The World’s Biggest Albino Family

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All eight members of the Pullan family from Delhi suffer from a rare genetic disorder called albinism which, as its name suggests, is characterized by the complete or partial absence of melanin pigment in the skin and hair. Because of this condition, Rosetauri Pullan, his wife Mani along with their three daughters Renu, Deepa and Pooja and three sons Shankar, Ramkishan and Vijay all have fair skin, white hair and light colored eyes despite being Indian.

Their ghostliness is not just an aesthetic problem. It actually comes with certain undesirable medical problems. Their pale white skin makes it impossible for them to stay in the sun for too long. The lack of pigment in their eyes have left them short-sighted and Shankar was even forced to attended a school for the blind. “All we know is that we can’t see properly, and we can’t sit under the sun for long, but we live the best we can,” the family explains. Unfortunately sunburns and short-slightness are not their only concerns. There are only 17,000 people in the world who suffer from albinism and those who are unfortunate to live in less developed countries, like the Pullans, are harshly discriminated against.

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Chinese Car-Accident Victim Has New Nose Grown on His Forehead

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Meet 22-year-old Xiaolian. He is not wearing some bizarre special effects makeup, that is actually a real nose growing on his forehead. As strange as it looks, this is apparently a pretty common nose reconstruction technique.

No too long ago, Xiaolian was involved in a car accident that damaged his nose. After he refused medical treatment, the wound became infected and in a few months time the bacteria had corroded the cartilage of the nose, making it impossible for doctors to save. But since we’re living in an age where medical miracles are possible, they decided to remove the infected tissue and grow the young man a new nose. This was done by by placing a skin tissue expander onto Xiaolian’s forehead, cutting it into the shape of a nose and planting a cartilage taken from his ribs. It’s taken Chinese doctors in Fuzhou, Fujian province, nine months to grow the nose, but it was worth it, because the organ developed perfectly and it’s almost ready to be shifted in it the place of Xiaolian’s original nose.

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Controversial Artificial Iris Implant Surgery to Permanently Change Eye Color

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People unhappy with the way they look have been using plastic surgery to change their appearance for years, but now they can take their obsession to a whole new level by changing the color of their eyes through a controversial procedure known as artificial iris implant.

Pioneered by Dr. Kenneth Rosenthal, as a way to correct various eye defects (heterochromia, ocular albinism, etc.), the artificial iris implant procedure is now also being advertised as cosmetic surgery for people who want to permanently change the color of their eyes. The artificial iris is a thin, non-toxic prosthesis made of the same ophthalmic grade silicone used in intraocular lenses. Since the fake iris is very flexible, it can be folded and inserted into the eye through a peripheral corneal surgical incision about 2.8 mm long, and unfolded over the natural iris. According to the website of BrightOcular, the company behind the increasingly popular cosmetic eye surgery, the procedure is “short, safe, and painless”, taking about 15 minutes for each eye. The surgery has a purely cosmetic purpose, it does not fix vision defects, so patients will still need to wear refractive instruments to correct their vision. Unlike other laser-based procedures that remove a layer of melanin from the iris in order to permanently change its color, BrightOcular claims their iris implant can easily be removed in case of complications or if the patient so desires.

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Girls Squeeze Limes in Sunlight, Suffer Severe Caustic Burns on Their Hands

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Squeezing a slice of lime into a refreshing drink on a hot summer day isn’t as harmless as you may think. Fredrikke and Selma, two young Norwegian girls, found that out first hand after they suffered from severe Margarita Dermatitis during their vacation in Spain.

Fredrikke and Selma, both seven years old, were vacationing with their families in the Spanish resort of Marbella. One day, during an outdoor lunch, they spotted a lime tree and thought it would be fun to squeeze juice out of its fruits. They went at it for about an hour, enthusiastically squeezing dozens of limes, before going to the beach for a swim, one of the girls’ parents told Norwegian website, Klikk.  But when Fredrikke woke up the next morning, both her hands were swollen and the skin felt tender to the touch. Thinking it might be a reaction to mosquito bites, her mother, Kathryn, gave the girl an allergy pill. Only when they met up with Selma’s family and noticed she presented the exact same symptoms, it became clear that what ever was affecting them had something to do with the limes they had squeezed the other day. After a few hours, both Fredrikke and Selma started complaining of burning pain and their hands began to blister. On the morning of the third day, Fredrikke’s hands looked even worse and her parents knew they had to seek medical help as soon as possible. They jumped on the first plane home, gave the girl painkillers so she could sleep during the flight, and rushed her to the emergency room as soon as they landed in Oslo. Selma and her family had another week of vacation left so they went to the hospital in Marbella.

