25 Truly Bizarre Diseases Science Can’t Explain

Posted by , Updated on October 18, 2017

We’ve all heard of the common cold, but what about the rare and bizarre disease no one has heard of? There are, unfortunately, a handful of rare syndromes and diseases plaguing certain people today. With symptoms from skin lesions to facial abnormalities without a known cause, doctors struggle to treat many of them. But what are these horrific diseases? Here are 25 Truly Bizarre Diseases Science Can’t Explain.

Subscribe to List25


Foreign Accent Syndrome

foreign accent syndromeSource: https://www.utdallas.edu/research/FAS/

Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare disorder where a person suddenly changes speech patterns and sounds like they are speaking in a different accent. While scientists have linked this to stroke or Multiple Sclerosis, in some cases there have been no known link to why it’s happening at all.


Burning Mouth Syndrome

burning mouth diseaseSource: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/home/ovc-20179959

People who have chronic burning pain in their mouth, tongue, gums, lips, and cheeks may have burning mouth syndrome. Unfortunately, there’s no known cause, and many doctors are unsure how to treat it.


Laughing Death

laughing deathSource: http://mentalfloss.com/article/24796/quick-10-10-people-who-laughed-themselves-death

While the old saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine,” in some rare cases, it can lead to death. Throughout history, some people have laughed until they asphyxiated or their heart failed them.


Water Allergy

urticariaSource: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AllergiesNews/story?id=7401149

The Earth is made up of 70 percent of water, and our bodies are made up about the same amount. So, for those who have a water allergy, or aquagenic urticaria, the world can be a devastating place. People who get this allergy experience a red rash all over their skin.



schizophreniaSource: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml

While doctors have come up with some ideas for why Schizophrenia occurs (genes, viruses, and problems at birth), they still haven’t reached anything conclusive. Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic mental disorder affecting how a person thinks, feels, and behaves.


Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder

pgadSource: http://www.healthline.com/health/persistent-genital-arousal-disorder#overview1

People who have Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder are consistently and frequently aroused even when there is no reason. These symptoms can last for months and can seriously affect the person’s daily life. While there could be a number of causes for PGAD, doctors often have trouble finding a specific cause, making it difficult to diagnose.


Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

alice in wonderlandSource: http://www.neurologytimes.com/headache-and-migraine/alice-wonderland-syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a fascinating disease where a person feels like they are growing or getting smaller within a room. Other believe the room is growing or shrinking rather than the person themselves. Doctors believe head trauma, epilepsy, or migraine symptoms in adults are the most likely to bring on Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.


Moebius Syndrome

Möbius_syndromeSource: http://moebiussyndrome.org/about-moebius-syndrome/what-is-moebius-syndrome/

Moebius Syndrome is a neurological disorder that affects a persons ability to make facial movements. They are unable to smile, frown, or make lateral eye movements. Doctors believe environmental and genetic factors play a part but overall are unsure what causes the disease.


Bleeding Calf Syndrome

bleeding calfSource: http://www.thebeefsite.com/articles/2172/bleeding-calf-syndrome-the-facts/

Bleeding Calf Syndrome is a relatively new disease first diagnosed in the United Kingdom. Calves with the disease show symptoms of a high fever and bleeding out of their intact skin. Those with the disease almost always die. Scientists are actively investigating the cause.


Working Hand Syndrome

handSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28640120

Working Hand Syndrome is a strange disease where people experience pain, numbness, tingling, and burning sensations that increase during the night. All studies of patients have shown no muscle or nerve damage, making the cause a mystery.


Porphyria Disease

VampireSource: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/porphyria

Occurring when natural chemicals in someone’s body produces too much porphyrin, Porphyria Disease can cause significant problems in the body such as vomiting, itchiness, and seizures among many other symptoms. But worst of all, it can cause a person to be overly sensitive to sunlight, severely damaging the skin. Due to this symptom, some have called it “The Vampire Disease.”


Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder

LumberjacksSource: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/jumping-frenchmen-of-maine/

When someone loudly slams a door or pokes you from behind, a natural reaction is to be a bit startled. With Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder, however, this reaction is greatly exaggerated and abnormal. This rare disease is said to cause people to leap backward, wildly flailing the arms, repeat back words in a parrot manner, or repeatedly say loud swear words. While the cause is unknown and the disease rare, doctors believe it’s possibly a neuro-psychiatric disorder.


Blue Skin Disease

ArgyriaSource: https://www.livescience.com/34410-blue-skin-argyria-methemoglobinemia.html

In the very rare and genetically inherited Blue Skin Disease or Methemoglobinemia, the person has abnormally high levels of methemoglobin, a molecule in red blood cells that distributes oxygen to the body. Because of these high levels, the person’s skin is totally blue. The most famous case was the Fugate family who lived in the hills of Kentucky from 1800 to 1960.


Walking Corpse Syndrome

walking dead syndromeSource: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/05/27/man-describes-life-with-walking-corpse-syndrome/

Also known as Cotard’s Syndrome, Walking Corpse Syndrome is when someone believes they are completely dead. Many believe they don’t exist and that their brain and organs aren’t there anymore.


