Lucia Zarate was a Mexican woman who suffered from a rare form of dwarfism that made her the lightest recorded adult in history. She weighed only 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg) at the age of 17 and had a height of 20 inches (50.8 cm). She was a circus performer who traveled the world and amazed audiences with her tiny size and charming personality. But her life was cut short by a tragic accident that exposed her fragile body to the harsh elements of nature. This article will explore the life and death of Lucia Zarate, the marvelous Mexican midget.
Early Life and Diagnosis
Lucia Zarate was born on January 2, 1864 in Veracruz, Mexico. She was the seventh of nine children born to a normal-sized family. According to some sources, she achieved her full growth by the age of one year, while others claim that she stopped growing after six months. She was diagnosed with a condition called Majewski osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II (MOPD II), which is characterized by extremely small stature, skeletal abnormalities, and brain malformations. She was the first person to have been identified with this condition, which is very rare and has a low life expectancy.
Lucia was a bright and cheerful child who learned to speak Spanish and some English. She enjoyed playing with dolls and sewing clothes for them. She also liked to read and write, and had a good memory. She was very religious and prayed every day. She was loved by her family and friends, who treated her with care and respect.
Circus Career and Fame
When Lucia was 12 years old, she was discovered by a circus agent who offered her a contract to perform in the United States. Her parents agreed to let her go, hoping that she would have a better life and earn money to support her family. Lucia joined a circus troupe called the Fairy Sisters, where she met another dwarf named Francis Joseph Flynn, who was billed as General Mite. They became partners and performed together as the smallest couple in the world. They traveled across America and Europe, attracting large crowds and media attention. They were also invited to meet celebrities and royalty, such as Queen Victoria of England and President Porfirio Diaz of Mexico.
Lucia was a talented performer who could sing, dance, play the guitar, and recite poems. She wore elaborate costumes and jewelry, and charmed the audience with her grace and humor. She was often described as a living doll or a fairy. She was also very curious and adventurous, and liked to explore new places and cultures. She was proud of her Mexican heritage and often wore traditional dresses and accessories. She was also generous and compassionate, and donated part of her earnings to charity.
Death and Legacy
Lucia’s circus career lasted for about 14 years, until her untimely death on January 15, 1890. She was traveling by train from Chicago to San Francisco, when the train got stuck in a snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The temperature dropped below freezing, and the passengers had to endure the cold and hunger for several days. Lucia’s small body could not withstand the extreme conditions, and she died of hypothermia. She was 26 years old.
Lucia’s death was mourned by many people who had seen or heard of her. She was buried in Fresno, California, where a monument was erected in her honor. Her name and story were recorded in the Guinness World Records as the lightest recorded adult, and in several books and articles about circus history and human oddities. She was also the subject of a documentary film called The Lightest Woman in the World, which was released in 2019.
Lucia Zarate was a remarkable woman who overcame many challenges and achieved fame and fortune in her short life. She was a symbol of courage, beauty, and joy, and inspired many people with her extraordinary size and personality. She was a true marvel of nature and a legend of the circus.