Indonesian Tree Man

10 Medical Mysteries That Stunned The World

There have been numerous advances in the fields of medicine and technology over the years and the combination of the two fields has resulted in several breakthroughs. Diseases and conditions which had earlier been deemed incurable by medicine and science now have explanations and treatments, leading to an improvement in the lives of people suffering from the ailments. However, for every medical mystery that has been effectively resolved with time, plenty more have cropped up and they continue to baffle experts in the medical profession. A few of these medical mysteries are listed below:

1. Allergic Reaction to Water

Allergic Reaction to Water

The human body contains almost 60% water content and the regular intake of water is integral for its survival. However, impossible as it may sound, there are some unique individuals who have an allergic reaction to water. They are able to drink fluids, of course, but they are unable to wash themselves. If they spend more than a few minutes in contact with water, their skin breaks out in red and itchy welts. Medically referred to as aquagenic urticaria, this rare condition first come to the attention of medical professionals in the year 1964. However, no cure has been found till now and it remains something of a mystery.  Some studies indicate that the condition might stem from extreme sensitivity to ions present in water or a toxic reaction to water touching the skin.


2. Human Chimeras

Human Chimeras

There have been several instances around the world where parents have found out through genetic testing that they cannot possibly be biologically related to their children, in spite of the fact that they gave birth to them. It is believed that the parent in these cases is a chimera i.e. a mix of two separate individuals who might have become fused in their mother’s womb. Chimeras are rare but with a visible increase in genetic testing and fertility treatments, it is likely that the number of chimeras will increase.


3. Foreign Accent Syndrome

Foreign Accent Syndrome

Individuals suffering from foreign accent syndrome may wake up one fine morning to discover that they are speaking in a completely different dialect despite never having heard the accent before. Though this syndrome was once categorized as a psychological disorder, it is now believed to involve neurology and could arise when an injury or stroke damages the brain section associated with speech. However, the development of the new accent which was previously unheard remains a complete mystery.


4. Tree Man

Tree Man

Dede, a man from West Java in Indonesia, resembles a half-tree, half-man with his arms and feet resembling branches. The cause of the deformation is unknown but the culprit, many experts believe, is a rare immune deficiency which lets the human papilloma virus rampage out of control.


5. Morgellons Disease

Morgellons Disease

Morgellons disease exhibits the symptoms of fibres emerging from itchy lesions throughout the body, accompanied by a crawling and biting sensation. These dangerous symptoms are reported by countless people all over the world and they claim they are the victims of Morgellons disease. However, nothing concrete is known about the physical ailment till date. There is a popular notion that the patients might be suffering from the psychological disorder known as delusional parasitosis while another idea considers Morgellons disease to be the outcome of an infection by the Agrobacterium bacterium.


6. Craziness of King George

Craziness of King George

King George III, the British monarch, suffered from severe bouts of mental derangement for which he needed to be tied to a chair or placed in a straitjacket. Numerous modern scientists thought that they could identify the cause of the ravings – a genetic defect known as porphyria. However, research conducted on a strand of King George’s hair in 2005 led to a surprising discovery – high levels of arsenic. It is now thought that the medicine that was given to the King was laced with arsenic and this made his predisposition to porphyria all the worse.


7. Suspicious Stink

Suspicious Stink

In 1991, a 29 year-old man pricked his finger on a chicken bone and the incident led to the development of an infection which made him stink all the time. The most obvious side-effect of the infection happened to be the terrible putrid smell that emanated from the affected room. The smell was so strong that it could be detected across a big room and when confined to a smaller examination room, the stench was almost overbearing. Nobody could identify the cause of the infection and the antibiotics that were given to him elicited no good response. The experts sought help from their peers and colleagues and they welcomed any suggestions that could help relieve the odour of the patient even if the organism that caused it could not be eliminated. However, according to the dermatologist who treated the man, the patient’s infection cleared up spontaneously and he longer stinks, but the cause of his strange ailment has not yet been determined.


8. Internal Decapitation

Internal Decapitation

Internal decapitation takes place when the skull separates from the spine without severing the spinal cord or rupturing the skin. The condition is fatal almost 98% of the time but Jordan Taylor managed to walk away unscathed from it after a dump truck slammed into the car. The 10 year-old boy was able to walk out of the hospital with minimal spinal cord damage in three months after his head was reconnected to his spine with the help of titanium rods and metal plates.


9. Mermaid Feet

Mermaid Feet

The birth defect known as sirenomelia is seen in children and it causes the legs to fuse together. One of them was Shiloh Pepin who had one large extremity in the place where her legs should have been. Apart from that, Pepin was born with no bladder, no rectum and no reproductive organs. She only had a quarter of a kidney and 6 inches of the large intestine. Despite much research, doctors have been unable to find out the cause of the circulation problem that resulted in the syndrome and they were unable to save the life of Pepin who succumbed to the disease in 2009.


10. Giant Legs

Giant Legs

Mandy Sellars was born with abnormally large feet right from the time of her birth. They have continued to grow at an alarming rate and the 34 year-old Sellars now has legs which alone weigh 210 pounds. No proper diagnosis has been offered by the experts regarding her condition though a few doctors believe that she suffers from an extreme form of Proteus Syndrome.


  • Why have the giant feet not been amputated? they’re clearly unusable and burdensome, and the patient might well be able to use prosthetics.

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