Taboo: Misfits

Video highlights from Taboo


Do you live the life of a gypsy? Do you eat road kill? Have you ever had the desire to amputate your own leg? Whereas some societies are open and accepting of a diverse range of people, sometimes things are too far fetched for the typical societal norms. Below, meet three types of people who are seen differently, even in their own societies.


Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) is a rare condition that involves a person who is mentally and physically normal, but experiences a strong desire to amputate a limb.

Sufferers of BIID know the exact location on their body where they want the amputation to occur, and have this knowledge since the very early years of life.

Some sufferers of BIID feel as though they have an extra limb—this is the equivalent of having a third arm or leg for non-sufferers.

Thirty years ago the condition was seen as a sexual fetish and labeled apotemnophilia, but this has now been discounted due to further research.

There is still little known about this condition. There are many researchers arguing whether the condition is psychological or neurological.

Recent research shows evidence that it may be a neurological condition, due to a possible difference in neurological mapping that is affected in the brain’s parietal lobe.


Bedes in Bangladesh number around 500,000.

Nearly all Bedes are illiterate.

Unlike traditional Muslim women, Bede women are very liberal and play a large role in the Bede culture.

Bede children constantly move around with their parents, and the older children care for their younger siblings, so they have little chance for education.

Bedes are not included in Bangladesh’s list of voters, because as nomads they don’t have a land tax certificate and don’t belong to any local government body.


Arthur Boyt eats road kill as an environmentally friendly way to take care of animal carcasses.

Arthur purposely received a degree in biology so he can identify fresh meat, and he also keeps a cabinet filled with animal skulls and other specimens.

Arthur is not alone; other people who agree with his approach are known as freegans.

Freegans have other practices and ways of obtaining food which aim to minimize consumption and environmental impact, including dumpster diving, squatting in abandoned buildings, and wild foraging. These methods are used to obtain a free meal or meet other basic needs.

Some not-so-standard meals include badger heads and seagull breasts

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address