11/24/1998 AT 12:00 AM EST
Philosophy doctorate student Erik Sprague wants to explore the meaning of life -- as a reptile. Sprague has had his teeth sharpened, bumps implanted into his forehead and green scales tattooed across his face and body in his quest to become a reptile. "I like reptiles, especially sea crocodiles, although many of them don't make great house pets," Sprague, who is taking a break from his studies at the State University of New York at Albany to appear in circus shows, told Reuters. Sprague, 27, claims he is one of five people in the world who have undergone what he calls "single-theme conversions." He does not consider himself odd, he adds.
With additional reporting by Simon Perry.