Open in the curiosity app
Plague Doctors Dressed Like Spooky Birds

Plague Doctors Dressed Like Spooky Birds

You may have seen these beaked plague-doctor masks on Halloween, or at cosplay conventions. But why the beak? Back in the 17th century, doctors still believed in the miasma theory of disease, which hypothesized that disease spread through a rotten-smelling scent or vapor. The beaks of the masks were meant to be stuffed with herbs, dried flowers, and other perfumed substances, thereby protecting the doctor from the "infectious" air.

SciShow

A more curious you.

Join millions of lifelong learners