Rudy Santos

Rudy Santos: The Octoman


Rudy Santos (born in 1953) is a former sideshow freak from the Philippines. Amazingly, Santos is the oldest recorded person in history to live with his parasitic twin. Due to his extremely rare condition, while making a living performing in sideshows, he earned the stage name “Octoman.”

What Are Parasitic Twins?

an adult man with a parasitic twinAbove is an Illustration from To the left of this illustration is a man with a parasitic twin. A parasitic twin (also called an unequal or asymmetrical conjoined twin) refers to the smaller and less developed member of a pair of unequal conjoined twins. The less developed twin will often have a formless mass of tissue that is attached to or within the more developed twin.

The rare condition of parasitic twins occurs when an embryo develops in the womb, but the pair does not fully separate. The result leaves one embryo that will develop normally, and the other that is less completely developed. There are distinct variants of this extremely rare condition.

Above is an image of a postoperative specimen (sex is unknown), and an example of fetus in fetu. The specimen shows a well-developed fetus that is lying on its back, and has rudimentary digits.

In Santos’ case, his undeveloped twin came with additional appendages, which we will discuss next.

Features Of Santos’ Parasitic Twin

Below are the remaining appendages from Santos’ parasitic twin.

An undeveloped head that is attached to his sternum, with an incipient ear and even a patch of hair.

An extra leg.

A couple of arms.

An extra pair of nipples.

Shoulders (the extra leg, arms, nipples, and shoulders are attached to Santos’ pelvis and protruding from his abdomen).

Due to having a right leg (his own) that is severely deformed, in order to walk, Santos is required to use crutches.

Santos Decides To Leave The Sideshow Business

Throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s, Santos made a decent living by appearing in freak shows. With the stage name “Octoman,” he was the main attraction. Santos was paid 20,000 pesos ($1,139.67 US Dollar) per each performance. Even after spending many years entertaining crowds and bringing home over a thousand bucks a night, Santos decided he had enough.

In the late 1980s, he retired himself into seclusion, which led him into ten years of extreme poverty. Although Santos’ unfortunate situation could have easily changed if he had decided to re-enter working as a freak show performer, he never went back.

Santos Refuses To Remove His Appendages

In 2008, Santos was examined by a Filipino doctor named Vicente Gomez. He was examined to determine if separation of his parasitic twin was a viable and safe option. After it was determined that a surgical removal was indeed viable, Santos decided to reject the option. His reason was that over the years, he had grown too attached to his appendages and wanted to keep them.

A Young Indian Body With Parasitic Headless Attachment

Parasitic Twins & Other Bizarre Medical Cases

The Man With Multiple Appendages

Although Mr. Santos lived a life that was filled with so many challenges due to his rare condition known as “parasitic twins,” he chose to reject an operation. Of course, one might fault him for rejecting the removal of his appendages. After all, who would want to live with such extra baggage?

However, it is also quite understandable why one wouldn’t want to let go of something that has been a part of them for all of their lives. Even if Rudy Santos decided to finally get the operation, he will always be remembered as a well-known sideshow freak with the stage name”Octoman.”

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About Joseph Caltabiano

Joseph Caltabiano is a blogger, oddities lover and a former surgical technologist. He left the field of surgical technology to pursue a career in blogging and internet marketing. As clearly shown in his posts, Joseph is very passionate about unusual topics. His two most favorite topics are medical and weird science.