25 Strange Birth Defects Few Kids Are Born With

Posted by , Updated on April 19, 2017


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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PolydactylySource: https://www.drgreene.com

Extra fingers and toes, called Polydactylism, can happen to humans and animals. (Ever seen a cat with “thumbs?” Same thing.) Often, these are a small, boneless extra finger or toe that can be surgically removed shortly after birth. Sometimes, though, the extra finger or toe will have bone, and will need to be completely amputated and have tendons, etc, moved around. This doesn’t happen until a child is at least one.



progeriaSource: http://www.progeriaresearch.org

This birth defect causes children to age rapidly. Not GROW, but AGE. Which means you have a 3 year old that looks like someone in their 60’s or 70’s. It’s rare, with only about 1,000 cases happening per year. Children with Progeria often die around 14 years old, usually from heart disease. There’s also late onset progeria, known as Werner’s Syndrome, that starts in the late teens and has a life expectancy into the 40’s or 50’s.


Cleft lip/Cleft palate

CleftlipandpalateSource: http://www.operationsmile.org/

Cleft lip and Cleft palate are birth defects that happen when this part of a baby’s face doesn’t form correctly in their mother’s womb, very early in pregnancy. There isn’t enough tissue in the roof of the mouth(the palate)/nose, and the upper lip doesn’t close and form together correctly. Thankfully, this is correctable with surgery, allowing children born with this to lead normal lives (like sucking on a bottle, for instance). It happens in about one in 700 children and is more likely to happen to boys than girls. Charities like Operation Smile send doctors and surgical teams to third world countries to repair cleft palates in babies and children that otherwise would not have access to such medical care.



albinobabySource: http://kidshealth.org/

Albinism is a condition where someone is born with little or no pigment (melanin) in their skin, hair and eyes. There are different forms, varying from only affecting the eyes, to affecting the eyes, skin, and hair. Albinism it can affect any race (and animals, and plants).


Heterochromia iridium

HeterochromiaSource: https://www.scientificamerican.com

This is what happens when someone is born with two different colored eyes (think David Bowie). Scientists know what gene accounts for brown/blue eye color, and what gene accounts for green/blue eye color, but how those mix to get hazel eyes, different colored eyes, or heterochromia iridis (different colors in the same eye) isn’t quite so clear (yet).

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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