Humans are truly amazing creatures. Most of us live relatively normal lives but there are times when we will, unfortunately, have to deal with some form of illness. Luckily, most sicknesses are ones that we can get over in a fairly quick amount of time. It is said that every human being has, on average, one type of mutation that makes them unique. However, the entries on this list live anything but normal lives because they suffer from extremely rare mutations that can have devastating side effects. As a matter of fact, a few select mutations on this list won’t even let those who suffer from them be able to see past their 20s!
From the mildly amusing to the downright horrifying, these mutations are certainly a wide array of some of the most peculiar medical stories ever heard. Many of the people that are on this list wake up each day and live lives that most of us couldn’t handle for one day. Sadly, having a mutation doesn’t always ensure that you end up leading or becoming one of the X-Men. If you didn’t like what you saw the last time you looked in the mirror, you’ll likely feel much better about yourself after reading this list. Here are 15 of the oddest human mutations, number one is guaranteed to make your skin crawl! Remember, the next time that you are suffering from a cold or the flu, it could always be much worse!
This condition affects some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, you might even have it right now! Ok, I’ll lighten up a bit, heterochromia is a scary sounding term for a condition that is highly sought after, having two different colored eyes. This condition can occur when one eye is a totally different color than the other or when both eyes feature a combination of more than one color. Far from a mutation, in the sense that we think of one as having two colored eyes is often found to be
an attractive quality.
Mila Kunis, Kate Bosworth, and Elizabeth Berkley are all celebrities that have heterochromia. If you have this condition, consider yourself in good company! In addition, to the women that have been mentioned with this condition, even the protector of Metropolis isn’t safe from it! Well, not Superman but the actor who has most recently played this legendary superhero, Henry Cavill, who does have multiple colored eyes.
14. Cleft Hand/Foot
Known as ectrodactyly, this mutation occurs when hands or feet don’t develop properly. Those who suffer from it will be missing either toes, fingers, or both. Where a cleft lip is one that doesn’t properly form together, the same holds true for a cleft limb. Since this condition is a physical one, there are surgeries that can be done to improve the quality of life for those suffering from a cleft hand.
In most cases, any surgery will be done to improve the function of the affected limb. However, there can be surgeries done that attempt to form the hand into one that is more developed. Don’t let anyone tell you that having a cleft hand holds you back in life. Cedric Gregoire has a cleft hand and it’s the one he uses on the fretboard of his guitar in the metal band Nocturnal Depression.
13. Alien Hand Syndrome
Alien hand syndrome occurs when one hand acts independently from the rest of the body. Sufferers of this condition often have to be told of what their “alien hand” is doing before they even realize what is going on! It is common for those who have this condition to end up giving their affected hand a nickname. I guess it would be best for them to think of their uncontrollable hand as an imaginary friend!
There is still much debate occurring over what exactly causes the alien hand syndrome to begin. One theory suggests that this condition is the cause of separation occurring in the two hemispheres of the brain. There is no known cure for alien hand syndrome. One of the only known treatment methods is to keep the affected hand busy, either by doing an activity or constantly holding an object. A similar condition happened to young Devon Sawa in the criminally underrated 1999 horror-comedy film Idle Hands, except Sawa’s condition involved being possessed by a demon!
12. Extremely Weakened Immune System
This condition is known as severe combined immunodeficiency, we’re going to call it SCID from this point on. SCID is the result of multiple genetic mutations that leave the person who has it with an incredibly weak immune system. As you know, the immune system is what our bodies use to ward off illnesses and disease.
SCID has been called the bubble boy disease because of those who have this condition have to basically live in a bubble or extremely sterile and contained environment. Treatment options aren’t easy for those who suffer from SCID. In most cases, a bone marrow transplant can help but only if a donor is found to be a good match for the patient. Recently, gene therapy is leading the way as a possible treatment option for SCID after showing results that restored the immune system in select patients.