Chronic Unexplained Cough

chronic unexplained coughSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5264165/

Coughing is a normal reaction our body makes to clear away unwanted particles. However, after 8 weeks, if a person is still having an unwanted cough with no other symptoms or signs of a cause, this is called Chronic Unexplained Cough.


Chronic Orchialgia

male painSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126083/

Chronic Orchialgia is another way of saying chronic testicular pain when all other causes have been ruled out and doctors are unsure what could be the underlying cause. Because this condition is not uncommon, doctors are put in a dilemma on how to treat a condition without a cause.


Alien Hand Syndrome

dr strangeloveSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4059570/

Alien Hand Syndrome, also called Dr. Strangelove Syndrome, is a rare phenomenon where the person loses control of their hand, and it takes on a mind of its own. In one particular case, a woman’s left hand moved without her knowledge and stroked her hair and face as if someone else were controlling it.


Duncan Dermatosis

dermatosisSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4536880/

Also called Terra-firma forme dermatosis, Duncan Dermatosis is a condition where people’s skin form dirt-like plaque all over their body. Since this can be confused with other diseases, many patients may go through unnecessary procedures before finally having the final diagnosis.


Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

lightbulbSource: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs296/en/

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity is when someone claims to be sensitive to all the electromagnetic activity in the area. Symptoms include skin reactions like redness, tingling, or burning sensations. Patients could also claim to experience fatigue, dizziness, or nausea. It’s a controversial disease as scientists are unsure if it’s truly physical or psychiatric in nature.



PolydactylySource: http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/polydactyly-of-fingers/symptoms-and-causes

Polydactylism is when someone grows extra fingers at birth. Most of these extra fingers are merely skin tissue but there have been cases of bone and joints as well. Because the growth of these extra fingers is sporadic, doctors aren’t sure what the underlying cause is.



Fedor_Jeftichew_portraitSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12444804

Hypertrichosis, also called Werewolf Syndrome, is when a person grows an unusual and excessive amount of hair all over their body. Treatment options are limited, unfortunately, but many have leaned toward laser-assisted hair removal.


Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome

colonSource: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/cronkhite-canada-syndrome/

Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome is a rare disease with symptoms ranging from loss of taste, intestinal polyps, hair loss, and nail growth problems. It mostly occurs in people ages 59 and older and there is no known cause or genetic component.


Hailey-Hailey Disease

HHDSource: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hailey-hailey-disease/

A rare genetic disorder, Hailey-Hailey Disease reveals itself in the form of blisters and erosions in the armpits, neck, skin folds, and genitals. While doctors know it’s genetically inherited, its sporadic and random nature makes it difficult to know the underlying cause.


Parry-Romberg Syndrome

Parry_Romberg_SyndromeSource: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/parry-romberg-information-page

Starting between ages five and fifteen, Parry-Romberg Syndrome occurs when the skin and soft tissues of half a person’s face deteriorates. It’s also accompanied by seizures and severe facial pain.



picaSource: http://www.healthline.com/symptom/pica

Pica occurs when people eat nonfood items like soap, dirt, and ice regularly. While people with iron deficiencies, OCD, or schizophrenia regularly get Pica, there’s no known underlying cause or catalyst for it. Most of the time it wears off but if left untreated, it could lead to serious complications like lead poisoning.


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out 25 Crazy Diseases Science Can’t Explain!

Photo: 25. studio tdes via flickr. CC BY 2.0,24. User:Zoulburner, This is called doing “The Dragon” 2013-12-28 22-39, CC BY-SA 3.0, 23. Pexels.com (Public Domain), 22. James Heilman, MD, EMminor2010, CC BY-SA 3.0, 21. David Ensor via flickr. CC BY 2.0 , 20. Sarebear:) via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 19. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain). 18. see above, Infant with Möbius syndrome, CC BY 2.0, 17. Philaweb, Väneko calf, CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 15. Carniphage, VampireE3, CC BY 2.0, 14. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from USA, Lumberjacks, CC BY 2.0, 13. Herbert L. Fred, MD and Hendrik A. van Dijk, Argyria 2b, CC BY 2.0, 12. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 11. William Brawley via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 10. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 9. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain) 8. GoodFreePhotos.com (Public Domain), 7. Bsilby at English Wikipedia, Closed double envelope compact fluorescent lamp, CC BY-SA 3.0, 6. Baujat G, Le Merrer M., Polydactyly ECS, CC BY 2.0, 5. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 4. Blausen Medical Communications, Inc., Blausen 0246 ColorectalCancer, CC BY 3.0, 3. Julesmcn, HHD R Axilla, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2. Desherinka, Parry Romberg Syndrome 1, CC BY-SA 3.0, 1. Marcus Quigmire from Florida, USA, Eating Dirt (3009282976), CC BY-SA 2.0

SEE ALSO: 25 Richest Celebrities With The Highest Net Worth »

NOW WATCH: 25 Best Netflix Original Movies

Subscribe to List25
Show Us Your Love
Join Over 2 Million+ List25 Fans