Woman raised by monkeys when she was a young girl?

NewImageMarina Chapman of Bradford, England claims that in the 1950s, when she was four-year-old, she was kidnapped from her Colombia home and dumped in the jungle where she spent five years in the care of capuchin monkeys. Eventually, hunters found her and swapped her at a brothel for a parrot. Now, Chapman, who believes she is in her 60s, has written a book about her experience; a TV documentary is in production. The book, due out in April next year, is titled "The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of the Girl Raised by Monkeys." From the Web site of her literary agent:
Surrounded by terrifying noises and trapped by its sheer suffocating denseness, half-drugged and starving, Marina tried to find her way home. She searched for food and water along the way, competing with big cats, poisonous spiders, giant pythons, extraordinary insects and huge bats.

Two days later, she was confronted by about twenty curious capuchin monkeys. By following them and copying what they ate and drank, their social activities, their language, Marina gradually became part of the family for five extraordinary years. They fought, played and shared tender and terrifying experiences. Marina developed extraordinary super-human abilities such as tree-climbing, stealth and animal communication.

"The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of the Girl Raised by Monkeys" (via NY Daily News)


  1. I don’t believe it. Sounds like the unverifiable fantasy of a bored housewife. If it’s true then she is one strong woman who will easily be able to laugh off my quite understandable skepticism.

    1. Dude, it was posted precisely because it’s so ridiculous. We all know Pescovitz is an idiot, but he’s not THAT much of an idiot.

      1. “We all know Pescovitz is an idiot”

        Thanks! I appreciate you insulting me on my own blog. That is very polite and shows your above-average intelligence.

        1. I apologize. Due to my below-average intelligence I assumed my remark about your being an idiot was so ridiculous it didn’t need a /sarcasm tag. I stand corrected.

          1. We all know what a vapid shit-talker @boingboing-01c549ca0f28a9bbd23a28d8a283436b:disqus  is, but he’s not THAT vapid.

          2. Now I can hear the whole BB gang getting together, and Doctorow booming out “Pesco, you idiot!” as Cory gives him noogies. And then sending him out on a beer run.

  2. Alternate title:  The Girl with No Shame: The Non-Credible “True” Story of a Girl Trying to Raise Money

  3. It sounds so plausible and the super-human powers she obtained prove it is true. No one could climb a tree without first living as a monkey for five years.

  4. Obviously phony. She says she competed with pythons, but everyone knows pythons only live in Africa and Asia. (The Americas have boas and anacondas.)

  5. Howard Fast wrote an excellent story called “The Trap” that takes as its staring point a study of feral children, and ends with… 

    I recommend it.  It’s in a collection called “Time and The Riddle”.

  6. More evidence that it’s phony. Capuchins are totally incapable of raising a human child. The story would be much more plausible if they were marmosets.

      1. That was hysterical. I was blowing my nose as my eyes wandered down to your post and I almost got an embolism in my throat, nose, ears and the back of my head simultaneously. Did I mention I have a cold?

    1. I called the number, got the auto-attendant, had to endure car insurance ads and “Please stay on the line, your call is very important to us” jingles between each of 5 option menus, then when I FINALLY reached the correct option and pushed the button, the voice said “Thank you, goodbye!” and it hung up.

      You know, maybe I DID reach bullshit, after all. So in a messed up way, I may be one satisfied customer.

  7. Totally plausible… as is the rest of her adventures…

    “In between she has led a Colombian street gang made up of homeless and orphaned children, worked in a brothel and as a slave for an abusive crime family in one of the deadliest towns in Colombia, lost three fiancées in untimely, violent deaths, faced depression and a suicide attempt and has become the head chef of a British national institution.”

    I myself was shipwrecked on a tiny island with 6 other complete strangers (the captain, his first mate, a movie star, some rich people, and a geographically indistinct farm girl) and was forced to make radios from coconuts. True story.

    1. normally a woman with a history like that has a few pieces of interesting skin art, I wonder if there are any pictures in the book… “I got this one of a falling Madonna on my left shoulder when my second fiance was pushed out of an air-lifter filled full of Columbian marching powder.  as I was concealed in the wheelbay of the aircraft I managed to land in the Bahamas as we had planned…

        1. …except for the bit about my second fiancee. I also did not expect to get punched in the left shoulder by a mysterious girl while I was drowning my sorrows in rum sloshed drinks at shadowy, rum-dark dive. I didn’t hold it against her since I couldn’t feel the pain, and that is how I met my third fiancee…

  8. I’m flummoxed and nonplussed at the reactions here, quite frankly.
    The comments all seem to centre on the question of the factual nature of these assertions.
    My problem is this: if she is indeed the girl with no name, who in blazes is Marina Chapman?

    By the way, hyph3n, I think your life’s story might have the makings of a fine television programme!

  9. “Eventually, hunters found her and swapped her at a brothel for a parrot.”
    I am nominating this line to win the Internet today.  Seconded?

  10. TC Boyle has an interesting story in his collection “Tooth and Claw” about a woman working on a PhD who researches dogs by living with them, etc.  Her spouse supports the effort…for awhile.

  11. The Sunday Times puff-piece (reprinted in our local fish-wrap) explains that “Chapman has been questioned by Andrew Lownie, her agent, and by the publisher” — so DON’T BE SO SKEPTICAL.

    The next paragraph asserts that “Experts on feral children say that monkeys are known to accept young humans into their fold”. The total number of ‘experts on feral children’ actually named in the article is approximately zero.

  12. It would be amazing that anyone is “talking” about being raised by wolves, dogs, or monkeys, and showing anything like normal social behavior, and capable of writing a book… if it were true.

    1. Well, she more or less claims to have lived with them from the age of what… four to nine? So the foundations of human language would already have been laid. However, just on Bayesian grounds I would assume the story is 98% likely to be bullshit even without going to the trouble of trying to find specific red flags.

  13. And she’s also Princess Anastasia, yeah, that’s the ticket. My wife Morgan Fairchild, who I’ve slept with, told me.

  14. Hey, I want to write my memoirs too!

    I was raised by moose until the age of 10 when they decided to send me to a prestigious boarding school.  By then, I had developed extraordinary super-human abilities such as destroying cars by sitting idle on the highway and wandering straight into swimming pools.

    Oh and there were pirates.

  15. There are too many swipes at the veracity of her claims, and nowhere near enough jokes along the lines of “life raised by monkeys has prepared her ideally for her upcoming effort to run as a Tory MP candidate.”

  16. in the 1950s, when she was four-year-old, she was kidnapped from her Colombia home and dumped in the jungle where she spent five years in the care of capuchin monks

    Fixed for plausibility.

  17. Turns out that she was actually raised by Capuchin monks, but she couldn’t sell that book so she added a syllable. (In other news, I really am Bowie, but pretend to be an overweight, balding librarian in the American Midwest so that people will stop asking me if/when I’ll tour again.) 

  18. Of course her publisher totally fact-checked this by tracking down the troop of monkeys and interviewing them. Not!

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