Josephene Myrtle Corbin, the Four-Legged Woman, was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee in 1868. Rather than having a parasitic twin, Myrtle’s extra legs resulted from an even rarer form of conjoined twinning known as dipygus, which gave her two complete bodies from the waist down. She had two small pelves side-by-side, and each of her smaller inner legs was paired with one of her outer legs. She could move the smaller legs but was unable to use them for walking. At the age of 19, she married a doctor named Clinton Bicknell and had four daughters and a son. It has been said that three of her children were born from one set of organs, two from the other. Myrtle died on May 6, 1928.
From Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine by George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle:
Wells a describes Mrs. B., aged twenty, still alive and healthy. The duplication in this case begins just above the waist, the spinal column dividing at the third lumbar vertebra, below this point everything being double. Micturition and defecation occur at different times, but menstruation occurs simultaneously. She was married at nineteen, and became pregnant a year later on the left side, but abortion was induced at the fourth month on account of persistent nausea and the expectation of impossible delivery. Whaley, in speaking of this case, said Mrs. B. utilized her outside legs for walking; he also remarks that when he informed her that she was pregnant on the left side she replied, “I think you are mistaken; if it had been on my right side I would come nearer believing it;”–and after further questioning he found, from the patient’s observation, that her right genitals were almost invariably used for coitus.
(the name Mrs. B. refers to Myrtle’s married name, Bicknell.)
Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on February 23, 2012