The world is full of strange and amusing history and facts, and the world of medicine is certainly no exception. Every day our medical science is handling such weird cases and facing tough situations that are truly rare and astounding at the same time. Here, in this article, are such 50 bizarre facts linked to the medical science that will make you think twice.
1 | Surgeon Leonid Rogozov Performed His Own Surgery
In 1961, a surgeon named Leonid Rogozov diagnosed himself with acute appendicitis when was in Antarctica as part of a Russian expedition. With no other options, he performed the surgery on himself for over 2 hours.
2 | Malaria Was Once Itself A Life Saving Medicine
Malaria was once used to treat syphilis. Dr. Wagner von Jauregg injected sufferers with malaria-infected blood, causing an extremely high fever that would ultimately kill the disease. Jauregg won the Nobel Prize for the treatment and it remained in use until the development of penicillin.
3 | Alzheimer’s Disease Doesn’t Affect Emotional Memory
Alzheimer’s disease does not affect emotional memory as strongly as informational memory. As a result, Alzheimer’s patient’s given bad news will quickly forget the news, but will remain sad and have no idea why.
4 | The Expressionless
Möbius syndrome is a rare disorder in which the facial muscles are paralyzed. In most cases, the eyes are also unable to move from side to side. The disease prevents a sufferer from having any facial expressions, which can make them appear to be uninterested or “dull” ― sometimes leading people to think they are rude.
Sufferers have completely normal mental development. The causes are not fully understood and there is no treatment aside from addressing the symptoms, such as, an inability to feed as a baby.
5 | Capgras Delusion
Stephen King Once said about terror, “Its when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute” Capgras Delusion is something like that, only instead of it being your things, it’s your friends family and loved ones.
Named after Joseph Capgras, a French psychiatrist who was fascinated by the illusion of doubles, Capgras Delusion is a debilitating mental disorder in which one believes that the people around them have been replaced by imposters.
Furthermore, these imposters are usually thought to be planning to harm the sufferer. CapGras Delusion is relatively rare, and is most often seen after trauma to the brain, or in those who have been diagnosed with dementia, schizophrenia, or epilepsy.
6 | A Bizarre Autoamputation Disease
There’s a bizarre medical condition called Ainhum, or also known as Dactylolysis Spontanea, where a person’s toe just randomly falls off in a painful experience by bilateral spontaneous autoamputation within a few years or months, and doctors have no clear conclusion why it actually happens. There’s no cure.
7 | Anatidaephobia
Anatidaephobia is the fear that somewhere in the world, somehow, a duck is watching you. Though, the sufferer is not necessarily afraid that the duck or goose will attack them or even touch them.
8 | When Your Own Hand Becomes Your Enemy
When they say idle hands are the devil’s playthings, they weren’t kidding. Imagine lying in bed sleeping peacefully and a strong grip suddenly envelopes your throat. It’s your hand, with a mind of its own, a disorder called Alien Hand Syndrome (AHS) or Dr. Strangelove Syndrome. There’s no cure for this extremely bizarre disease.
And luckily actual cases are so rare as to barely be a statistic, there have only been 40 to 50 recorded cases since its identification and it’s not a life-threatening disease.
9 | Shreya’s Hand Complexion
In 2017, Shreya Siddanagowder underwent Asia’s first intergender hand transplant. She underwent a 13-hour transplant operation performed by a team of 20 surgeons and 16 anesthesiologists. Her transplanted hands came from a 21-year-old man who died after a bicycle crash. The most strange part of this story is that her new hands unexpectedly changed skin tone and gradually became more feminine over the years.
10 | Teratoma
Some tumours can contain pockets of hair, teeth, bone and, very rarely, more complex organs or processes such as brain matter, eyes, torso, and hands, feet, or other limbs. It’s called “Teratoma”.
11 | A Woman’s Mouth Became Pregnant By Squids
A 63-year-old Seoul lady was eating cooked squids in her dinner in a local restaurant but it ended up rather unusually. She was enjoying her squids when one of the animals, already fried, suddenly filled her mouth with its semen.
The woman quickly spitted it out, but kept tasting a ‘foreign substance’ even after thorough rinsing repeatedly. Finally, she went to the hospital where the doctors extracted 12 small white spindly creatures from her mouth.
12 | Alex Carrel’s Experiment
A surgeon named Alexis Carrel was able to keep a chicken’s heart tissue alive for over 20 years without it being attached to a body, deeming the cells, “immortal.”
13 | A Lethal Joke
In 2010, a 59-year-old man from Szechuan, China, came to the hospital with strong pain in the abdomen and anal bleeding. When the doctors made an X-ray expecting to see a tumour or other internal injuries, they found that there is an eel fish living in his guts. As it turned, this was the result of a friendly joke ― during one of the boozes, the man got drunk and fell asleep. His buddies decided to put an eel into his backway, just for fun. The joke ended up lethally ― in ten days, the man died.