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Man Who Can’t Make It to Anything on Time Gets Diagnosed with Chronic Lateness Condition

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For as long as he can remember, 57-year-old Jim Dunbar has never been able to make it to appointments on time. His friends and family always thought he was making excuses, but after a recent doctor’s appointment, for which he was a half-hour late, Jim was diagnosed with incurable lateness.

Jim Dunbar used to always tell people it wasn’t his fault he couldn’t make it on time for anything, but they never took him seriously. Even as a five-year-old he remembers constantly being late for school, football matches and holidays. As an adult he has left women waiting for him on first dates, lost several jobs, turned up to meals with his friends hours after the set meeting time and even showed up for funerals long after they had started. Recently, Jim tried to catch a movie at the local cinema, in Forfar, Scotland, and knowing his lateness might get in the way, he gave himself an 11-hour head start to make sure he got there on time. Dunbar knew the movie started at 7 pm, but despite his best efforts, he arrived 20 minutes late. After going through countless similar experiences, he finally decided to talk to a doctor about his problem. He was a half-hour late for his appointment at a Ninewells hospital, but he finally got an answer to the question that had been bugging him for a lifetime – “Why can’t I be on time?”

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The Tapeworm Diet – Ingesting Dangerous Parasites to Lose Weight

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The things people will do to shed a few unwanted pounds. A woman from Iowa has reportedly swallowed a tapeworm she bought from the internet in order to drop a few pounds, thus proving the tapeworm diet is more than a myth.

You can buy a lot of crazy things online these days, and apparently the tapeworm is one of them. Back in 2009, reports surfaced that dieters in Hong Kong were ingesting giant intestinal roundworm eggs in a desperate attempt to lose weight, and according to a number of sources, tapeworm pills are legally available at a number of clinics in mexico. The tapeworm diet is officially banned in countries like the U.S. and Britain, but as a recent case revealed by Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, proves, that doesn’t mean it’s not still practiced by extreme dieters. According to Today.com, a woman from Iowa went to her doctor and told him she had bought a tapeworm pill from the internet and swallowed it to lose weight. Unsure of what to do in such a situation, the physician contacted the state’s public health department for advice. In her weekly email to state public health workers, Dr. Quinlisk provided a treatment option and talked about the dangers of this bizarre practice.

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Indian Baby Suffers from Rare Spontaneous Combustion Condition

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Rahul, a three-month-old baby from Villupuram, India, is believed to suffer from a rare condition known as Spontaneous Human Combustion, which causes his body to burn without any external source of ignition. Only 200 similar cases have been reported around the world in the last 300 years.

Just nine days after he was born, Rahul was found burning by his mother, Rajeswari, who scampered to douse the flames. “People thought I set him on fire deliberately,” she told reporters, but since then her baby to suffer three more similar accidents. Instead of supporting the family, the community ostracized them, and Rahul’s father says they have lost everything as a result. Luckily, the district collector called the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital after hearing their story, and the baby was admitted last Thursday, and is being treated for severe burn injuries. His parents said they visited other hospitals before, but no one could tell them what causes his body to burst into flames for no apparent reason. Dr. R. Narayana Babu, head of pediatrics at KMC says “It has been scientifically documented that concentrated combustion air excreted from the body could result in such episodes. In elderly persons, heavy drinking could lead to the body excreting alcohol-like substance which could get ignited.” Due to an unknown mechanism, these substances are escaping the body without breaking down to non-combustible forms.

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Healthy Woman Dreams of Becoming Paralyzed from the Waist Down

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Being stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives is most people’s idea of hell, but not for Chloe Jennings-White. A 57-year-old chemist from Salt Lake City, Utah, has an unnatural desire to become a paraplegic (paralyzed from the waist down).

