Meet Martin Laurello – ‘the human owl’
Martin Laurello could turn his body back to you and still look you in the eye. “The Human Owl” had the unique ability to rotate his head 180 degrees.
Laurello was born in 1885 and came to the United States from Germany in the early 1920s. Before The Exorcist shocked audiences with Linda Blair’s revolving head, the demon-free Laurello astonished crowds with his turning noggin at the Coney Island Dreamland Circus Sideshow, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show, and at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium in the 1930s. Ripley advertised him as ‘the only one in the world who can walk straight ahead and look straight behind.’ Laurello could also walk in reverse. His head later swivelled at the 1940 New York World’s Fair and at Hubert’s Museum. Laurello’s oscillating antics earned him as much as $50 a week.”
Of course, such a feat required a lot of practice. He claimed to have spent three years slowly twisting his head further and further. But please, don’t try this at home. Or anywhere, for that matter.