Friday, January 28

The Strange Case of Lilliputian Hallucinations | Digital Trends Spanish

A strange type of hallucination causes people to see other individuals and small animals. And so far no one knows for sure why this phenomenon is due.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the French psychiatrist Raoul Leroy began to study these types of sightings, which are popularly known as Lilliputian hallucinations due to the small inhabitants of Lilliput that appeared in the novel. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

“Such hallucinations exist outside of any micropsy. While the patient has a normal conception of the size of the objects around him, the micropsy only influences the hallucination. Sometimes they occur alone, sometimes accompanied by other psychosensory disorders ”, wrote the French researcher.

Gulliver’s Travels, illustration.


According to Leroy, several of his patients reported seeing small characters, often dressed in bright colors and performing various movements. According to witnesses, they were also friendly.

The tiny figures appeared alone or in groups and always interacted with the material world, as if they were actually present. In this way, they are seen climbing up the chairs, going under the doors and even respecting the force of gravity.

The problem is, these mini-people don’t always behave innocently. According to an article by Science Alert, Leroy also reported the case of a patient who saw two little men smoke pipes on a telegraph cable, just when she heard a voice threatening to kill her.

In his research, the psychiatrist explained that some Lilliputian hallucinations could be accompanied by auditory hallucinations.

In March 2021, Jan Dirk Blom, a physician at the University of Leiden, published a document analyzing nearly 200 cases of Lilliputian hallucinations reported in the medical literature.

In many cases the presence of people and animals was reported; all wore bright colors and carried out energetic movements. In the visions soldiers, dancers, clowns and all kinds of strange characters were observed.

In most cases, the figures looked cheerful and only a few patients reported hallucinations with serious or bad-tempered characters.

Meanwhile, although they did not appear as threatening figures, half of the reports were usually accompanied by feelings of fear and anxiety.

How are they explained?

So far, no scientist has been able to offer a complete explanation for these hallucinations. Theories indicate that they could be associated with vision problems or neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

What they do agree on is that there are still many studies missing on this subject and that people who suffer from these hallucinations also dare to report on the problem.

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