Ripley’s Fertility Statues Work — Hands Down!

Orlando, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2008) – Couples anxious to conceive have made pilgrimages to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! corporate offices in Orlando during the last several years to stroke a pair of famous African fertility statues.

But one California woman couldn’t make the journey, so she faxed her handprints to Ripley’s headquarters where they were rubbed on the statues. They soon received an excited e-mail.

California woman claims faxing handprints to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! helped her have a baby

“I would like to report that I am now pregnant!” the woman wrote. “We even know the date of conception – 5 days after I faxed over my handprints!”

Fertility via fax machine?

“It’s a new one on us, and we’re delighted by the news,” said Ripley’s VP of Communications, Tim O’Brien. “But I can’t say we’re entirely surprised.”

Following Ripley’s acquisition of the statues in 1993, more than 2,000 women around the world have claimed that they have become pregnant after they or their husband rubbed the statues. Acquired from the Baule people of Cote-d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the hand-carved statues of a man and woman stand five feet tall and have a glowing ebony patina from years of being rubbed. The male holds a sword and a mango, while his partner, a queen, cradles a newborn.

The statues are currently on exhibit at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square in New York City on the first leg of another world tour. Prior to departing for New York in July 2008, they dwelled in a special room in Ripley’s Orlando headquarters, where people could come and spend time with the statues.

The California woman, who asked that her name not be used for privacy reasons, read about the statues on the Internet and called Ripley’s in June 2008.

“After reading so many success stories from other people, I was still very skeptical, but out of curiosity, I decided to call,” she told Ripley’s officials. She asked if the statues would be coming to California.

“To my disappointment, I was told that the statues were no longer on tour, but the operator suggested I fax my handprints over and they could rub it on the statues. I didn’t have to physically touch the statues? I was beyond skeptical and decided that was too far-fetched, and abandoned the idea.”

But she couldn’t stop thinking about the statues.

“Almost two months later I jokingly told someone else that was also trying to conceive that she should fly to Florida to rub the statues. She thought it was so silly and the jokes went on. Yet I could not stop thinking about it for the rest of the day.”

Soon she was on the phone with Ripley’s Orlando Receptionist Angela Ardis.

Ardis “told me to fax my handprints over at once because the statues were going back on tour and were being removed from the headquarters that very day,” the woman recalls. “I got my prints to her within five minutes. I even called to confirm that Angela had received the fax and would rub it on the statues for me before it was too late.”

After hearing the good news, the California woman says she “can’t wait to see the statues in person!” 

The statues will be on display for free through October 26 in the front lobby of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square at 234 West 42nd Street in New York City. The museum is open daily 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

After their stay in Times Square, the statues are headed for a month each at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums in Grand Prairie, Texas and Williamsburg, Va. Visit for downloadable high resolution photos and b-roll video.

About Ripley Entertainment Inc.

Ripley Entertainment Inc. (, keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment. More than 13 million guests visit its 65-plus attractions operating in 12 countries annually. The Orlando-based company also has divisions that oversee publishing, licensing and broadcast operations.  Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.


Tim O’Brien
VP Communications
Ripley Entertainment Inc.
– 615-646-7465

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