Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I just learned about the possible origins of werewolves.

I've never been a fan of Cancun, Mexico. The only thing that comes out of that place is misplaced virginities, a massive date rape drug industry and probably some severe cases of the clap. Well, not to talk down to the rest of Mexico, but I've learned you've got another skeleton in your closet: Werewolves. Yeah, you heard me.

Last night I watched a health show that just happened to feature a family in Mexico with the disease known as hypertrichosis, also known as Werewolves Syndrome. To be honest, I thought a show like this was going to focus on a bunch of kids with cancer or something similar, but I can appreciate the producers' off beat approach to what should be featured on a health show.

I can sum up this disease very simply: "Hairy, really hairy" or "hairy ass sonofabitch" if you prefer. I'm sure both are used quite often, depending on what country/region you are in.

For more clarification, here is the Wikipedia entry on the phenomenon:

"Hypertrichosis, congenital generalized Hypertrichosis or werewolf syndrome is a medical term referring to a condition of excessive body hair. Werewolf syndrome comes from the characteristics of a mythological werewolf of which the person is completely covered in hair or fur. It can be generalized, symmetrically affecting most of the torso and limbs, or localized, affecting an area of skin. It may be mild or severe. In most cases, the term is used to refer to an above-average amount of normal body hair that is unwanted and is an aspect of human variability. Although the statistic has been cited that this only occurs for 1 out of 10 billion people,19 people alive today have hypertrichosis, out of ~6.5 billion people in the world, makes for an average of 1 in 340 million."

"Severe hypertrichosis is quite rare, almost certainly due to unknown genetic defects, and can result in excessive or animal-like hair on both face and body. Some of these people have been displayed in carnival sideshows with names such as "dog-boy" or the "bearded lady." Fedor Jeftichew, Stephan Bibrowski and Annie Jones are well known examples."

"Most of the people recently featured in the media with hypertrichosis are from the Aceves clan of Loreto, Zacatecas, Mexico, some of whom have emigrated to the United States. Many of them have worked for circuses. The brothers Victor Ramon "Danny" Ramos and Gabriel "Larry" Ramos have worked as acrobats. Their cousins, Jesus "Chuy" Aceves, and his sister, Lili, have worked in sideshows."

The family mentioned in the last paragraph were the same people profiled on the show I watched. There appearance wasn't really gross...just confusing. I had loads of questions by the end of the program, such as "do they get alot of hair in their mouth? The only concentrated amount of hair I have is on my head, and I'm constantly pulling stray hairs outta there. Do they get hair in their eyes? I'm guessing they do since they have hair on their eyelids. The other questions are probably the most politically incorrect thoughts I've ever had, so I better not post them. Until the U.S. gets proper border control, I'll keep my comments to myself, thank you very much.

I can see how these people would be considered werewolves. I'm sure the image came from some guy, completely fed up with his situation of having a hairy face and back, literally flipping out one day and biting someone. Everybody knows teething makes you feel better...even if you are covered in more hair than a border collie.

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