Do you like to read about mysterious islands and mythological cities, rare animals and dangerous governments, or the richest humans ever? Well, here is a list that is curated solely to communicate to our dear readers, the weirdest diseases discovered in the world.
This is a guide to many weird diseases that exist in the world.
1. Weird Disease: Prions
Prions are basically the faulty proteins in the brain that cause a range of degenerative diseases that affect the brain & spinal cord system in Humans and cattle.
One of the well-known prions diseases that occurs in cattle is called Mad Cow Disease. The cattle over a time period display aggressive and frenzied behavior, and in the later stage, loss of body coordination and paralysis occurs.
The Weird disease factor comes in here, and it was found that the cattle suffered from this disease because they were fed infected meat of their fellow cattle, mixed with regular feed!
The human form of the disease has an equally dangerous name, as are its symptoms, called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. It is a very rare disease, which occurs only once in a million patients. As is predicted, it is spread when infected brain and meat of cattle is consumed by humans, which leads to the prion invasion of the human brain.
The symptoms of the disease are horrible and scary, starting from seeing and hearing things which aren’t there, followed by memory loss, change in personality, fogging of the mind, anxiety, psychosis, loss of body coordination. Most patients die within two years.
Another type of the disease exists, called Kuru, which is completely isolated to the tribal populace of Fore People, in the sovereignty of Papua New Guinea.
It is also called the “laughing disease” because of the laugh outburst that is a feature of this disease. The scary part of the disease is the mode of transmission. Kuru is spread, when the Fore people used to eat the “brains” of their fellow dead tribal men and women, as a sign of respect. Well their respect or cannibalism, earned them a deadly brain disease.
Due to Prions disease, the brain starts to look like a sponge, a literal sponge, due to holes and cavities that arise. Scary right?
2. Weird Disease: Tourette Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome is a well known neurological disease/disorder that is characterized by “tics” or “movements” that are associated with abnormal jerking, eye movement, lip movement, head movement, etc. It is considered to be a genetic disease/genetic condition.
The disease came into light after being highlighted in TV shows like The Simpsons & South Park, movies like Wedding Crashers, Not Another Teen Movie, and Matchstick Men.
Although the disorder is called a weird disease by normal people, for its sufferers, it is not so weird. But, for them, it is scarier and more embarrassing, due to the potential tics that make them blurt profanities and obscenities that can be from ranging from racist, ableist to sexist spectrum. Some complex movements can also be thrown off, which can be seen as obscene and offensive gestures.
There are videos all over Youtube where Tourette patients are recorded (for educational purposes only) in which they can be seen speaking offensive and profane remarks and gestures.
Tourette Syndrome greatly impacts the mental health of the sufferers, and awareness should be brought about the condition.
3. Weird Disease: Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
If you have ever read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, you know how Alice experienced the feeling of her body suddenly shrinking or the objects around her getting smaller, the feeling of her arm becoming larger than a tree trunk.
Now imagine, how bizarre and scared a person would be when they experience the same phenomena.
There is a condition called “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome,” in which the person-centric to the syndrome has distortion in perceptions, which makes them see and feel that objects or beings are larger or smaller when they actually are not. Also, the feeling of shrinking or enlargement of their body parts, like head, arms, or legs.
There were also incidences when patients described seeing an army of ants, or dogs or mice. As the hallucinations become more and more bizarre, the sufferers may feel a change in their perception of time. This may seem to them like time is passing very slowly. They cannot differentiate between the real thing and the hallucination.
To the normal people, who are wondering what it feels like, the condition is like an LSD trip, except it isn’t limited to 12 hours and doesn’t involve paying 50$ for a stamp.
4. Weird Disease: Elephantiasis
If you are planning to travel to Sub-Saharan Africa next time, you might want to carry a whole lot of mosquito repellant and medications for parasitic infections.
Elephantiasis is an infectious disease that is caused by parasitic worms like sandflies and filarial worms, that mostly occur in the African continent and are carried and spread by mosquitoes. As the name suggests, the disease is characterized by the enlargement and hardening of the body parts and tissues like Arms, Legs, Breasts, etc.
Although a commonly occurring disease, the infection can have pretty weird manifestations. Huge swelling and accumulation of fluid occur below the torso in most individuals, which can result in giant elephant-like legs, and there are many cases in which even the scrotum in males is largely swollen to the size of a football! His peers probably consider him to be very brave.
Travelers are advised to carry enough medications, mosquito repellents and be wary of outbreaks, as disease control protocol suggests.
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5. Weird Disease: Anencephaly
A very rare & weird disease/condition, Anencephaly occurs due to birth defects during embryonic development of neonates. The infants at birth, lack 80%-90% of their head, that includes the closing of the skull and a major part of the brain!
Most infants born in such a condition do not survive more than a few hours or days. According to medical journals, the baby born in such a condition is blind, deaf, unable to feel pain, and there is hardly any possibility for it ever to gain awareness or consciousness of its surrounding.