14 | A Peculiar Memory Loss
After receiving a local anesthetic and root-canal treatment at his dentist, a 38-year-old man has been experiencing a real ‘Groundhog Day’ type of memory loss. For the better part of a decade, he has woken up every morning thinking it is the day of his original dentist’s appointment.
15 | Cruel Experiments By Nazi Doctor Josef Mengele
A Nazi doctor named Josef Mengele sewed two twins together back to back in an attempt to create conjoined twins. The children died of gangrene after several days of suffering. He conducted a countless number of such cruel experiments, killing thousands of innocent people. He is known as the “Angel of Death.”
16 | Apotemnophilia
Apotemnophilia or also known as the Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Well, to put it bluntly, people that display this disorder have an extremely strong desire to amputate one or all of their limbs. They are completely Ok with it, and in fact, must be watched closely once diagnosed for fear they may attempt to fulfill their desire. While not technically Suicidal as the victims do not necessarily want to die, death is a strong possibility.
17 | Schizophrenia Eye Test
Schizophrenia can be diagnosed with 98.3% accuracy using a simple eye test that tracks eye movement abnormalities.
18 | Stockholm Syndrome
The most peculiar of all the disorders or medical conditions is Stockholm Syndrome, in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity.
One of the most famous examples of a victim with Stockholm syndrome is Patty Hearst, a famous media heiress kidnapped in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). She joined their cause, even getting convicted of helping them rob a bank.
19 | D’Zhana Simmons Lived Without Heart
Fourteen-year-old D’Zhana Simmons lived for 118 days without a heart. She had two
pumps to keep her blood flowing until a donor’s heart arrived.
20 | Cow Tuberculosis Can Fight Against Cancer
To treat bladder cancer, doctors inject cow tuberculosis bacteria up your urethra. The subsequent immune reaction destroys cancer cells, and the treatment has been shown to be more effective than chemotherapy.
21 | The Disease That Makes You Allergic To Water
Most of us take showers and swim in pools without a second thought. But for people with Aquagenic Urticaria, casual contact with water causes them to break out in hives. Only 31 people have been diagnosed with this rare disease and most of them have been women.
According to the National Institutes of Health, sufferers often bathe in baking soda and cover their bodies with creams in order to cope. It’s really a bizarre disease to make someone’s life hell.
22 | A Voice In The Mind: One Of The Strangest Medical Case
A bizarre medical case of 1984 describes that a healthy British woman referred to as ‘A.B.’ started hearing a voice in her head. The voice told her she had a brain tumour, where the tumour was, and how to treat it. Despite no other symptoms, doctors eventually ordered tests and found a tumour exactly where the voice said it would be. This miracle event was first publicly reported in a 1997 issue of the British Medical Journal where the paper was titled, “A difficult case: Diagnosis made by hallucinatory voices.”
23 | The Hemlock Water Dropwort
The Hemlock Water Dropwort is a poisonous plant that leaves the victim with a smile on their face when they die.
24 | A Strange Blindness
A German patient, referred to only as B.T., was blinded by a terrible accident, damaging the part of her brain responsible for sight. Eventually, she developed multiple personalities and some of which could even see.
25 | The Most Sued Doctor
The most sued doctor in American History is Houston orthopedic surgeon Eric Scheffey who has been nicknamed Dr. Evil. He has been sued 78 times. At least 5 of his patients have died, and hundreds more have been seriously injured. It took 24 years for state regulators and the medical community to stop him.
26 | A Really Long Hiccup
Singer Chris Sands hiccupped for two and a half years because of a brain tumour. He hiccupped 20 million times in this period. It was cured after a successful surgery.
27 | A Strange Method Of Surgery
A surfer tore out a growth on the surface of his eye by riding a 32-foot wave and dipping his head into the water. It worked, but a doctor recommended “a more traditional method” next time.
28 | Dermatographia
A skin disorder due to which welts appear on the skin surface when the skin is scratched. These marks usually disappear within 30 minutes. The welts occur due to the histamine released by mast cells on the surface of the skin. It is usually treated by antihistamine along with some other drugs.
29 | Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
A group of different genetic connective tissue disorders occur due to defective collagen or collagen deficiency. It causes hyperelastic skin, hyper-flexible joints, deformed fingers, and many other painful defects. The absence of collagen makes these tissues elastic causing Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). EDS can sometimes result in life-threatening complications like aortic dissection.
30 | Micturition Syncope
Micturition syncope is the phenomenon of temporary loss of consciousness upon urination. The loss of consciousness does not last long. The sufferers can sometimes become unconscious through coughing, defecating, and vomiting as well. Usually, this condition occurs in the male.
31 | A Man Collided With A School Of Fish
A 52-year-old man was swimming in the Red Sea when he collided with a school of fish. Later, the man developed a swollen and droopy eyelid that wouldn’t heal. The doctors performed surgery on his eye and removed what later proved to be the jawbones of one of those fish.
