In the mid-16th century, Italians were captivated by a type of male singer whose incredible range contained notes previously thought impossible for adult men. However, this gift came at a high price. To prevent their voices from breaking, these singers had been castrated before puberty, halting the hormonal processes that would deepen their voices. Known as castrati, their light, angelic voices were renowned throughout Europe, until the cruel procedure that created them was outlawed in the 1800s.
From the TED-Ed Lesson Why does your voice change as you get older? – Shaylin A. Schundler
Animation by @rewfoe