The “world’s ugliest woman” has finally been laid to rest, 153 years after her death.
Julia Pastrana was deemed the “world’s ugliest woman” due to a genetic condition that covered her face in thick hair. Her husband/manager, Theodore Lent, was quoted as describing her as the “link between mankind and the ourang-outang,” and often referred to her as the “bear woman.”
Pastrana died in 1890, at the age of 26, in childbirth. Her hair-covered son also died.
After her death, Lent continued to carry her embalmed body to audiences throughout Europe for a decade. He also later married a bearded woman, who he dubbed Pastrana’s sister. She performed alongside her body.
In 1976, Pastrana’s remains were stolen from a warehouse in Norway, but were later found in the garbage. Her remains spend decades in storage at the University of Oslo, before she was finally taken back to Mexican soil on Feb. 12, thanks to a campaign by Mexican artist Laura Anderson Barbata, launched in 2005 to bring Pastrana home.