CONGRESS OF THE ODD
MIRIN DAJO – The Extreme Human Pincushion
The man in the video is Dutch Fakir Mirin Dajo. He was born in 1912 as Arnold Gerrit Henskes and adopted his name, an Esperanto term that translates to mean ‘wonderful’. In 1947, at the Corso Theatre in Zurich, Mirin Dajo allow an assistant to plunge a fencing foil right through his body. The foil appeared to have pierced several vital organs and yet, the fakir remained relatively unharmed.
Needless to say, people were shocked, amazed and terrified by what they saw.
As word of his remarkable talent spread, a Swiss doctor Hans Naegeli-Osjord invited Mirin Dajo to the Zurich Cantonal hospital for study. Many people, including Naegeli-Osjord, the chief of surgery Dr. Werner Brunnerand as well as several other doctors, students and members of the press witnessed these tests. All were dumbfounded by what they saw.
In front of the witnesses assembled Mirin Dajo stripped naked to the waist and, following a period of meditation, once again had his assistant plunge the steel rapier through him. He then stood for some time, impaled, while the doctors examined him.
The doctors could find no evidence of trickery but many still refused to believe what they saw. Mirin Dajo agreed to an x-ray with the foil in place. The resulting image confirmed the legitimacy of his abilities.
Later that same year, Mirin Dajo was again submitted to examination , this time in Basel. There he actually allowed the doctors themselves to pierce him. Again, there was no evidence of trickery. Not only did Mirin Dajo insist that the doctors treat him roughly, he later jogged several laps while still impaled to illustrate his complete tolerance of pain.
Mirin Dajo was a very religious man and some media outlets labeled him a ‘Messiah’. According to some reports, Mirin Dajo could hear voices, a spiritual guide. His public displays were often concluded with a lecture and a message of peace.
How was Mirin Dajo able to survive this repeated trauma? Who knows. Luck, faith, unique biology, mind over matter – your guess is as good as mine. He kept performing his feat for audiences. Eventually, to prove his talent was real while on stage, he took to being impaled by three hollow skewers. He would then pump water through those skewers. He became a human fountain.
It is not uncommon for eastern fakirs to pierce themselves with swords, many of them can push swords completely through their bodies. However, the majority of them do so through the fatty and ‘safe’ areas their body. The piercing feats of Mirin Dajo were extreme.
It is important to note that his unique skill may have resulted in his demise on May 26, 1948. An autopsy revealed that Dajo died of an aortic rupture.
images: 1. promotional photo of Mirin Dajo – no known original source. 2. the x-ray image that shocked the medical world.
© 2007 – 2008, J Tithonus Pednaud. All rights reserved.
J Tithonus Pednaud has dedicated this site to highlighting the remarkable lives of those born exceedingly different. These so-called freaks and human oddities stand as uplifting testaments to human spirit and serve as inspiring examples of human tenacity.