Freak shows are public displays of human “freaks of nature”—human being with rare or unique biological characteristics. Dating back centuries, freak shows became especially popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when promoters, hucksters, and quacks turned them into an extremely profitable commercial enterprise in America and Europe. One of those who excelled at presenting freak shows was showman P.T. Barnum. After the emergence of Darwin’s theory of evolution, freak shows would often feature people who purported to be “missing links” between modern humans and their ape-like ancestors. Freak shows demeaned people who were different and dehumanized them for profit.