Biology

Becoming a Human Statue

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), sometimes referred to as Stone Man Syndrome, is an extremely rare disease of the connective tissue. A mutation of the body’s repair mechanism causes fibrous tissue (including muscle, tendon, and ligament) to be ossified spontaneously or when damaged. Essentially, it causes a second skeleton to grow within the body, often fusing to existing bones, completely immobilizing the person.

The Results of Stone Man Syndrome
The Results of Stone Man Syndrome

Perhaps the most famous case of a person afflicted with FOP was Harry Raymond Eastlack, Jr. (1933–1973). He donated his skeleton and full medical history to the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in support of FOP research. His skeleton is on display at the museum.

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