We’ve all heard the expression “raised by wolves,” but is it possible that someone could have been raised by apes? To think that a person could actually have grown up in the jungle and thus, become almost super-human with skill and ability might sound crazy, but it turns out that the idea of someone able to swing from vine to vine in the jungle with the grace of a prima ballerina isn’t an entire fantasy. Surprisingly, Tarzan is based on a true story, and the new movie, The Legend of Tarzan, has a larger basis in reality than you might initially think
According to a 1959 ERBzine magazine article, William Charles Midlin was shipwrecked on the coast of Africa and spent 15 years between 1868 and 1883 living in the jungle before returning to England to reclaim is title and livelihood. After the passing of the 15th Earl of Streatham, documents written by Lord William Charles Midlin were discovered and they recounted his time in the jungle.
It was on his very first foray into the jungle that William stumbled upon a colony of apes. Evidently the primates had never seen a white human before. Instead of running from him, they drew closer, chattering excitedly and with great interest.
“For some strange reason, I was not afraid of these strange creatures,” [Midlin writes.] “They were hideous to look upon but nonetheless seemed gentle and harmless.”
Their initial surprise subsiding, the apes offered the castaway nuts, grubs and roots to eat, thrusting the food at him with their long grotesque arms and hands. Starved, the youngster smiled gratefully, took the food and ate it.