Rudy Santos

Rudy Santos: The Octoman


Rudy Santos (born in 1953) is a former sideshow performer from the Philippines. He is the oldest recorded person in history to live with his parasitic twin. Due to his rare medical condition, he made a living appearing in freak shows with the stage name “Octoman.”

What are parasitic twins?

an adult man with a parasitic twinA 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.

This 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.

Features of Santos’ parasitic twin

The Octoman close-up

Below are the remaining appendages from Santos’ parasitic twin.

All are attached to Santos’ pelvis, and protruding from his abdomen. Due to his own severely deformed right leg, Santos uses crutches to walk.

A lucrative career as a sideshow performer

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.

Santos refuses to remove his appendages

To determine if separation of his parasitic twin was a viable and safe option, in 2008, Santos was examined by Filipino doctor Vicente Gomez.

Despite learning that surgical removal was indeed viable, Rudy Santos refused separation surgery. He claimed that over the years, he had grown too attached to his appendages.

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About Joseph Caltabiano

Joseph Caltabiano is a writer, 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.