Keep it Safe, Keep it Local, Keep it in the Family. Inbreeding: Fun for the Whole Family!

Boys and ghouls, it’s that time of year again: time to bask in the architectural marvel that is the fencework around the entirety of El Colegio, time to don your cutest sweater and then immediately take it off because it’s 90 degrees outside. Most importantly, it’s time to hit the road because campus tyranny has made Isla Vista the quintessential Halloween ghost town, and not in a fun way. 

Thanks to the endless stream of ordinances from UCSB and Isla Vista property management companies, no one will be having any fun this Halloween season. But wait, before you pack your duffle and head to your friend’s campus for costumes and drinking, think of all the fun that is still to be had in the comfort of your own apartment/dorm! That’s right folks, I’m talking about incest!

No no no, not committing incest, you perverts! I’m talking about brushing up on the incestuous history of nearly every royal family in the world. If that is too overwhelming, let’s start with the most well-known case of inbreeding in European history: The Habsburgs.

Here are some fun facts about history’s most inbred family to get you interested:

  • The Habsburgs were a family of monarchs who ruled Austria for over 600 years, wowee!
  • Emperor Leopold I married his niece and insisted on being called “uncle” during intimacy, yikes. 
  • As if Leopold I wasn’t fantastic enough, his face was so badly deformed from inbreeding that whenever he stood outside in the rain, his mouth filled with water. What a fun party trick!
  • Six generations of inbreeding caused physical and mental disabilities, the most notable being the protruding lower jaw, affectionately named the “Habsburg jaw” or “Austrian lip.”
  • Carlos II of Spain had such a badly deformed mouth that he could neither eat nor speak.
  • Ferdinand I of Austria was so badly inbred that he had the mind of a small child. One of his favorite pastimes was to put a trash can on his head and roll around on the floor.
  • Even Marie Antoinette of France possessed the dreaded “Habsburg jaw,” but to a much lesser extent than her other relatives. 

If any of these snapshots pique your interest, think of how much fun you can have surfing the internet for more cases of severe inbreeding. I’ll bet you didn’t know there was a family in the US who all had blue skin as a result of their inbreeding. Interested in ancient incest? There are virtual reconstructions of the horribly deformed body of King Tutankhamun, whose parents were siblings, woof!

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Works Cited

Dimuro, Gina. “How Incest Caused The Deformities And Downfall Of One Of Europe’s
Most Powerful Royal Families.”
All That’s Interesting, All That’s Interesting, 9 Sept.

“House of Habsburg Facts for Kids.” House of Habsburg Facts for Kids,

Morris, and Morris M. “10 Crazy Facts About Europe’s Bizarre Habsburg Rulers.”
        Listverse, 1 July 2019,

Sartore, Melissa. “How One Of The Most Powerful Families In History Destroyed Itself
Through Inbreeding.”
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