Chloe lives the life of a disabled person. She moves around in a wheelchair and wears long leg braces that lock at the knee to enable her to ambulate with crutches. But when she needs to go up or down a flight of stairs, she simply stands up, removes her braces and walks like a normal person. Like most paralyzed people, she loves outdoor activities, only instead of using specialized equipment to enable such activities, she simply goes on 12-hour hikes in the woods, skies down dangerous slopes, climbs mountain peaks, like a normal person. Chloe Jennings-White isn’t physically impaired, she just likes to feel like she is. In 2008, doctors diagnosed her with BIID (Body Integrity identity Disorder), a serious psychological disorder that causes sufferers to  feel they would be happier living as amputees or paraplegics. To resist the urges of damaging her spine and fulfilling her desire of becoming paralyzed, doctors suggested she use a wheelchair and special braces. Being able to spend most of her time as a paraplegic has been a massive relief for Chloe, but she admits to sometimes fantasizing about being an accident or a car crash that would truly damage her legs.

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Mysterious Condition Causes Girl to Cry Tears of Blood

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20-year-old Yaritza Oliva is living a nightmare. For the last couple of weeks the girl from Purranque, Chile, has been crying tears of blood and so far no one has been able to explain her mysterious condition.

Yaritza first noticed blood tears coming out of her eyes about two weeks ago, but due to her family’s poor financial situation, she couldn’t seek any professional help. The only ophthalmologist who attends at the local hospital in Purranque a few days a week has so many scheduled patients that he wouldn’t see her without an appointment. One of the few times she was consulted by a professional physician was when she was transferred at the hospital of Puerto Montt, where doctors were baffled by her condition, but could only give her some eye drops for the burning sensation she feels when the blood pours from her eyes. At first, Yaritza believed she suffered some kind of extreme conjunctivitis or infection, but after seeing photos and video footage of the girl crying blood, Dr.Alexander Lutz, an ophthalmologist at Las Condes Clinic, excluded those possibilities saying they have very different symptoms. He argued the mysterious condition could be caused by blood clotting problems, alterations in platelets or by the use of certain medications. An expert would have to check if there is bleeding in any other areas of Yaritza’s body, but she didn’t reveal anything of the sorts in the video interview with Chilean website 24 Horas.

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Woman Has Worn Corsets Every Day for the Last Three Years to Shrink Her Waist

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24-year-old Michele Koebke wants to set a new record for the World’s Tiniest Waist. To reach her goal, she has worn corsets every day and night for the last three years, taking them off only when she showers. Unfortunately this unusual fascination with corsets is taking a toll on her health.

Michele Koebke is a big fan of the 19th century wasp waist fashion silhouette, which had women wearing tight corsets to shrink their waists and attain a look similar to the wasp’s segmented body. Only she has taken her passion to the extreme by wearing a corset every day and night since the end of 2009, in the hopes that she might someday set a new record for the world’s smallest waist. During the last 3 years, Michele has managed to shrink her waist from 64cm to 54 cm, which gives her hope that she may one day surpass her idol, Cathie Jung, whose 34cm waist is currently considered the tiniest. Although she admits gradually squeezing her body into smaller and smaller corsets is like an extreme sport, which leaves her breathless and unable to consume a normal size meal, the young Berlin native says she loves her pretty deformed waist.

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Man Self-Injects Snake Venom to Boost Up His Immunity

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Steve Ludwin, a 42-year-old snake obsessed rocker from California, is one of a just a handful of people who regularly inject venom from the world’s deadliest snakes into their bloodstream, in the belief that it will make them immune to it.

