Myrtle Corbin (May 12, 1868 – May 6, 1928) was born with a severe congenital deformity that left her with four legs and the duplication of her sexual organs. Despite her very unusual deformity, she certainly lived her life to the fullest. At the young age of just 13, Corbin started her successful career in sideshows. She later went on to get married and have her own children.
For a similar story, read our post called Francesco Lentini: The Man With Three Legs.
Corbin’s Incredibly Rare Conditon
Myrtle was born with a rare condition called dipygus. The condition is defined as a severe congenital deformity which involves conjoined twins with a single head and thorax. The pelvis and lower extremities are duplicated. Corbin’s extra pair of legs actually belonged to her dipygus twin sister who failed to fully develop. Her sister was only fully developed from the waist down.
The Details Of The 4 Legs
Corbin’s 2 Legs
Right leg: Due to a clubbed foot, her leg was not fully functional.
Left leg: The only leg that was fully functional.
Her Sister’s 2 Legs
Both legs were much weaker than Myrtle Corbin’s. They had only three toes, and although Corbin was able to move them, they were too weak to be used for walking.
Corbin Enters The Sideshow Business
At the age of 13, Corbin entered the sideshow world with the nickname “Four-Legged Girl from Texas.” On her first promotional pamphlet, she was described as being as “gentle of disposition as the summer sunshine and as happy as the day is long.” Corbin’s career all started with P.T. Barnum, and later she worked at Ringling Bros. and Coney Island. When Corbin entertained crowds, all four legs had matching socks (including matching shoes). Her performances made her plenty of good money. Corbin would make as much as $450 per week. According to The Inflation Calculator on Westegg.com, $450 back in 1880 was worth $11,149.28 in 2015.
Marriage & Several Pregnancies
Not long after Corbin ended her career, other women entered the industry as four-legged women. However, unlike Corbin, these people were actually phony four-legged women.
At age 19, Corbin married James Clinton Bicknell. A year later, she experienced pain in her left side, including symptoms of pregnancy such as fever and a decreased appetite. Physicians discovered she was pregnant for the first time. What’s interesting is that they also said she was pregnant in her left uterus. According to Corbin, it would have been more believable if it had been in her right side. This, of course indicated that she preferred intercourse in the right side. Due to all of the symptoms that left her very ill, Corbin decided to have an abortion. Although the abortion took place between three and four months into the pregnancy, she had no problems having children of her own. Corbin went on to have four daughters and one son.
Some online sources say three of Corbin’s children were born from one set of organs, and the other two were born from the other set.
Corbin’s Bizarre Sexual Anatomy
According to Dr. Lewis Whaley in the British Medical Journal, 1889, Corbin had the perfect dual development of both external and internal genital organs. Of course, this meant that she possessed two vaginas.
Were The Two Vaginas Functional?
In Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, by George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle, it was observed that both vaginas menstruated. If the claim is true, it is likely that both were sexually functional.
Just days before Corbin’s 60th birthday, she died. Most sources do not say how she actually died. However, according to Appalachian History, Corbin passed away less than a week after being diagnosed with a streptococcal skin infection.
A Piglet With Dipygus
Above is a piglet with dipygus displayed at the Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum in Kiev.
A Boy With 4 Extra Limbs
With four extra limbs on his chest, Deepak Paswan was known as “The Eight-Limbed Boy.” His condition was caused by a parasitic twin. Although the extra limbs were in a different location than Corbin, Paswan would have likely made a popular attraction back in those times.
Understandably, living with eight limbs was not easy for Paswan. Although some people saw the little boy as an Indian god, others would call him a “devil,” or a “freak.” Despite his parents not having the funds for a surgical operation to remove his parasitic twin, fortunately a team of surgeons at the Fortis Hospital Bangalore had agreed to perform the operation for free.
Fortunately, the operation was successful. Today, Paswan is very happy, and all that is left from his parasitic twin is a scar. Check out his before and after pictures on The Huffington Post.
Images Of The Four-Legged Girl From Texas
They may have called her “Four-Legged Girl from Texas,” but perhaps she should have been called “The Woman with One Leg.” Well, at least with one leg that she could actually use. With Corbin’s clubbed foot and two other legs that were too weak to use, she basically only had one leg that was fully functional. Nonetheless, such a rare and rather strange condition didn’t stop Myrtle Corbin from living a life that involved fame, money, love, and even the gift of five kids.