FACT CHECK: Does This Picture Show Josephine Myrtal Corbin, The Four-Legged Woman?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a woman born with two pelvises and four legs named Josephine Myrtal Corbin.
While Corbin was a real person, and the post includes some accurate details about her life, the woman in the picture is not her.
The Facebook post claims the four-legged woman in the picture is “Josephene Myrtle Corbin,” a woman born with two pelvises and four legs, who “lived 60 years with such a mutation.” The post goes on to claim the woman married and had five children after working at circuses and fairs throughout her youth.
Corbin was a real person who was born in Tennesee in 1868 with two pelvises and four legs, according to the book “Lincoln County, Tennessee: History Revealed Through Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Its Ancestors.” However, the picture shared on Facebook does not show her. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the image shared on Facebook was first published in a 1994 Weekly World News (WWN) article titled “Four-Legged Lovely Ashley Braistle Has Found The Man Of Her Dreams- Thanks To Weekly World News.” In this article, the four-legged woman pictured is identified as Ashley Braistle.
WWN was a tabloid known for fabricating sensational stories, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Check Your Fact found no credible media reports to corroborate the existence of Braistle. (RELATED: Does This Image Show The Tallest Man Recorded By The Guinness Book Of World Records?)
The image shared on Facebook does not match genuine photos of Corbin. An 1877 image of her shared online by the University of Texas shows her wearing clothes typical of the time period in which she lived. Her physical appearance does not resemble the woman pictured in the Facebook post, whose four legs are all roughly the same size. In the real image of Corbin, two of her legs appear to be shorter than the other two.
While the Facebook image does not show Corbin, some of the details contained within the post are partially true. She married James Clinton Bicknell in 1886 and had several children with him before dying in 1928, days short of her 60th birthday, according to her biography in the book “Lincoln County, Tennessee: History Revealed Through Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Its Ancestors.” She also performed in circuses in the 1880s, as reported at the time by newspapers such as Minnesota’s St. Paul Globe and the Boston Globe.