11. Blue Colored Skin
Congenital methemoglobinemia occurs when the methemoglobin levels rise, reducing the ability of blood to carry oxygen. When blood can’t carry enough oxygen it turns a
brown color, instead of the red blood most of us have. The amazing thing is that the brown blood results in those who suffer from this condition to have blue skin.
In most cases, congenital methemoglobinemia is easily treatable either through changes in diet or through medication that is given to the patient. This condition has been seen throughout history but is extremely rare. In the early 1800s, a woman with this condition had settled down in Kentucky. What she didn’t know was that a nearby family had the same condition she did! Over time, these two groups would begin to, let’s say, get closer. Unsurprisingly, these future relationships would go on to birth many offspring with the same blue-hued skin.
10. Extreme Sensitivity to Sunlight
If you’ve seen the television show Better Call Saul, you’ve likely seen Saul’s brother, Chuck. Chuck never leaves his home and avoids direct sunlight, whenever possible. However, for those who suffer from Xeroderma Pigmentosum sunlight can be extremely harmful. Exposure to sunlight causes our bodies to be hit by UV rays. Those with Xeroderma Pigmentosum lack the ability to repair skin damage from UV rays.
Symptoms commonly associated with this condition, usually occurring when exposed to the sun, are extremely severe sunburns, cancerous growths on the surface of the skin, blistering, and bloodshot eyes. In the most extreme cases, it is advised to those patients that all exposure to sunlight be eliminated. Sadly, it is very rare for anyone suffering from this mutation to live past their 20s.
9. Super Blood
This super rare blood type contains no Rh antigens, making those who have it some of the most sought-after donors in the world. Commonly known as “golden blood,” those with Rh-null blood are extremely beneficial to saving the lives of others. Using Rh-null blood on other patients is extremely rare for a few reasons.
The first reason is because it is so hard to find anyone with Rh-null blood, it is estimated that only about nine people have this blood type in the entire world. The second reason is because RH-null blood is so rare, medical professionals only want to use it when there is no other option. However, the people who have this super rare blood type often finds that their life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Since this blood type is so rare, finding a blood donor with the same Rh-null type can be nearly impossible.
8. Painful Bone Development and Increased Tumor Production
The Proteus syndrome is one of the most decapitating conditions you will see on this list. This mutation causes both an excess production of skin and abnormal bone growth. It is reported that a little over 100 people are known to currently have this condition in the entire world. Those who have this mutation suffer from an overproduction of tumors and painful bone growths to develop over the course of their life.
The most notable case of Proteus syndrome would be the one that Joseph Merrick suffered from. The insensitively dubbed “Elephant Man,” as he came to be known, Merrick’s story was the subject of a 1980 film of the same name, starring Anthony Hopkins and directed by David Lynch. This movie would go on to be nominated for eight Academy Awards. Interestingly enough, this same film would be the inspiration behind the creation of the Academy’s Best Makeup and Hairstyling award.
7. Growing Muscles without Lifting a Single Weight
There is a mutation that can occur when myostatin, a protein, doesn’t function in a normal manner. The resulting condition significantly alters how you produce muscle mass which results in increased muscle mass being produced automatically and easily. It is common to see this condition in animals, resulting in the images you’ve likely seen of dogs, cows, and horses that are overloaded with huge muscles.
However, this condition has also been seen in humans. In Germany, there was a toddler found to have a double muscle condition. At only 5-years-old, he could hold onto seven-pound weights with his arms outreached. I don’t think anyone is going to pick on this little guy at recess! Supplement companies have been trying to create something to block myostatin in the past, with less than stellar results.
6. Super-Dense Bones
Being involved in a car crash is one of the most traumatic events that a person can go through. However, in 1994, one man’s car crash led to a discovery that would reveal some truly amazing people. The man involved in the crash, who is only known as John, had X-rays done after his crash and the findings were unbelievable. After this crash, John showed no injuries but the findings that his bones were extremely dense. This medical mystery is caused by a gene mutation known as LRP5. LRP5 is often responsible for lower bone density but, in rare cases, this effect can reverse, creating extremely dense bones.
