BIOLOGICAL ANOMALIES—HUMANS II: A Catalog of Biological Anomalies

Compiled by William R. Corliss
The Sourcebook Project, Glen Arm MD, 1993, 292 pages, indexes, hardcover, $19.95.

Reviewed by Douglas Chapman

What need one say about the latest entries in Corliss’s classic series of sourcebooks and catalogs? Only that they come up to the standards established by the previous volumes.

The subjects covered in Biological Anomalies: Humans II include magnetic people, anomalous human combustion, variations in blood chemistry, possible AIDS cofactors, aquatic ape ancestry, limb regeneration, and curious after-death attitudes.

Each entry includes a description, an evaluation of the data and the anomalousness involved, possible explanations, a list of related phenomena, and references.

One particularly weird citation is from a paper by C. E. Brown-Sequard (“Attitudes after Death,” Knowledge, 6:115, 1884) which describes how, on a battlefield near Sudan in 1879, the body of a soldier was found half-sitting, holding a tin cup and directing it towards a mouth that was no longer there—the head being missing. This was no normal rigor mortis, but an immediate rigidity. That is but one item in a rich catalog of the unusual.

Originally published in Strange Magazine 13, Spring 1994.

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