8 Strange Medical Oddities *Graphic!

Sometimes nature does unusual things with the human body.

1) Conjoined twins are identical twins joined in utero. A rare phenomenon, the occurrence is estimated to range from 1 in 50,000 births to 1 in 200,000 births, with a somewhat higher incidence in Southwest Asia and Africa. Approximately half are stillborn, and a smaller fraction of pairs born alive have abnormalities incompatible with life. The overall survival rate for conjoined twins is approximately 25%. The condition is more frequently found among females, with a ratio of 3:1.

2) Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (also called Lewandowsky-Lutz dysplasia) is an extremely rare autosomal recessive genetic hereditary skin disorder associated with a high risk of carcinoma of the skin. It is characterized by abnormal susceptibility to human papillomaviruses (HPVs) of the skin. The resulting uncontrolled HPV infections result in the growth of scaly macules and papules, particularly on the hands and feet.

3) The exact cause of Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man’s, deformities is unclear. The dominant theory throughout much of the 20th century was that Merrick suffered from neurofibromatosis type I. In 1986, a new theory emerged that he had Proteus syndrome. In 2001 it was proposed that Merrick had suffered from a combination of neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome. DNA tests conducted on his hair and bones have proven inconclusive.

4) Ectrodactyly, split hand, cleft hand or lobster claw hand involves the deficiency or absence of one or more central digits of the hand or foot and is also known as split hand/split foot malformation (SHFM), or lobster claw syndrome. The hands and feet of people with ectrodactyly are often described as “claw-like” and may include only the thumb and one finger (usually either the little finger, ring finger, or a syndactyly of the two) with similar abnormalities of the feet.

5) Polydactyly is having more than the normal amount of fingers or toes. It is the most common of hand disabilities. It can also be called polydactylia, polydactilism, or hyperdactyly. It can occur without other diseases or symptoms and as a dominant trait in families that has one gene and several different variations to it.

6) Hypertrichosis is the overproduction of hair anywhere on the body. Men and women, babies and adults — the condition doesn’t discriminate. There are variations of the disorder, some resulting in hair growth patterns that likely contributed to ancient “wolfman” folklore.

Here’s another variation. This is Julia Pastrana. She also had an extra row of teeth. And a husband.

7) Josephine Myrtle Corbin was born a dipygus. This referred to the fact that she had two separate pelvises side by side from the waist down, as a result of her body axis splitting as it developed. Each of her smaller inner legs was paired with one of her outer legs. She was said to be able to move her inner legs, but they were too weak for walking. She had two sets of internal and external female sex organs.

8) Juan Baptista dos Santos was born in Portugal around 1843 in the town of Faro and was examined for the first time when he was only six months old. His parents and two siblings were well formed and it was said that his gestation and birth were uneventful. As a child, Juan was considered quite handsome, fit and well proportioned – except for the two distinct genitalia and extra fused leg he possessed. Both penises functioned. He could finish with one and continue with the other.


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