Monkey God Incarnate

Chandre Oraon climbing a tree

Chandre Oraon climbing a tree

Chandre Oraon has had his tail since birth and some Hindus believe it’s a sign he’s an incarnation of the Hindu monkey god known as “Hanuman”. He’s a man with a 14.5 inch tail.

A Tea Picker + A Monkey’s Tail

As if the monkey tail wasn’t enough, Chandre also works as a tea picker on a local tea estate. What does that have to do with anything you may ask? Yep, you go it, it means that he has to climb trees, “just like a monkey,” in order to pick the tea leaves.

His worshipers also claim his ability to effortlessly climb trees is further proof of the divine similarities. OK, now I’m starting to feel a little awkward.

A Little Science of the Weird

“The combination of a membranous sac with a tuft of hair could certainly produce a likeness to a monkey’s tail”Oraon’s condition is actually a form of spina bifida, when the spinal column does not close all the way down.

Some people with the condition develop growths on their lower back or tufts of hair, according to Dr. Scott Meyer, a member of the neuro-spine team at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey.

This type of “extra growth” from the spine is also known as a vestigial tail.

Vestigial Traits in Humans

A vestigial trait in humans simply means something that we used to have that actually served a purpose but no longer does so we no longer have it.

There are lots of examples of human vestigiality, including the anatomical (such as the human appendix, tailbone, wisdom teeth, and inside corner of the eye), the behavioral (goose bumps and palmar grasp reflex), sensory (decreased olfaction), and molecular (Noncoding DNA). Many human characteristics are also vestigial in other primates and related animals.

Hanuman the Hindu Monkey God

Hanuman the Hindu Monkey God

It’s Not Easy Being God-ish

It hasn’t been easy. Kids used to make fun of Oraon’s tail and, despite his fame, he lives in humble dwellings and can’t afford to build his dream temple.

Even worse, he was rejected by more than 20 women before he met his current wife, Maino, and she’s not exactly happy living with a living god.

“He doesn’t look good. My mother and my father passed away when I was young. So my brothers wanted me to get married. So I had to compromise,”

 At Least He’s Not Alone

Chandre doesn’t have to feel isolated in his uniqueness. About 40 cases of human tails have been reported according to a study by the People’s Journal of Scientifc Research, but not all of them reach the exalted status of “godhood.” Believe it or Not!