32 | Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome
After slipping a disc in his back, Wisconsin man Dale Decker began experiencing up to 100 orgasms every day, due to a rare condition called persistent sexual arousal syndrome (PSAS).
33 | A Bite From A Lone Star Tick
A bite from a Lone Star Tick can make someone severely allergic to red meat! As has happened to Joy Cowdery in Australia and numerous others around the world in recent years.
34 | Doctor Eugene Lazowski Saved 8,000 Jews
Polish doctor Eugene Lazowski saved 8,000 Jews during the Holocaust by injecting dead typhus cells into them, allowing them to test positive for typhus despite being healthy. Germans were afraid of the highly contagious disease and refused to deport them to concentration camps.
35 | Syndrome X
There is one person in the world with “Syndrome X” which prevents normal ageing. Brooke Greenberg is 20 and appears to be one year old.
36 | A Flame Of Hope
In London, Ontario a flame of hope was lit in 1989 as a tribute to Dr. Frederick Banting and all the people that have lost their lives to diabetes. The flame will remain lit until there is a cure for diabetes.
37 | A Women Performed A Self Caesarean Section
Inés Ramírez Pérez, a woman from Mexico and the mother of eight kids, who had no medical training performed a successful Caesarean Section on herself. With 12 hours of continual pain she used a kitchen knife and three glasses of hard liquor whilst her husband was drinking at a bar.
38 | The Great Landing
A four-year-old toddler named Dylan Hayes survived a three-story fall by somersaulting twice and then miraculously landing on his feet.
39 | Stranger In The Mirror
While Capgras Syndrome is a condition in which a patient thinks his loved ones were replaced by impostors. There was also an atypical case of a 78-year-old who was convinced that his reflection in the bathroom mirror was a stranger, who looked exactly like him.
40 | Killing Season
“Killing Season” is a British medical term used to describe the time around August, when the newly qualified doctors join the National Health Service.
41 | Gabby Gingras Is Incapable Of Feeling Pain
Gabby Gingras is a normal young girl except she is incapable of feeling pain! Her body never developed the nerve fibres that detect pain. She managed to knock out her teeth, mangle her fingers, lose the vision in one eye and hit her head on a table without feeling any of it.
42 | Hyperthymesia: They Never Forget
Jill Price has a rare condition known as hyperthymesia. She doesn’t have the ability of forgetting things. Since she was 14, she could recall every detail in her everyday life. While you may think that this is a superpower, she said that her mind is constantly flooded with vivid memories, some of the things she’d rather not remember.
43 | Love Bite Can Also Kill In The Other Way
A hickey caused a woman blunt trauma that led to a minor stroke. The 44-year-old woman began noticing that her arm was getting weaker days after a make-out session and later found out from the doctor that she had suffered a minor stroke due to a blood clot caused by the love bite.
44 | The Disease That Makes You Believe You’re Dead
Those who suffer from Cotard’s Delusion are convinced they are dead and rotting or at the very least losing body parts.
They often refuse to eat or bathe out of worry, for example, that they don’t have the digestive system to handle food or that water will wash away fragile body parts.
Cotard’s disease is caused by a failure in areas of the brain that recognize emotions, leading to feelings of detachment.
45 | Lina Medina: The Youngest Mother
In 1939, a mother thought her 5-year-old was possessed because she had a protruding abdomen, so she took her to a doctor and discovered the impossible: she was pregnant. The child was Lina Medina who began puberty as a toddler and is the youngest confirmed mother in medical history. Though, the biological father has never been identified.
46 | Your Brain Is Always Smarter Than You
Your brain makes seemingly conscious decisions 7 seconds before you are consciously aware of them.
47 | The Woman Who Is Carrying A Fetus In Her Womb For Decades
A Chilean woman, Estela Meléndez, has been carrying a fetus in her womb for more than 65 years. In 2015, when doctors first discovered this, they decided to operate for removing the fetus. But later they deemed it to be too risky due to her age ― 91 years old. Although the fetus can cause Meléndez discomfort at times, the doctors said it was calcified and therefore benign.
48 | Fast Thrills But Kills!
In 1847, a doctor performed an amputation in 25 seconds, operating so quickly that he accidentally amputated his assistant’s fingers as well. Both later died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known medical procedure with a 300% mortality rate.
49 | Stone Man Syndrome
Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) also known as Stone Man Syndrome is an extremely rare connective tissue disease that converts damaged tissue to bone in the body.
50 | Olivia Farnsworth: Chromosome 6 Deletion
The only known case of “Chromosome 6p Deletion” where a person does not feel pain, hunger, or the need to sleep (and subsequently no sense of fear) is a UK girl named Olivia Farnsworth. In 2016, she was hit by a car and dragged 30 meters, yet felt nothing and emerged with minor injuries.