Although there are rare exceptions to the case! Angela Morales, a beautiful baby girl who was born in March 2014, was diagnosed with Anencephaly, doctors judged that her life would not last for more than a few hours. But a miracle happened, as her mother believed it to be, and her daughter survived the odds of her unfortunate horrible condition.
“Let them live even for a short time” quotes the website that is dedicated to her and tells her story—also bringing awareness to the issues of birth defects and the fighting spirit these special children of God have displayed. Read more about it, click here!
We wish you the best, Angela!
6. Weird Disease: Harlequin Ichthyosis
In today’s rare disease day, we are going to talk about Harlequin type Ichthyosis, which is the most severe form of Ichthyosis, the scientific name for genetic diseases leading to scaly skin.
This disease is weird and horrific in all its aspects. The babies/infants born in such a condition present with large diamond-shaped plates and thickened skin, that is separated by cracks, over the entire body.
Moreover, there are various complications like problems in breathing and limb movement. The eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and supporting parts of the body are severely malformed and out of shape.
Most infants affected with the condition die within the first few months and even the first few hours due to the complication at the time of birth like dehydration, premature birth, infection, and change in the body temperature.
Although, as previously seen, miracles happen, and some of the people affected with this disease are still well and living, not just surviving.
7. Weird Disease: Black Fever
Kala-azar or Black Fever, also known as Visceral Leishmaniasis is a highly fatal infectious disease and the most severe form of Leishmaniasis.
Its name is derived from the subcontinent of India, where it was first described. “Kala,” meaning fever and “Azar,” meaning fever. It was named so because of its features of the darkening of the skin produced in the extremities and abdomen in the Indian variant of the disease.
Black Fever is highly fatal unless treated urgently. The weird factor comes in here. The disease leads to swelling of the liver and spleen, which can swell to such an extent that the males presenting the symptoms look like a pregnant woman carrying a baby.
Even after the disease is treated, a secondary flare-up presents to the patient, called Post Kala-azar Dermal Leishmaniasis, that can lead to leprosy like swelling, disfiguring of the body, and blindness.
8. Weird Disease: Flesh-eating Disease
Necrotizing fasciitis, also commonly known as Flesh-eating Disease, is an incredible disease, caused by flesh-eating bacteria. The disease can present with serious medical conditions that include severe pain, fever, the red or purple coloring of the skin in the affected area, and rapid skin death.
The bacteria responsible for the disease enter the body from open wounds, cuts, and burns. These little agents then begin their damage spree by eating the body from within and gradually leading to the surface of organs and skin, that results in severe necrosis, and wasting away of the body part.
The treatment for this horrible disease includes antibiotic drugs that prevent the spread of the bacteria. When the disease has progressed further, the amputation of the infected tissue like limbs is the last resort, before the bacteria decides to eat up the entire human from inside out!
9. Weird Disease: Microcephaly
This disease is a little similar to Anencephaly but not completely.
In Microcephaly, the brain region of the newborn infants is not completely developed, which results in the development of head, that is shorter than the normal size.
As the baby grows, the head size remains shorter, but the body may grow normally, although dwarfism may exist. The infants that suffer from this disease have a very limited intellectual ability, abnormal features of the face, and poor speech control. Also, they are at a higher risk for periodic seizures.
The disease is another feature of the huge spectrum of genetic diseases that affect newborns and is very rare.
10. Weird Disease: Water Allergy
Aquagenic Urticaria or Water allergy is an unusual allergy that presents with the development of hives/rash, which leads to itchiness, scratching, and irritation.
For some school-going kids, this may be a boon, they have got the perfect excuse not to take a bath. “Mom, I can’t take a bath!”.. “Why can’t you?”.. “I have water allergy, it makes me itch!”. The weird factor is, the allergy can arise even when in contact with tears, saliva, and sweat!
Water, at any temperature, hot or cold, can lead to redness and rash to a person allergic to it. Treatment includes intake of allergy medications.
Read more about some brain-related weird disease here.
Some Honorable Mentions in This List of Weird Disease:
- Exploding Head Syndrome: It is a phenomenon or a condition in which it seems to the patient that a violent explosion has gone off in their head, which has no external physical cause.
- Mirror-Touch Synesthesia: A rare syndrome, in which an individual may feel pain or physical sensations in the same body part, that another person is feeling. It can happen due to mirror neurons. Synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon that leads to such an experience. Imagine if you suffered by it, you would know how it felt when you broke someone’s heart! So don’t!
- Congenital Insensitivity: Since we have come to the topic of broken hearts, here is a syndrome or a condition in which the patient suffering from this condition is unable to perceive physical pain.
- Foreign Accent Syndrome: We have seen movies in which a 12-year-old American kid, a victim of an accident, gets his head injury and wakes up in the hospital, only surprising thing, his first words are uttered in a non-native foreign accent. Well, this doesn’t just happen in movies. There is an entire syndrome based on such symptoms.
- Cotard Syndrome: A very unusual and weird condition, in which the patient thinks he/she is dead and everyone around them is too. Talk about a live example of Night of Living dead!
Do you know about any such syndrome or weird disease that can get a mention of this list? Mention in the comments and help us curate something even better!