The Fortean world is the epicenter of the world’s the strangest stories, most of them starting out as side show attractions. The notorious politician and showman P.T. Barnum contributed much to this charade, since he was renowned for his skills in taxidermy.His famous creations were known as gaffs, (the result of rogue taxidermy), offering the world creatures straight out of legends and fiction, shaped by patching together the preserved corpses of various animals emerging into what he would name as the jackalope, dragons, chimeras, or even unicorns.But from the hands of gaff collectors around the world came to be what we consider as probably the only real and also most intriguing attractions of all fakes, Kap Dwa, the two-headed Patagonian giant.
Although he was over 12 feet tall and had two heads, Kap Dwa was captured in 1673 by Spanish sailors and kept captive in the bowels of their ship. The Spaniards’ constant whipping and pummeling determined him to attempt an escape, but during the battle ensued, he was killed with a pike through his chest.
The following events are not clear, but his mummified remains were finally brought to England in the 19th century, where they passed from the Edwardian Horror Circuit to various freak show attractions, ending up at Weston’s Birnbeck Pier in 1914.
After being displayed the next 45 years in North Somerset, England, old Kap Dwa was acquired by Thomas Howard in 1959, and following a few more hand-offs he ultimately ended up in Baltimore. Nowadays, he can still be found among the collection of oddities at Bob’s Side Show at The Antique Man Ltd. in Baltimore, owned by Robert Gerber and his wife.
Gerber provides a somewhat different past of the giant, although the ending is still the same tragic event. The corpse of the unique Homo giganticus was found on a beach, with a spear protruding from his chest and nothing is certain about his assailant. His body was later mummified and even worshiped by some locals in Paraguay that formed some kind of religion based on his remnants.