The article presents freak shows as a specific kind of social and cultural phenomenon which constitutes the effect of a cultural compilation of the significance of human diversity. Here the human oddity is understood to be a certain cultural category and also a specific role to be played on the stage of social life. The typical freak shows which took place at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century are reconstructed. The issue of the creation of the identity of human oddities is then considered. The fundamental question is 'what social and cultural points were being made during such shows?'. The final part concentrates on the question of whether equivalents of them can be found today. In connection with this popular science films of a medical nature are analysed. Whatever pseudo-medical, politically correct narratives are woven round the motives for seeking the reasons for the deviations or their treatment and although the work towards the public acceptance of people with bodies which differ from the norm, they reveal clear signs of an ambivalent and abnormal fascination with the human body.