While fighting in Afghanistan in 2012, a US marine called Winder Perez was shot with a rocket-propelled grenade that pierced his leg but did not detonate. He had to be operated on by a surgeon and an explosives disposal expert – it was rocket surgery. Continue reading to find out more amazing facts about legs.
1. Samurais Used to Poop with One Leg Completely out of Their Pants
Samurais were popular in Japan, especially from the medieval to early modern periods. They were known for their impressive fighting skills and situational awareness. Historical documents show that they used to poop with one leg completely out of their pants in case a fight ensued while they were in the restroom.
2. Usain Bolt’s Left Leg Is Longer than His Right
Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, has an asymmetrical running gait because of scoliosis – his left leg is longer than his right. For the longest time, scientists have been depending whether his insane sprint speeds are due to this or despite it.
3. Santa Anna Staged a State Funeral for His Amputated Leg
Santa Anna was a Mexican president who led the country on 11 historical occasions. In 1836, he led a makeshift army against French forces in what is famously known as the “Pastry War.” He was unfortunately injured by a grapeshot, leading to the amputation of one of his legs.
In 1842, Santa Anna became Mexico’s president again. He ordered that his shriveled leg be exhumed and a “proper” burial ceremony conducted. In what was officially a state funeral, the leg was buried under a cemetery monument. The event included lofty orations, poem recitations, and cannon salvos.
4. The Illinois State Military Museum Has Santa Anna’s Wooden Legs
After losing his leg in the Pastry War, Santa Anna acquired a prosthetic wooden one. In 1847, he led another military mission in the Mexican-American War. As he was taking an afternoon nap, Santa Anna removed his prosthetic leg so he could rest comfortably. He was ambushed by an Illinois Infantry unit, forcing him to rush away, leaving his leg behind. Anna eventually got another leg, but it was stolen, too. They remain at the Illinois State Military Museum to date.
5. Maci Currin Holds the Record for the Longest Legs
In 2021, an American female young adult, Maci Currin, was confirmed to have the world’s longest legs. Interestingly, her legs are not of the same size: the left one measures 135.267 centimeters (53.255 inches), while the right one stretches to 134.3 centimeters (52.874 inches).
6. A Woman Lost Her Leg in a Confetti Cannon Accident
Shelly Bauman was a Chicago-born woman who lost her leg in bizarre circumstances. In 1970, she had attended the Seattle Bastille Day when tragedy struck. At the parade, a water cannon was supposed to fire confetti but released a ball of wet paint that hit Bauman. She was severely injured, so doctors amputated her left leg.
After recovering, Shelly Bauman sued the parade organizers, the city of Seattle, and the cannon operator for damages. She was awarded US$330,000, which she used to open a nightclub named “Shelly’s Leg.”
7. Frank Lentini Was Born With Three Legs
Born May 18, 1889, Francesco “Frank” Lentini was a differently-abled sideshow performer with three legs. He was born with a parasitic twin attached to his body at the base of his spine. At first, Lentini was disgraced by his family but grew up to become one of the most popular performers.
8. Some Spider Species Lack Leg Muscles
Some spider species, such as tarantulas, lack leg-extending muscles. Instead, they use the blood pressure from a heartbeat to “re-inflate” their legs back to an extended position. This explains why they seem to curl up when they die.
9. An Oklahoma City Bombing Victim Was Buried with Someone Else’s Leg
The Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 is one of the saddest events in American history. Several days after the catastrophic event, a severed left leg was found in the rubble. DNA evidence pointed out that it was Lakesha Levy’s (one of the victims).
Interestingly, when the rescuers returned the leg to Levy’s family, they found that she was already buried with two legs. While it was never ascertained who the buried leg belonged to, the incident allowed the authorities to revise the number of those who reportedly died from the incident from 169 to 168.
10. Elephants Can’t Jump Because Their Legs Can’t Handle Their Landing Weight
Elephants are the only known land mammals that can’t jump. Interestingly, this is so because their legs cannot handle the impact of their landing body weight.
11. A Bite on the Leg by a Bodiless Head Killed Sigurd the Mighty
Formally known as Sigurd Eysteinsson, Sigurd the Mighty was a leader who reigned between c. 875 and 892. Among many things, his death was very bizarre: he died from complications of being bitten on the leg by a bodiless head.
At the height of his Northern Scotland conquest, he challenged Mael Brigate, a local chieftain, to a 40-man-per-side battle. Sigurd the Mighty then showed up with 80 men, overwhelming Brigate’s men in no time. He then cut Brigate’s head and took it as a trophy, tying it to his saddle. On the way home, the bodiless head’s bucktooth accidentally cut Sigurd’s leg, leaving a bruise. The leader developed complications from the injury and eventually died.
12. A Man Got a Ten-Year Sentence for Fighting Over an Amputated Leg
A man called John Wood lost his father in a tragic Cessna crash. He also lost his leg, which he wanted to keep in memory of his late father. Wood placed the leg to dry in a grill, a primitive embalming process. Unfortunately, Wood also struggled with drug abuse, so he, at one point, put the grill up for auction, forgetting about the leg he put there to dry.
Another man, known as Shannon Whisnant, bought the grill and found the amputated leg. Interestingly, Whisnant always wanted to be famous, so he thought marketing himself as the “footman” would give him his dream. On the other side, John Wood wanted his leg back, resulting in a court struggle. Shannon Whisnant was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison for marketing something that didn’t exist.
13. Legs Are Among the Body Parts That Many People Would Love to Insure
After gaining international fame from his appearance in “Riverdance,” Michael Flatley insured his legs for 50 million. However, he isn’t the only one; many other celebrities have insured their legs. If anything, research shows that legs rank only behind the heart and eyes when it comes to the body parts that people would love to insure.