In a developed world full of vaccines, antibiotics, and over-the-counter pharmaceutical pills, we tend to think that bacteria and germs are easily defensible. But in reality, those less fortunate (and sometimes even those in Western countries) can fall victim to some deadly diseases. Some of these diseases include the Jumping Frenchmen, the Vampire disease or the Alice in Wonderland syndrome.
These are not mutations that elicit some superhero powers, rather they are real life diseases that are very hard to believe.
Here are 14 diseases that you won’t believe actually exist.
The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is an extremely rare disorder that is illustrated by an unusually ‘extreme startle reaction’ to a situation.
Although the involuntary response of being startled is hard to stifle, this disease is characterized by a disproportional reaction to a situation. It is usually marked by jumping, screaming, flailing of the arms, hitting and the throwing of objects.
The vampire disease or porphyria is a genetic disorder that makes one resemble and be susceptible to the weaknesses of a vampire. The disease affects an essential part of the hemoglobin which causes one’s skin to be extremely sensitive to sunlight. It also turns the color of urine into a more purplish color.
The gums also shrink, causing the teeth to be more prominent and canine-like. To make things even more vampire-like, those afflicted with this disease tend to display an adverse reaction to garlic. This disease is also accompanied by abdominal pain, and cramping just to name a few.
Alice in Wonderland syndrome. The uniquely named disease is actually in relation to perception and the size distortion associated with the affliction.
People tend to experience varying degrees of perception where they perceive a mounted television as the size of a telephone or an elephant as the size of a horse or a big dog. It is generally caused by abnormal amounts of blood flow directed to certain areas of the brain that dictate depth and/or size perception.
The blue skin disorder, as its name implies, is a disorder that affects the skin, turning it blue. It is a rare genetic disease that results in irregularly high amounts of a type of hemoglobin, the methemoglobin.
This scary sounding disorder is called the Walking Corpse or Cotard’s syndrome. It is a rare neuropsychiatric disease that causes the afflicted to believe that they are dead or are the walking dead.
It also induces senses or experiences that can be described as rotting alive, feeling maggots crawling inside of you, and even smelling rotting or decaying flesh. It literally makes the patient think that they are dead, decaying or do not exist.
The werewolf syndrome or hypertrichosis is an unusual or abnormal amount of hair growth on the human body. It is called the werewolf syndrome because it makes the patient resemble a werewolf.
The afflicted can have local hair growth in one area or generalized hypertrichosis, which is high amounts of hair growth all over the entire body. One can be born with this disease or it can even be acquired later in life!
Stone man syndrome is a very rare connective tissue disease that causes the body to heal everything, including muscles, tissues, and ligaments just to name a few, to be turned into a bone. It has caused joints to be frozen in place and surgical removal only results in more bone.
Perpetual shuteye is an illness where the inflicted will experience random bouts of shuteye that causes the eye to close or to be mostly closed. It can last from a few hours all the way up to 3 or 4 days. Some doctors believe it could be due to the onset of stress.
The congenital insensitivity to pain is a disease that a human is born with that causes them to be unable to feel pain. A person that can’t feel pain won’t know if they are injured externally and internally and won’t be able to decipher if they are doing something dangerous like placing their hand on a burning stove.
Progeria is an extremely rare genetic disorder that makes babies look a lot older than they appear. The symptoms of old age are very evident even at a very young age. It is usually defined as premature aging symptoms and those afflicted usually live to their mid teens to twenties.
Blaschko’s lines are lines underneath the skin marked by normal cell development. In those with skin diseases, these once-invisible lines will become visible. It is marked by a ‘V’ shape on the back, ‘S’ shape over the chest and wavy lines on the head.
The tree man syndrome is a disease that makes the patient grow ‘bark-like’ warts on the face, hands, and feet. It is a type of skin disease that weakens the immune system and thus increases one’s susceptibility to cutaneous HPV.
Pica is a disease that causes an appetite for things that people don’t usually consider as food. Although different cultures specify different foods, this disease is usually marked by some very peculiar diet choices.
These ‘foods’ include hair, paper, drywall or paint, metal, stones, soil, glass, chalk and in some cases, even feces!
Erythroderma is a disease marked by intense or rapid reddening of the skin due to an inflammatory skin disease. It usually causes the afflicted to have skin that peels off rapidly or peels off in scales or layers.
Scaling starts about 2 to 6 days after the onset of the disease. This is when the skin starts to peel either in large sheets or in flakes.
This skin disease also causes the rapid widespread reddening of the skin. It is generally very rare but it can arise at any age and affect anyone of any culture.
It is in general 3 times more likely to appear in males than females. It most often inflicts children or young adults but some cases have been involved with middle-aged and elderly people.
Despite the wide varying amounts and types of diseases, animals and natural disasters out there that can wipe out the human race, we have to remember how lucky we are and to be truly thankful and grateful for all the things that we have.