Around 100,000 people around the world die from snake bites every year, and another 250,000 are permanently disabled, but these statistics don’t seem to scare Steve Ludwin. Every week for the past 23 years he has been injecting a venom cocktail from the world’s most dangerous snakes, trying to train his antibodies to resist the poison. By gradually increasing the quantity and frequency of the injections, he believes one day he will become immune not only to snake poison, but other viruses as well. Steve currently has a collection of 28 potentially deadly reptiles in his home, but he is always on the lookout for new additions, scouring European countries for missing specimens and attending snake conventions. On injection days, he expertly milks his snakes for a few milligrams of venom and visits an immunologist to have his killer shot. Within minutes, the muscles in his arm quadruple in size for around 24 hours, as his white blood cells struggle to fight off the poison. The doses he can take these days would kill the average person, but Steve usually goes to a rock concert right after the injection…

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Dead Men Walking – The Bizarre Condition Known as Cotard’s Syndrome

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One of the world’s strangest and rarest mental disorders is Cotard’s Syndrome. Also known as the Cotard Delusion, the Nihilistic Delusion, and the Walking Corpse Syndrome, CS causes sufferers to believe that they are dead (figuratively or literally) and do not exist.

I always thought the walking dead only existed in movies and video games. Until I read about Cotard’s Syndrome (CS), that is. Apparently, people who suffer from this rare but very real mental disorder actually believe that they have died and are not of this world anymore. The condition is named after a 19th century French neurologist, Jules Cotard. In 1880, he presented the first patient to be diagnosed with the condition at a lecture, calling her Mademoiselle X. She is said to have suffered from significant self-loathing, a denial of the existence of God, the Devil, and several parts of her own body. She also believed she was damned for eternity and incapable of dying a natural death, so she had no reason to eat anymore. Mademoiselle X eventually starved to death.

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Austria’s Healing Caves Offer Radioactive Miracle Cure

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The largest pain management center in the world, and a popular health tourism destination, the Healing Caves of Gastein welcome over 75,000 people every year. They all flock to this miraculous place to undergo a controversial form of therapy with radioactive radon gas used to cure a variety of medical conditions, from arthritis to psoriasis.

When the people of Gastein started exploring the nearby Radhausberg Mountain in search of gold, they had no idea they would discover something infinitely more valuable –  naturally occurring low levels of radon gas. In time, they realized that the radioactive gas combined with the mountain caves’ high humidity and temperatures of up to 41.5° Celsius helped strengthen their immune system and cured some very serious illnesses. Word about the Gastein Healing Caves spread like wild fire throughout all of Austria, Germany and other Central European countries, and today Gastein is known not only as a world-class skiing destination, but also as a miraculous place of healing with a mind-blowing success rate of 90%. Most of the people who come here for radon treatment say a few sessions in the caves keep them pain-free for a whole year. Apparently, the radioactive gas is absorbed through the skin and lungs, activating the body at a cellular level and stimulating the self-healing process.

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Bojana Danilovic – The Woman Who Sees Everything Upside Down

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Bojana Danilovic, a young woman from Serbia, suffers from a strange condition that has left both doctors and scientists baffled. The 28-year economics graduate sees everything upside down.

Experts from Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who examined Bojana Danilovic say she suffers from a rare brain condition called ‘spatial orientation phenomenon’. In layman’s terms that means her eyes see things the right way, but for some reason her brain changes them. Although there have been some similar cases recorded in history, Bojana’s case is truly unique. Everything in her life has been backwards, even the way she came into this world – feet first. Her parents remember that when she first started crawling, she would always move backwards, and when she began to walk, she did it in reverse. The remarkable young woman says her mother had to take a leave from her job in order to teach her to walk like all the other children. It took a lot of practice, but she finally managed to walk forward. Only this was only the beginning of a very unusual life.

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This Is How They Harden Kindergarten Children in Siberia

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The kids at the No. 317 kindergarten in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia are making themselves immune to flu viruses and winter colds by walking outside naked at temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius and pouring buckets of freezing cold water over their bodies.

Ever since photos and videos of the extreme hardening process were exposed in the media, the Siberian kindergarten has come under fire from parents worried about the children’s well-being. But caretakers like Margarita Filimonova insist the practice is totally safe, as the children are only allowed to go outside in the freezing weather after three years of slow training and medical testing. It might seem extreme, but the staff insist the practice makes the children fitter and improves their health significantly. Kindergarten No. 317 has been hardening its children for the last 13 years, and some of the kids who went here went on to become Olympic champions in various sports. It’s the only institution of its kind in the region which uses this kind of extreme exercises.

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