Many of us share the dreams of one day having a family. A picture perfect life, with happy jobs, a supportive significant others, and maybe a couple of cute kids to carry on our legacy. Everything is always so perfect in our idyllic minds- but when reality hits us, it can hit hard. Sometimes things are far from perfect, especially when it comes to kids. So much has to go right when a woman is pregnant, and there are so many uncontrollable variables that it seems statistically likely that something can go wrong. And many times, it does.
Here, we have compiled a list of children who were born creatures. Well- that’s not really fair, is it? These kids didn’t ask to look the way that they do, or to encounter the genetic deformations they’ve incurred. It’s not right for us to judge, hate, and troll them like we’re somehow superior when all that’s really different is how we look. Most tragic is that many/most of the kids on this list didn’t survive long enough to prove just how amazing they could be; the complications of their diseases wouldn’t allow it.
So as you go through this list of children, we encourage you to put yourself in their shoes. What if this were you? Or what if this were your child? How would you feel if you or your child were bullied for looking a certain way, when you had no control over it? We encourage empathetic reading as you continue through this list, and hope these “creatures” can inspire some kind-heartedness and understanding. Here are fifteen children born as “creatures:”
15. Ganesha Baby
While this baby may look something like a nightmare to you, she actually received praise, adoration, and aplomb when she was born. In 2015, this Indian girl was born with a protrusion on her face that sort of resembled an elephant’s trunk. While, of course, that is a huge problem for all parties involved (doctors, parents, and the baby herself), she was received as a God incarnate in India. Many believed that she was a reincarnation of the ancient Hindu God Ganesha, who has an elephant’s head with a human woman’s body. When we say she was well-received, we don’t just mean that she got likes on Facebook- there were actually parties in the streets to celebrate this baby’s birth! Dancing, singing, parades – everyone was revelling! Really, the baby’s deformity was likely the result of a malnutritioned mother as well as a genetic mutation- not quite as magical, but likely a more accurate solution.
14. Dominique, the Quadruped
Little Dominique was born not too long ago in Ivory Coast, which is a small country in West Africa. The baby girl was born with quite an interesting abnormality: two extra legs were springing off her back, and she had two spines to accommodate all four legs. Dominique was born with a parasitic twin, which means that her twin’s egg and her own merged while in utero and fused together, creating a quadruped baby. She was shipped off to Chicago to undergo the difficult and rare surgery to remove the extra legs and spine and, as of March eighth, looks like a normal baby once again! She’s been staying with a foster family in the states while she recovers from her surgery but will be shipped back home soon to her parents, who have decided to stay nameless. However, the foster family has fallen in love with this four-legged baby and she’s apparently a delight.
13. Justin Tsimbidis
If you’ve heard about any of the kids that appear on this list, you’ve likely heard of Justin. Why? Because he made a YouTube video as if it were no big deal and EVERYONE freaked out just because he looks a little different! It’s not even like the video was about something controversial, he was just singing and dancing! Justin suffers from Progeria (like someone else on this list!), which makes him age at a much more rapid rate than normal. Of course the trolls of the internet slums jumped all over the videos and worked tirelessly at making Justin feel bad about himself, but he really doesn’t care. Still alive and well, Justin is a huge fan of WWE (specifically of Becky Lynch) and is totally active on all of his social media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with him, but no haters allowed- he doesn’t need any more negativity tainting his free time.
12. Baby Adam
Many people think that baby Adam got the worst of his bad luck when he was born with a severely deformed face that prevented him from being able to eat and speak. Adam was actually fairly fortunate, when you consider the whole picture: his brain was healthy, as were his heart and lungs. Adam could live a good, full, long life and meet the capabilities of any normal person. However, Adam’s family was not strong or smart enough to be able to handle the demands of a moderately deformed baby. Born in an Indian Christian Missionary hospital, his family refused to take Adam home due to his deformity. They even threatened to kill their own son, if forced to take him home! Hospital employees adopted Adam and proceeded to get him the help he needed, completely bringing him into their family and treating him as if absolutely nothing were different about him. He’ll have an upper palate surgery later this year to give him the eating and speaking capabilities of any normal boy!
