"I appeared an overgrown homunculus"
Homunculus in Sperm, 1695
Public DomainHomunculus in Sperm, 1695 - Credit: N. Hartsoecker

The word homunculus comes from the Latin for 'little human'.  It used to be believed that the sperm or egg contained a tiny 'preformed' human being.  Generally, homunculi were seen as tiny figures grotesquely possessed of adult human features.

A homunculus created by an alchemist features in Goethe's Faust Part IIUmberto Eco also introduced homunculi in his novel Foucault's Pendulum.