It’s yet another step into the world of the weird and the wonderful for the Into the Wild blog today as we check out the results of when humans transform into animals. It appears there are plenty of plastic surgeons out there happy to make the bizarre and extreme wishes of those looking to become human-animal hybrids come true. But what inspires these people to modify their bodies in such a bizarre and astonishing way? We take a look at the stories behind some of the most extreme humanimals out there.
The Leopard Man
After retiring from the British Special Forces - Tom Leppard decided to have his body completely tattooed head to toe as a leopard and from then on Leopard Man was born. So how did the whole thing come about you may question – well because Tom thought “my last name’s Leppard...that sounds just like leopard!” However Tom’s crazy tattoos came with a staggering price tag of over £5,500. The Leopard man lived a secluded life on the Island of Skye, drinking from rivers and climbing trees until in 2008 his age forced him to move back to the mainland.
Erik Sprague has taken body modification to a whole new level transforming himself into the Lizardman and has as a consequence forged a career – in his own words –as a professional freak and sideshow performer. Lizardman’s bodily changes include sharpened teeth, sub-dermal implants, a full body tattoo of green lizard scales, green inked lips and a bifurcated tongue. His unique look and tongue tricks have made him a favourite for television and public appearances around the world. Erik has also mastered fire eating, sword swallowing, the human dartboard, the bed of nails and flesh hook suspension and something called the insectivore.
Also known as the human tiger - this is 50 year old Dennis Avner who has gone to extreme lengths to make himself look like a cat. In an effort to become the Cat Man, Avner has voluntarily filed his teeth, split his lip and undergone extensive facial surgery – which has proved to be very expensive. In addition he has also undergone surgical pointing of the ears, silicone cheek and forehead implants, tattoos and facial piercing to which whiskers can be attached.
Avner who is descended from American Indians is said to have remarked that his obsession to become the “human tiger” began after a Native Chief inspired him to “follow the ways of the tiger”. He has even gone as far as to start climbing trees and eating raw meat exclaiming that it should be “as close to raw as possible or at the temperature that an animal would be if it had just been killed”. Oddly enough despite his wish to follow the ways of the tiger Avner in facts spends his days working in an office.
Could this be Cat Man’s dream date? I think it just well might be – this is Jocelyn Wildenstein or more commonly known as Cat Woman. Wildenstein has surgically transformed herself into Cat Woman but she doesn’t exactly look like Halle Berry. In fact some have even said that she is a walking anti-cosmetic surgery ad. Apparently Jocelyn originally began having the work done because she was fearful of losing the affections of her rich, art-dealer husband who had a fondness for jungle cats. As a result she had surgery after surgery to make her face more feline. Unsurprisingly her husband left her, yet despite this Wildenstein continued with her plastic surgery fuelled cat transformation.
In a slightly different take on this theme, the guys at HumanimaL have decided to try and cash in on this strange attraction to human-animal hybrids.
HumanimaL describe themselves as “a highly visual Walkabout Act that will bring the ‘Wild’ dimension to your event. The performers are transformed by full body painting, full tailor-made bodysuits and prosthetics into a wide variety of realistic animal characters including big cats, dogs, horses, antelopes, a deer, a bull, a unicorn and even a rabbit.
This skilful body art is truly astonishing and the result is bizarre brilliance – undeniably this unique act is guaranteed to turn heads no matter what the occasion, which is probably why they’ve been hired to do major parties and events such as the Brits. HumanimaLs have been a massive hit and have also attended events including the Sims 3 Pets Game Launch, Asian TV awards, Macmillan Charity Ball, the Natural History Museum and other high profile events.
Humanimal is the brilliant culmination of the most talented bodypainters in the business, an astounding attention to detail and a 6’2” athletic performer in model Alex Kovas.
By Hannah Jones