Science has made huge advances in medicine to deal with some of the worst diseases imaginable. However, there are still some diseases out there that have left us completely baffled. Some of these diseases have mysterious origins or affect the body in ways that are completely bizarre and unexplained. Maybe one day these crazy diseases can be explained and dealt with, but as of right now, they remain mysterious and elusive. From people dancing themselves to death to people that are allergic to water, these are 25 crazy diseases that science can’t explain!
This disease was quite terrifying when it struck in the early 1900s. Victims began to have hallucinations before their bodies locked up. Then, while they appeared to be asleep they were actually fully conscious. Many died at this stage but if they didn’t, they would experience terrible behavioral issues for the rest of their lives. The disease has not re-occurred and doctors still do not know what exactly happened although theories have been put forth (virus, immune response destroying the brain).
Acute flaccid myelitis
Sometimes referred to as polio-like syndrome this is neurologic illness that affects children and leads to weakness or paralysis.
Named after the German city where it was first observed in 1967, the Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus that is transferred to humans from monkeys and basically causes you to experience severe internal bleeding.
Exploding Head Syndrome
Sufferers experience insanely loud bangs that appear to originate in their own heads and doctors have absolutely no clue as to why.
The leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old, it is also known as crib death because children will typically die in their sleep. The causes are unknown.
Also known as water allergy, patients will experience a painful skin reaction if they come in contact with water.
Named after the town where it first was recorded, Brainerd, Minnesota, people afflicted with this disease typically experience up to 20 episodes of diarrhea every day for up to a year. Eight outbreaks have been reported since the 1800s, 6 of which occurred in the United States.
Mad cow disease
Officially known as Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, this is a neurodegenerative disease in cows that is incurable and basically guarantees that their brain will turn to mush. Which is fatal of course.
More of a mental illness than anything else, sufferers believe that their varied symptoms are the result of electromagnetic fields. Doctors have found, however, that people cannot distinguish between real and fake fields. Why do people believe this? Usually it has something to do with conspiracy theories.
Stiff person syndrome
Imagine your muscles progressively getting more and more stiff until you are completely paralyzed. Doctors are not sure what exactly causes this and possible explanations include everything from diabetes to mutated genes.
Found in East Africa in 2010, this disease causes its victims to continuously nod their heads and often leads to malnourishment and stunted growth. Doctors believe it may be caused by a parasite but they are not sure.
Creutzfeldt (Jakob disease)
Remember mad cow disease? Well, bad news…it doesn’t just affect cows. When it makes the jump over to humans they just change the name but it does basically the same thing – liquifies your brain.
First recorded in 1485 in England, it basically starts with headaches and shivers, then proceeds to profuse sweating, and then death. Somehow it is contagious and epidemics have already come and gone 6 times in Europe.
Peruvian Meteorite Illness
When a meteorite crashed near the village of Carancas in Peru, villagers who approached the crater fell sick with an unexplained illness that caused extreme nausea. Doctors have speculated that the disease may have been caused by arsenic poisoning.
Having wide circulation in the news lately, ebola is a hemorrhagic fever similar to the Marburg virus. Basically you bleed out from the inside and prognosis if you get it is generally very poor.
This is basically another variant of mad cow disease found in humans except this one has only ever occurred in Papua New Guinea and is suspected to have been transmitted via cannibalism.
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
Usually developing during childhood, symptoms are exactly what they sound like – repeated bouts of vomiting and nausea. Sufferers may vomit up to once every 5 minutes for nearly 3 weeks at a time.
Another hemorrhagic fever virus, Lujo has a lot in common with Ebola and the Margburg virus and was observed in South Africa and Zambia in 2008.
Characterized by skin lesions and crawling or stinging sensations, there is still debate as to whether it is a new illness or simply a mix of already known illnesses.
Also know as multiple chemical sensitivity, or MCS, this disease is characterized by negative reactions to various modern chemicals and products including plastics and synthetic fibers. Similar to the electromagnetic sensitivity, patients will not react when they do not know they are being exposed to the chemicals (blinded test), but do react when they are unblinded.
The most oft-cited incident of this happened in 1518 in Strasbourg, France when a lady by the name of Frau Troffea began dancing for no apparent reason. Hundreds of people joined her for the next several weeks and eventually many of them died of exhaustion. Possible reasons put forth include mass poisoning or psychogenic illness.
Germany's Mystery Calf Disease
The disease turns the calf’s bone marrow into jelly and prevents them from forming clots. So basically they bleed out right through their coats.
Some scientists believe this disease is actually responsible for vampire and werewolf legends. Why? The skin of those afflicted by the illness will bubble and boil when exposed to sunlight and their gums recede almost giving the appearance of fangs. The weirdest part? Their poop turns purple.
Gulf War Syndrome
An illness experienced by veterans of the Persian Gulf War, symptoms include everything from insulin resistance to loss of muscle control. Theories concerning its cause include the use of depleted uranium in weapons and chemical warfare.
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder
First documented by George Miller Beard in 1878, the disease has only been found to affect French-Canadian lumberjacks in the northern Maine region. It causes them to startle easily, hence the name. Furthermore, they seem to carry out almost any basic command as long as you shout it at them. Doctors think the issue may be genetic.