People with rare and unusual body parts have existed since the dawn of time. The only thing that has changed is our attitude towards them. The further back you go in time, the more you see how little we understood about genetics and why certain people were born with unusual body parts.
Today, we celebrate oddities, and we even award the extremes. The Guinness World Record, for example, stands as the most well-known authority in measuring “human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.”
Whether their intention is to feed our constant morbid curiosity for the anomalous and the rare or to truly keep a formal record of human extremes depends on who you ask. Either way, we’re all fascinated in some way or another by the unusual.
Here’s a list of 11 people with unusual body parts (some have been recorded and measured by the Guinness World Records authorities, while others are just physical abnormalities):
1. The widest tongue in the world. This unusual world record went to Emily Schlenker. Her tongue measures 7.6 cm (which is almost 3 inches) at its widest point.
Fun fact about Emily and her family, who hail from Syracuse, New York: her father, Byron, holds the world record for the widest tongue in a male.
2. The stretchiest skin in the world. Due to a rare medical condition known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Gary Turner is able to stretch his skin up to 15 cm (6 inches) away from his body.
Because of his condition, the collagen in his skin and ligaments becomes defective and makes his skin loose. In some cases, this condition can be fatal by causing the rupturing of blood vessels
3. The biggest nose in the world. The man whose nose was named “the largest ever recorded” hailed from Turkey. It measured 8.8 cm (3.5 inches)
According to his Guinness World Records profile, his nose was measured in 2010 on the set of an Italian show called Lo Show dei Record.
4. The longest legs on a woman. You’ve probably used the expression “legs for days” or a variation of it at some point in your life. But only one person gets to truly embrace that label.
Svetlana Pankratova from Russia has a pair of legs measuring over 4.25 feet long. Not only is that taller than most 9-year-olds, it also sounds like a lot of work to keep groomed.
5. The largest unstretched mouth. If I had a say on which body part of mine gets to be the largest, it would definitely be the mouth. Imagine how many things you can smuggle into sports events…
This is the life of Francisco Domingos Joaquim, a young man from Angola. At 17 cm (close to 7 inches) it’s the largest mouth ever recorded in history.
6. The largest feet in the world. Funnily enough, the largest feet in the world don’t belong to the tallest person in existence (although people dispute that Shaquille O’Neal’s feet easily surpass this person’s)
19-year-old Jeison Rodriguez from Venezuela has feet that measure 221 cm (about 7 feet). His feet are so enormous that he has to wear specially-made shoes from Germany.
7. The farthest “eyeball pop.” While there are no abnormally-sized eyes recorded in the books, there is someone who takes the cake for the farthest distance in eye-popping.
Kim Goodman can push her eyes out of their sockets by almost one inch! Kim discovered her condition, named proptosis, after being hit on the head by a hockey mask.
8. The most fingers on a living person. Having an extra toe or finger is already an extraordinary quality (or a horrifying one, depending on who you ask). Now imagine having 28 fingers in total.
This is what it’s like to be Devendra Suthar, from India. With 14 fingers and toes, you’d think he’d choose a profession that keeps his extra digits out of trouble but, nope, he’s a carpenter!
9. Woman with a horn. This is arguably the most disturbing and confusing one in the list. Back in 2015, the Daily Mail reported on Liang Xiuzhen from China, a woman with a 5-inch horn on her head.
The 87-year-old woman was diagnosed with a “possibly cancerous” cutaneous horn by medical professionals. What started as a mole turned into the enormous horn, possibly worsened by sun exposure.
10. World’s smallest waist. Cathie Jung was so enthusiastic about Victorian clothes that at age 38 she started wearing a corset 23 hours a day. As a result, her waist now measures a tiny 15 inches in width (with a corset on) and 21 inches without a corset on.
11. Strange ab muscles. When people think of the perfect abs, they picture a six-pack or a flat belly without rolls. Most people go to the gym to get all six abs defined, but the woman in this image seems to only have one large horizontal abdominal muscle.