11. Frog Baby
While you may think that this picture has been photoshopped, let us assure you that it has not. This baby was real and actually lived among us- not very long, mind you, but the fact remains that babies can be born this way. This photo dropped in 2006 and, though everyone thought it was a hoax, it terrifyingly was not. The baby was born in Nepal and, upon studying the photo and how the child looked, sources speculate that it had a condition called Anencephaly. Anencephaly is the unfortunate absence of a skull, scalp, and major portions of the brain- which clearly is a problem. This baby was also born without a neck, which led to its frog-like appearance. As can be expected, the child didn’t live more than a half hour or so after birth. How horrifying it must have been for the parents to endure nine months of pregnancy only to lose their child to such a disturbing mutation.
10. Wonder Drug Baby
Back in the 1950s and 60s especially, Thalidomide was praised as a wonder drug. It was used to treat a handful of conditions, including insomnia, morning sickness, and depression- so of course it attracted pregnant women! It treats all of the frustrating symptoms that accompany being pregnant! But the drug actually really negatively impacted the babies that were yet to be born. Babies had shortened arms and legs, and some were born with no limbs at all. The producing company has of course had to pay hundreds of million in damages, but that can’t possibly afford to cover all of the medical damages that the drug caused. Over 10,000 babies were affected by the harmful damages of Thalidomide. Pregnant moms, be wary of what you take when your bun’s in the oven! Most doctors recommend taking as few medicines as possible when pregnant, but CERTAINLY don’t take anything experimental or new to the market!
9. Ana Beatriz
If you recall, one of the biggest cautions surrounding the Zika virus outbreak of the last few years has been for pregnant women to ensure they do not get bitten by infected bugs and become carriers for the virus. Why? Because of how it could effect their children.
Meet Ana Beatriz, a baby whose mother was infected with the Zika virus. While it only manifests in adults by giving them flu-like symptoms, it seems to be causing microcephaly in unborn children. Microcephaly is a birth defect causing the baby’s head to be smaller than normal, which can limit brain growth and cause many health complications like seizures, hearing loss, vision loss, and developmental delays. At the very least, microcephaly causes severe headaches that leave these babies screaming in pain for most of their young lives. Needless to say, anyone considering pregnancy or who thinks they might be pregnant definitely needs to take all precautions to avoid the Zika virus.
8. Adalia Rose
Adalia Rose may seem like she has no time left on Earth, but really she’s just gotten started. The youngster has a condition called Progeria, which causes premature aging in children. It makes her seem almost like a real-life Benjamin Button, looking decrepit as she’s only been born a few years ago. She’s about ten years old now, though she looks like she’s 60. However, the young girl has grown up understanding her condition and has never let it effect her. She’s as vivacious and energetic as any girl her age- maybe even more so! She has a huge following on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, despite the unavoidable trolls that insult and degrade her- though we haven’t seen her post anything on it since 2015. No official accounts have announced that Adalia has passed away, but her absence makes us nervous and we certainly hope she has more time to share.
7. Brenna Westlake
Brenna was born with a rare genetic condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis- and it is ick indeed. It causes the skin of its victim to harden an usual amount and can cause other deformities as well. The diagnosis is typically deadly- a baby that falls victim to this uncomfortable condition rarely survives due to the complications that ensue from poorly developed organs and vitals. Luckily, Brenna has been a rare exception and she’s so far survived! According to her mom’s blog (which sings Brenna’s praises constantly and keeps fans updated on her health), she spent April getting ready for her upcoming transition to Kindergarten in the fall!
6. Katie Renfroe
While this picture looks pretty horrifying, it’s actually normal for Katie. For all we know, this is what it looks like when Katie is smiling. Katie was born with a condition called Megalencephaly, which is a growth development disorder that causes the brain to be abnormally large. In Katie’s case, part of her brain was removed as a baby to prevent complications like seizures, but it still highly affected her cheeks, ears, and mouth. What’s worse perhaps is that she was diagnosed with the condition before she was even born, when it may have still been possible to abort the pregnancy and save her from enduring this uncomfortable and painful life. One of eight children, it doesn’t seem her parents would stop any pregnancy once it had begun. She mostly stays at home for fear of ridicule in her community, which is maybe one of the saddest parts of her story: she doesn’t even have a chance at a normal life.
