25 Strange Birth Defects Few Kids Are Born With

We all are born with a unique mix of common traits – your eyes, for example, are likely to be brown or blue though they could be a more rare color like green or grey. Most of us don’t have any overwhelmingly unique individual traits; it’s the combination that makes us unique. Then there are those born with very unique traits and genetic abnormalities, be those for good or ill. After reading this list, perhaps we’ll all just want to be a bit more average. Here are 25 Odd Things Very Few Kids Are Born With.

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Being two people at once

Chimera_PictureSource: http://www.independent.co.uk

No, really. We’re not talking about conjoined twins; we’re talking about about human chimeras. In the woman, a fetus can absorb the cells of a miscarried twin. The result is that the surviving twin has some of the genes of the “ghost” twin, which leads to some organs having a different DNA than others. One case like this is Karen Keegan, whose ovaries carry different genes. Technically, she’s not the mother of her children – her unborn twin sister is.


Webbed fingers or toes

WEBBYTOESSource: http://www.healthline.com

Webbed fingers/toes are technically called Syndactyly. All of our hands start off in the womb as general paddle shapes, but around the sixth week of pregnancy, we start to form individual fingers. When that process doesn’t complete correctly, you end up with webbed digits. It’s not known why this happens, and it only happens in around 1 out of 2,000 ish babies. It’s usually fixed with a simple surgery. Though in very rare cases, there are bones fused together as well, and correction may be more complicated.


Tree Man Illness

World's_4th_a_Tree_ManSource: http://emedicine.medscape.com

Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis, also known as the Tree Man Illness, makes people really open to HPV and causes malignant skin tumors. Tumors usually start around age 20, and like most skin cancer, they start in places normally exposed. Though symptoms take two decades to show up, this is a hereditary disease present at birth. Multiple uncontrolled HPV infections lead to the scaly malformations that give this disease it’s nickname.


Mermaid Syndrome

mermaidSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Sirenomelia is a disorder in which the legs of a baby fuse together in the womb while it’s growing, and the result is what’s commonly known as “mermaid syndrome.” Though this is usually fatal due to complications with kidneys and other internal organs, Milagros Cerron from Peru (born in 2004) actually had her legs separated and is now able to walk.


Vestigial Gills

gillSource: http://www.livescience.com

Vestigial Gills, or gills leftover from when we needed them, sometimes show up in humans. They aren’t functional in any way; they’re kind of anti-climactic, just showing up as small holes above the ear, UNTIL you learn what they are. Then it’s just weird and cool. Millions of years after our ancestors left the water, random pieces of DNA are still around to put holes for gills we no longer need or have.

Photo Credits: Feature Image: see credits #4, 25. Unknown, Chimera Picture, CC BY-SA 1.0, 24. User:pschemp, Celldeath, CC BY-SA 3.0, 23. Monirul Alam, World’s 4th a Tree Man, CC BY-SA 4.0, 22. AK Rockefeller via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 21. pixabay (public domain/modified to add gill), 20. Quartl, Attacus atlas qtl1, CC BY-SA 3.0, 19. en.wikipedia.org (Public Domain), 18. Viswaprabha, Fish – Puntius sarana from Kerala (India), CC BY-SA 3.0, 17. anonymous, Birth defect05, CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. The People’s Prodigy: Boycott “the weight of blood” via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 15. commons.wikimedia.org (public domain), 14. commons.wikimedia.org (public domain), 13. 10 corso como via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 12. commons.wikimedia.org (Public Domain), 11. zh.wikipedia.org (Public Domain), 10. commons.wikimedia.org (Public Domain), 9. commons.wikimedia.org (public domain), 8. pixabay.com (public domain), 7. pixabay.com (public domain), 6. A.K., Symbole Hermaphrodite, CC BY-SA 3.0, 5. en:User:Drgnu23, subsequently altered by en:user:Grendelkhan, en:user: Raul654, and en:user:Solipsist., Polydactyly 01 Lhand AP, CC BY-SA 3.0, 4. Tilly Holland via flickrCC BY 2.0, 3. James Heilman, MD, Cleftlipandpalate, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2. Felipe Fernandes via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 1. Xavier Nájera, foto by author, Cuando el color llama la atención, CC BY-SA 4.0

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