Sometimes a video is suggested to you on YouTube that is too good to pass up. One entitled “Remote village where people walk on all fours | 60 Minutes Australia” did that for me on Sunday evening.
I was convinced it was fake. I pushed play and saw people hobbling around on all fours and, yes, I concluded it was fake. Five minutes in? Actors. It had to be fake! The people just didn’t look real and the entire premise of four-legged-people-in-some-place-Eastern-European seemed like some sort of Sacha Baron Cohen exercise gone too far.
Then, it was real. It was absolutely not fake. I was dumbstruck. It became so-extremely-fake that it became real, bending the reality of the unbelievable to the point that fiction dissolved. It was like looking at a photo of Dubai: This future place has been computer generated, right? No, it’s actually Dubai and it is a real place. It’s that same feeling.
Real sources have talked about this phenomena of four-legged-people too, somehow slipping under the radar a handful of years ago. Take this Washington Post story from 2014 that confirms the unbelievable. “He slowly lowers his hands, encased in green slippers, to the muddy ground,” the story explains of a Turkish man who looks drunk. “Gingerly, he begins to walk away and out of the frame — on all fours.”
Yes, it’s real. It’s actually real! It’s the sort of weird science story that is the making of a very sad and very real documentary, where – Spoiler alert! – inbreeding yielded a side show variety of people who never progressed past a type of crawling. Yes, they fill a gap between the way monkeys walk and the way people walk but they also represent a type of uncomfortable colonial voyeurism that inspires a they should be fixed feeling followed by a shot of the this is a freak show thought. It’s a video that is as fascinating as it is exploitative as it is informative as it is upsetting.
I don’t know why I was given this video but I watched every second of I and still cannot, cannot, cannot believe it’s real. The video has attracted 3.5 million views in the span of a week, despite originally airing years ago in Australia. Clearly, I am not alone with my reaction reaction. You can watch the strange video below.