Believe It or Not!


Ripley’s Ask

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! met up with Erik Sprague to ask him about his extreme transformation.

Why did you decide to transform yourself into the Lizardman?

Originally, I was working on ideas for body-based art pieces that explored transformation and how we use the term “human.” This, combined with my interests in body modification and the sideshow, came together as a single project idea. I chose a lizard partly due to the cross-cultural symbolic significance of reptiles but also because I thought it would look good.

Do your modifications get a lot of attention from the public?

Since the beginning my modifications have drawn a lot of attention, mostly double takes and staring, but over the years the attention has shifted from “What is that?” to “Hey, that’s the guy from TV”—due in no small part to programs like Ripley’s.

What is your favourite modification?

My split tongue is the one I am most known for, but my favorite might be one that people rarely see—my septum piercing. The piercing is stretched to half an inch in diameter and I wear a small plug in it. It was done by a dear friend, Keith Alexander, who has since passed away and it has huge sentimental value to me.

Can you eat normally with your modified tongue and teeth?

Yes, the only thing that has changed for me is that when I eat apples I no longer just bite into them because my sharp teeth simply tear off thin strips, so I have to slice them up first now.

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Author: Amy

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