Martin Joe Laurello also known by the stage names Human Owl and Bobby the Boy with the Revolving Head, was a German-American sideshow performer and biological rarity who could turn his head 180 degrees. He performed with groups such as Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Ringling Brothers, and Barnum & Bailey.
image credit: sideshows
He also trained animals to do things such as acrobatics.Laurello could turn his head 180 degrees.To accomplish this feat, he reportedly practised rotating his head for three years and also had to “dislocate various vertebrae”.Being born with a slightly bent spine might have also aided Laurello in pulling off his act of flexibility.
After moving from Germany to America in 1921 along with various other European performers, he began to perform at various sideshows. Though he was part of the Congress of Freaks, he was described as a perfectly ordinary-looking person with his hair neatly combed, his face clean shaven, wearing a white shirt with sharply creased trousers, and polished shoes.
Though there wasn’t much documented about his life, he was described as a Nazi sympathizer who didn’t like the American flag. He was also once arrested in 1931 for abandoning his wife Amelia Emmerling.