For thousands of years, there have been legends of mysterious wee people that are much smaller than midgets and dwarfs. Unlike the typical deformities of dwarfs these tiny individuals have completely corresponding mass ratios and proper proportions to their bodies. No big heads, no large extremities; nor are their arms or legs too small. They reportedly resemble perfectly normal humans that are extremely small and of very low weight.
These “height challenged humaniods” varry in size from a few feet tall to as small as an inch or so. In many cases the tiniest have wings that quickly beat around their bodies, like hummingbirds enabling them the gift of flight. They can hover around the average sized human each carefully observing one another. Whether in the daytime or in the dark, they come around to visit us, and often are attracted to a light source as a campfire.
Now, we shall study the possible scientific explanations. Since antiquity, people have taken powerful mind altering drugs that produce hallucinations both willing and unwillingly. Under the influence of such mendicaments, a distortion of the physical world can occur. The presence of an insect or insects buzzing around or hovering silently near the person’s head may confuse brain receptors to blend images. A man under the influence may observe part of the insect say the wings flapping, but the body of the insect might emerge as human because there is another person standing nearby. Thus a possibility exists that butterflies, dragonflies, moths, mosquitoes, and other bugs can morph into tiny, winged, flying human creatures within the poisoned minds of men.
But, there are allegedly some of us who see super little, winged people without having used drugs. Individuals who are losing their eyesight; going blind can experience visual hallucinations in the form of Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). This syndrome is named after Charles Bonnet, a Swiss doctor from the 1700’s whose grandfather, due to declining eyesight, experienced hallucinations of people, patterns, and vehicles. Bonnet proposed those hallucinations were produced by physical causes, not of a deranged mind. With CBS; extreme retinal malfunctions in the eyes and visual sense misinterpertations in the brain account for seeing the nonexistent. False images can include seeing landscapes, the inside of a tunnel, disembodied faces, musical notes, geometric shapes and especially people. On occasion patients claim to see very small faires dressed in antique or ancient clothing; who can be still or moving around but are always silent. Of special interest – seeing humans, about the size of a finger, that are directing a super small horse-drawn carriage or driving super miniature vehicles have been documented. The hallucinations often wear brightly colored attire, and at times being part of a mass procession of a marching crowd, which moves across and out of view.
It is said CBS victims may experience these miniature people at close range that look mischievously or curiously back at the observer. CBS is also known as Lilliputian Syndrome or as Lilliputian Visions. The term “Lilliputian” comes from the novel called “Gulliver’s Travels” written by the famous Irish writer, Reverend, and once a dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) published in 1726 the tale of Lemuel Gulliver who, on a trip to two mythical islands, Lilliput and Blecuscu meets very tiny human beings.
Another scientific explanation for Lilliputian hallucinations comes from alcoholics with excessive consumption over a long period of time or suffer a big cutback in their drinking. When heavy drinkers completely stop withdraw symptoms occur, which oddly enough increases the chance of hallucinations. Delirium tremens (often called the DTs) is a condition where the mental and neurological well-being of a person changes into a serious even deadly situation. In this state strange physiological things can happen.
In one medical case, a man who consumed an alarming amount of 50 units of alcohol per day suddenly decreased his intake and started seeing little people throughout his house. These tiny folks were about a foot high with funny, colorful clothes, strange faces, big eyes and large mouths. Some were wearing eyeglasses. These Lilliputians would follow him all around his home, and he would hear their footsteps.
In all the world; the country which has the highest concentration of seeing “little people” is Ireland. Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle, is a small nation which unfortunately also has a very large issue with the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Of note, Ireland, itself, produces its own, very fine nationalist liquor called Irish whiskey. If alcohol or withdraw problems are truly part of “the wee people” sightings perhaps research may help explain the hallucination. Is it of no consequence “St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with alcohol and often associated with leprechaun’s?
Other nations where people have largely claimed to see tiny folks include Great Britain, Wales, and Scotland. Notice that these countries, as well as Ireland, are all neighboring. Of course Great Britain is famous for British Malt liquor and the Scots have their own popular alcohol brew we know as Scotch. Consumption of alcohol has been quite high in these areas too compared with other countries around the globe, so may we suggest this could also increase the possibilities of hallucination?
The drink some commonly believed to hallucinate in seeing fairies and the wee folk is the traditional form of absinthe, a pale green liquor. The alcohol content is very high usually 70%+ and flavored with aniseed, fennel, wormwood (a plant) and occasionally sugar. Wormwood’s component thujone (absent from absinthe available in the USA, and certain other nations) can be harmful and tragic.
Thujone can act as a hallucinogenic and its amount varies from brand to brand of traditional absinthe. Hence more the wormwood, the more potent the absinthe. Enough tasting of traditional absinthe and you poison yourself. Somewhat less and you hallucinate, or so they say. The old Absinthe is also called “the green fairy” or “the flaming green fairy”. A person on such spirits has been blamed for seeing bugs, demons, and fairies.
In conclusion, we have attempted to explain the existence of tiny beings that have been the source of legends and supernatural stories for centuries. While it is possible to rationalize in this case why one individual may see these creatures, does this particular answer work for every instance?
Science and logic often prevail and give us insight to the truth. Better and clearer understanding to all things is a goal of mankind. But the unknown and mysterious are always components cloaked in the unexplained.
For example Charles Bonnet Syndrome and alcohol withdraw tell us a lot about the inflicted person who believes he or she, sees someone or something that’s not really there. But what explains the mystery if I see little people and you do too?!