Humans With Tails

The human fetus has a tail during part of its development, however this has vanished by the time of birth. What looks like a tail may be caused by a number of different processes.

  • It may be a true tail retain from earlier development. The human fetus has a tail early in development just after the 30th day post-conceprion, that it typically, but not always, lost before birth.
  • it my be caused by a deformity of the spine
  • it may be a growth such as a tumor. These defects sometimes appear higher up the spine such as on the back of the neck.

Unnamed Girl (Vietnam) [2012]

This girl had a tail 2cm in length at age two.

Unnamed Girl (India) [2010]

A tail was successful removed from a three-month old female infant.

Unnamed Boy (China) [2010]

In another split spine case, this tail was successfully removed.

Hong Hong Hou (China) [2010]

A little girl in the town of Lixing was born with a tail perhaps attributable to a tumor. As seen on: Anhui Market Daily (2010).

Adult Male [2009]

38-year old male. As seen on: Doctors Hangout (2009)

Polovski, Oleg (Russia) [2007]

Oleg Polovski's tail may be on the small side, but he claims to be able to move it at will. As seen on:Boing Boing (2007)

Unnamed girl (Cambodia) [2004]

Unnamed Child (India) [2002]

At almost 8 inches this child's tail was the longest reliably recorded in the medical literature.

Balaji (India) [2002]

The infant named Balaji (shown right) had a four inch tail-like appendage. The boy was exhibited at Hindu Shrines and became world news after a 2002 story in the Tribune and appearing on Ripleys Believe it or Not (2002).

Unnamed Boy (India) [1999]

A medical report diagnosed this child as having a true tail, not a malformation. The small tail was retained by the parents against medical advice to have it removed.

As seen in:

Unnamed Girl (Nigeria) [1963]

In this case the 'tail' was attached to the child at each end.

Unnamed girl (United States) [1959]

A healthy girl with a small, soft and unmoving tail that was surgically removed.

Unnamed Boy [1901]

As shown in Anatomy Atlas.

13 inches?
13 inches?

Oram, Chandre (India) [undated]

Chandre Oram works on a tea plantation. His tail is believed very lucky, except when it comes to finding a bride. His tail is a result of spina bifida, essential a split spine, and is reportedly 13 inches long (although I think he may be exaggerating there). Oram and others feeling his appearance is related to Hanuman, a god with a monkey-like appearance.


"True" / Vestigial Tail

A vestigial tail contained fat and tissue but no bone. It sometimes can be moved, and occurs more often in boys than girls. These are caused by the persistence of the tail that fetuses normally have, but that is generally reabsorbed by the time of birth,


A pseudo-tail may occur more to the side of the bpdy and is associated with spinal abnormalities.

Anomalous Cases

  • In 1977 a 10 year old boy complaining of pain while sitting was found to have a spine that terminated in an internal tail of 5 vertebrae, but that did not extend in the form of a visible tail.

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Comments 7 comments

fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

I have heard of humans with tail only in a novel of Gabriel Garcia Marquez!

I did not know that this really exists.

Thanks for sharing.

vellos profile image

vellos 5 years ago

Interesting that they are not necessarily centered like I'd expect them to be.

stylezink profile image

stylezink 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA.

Interesting hub. I did not know people with tails existed. Wow, the photos!

Paige 4 years ago

All People once had tails but as time changes and people live in different environments they don't need curtain parts of the body just like the appendix once served a part in human servival that's why we have a tail bone but no tail

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Interesting story. I have not heard of human being with tails. Thanks for sharing.

Raz 4 years ago

I am one of those people born with a tail, but it is really tiny... Can it even be called a tail?

One would need to look extremely close to see it.

Unfortunately, it can't be removed as it does have to many nerve endings.

This is how I was born, and I am not ashamed of it.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

I always thought that a tail on a human being is an extension of the spine that we lost throughout evolution, and that some people still have an active gene for the tail. But I find it strange in your examples that they don't extend in the center from the spine.

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