What ever happened to the flea circus?
The flea circus is an act where real human fleas (Pulex irritans) are harnessed and trained to perform tricks. At one time the flea circus was pretty common, say around the late 1800's and early 1900's. But today, you can go your whole life without running across a single human flea . . . let alone a flea circus full of them.
But that doesn't mean the art of training fleas is dead! It's just a bit harder to catch these days. We spoke with one seasoned "flea-man", Adam Gertsacov, also known as Professor A.G. Gertsacov, the leader of the ACME Miniature Flea Circus. He told us about his show, what to feed a flea circus performer and why vacuums may have been partly responsible for the decline of the great flea circus side show.
Have to see it to believe it? Check out the ACME Miniature Flea Circus website for dates and locations.
Come see (or squint to see) the circus!
Photo by Jaime Murphy