it is kind of nice to know that society has offbeat people in it to add color to our lives.