Lucía Zárate

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Lucía Zárate
Photograph of Lucía Zárate
Born(1864-01-02)January 2, 1864
Veracruz, Mexico
DiedJanuary 15, 1890(1890-01-15) (aged 26)
Known for"Lightest Recorded Adult"
Height50.8 cm (20.0 in) (claimed)
68 cm (26.8 in) (GWR)[1]

Lucía Zárate (January 2, 1864 – January 15, 1890) was a Mexican entertainer with dwarfism who performed in sideshows. Zárate is the first person to have been identified with Majewski osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II.[2] She was entered into the Guinness World Records as the "lightest recorded adult", weighing 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg) at the age of 17.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

She was born in Veracruz, Mexico, and settled on the Agostadero, (later Cempoala), Veracruz. According to an 1894 article in Strand Magazine, Zárate achieved her full growth by the age of one year.[5] Her family home, Casa Grande (Big House) is open to the public as a museum.[6]


At age twelve, Zárate moved from Mexico over to the United States, where she was exhibited for her small stature. She first worked as part of an act billed as the "Fairy Sisters", later partnering with Francis Joseph Flynn (billed under the stage name "General Mite") to exhibit internationally.[7] In 1889 she was billed in The Washington Post as the "marvelous Mexican midget" and described as "a tiny but all powerful magnet to draw the public."[8]

An 1876 book published by Oxford University discussed a visit to Zárate paid by several medical professionals, who could not certainly verify that she was twelve years old, but they could ascertain through her dental development that she was at least six years old. She weighed 14 pounds (6.4 kg) at her peak at age 20.[9] At the time, her height was measured at 20 in (51 cm) tall, and her calf was measured as 4 in (10 cm) in circumference, 1 in (2.5 cm) more than the thumb of an average adult man.[9] She was with her parents at the time and found to be healthy and intelligent, able to speak some English along with her native Spanish.[9]


After her circus train became stranded in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains, Zarate died of hypothermia in 1890.[2][5]


  1. ^ "Lightest person". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  2. ^ a b Hall, Judith G.; Flora, Christina; Scott, Charles I. Jr.; Pauli, Richard M.; Tanak, Kimi (2004). "Majewski Osteodysplastic Primordial Dwarfism Type II (MOPD II): Natural History and Clinical Findings" (PDF). American Journal of Medical Genetics. 130A (1): 55–72. doi:10.1002/ajmg.a.30203. PMID 15368497. S2CID 24104332. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-02-02.
  3. ^ McFarlan, Donald; McWhirter, Norris, eds. (1988). 1989 Guinness Book of World Records. Bantam Books. p. 6. ISBN 0-553-27926-2.
  4. ^ "Lightest person". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  5. ^ a b Newnes, G. (July–December 1894). "Giants and Dwarfs". The Strand Magazine. Vol. 8.
  6. ^ "Museo Casa Grande" – via
  7. ^ Sweet, Matthew (2001). Inventing the Victorians. Macmillan. pp. 149–150. ISBN 0-312-28326-1.
  8. ^ Staff (1889-02-25). "Uffner's royal American midgets". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  9. ^ a b c Mason, James (1876). The history of the year 1876, containing 'The Year book of facts' and 'The Annual summary'. Oxford University. pp. 4–5.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Shortest Recognized Woman ever
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Shortest Recognized adult human ever
Succeeded by