In many ancient tales and some that still are told today of entities… that are human like but not totally human.
Now some of these tales talk of animal human hybrids with bodies of horses and a face of man.
Genetic experiments gone to its extreme, But what if there was a more subtle link during this experimental chain?
Lionel the Lion-Faced Man was a popular sideshow attraction at the Barnum & Bailey Circus in the early 1900s. Marketed as a fearsome “half-man half-lion” for the four-inch layer of blonde hair that covered his body, Lionel was both a spectacle of fear and fascination.
Stephan Bibrowski (1890–1932), better known as Lionel the Lion-faced Man, was a famous sideshow performer. His whole body was covered with long hair that gave him the appearance of a lion; this was likely due to a rare condition called hypertrichosis.
Bibrowski was born in 1890 in Bielsk near Płock in Congress Poland with one-inch hair covering his body. His mother (Benedict) blamed the condition on the mauling of his father (Michael) by a lion, which she witnessed while pregnant with Stephan. She considered Stephan an abomination and gave him up to a German impresario named Sedlmayer when he was four years old. Sedlmayer gave him his stage name and started exhibiting him around Europe.
By the time he was put on exhibit, Lionel’s hair had grown to eight inches (twenty centimetres) on his face and hung about four inches (ten centimetres) everywhere else. His body was almost entirely covered with hair, the only exceptions being the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet. In 1901, Lionel traveled to the United States and started appearing with the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He toured with the circus from then on, occasionally going back to Europe.
In his act, Lionel performed gymnastic tricks, and also spoke to people to show his gentle side that sharply contrasted with his appearance. He settled in the U.S. in 1920, becoming a popular attraction, and moved to New York City, where he was a fixture at Coney Island.
By the late 1920s, Lionel retired from his sideshow career and moved back to Germany. He was reported to have died in Berlin from a heart attack in 1932 at forty-one years old.
Petrus Gonsalvus (Spanish: Pedro González, c. 1537 – c. 1618), referred to by Ulisse Aldrovandi as “the man of the woods”, was born in 1537 in Tenerife, Spain. He became famous during his lifetime because of his condition, hypertrichosis. His life at various courts in Italy and France has been well chronicled.