Freaky Medical Conditions- Part 2
Is there anything stranger than an otherwise-sane person wholeheartedly believing he or she is dead? Cotard delusion, otherwise known as walking corpse syndrome, is an extremely rare condition whereby people wake up one day and think they have died, that they no longer exist, or that their flesh is rotting off.
It’s all in their head, of course, but there’s a physical cause nonetheless: The brain region involved in facial recognition has become disconnected from the regions involved in emotion. When the person looks in the mirror, they recognize themselves, but they don’t have the usual emotional response. Their appearance has lost its association with their sense of self, and this cognitive dissonance results in the sense that they do not exist, or have died.
When a twin embryo begins developing in utero, but the pair does not fully separate and one embryo dominates the other, the weaker twin stops developing and turns into a “parasitic twin” — a non-functional, non-conscious collection of extra body parts attached to the healthy remaining twin. Sometimes, the healthy twin is born and is raised packing this extra weight.
This was the case with Laloo the Hindoo, an Indian man with a parasitic twin attached to his abdomen that had two arms, two legs and a penis but no head; Laloo performed as a sideshow freak in P.T. Barnum’s circus at the turn of the 19th century.
Today, whenever possible, the parasitic twin is removed. In a recent case in Peru, a three-year-old absorbed his twin into his stomach while the two were gestating in the womb. Doctors successfully removed the boy’s parasitic twin Jan 30.
There’s a new, extremely weird disease in town. Sufferers of “Morgellon’s disease,” a term coined only one decade ago, feel as if there are things crawling, biting and stinging them below the surface of their skin. Their constant urge to scratch results in insomnia and terrible skin lesions
In 2012, researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued the results of a multi-year investigation of the unexplained condition; they found that patients had no actual disease organisms under their skin, and suggested their sensations were manifestations of “delusional infestation” — a false feeling of being infected by parasites.
Of all the freaky medical conditions out there, one is most disgusting. A team of researchers at the Hygiene Center at the London School of Hygiene & and Tropical Medicine conducted a survey in 2010 to discover what medical conditions humans are most disgusted by. They presented 20 images of things perceived as repulsive — from festering wounds to discolored bodily fluids — to more than 80,000 individuals from around the world, and had them rate the images from least to most disgusting.
The image universally ranked as most disgusting is the mouth of a man who suffers from a Sarcophagid fly larvae infestation. This medical condition ranks as most repulsive, said lead researcher Valerie Curtis, because “disgust is designed by evolution to keep us away from parasites that may make us sick, so people pick up on, and are most disgusted by, visual representations of a parasite invasion.”