5. Jameson Meyer
Jameson Meyer was born with craniosynostosis as well as Pfeiffer Syndrome. Craniosynostosis is a fairly common condition affecting one in every 2000 babies, and it is when the fibrous structures in an infant skull prematurely become bone, causing the skull to be a bit malformed. Pfeiffer Syndrome is a very severe case of craniosynostosis. While craniosynostosis can be troubling, often babies heads aren’t that misshapen. With Pfeiffer Syndrome, however, you get babies like Jameson. Nothing is wrong with Jameson, other than the fact that his skull is a bit wider than it is tall. Though he looks a bit like Smeagol, Jameson is really just a happy little baby. Some trolling bullies on the internet have turned this picture of Jameson into a mean meme comparing him to a pug and his mother is campaigning to get it taken down. We agree- Jameson is not that different and, even if he were, he doesn’t deserve to be bullied by strangers hiding behind the safety of their keyboards!
4. Shiloh Pepin
This is no costume. Shiloh Pepin is a real life mermaid- or the closest we, as humans, will ever get to mermaids. Shiloh was born with a very rare condition called Sirenomelia, which is also commonly called ‘mermaid syndrome.’ While the condition makes patients kind of look like mermaids, it’s much more complicated than that. It’s truly a fusing of the legs together, so that they are completely and utterly inseparable for life. Usually, babies born with the syndrome are missing several organs due to the poorly developed legs and it leads to early infant death. Shiloh was a rare exception to that rule- unfortunately, though, it did not mean she could live a normal life. Shiloh died at the age of ten, enduring a childhood without a uterus, large intestine, and bladder. Even with everything that was wrong, her comparatively long life was a gift to someone with her condition.
You likely remember Octo-mom, the woman who underwent radical fertilization procedures to give birth to eight babies at once. But Octo-Baby is a whole lot cooler.
Born April 2, 2014, this baby was born in China’s Guangdong Province with four feet and four hands, totaling up to eight wonderful limbs. The baby was otherwise healthy and the doctors realized that this was another case of a parasitic twin who’s egg never fully separated from the first, causing the limbs to all spring out of the healthy egg. A surgery was conducted in China to separate the conjoined twins and all went according to plan. Weird thing is, the mom went to several doctors while pregnant to make sure nothing was amiss and NONE of them caught that there was an octopus in her belly! The father blamed himself, saying he ought to have been present at more ultrasounds, but they’re all simply glad nothing irreversibly bad was wrong with their child.
The myth of the Cyclops has been around for ages, long before the X-Men comic books referenced it in tales of superheroes. The Cyclops originated in Greek mythology and was described by the Greek poet Hesiod as being a giant with a singular round eye in the center of his forehead who is a brother to the ominous and fearful titans. Cyclops’ were typically evil beings, even if they were portrayed as stupid or bumbling. While these cycloptic babies may hold true to the appearance of the Greek myths, they are certain no more ominous than anyone else. Cyclopia is a very real condition that babies are fairly often born with these days, and it unfortunately leads to an early infancy death. This baby got viral before it died, though, as it was exposed to radiation before it was born in Egypt. Isis has used pictures cycloptic babies as recruitment techniques, claiming they are the Islamic Anti-Christ come to exact his revenge.
1. Roy L. Denis
While you may have recognized Justin, you probably didn’t know his story. Well here, you may not recognize Roy, but you probably do know his story. Roy L. Denis was born with Craniodiaphyseal Dysplasia. It is an incredibly rare bone disorder that causes calcium to build up in the skull while in utero and thus cause disfigured facial features. It also incredibly reduces life expectancy, as brain problems like bleeds and paralysis are common. Roy may have been a bit of a shock to look at, but he never let it phase him. He became a staple in his community- while he was still alive, that is. He died at the ripe age of sixteen, after a life filled with blinding headaches and literal blindness. It was his story that the movie Mask (starring Cher) was based on- and interestingly enough, most of the basics of the movie ring true to reality.