After seeing X-rays that showed such an amazing and strong bone structure, the findings were sent out and the response was amazing. As it turns out, a family in Kansas was reported to all have the same seemingly unbreakable bone structure, with the entire bloodline never suffering from a broken bone! Naturally, John turned out to be related to this family. There is one family you don’t want to have a Hatfield and McCoy situation with!
5. Walking Corpse Syndrome
This next entry is a mental condition, however, it was too interesting to leave out of this list. Cotard’s Delusion causes those who suffer from it to believe that they are dead! Specifically, those suffering from this condition can believe that their blood is missing, organs are rotting, and that they are actually dead. Cotard’s Delusion has also been commonly known as Walking Corpse Syndrome.
A case of Cotard’s Delusion can range from the mild to the extreme. Those with a mild case of this condition can become depressed and withdrawn from society. However, the more extreme cases can have patients denying body parts exist, their own existence, and can even lead to hanging out around graveyards. The belief surrounding the compulsion to hang out with a bunch of gravestones is because the sufferer wants to be with other people who are dead.
4. Rapid Aging
This next entry is extremely sad. Progeria is a mutation that causes children to age at a rapid rate. Occurring from a mutation in the LMNA gene, children with this condition are born appearing to be in good health. However, usually within the first two years, those who have Progeria will start to notice symptoms. The symptoms associated with Progeria are hair loss, the appearance of rapid aging, and failure to grow properly.
What is especially tragic about this condition is that those who have it aren’t expected to live long lives, likely due to the high risk of heart disease and stroke associated with having Progeria. However, there is a bit of hope as all sorts of treatments are currently being tested to help eliminate Progeria from the world forever. This mutation is one of the most heartbreaking ones imaginable. Hopefully, the cure for this Progeria is found soon.
3. Hair Growth Covering the Entire Body
For those of you that hate shaving your face every morning, I’ve got something to make you feel a lot better! You could have a mutation known hypertrichosis which is thick hair that is grown over the entire body and face. Unfortunately, those who suffered from this mutation were often paraded around in circuses for the amusement of others.
The most well-known modern case of hypertrichosis would be the Gomez family of Mexico, who all suffer from the disease. One member of the family, Danny Gomez seems to look at his mutation positively and is certainly an inspiration for making the most out of the cards you’ve been dealt. Sadly, not everyone treats this family well, Gomez has spoken about receiving death threats and his family being perceived as demonic in their home country. There is no known cure for hypertrichosis.
2. Uncontrollable Body Odor
Trimethylaminuria is a rare condition that starts with not being able to properly break down trimethylamine or TMA. Since the TMA is not able to be broken down properly in those that suffer from Trimethylaminuria, it secretes a fishy or body odor type smell from their breath, sweat, and other bodily fluids. Making matters worse, this smell is constantly omitted from those that suffer from this condition.
It’s likely that you’ve been caught in public with armpits that could use a second coat of deodorant. Imagine living with this condition and knowing that you are emitting foul smells constantly! The best tip, if you suffer from trimethylaminuria, is to avoid eating fish, eggs, and anything that contains sulfur. Currently, there is no known cure for this mysterious medical condition except the aforementioned diet advice.
1. Pounds of Lesions, Warts, and Scales
This is the entry that should remind us all how lucky we are to wake up in the bodies that we have. I don’t care how bad you might feel about yourself, you’re about to find out how much worse it can be. Epidermodysplasia verruciformis, or as we will refer to it, EV, is a skin disorder that causes lesions, warts, and scales to take over and completely cover entire parts of the body. There have been cases where EV sufferers have had to undergo surgeries every year, just to keep this disease at bay!
People who suffer from EV will often lose function of any areas affected, as they become covered with lesions and scales. The degree to which EV can spread throughout the body depends on the particular patient’s case. This condition can grow to become out of hand. Not many things I’ve seen on the internet are that unfathomable to describe but EV is one of the rare few. It looks more like the people that suffer from this condition are turning into another lifeform and that is a truly horrifying thought.