Most of us know that incest is wrong, either through cultural conditioning or what appear to be innate evolutionary cues, yet some humans can’t seem to resist the urge to have sex with their relatives. In fact, since the DNA of every living human is 99.9 percent the same, it may be much more common than we think. Still, that doesn’t mean incest can be acceptable in any case. As we will see, breeding with a close relative can result in some dire consequences.
King Tut is arguably the most famous of all ancient Egyptians. His solid gold tomb was found in 1922, complete with around 2,000 treasures inside, including jewelry chests, weapons, and a royal throne decorated with silver and stones. With all this marvelous treasure, it would be easy to imagine the king as a handsome, strong, young ruler of the ancient world, but recent research has shown that Tut was frail, weakened by multiple malarial infections, and so disabled he needed a cane to walk.
While his malarial infections are at least partly to blame for his frailty, DNA testing revealed that Tut’s parents were brother and sister, which is likely why he suffered from congenital defects such as a clubfoot and cleft palate as well as a degenerative bone condition known as Kohler’s disease. In addition to being the product of incest, Tut was also a practitioner. He didn’t leave any living heirs, probably because he and his sibling wife were unable to bear children without fatal congenital disorders. Also found within his tomb were the mummified corpses of two fetuses, who are believed to be Tut’s daughters.