"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing." – Benjamin Franklin
Something more on the serious side.
Well, by now you might’ve figured I’m a medical student. It’s no news that “Strange” cases would excite me.
This one definitely did.
Ever heard of two-faced people?
This one case is. Well, literally!
Saw this one picture trending on social networking sites.
Did a couple of hours worth research on it.
Deemed it may be possible.
*picks up axe and swings it like a Mythbuster*
Please stay with me as I unravel this mystery.
He’s Edward Mordrake.
Now, I have no clue as to the date of this picture.
My take on it is, it would be around late 19th century.
-According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_camera), the first commercial camera began sales at the consumer level at around 1885, and I don’t see any reason why a picture may be clicked using any other camera.
-An article was published in the “Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine” (see later) in 1896.
-The article stated his death. I believe if an article was published in a professional Journal, the death must not be very long ago.
-Internet sources reveal he died around the age of 23 years.
-Given this picture, he looks around the same age, within 20-23 years.
Hence, late 19th century – 1890-1900.
-He had a face occupying the posterior part of his skull.
-The face couldn’t talk, but could laugh or weep : ”it would be seen to smile and sneer as Mordrake would weep”. Though Edward gave a history that he couldn’t sleep at night because of the “hateful whispers of his ‘devil twin’”
-Eyes would “follow movements of spectators” and lips would “gibber without ceasing”.
- He, thus, wanted it removed, however, no surgeon would attempt to remove it, fearing it might cost him his life.
-The face seemed to be that of a beautiful woman, which was “lovely as a dream, hideous as a devil”.
The excerpt from ”Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine” is as follows :
As you can see, the story looks very much supernatural. Apart from this, there are no other records of Edward Mordrake, it’s only the word of mouth that we have the given information.
Well, firstly let me tell you one thing. I’m a medical student. I may not YET know a lot about this topic, however, I do know one thing, this is very much a case of Siamese/Conjoined twins.
This is my classification :
CONJOINED TWINS –> PARASITIC –> CEPHALOPAGUS
Here, they are conjoined.
Parasitic, because the development is asymmetrical. The part is vestigial, it is dependent on the fully–formed fetus for it’s nutrition and needs.
Cephalopagus is attachment of the Siamese to the head i.e. both the Siams are attached to ONE skull.
Theoretically, the chance of survival is very slim, because the brain is underdeveloped and malformed.
POINT 1 – Such twins may have a hard chance of living, hence 23 years seems a lot of time for him to live. I may be wrong here, but this is my take.
POINT 2 – Such twins are ALWAYS MONOZYGOTIC. In lay language, they are ALWAYS IDENTICAL twins. THEY CAN NEVER BE OF OPPOSITE GENDER. Hence, the “lovely as a dream” seems to be impossible.
But we know the power of the word of mouth and how often stories tend to metamorphose.
POINT 3 – The case complained of ”whispers” and moving of the eyes. However, in parasitic twins, the second part would be equal to dead. It wouldn’t be able to accomplish the above-mentioned complaints.
However, if a medical journal has published it, there may have been actual proof at that time.
POINT 4- There are no records, as such, apart from the book.
I know, for a fact, that Medicine doesn’t work that way. EVERY case has to be documented.
Things may have been different then though.
Well, I leave it for you to decide : Myth or Truth?
My take is that, the word of mouth spreads like fire, twisted and turned in it’s own will.
Well, all we can do, is accept that there WAS such a man, however, it may not have been like the way it has been described.
Hope you enjoyed this read.
Please like/share/leave a comment so I can know where I stand.
Thanks for reading!