Alien Hand Syndrome
Caused by the separation of lobes in the brain, people suffering from this disorder essentially lose control of their hand as it seemingly takes on a mind of its own. While there is no known cure, giving the hand something to grasp will often be enough to keep it preoccupied.
Wrinkles, baldness, missing teeth…stick around long enough, and you’re sure to have your fill. While old age happens eventually, to children affected by Progeria, all of those symptoms manifest themselves before the age of two. Although mentally they are still their age, many of these children develop the illnesses typically associated with the elderly, such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Rarely do they live to be older than 12 or 13.
Human Werewolf Syndrome
Sure, you may have some hairy friends, but not like this. Formally known as hypertrichosis, there are only about 50 people in the world afflicted with this rare disorder. Unfortunately for them, not even laser hair removal is an effective treatment as the hair will rapidly grow back.
Stone Man Syndrome
More formally known as Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, this extremely rare mutation of the body’s repair mechanism often causes injured muscles, tendons, and ligaments to be ossified, or turned to bone. In fact, as the name suggests, within decades, a person can be rendered completely immobile.
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
Probably as a result of something malfunctioning in the brain’s occipital lobe, this disorder causes people to percieve objects as being either much larger or smaller than they really are. Moreover, the individual will also mispercieve the passage of time and possibly have their sense of hearing and touch affected as well.
Walking Corpse Syndrome
Officially known as Cotard’s Syndrome, this mental disorder involves an individual who believes they are either already dead or have lost all of their vital organs. Oftentimes, it’s brought about by a brain injury and can result in people believing themselves to be immortal, which can very easily lead to unintentional suicides.
Foreign Accent Syndrome
Typically the result of a stroke or a severe migraine, this extremely rare disorder affects the way someone forms words, giving the perception they are speaking with a foreign accent. One of the most recent cases was Sarah Coldwill in the United Kingdom. After suffering from an extreme migraine, she woke in the hospital speaking with what sounded like a Chinese accent. She had never once been to China.
Allergy to Water
The technical name being Aquagenic Urticaria, this disorder causes someone to be allergic to water in any form, including tears. Recently, a British woman named Micaela Dutton explained to a local newspaper how she couldn’t even hold her boy because if he started sweating, she would break out with an incredibly painful rash.
Allergies to Food
Although many people are allergic to food on some level, imagine being allergic to food period. Joshua, a young boy who recently made headlines, suffers from a form of eosonophilic esophagitis. It’s so extreme that even the scent of food could kill him. Until more is known about the disease, sufferers to this allergy have to be fed via a direct tube to their stomach.
Humans actually have stripes. Well, not really, but certain skin conditions expose a series of lines on the skin that otherwise are invisible. The most remarkable thing about them, though, is that in every patient, they always follow nearly the same pattern.
It sounds great, right? Never feeling any pain. The truth is, however, it’s an extremely dangerous condition for a human. Often, children affected by this disorder acquire terribly debilitating injuries as a result of scratching themselves, biting off their tongue, or walking around on broken bones.
This may sound like a really cool superhero power. The truth is it’s not. Not being able to forget anything can be extremely distracting. There’s a reason brains are not wired this way. While rare, several people in the world possess this superhuman memory, capable of remembering seemingly unimportant details such as the weather every day for the past decade. You can find some of these individuals on our list of 25 amazing savant minds.
Wim Hof of the Netherlands baffles the medical community as he climbs Mount Everest with nothing but his shorts on and dives beneath Arctic ice for record periods of time. Evidently, the cold has no effect on him, or at least not to the normal extent.
On the other side of the spectrum, some are allergic to the cold. To someone afflicted with this condition, even a snowflake in the face could cause uncontrollable itching. A major exposure could lead to shock and eventually death.
To get rid of hiccups, most grab a glass of water and wait it out, but for the past two years, this hasn’t helped Christopher Sands in the slightest. Having tried numerous therapies, doctors around the world are stumped. While hiccups are typically caused by spontaneous contractions of the diaphragm, they still haven’t been able to find a cause in Chris’s case.
Characterized by eating substances with no nutritional value, the reasons behind it vary. It can be the result of cultural traditions but is also found in children with developmental disabilities or iron deficiency.
Porphyria is an incurable and inherited disease that causes not only blisters but also cramps and paralysis whenever that person is exposed to sunlight. This shouldn’t be confused with polymorphic light eruption. The latter is actually a fairly common disorder afflicting approximately 15% of North Americans (mainly in the north), creating mild rashes upon initial springtime exposure to sunlight.
With this disorder, people compulsively pull out their hair. The peak is between ages 9 to 13. In extreme cases, they might actually ingest the hair as well.
This strange and little-understood disorder causes people to sleep for weeks on end. Fortunately, most children afflicted will see the symptoms disappear by the time they reach their twenties.
A rare disorder, individuals suffer abrupt, involuntary twisting motions whenever their muscles sustain any contraction. It can also be difficult to diagnose as it’s often mistaken for or coexist with other illnesses, like Parkinson’s.
Exploding Head Syndrome
Don’t worry, this isn’t what you think. Often attributed to stress, people will be startled out of their sleep in the middle of the night as a result of hearing a loud banging sound. As of yet, doctors have been unable to isolate any negative effects of this phenomenon other than people developing an extreme aversion to falling asleep. Fortunately, the bangs typically subside after several days.
In what has been baffling doctors all over the world, Natalie Adler of Australia has a problem with her eyes, more specifically her eyelids. Every now and then, they will close tightly and not reopen for up to three days. Doctors believe it may be a type of conversion disorder, something that happens when a person internalizes various psychological issues which then manifest themselves physically.
Fish Odor Syndrome
Struggling with something called trimethylaminuria literally stinks. As a result of the body’s inability to break down a certain organic compound found in numerous foods, an afflicted individual tends to give off an overwhelmingly strong fish-smelling odor. Unfortunately, no cure exists, but thus far, people have managed to control it by employing various diets.
Blue Skin Disorder
As a result of something called methemoglobinemia, which causes decreased blood oxygen levels, some people develop a very deep bluish tint to their skin. The cause of this hereditary disorder was recently discovered, however, and those who it afflicted have since received treatment, their skin reverting back to normal.
Tree Bark Skin
Known as Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis, this hereditary skin disorder is caused by HPV (human papilloma virus). Wart-like growths appear on the skin and spread out of control. One of the worst cases on record is Dede Koswara from Indonesia. He recently had 95% of his warts removed, but within the year, almost all of them grew back.