Tree Man Disease, Werewolf Syndrome, Elephantiasis – a few of the weirdest diseases you’ve ever heard of. Here are a few of the strangest illnesses known to humans.
Most of us fear diseases that are well known to humans. Heart disease, dementia, cancer: the words aren’t foreign. Sadly, a cure may not exist for all, but at the very least, doctors know what the illnesses are and friends know what we are talking about if we mention them.
But what about those other, rare conditions? The ones that hardly anyone has? Some are absolutely unbelievable.
So, if you think your skin is turning blue or you’re turning to stone, just so you know, it’s not impossible.
Check it out. Here are 9 of some of the strangest diseases in the world:
1) Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis: Tree Man Disease
Tree man disease is a ghastly disorder. As you can see in the video, people with this disease start out like you and I, and slowly, kind of turn to wood. The growths that take over their bodies are actually warts grown out of control, I mean WAY out of control.
How does it happen? The disease is a recessive skin disorder that’s inherited, and since both parents have to have the mutation in their genes in order for their children to get it, it’s rare.
It’s like this: people who develop tree man disease are unusually susceptible to human papillomaviruses (HPVs) infections. And so, if they become infected with the virus through a cut or some other way, their body reacts by growing uncontrollable growths.
Most of the population- about 80%, actually- is infected with the same type of HPV that causes tree man syndrome, but the key difference is, we don’t react.
While surgery can help to remove the growths, they just keep on growing.
2) Parry –Romberg Syndrome
Here is a mild-looking case:
Parry-Romberg Syndrome is another crazy disease. This one actually makes your face sink in, and can sometimes cause other parts of your body to cave. How? The debilitating syndrome makes the tissues under the skin shrink. Exactly why it happens is unknown, but for some reason it does affect females than males, with a ratio of about 3:2.
3) Werewolf Syndrome
You thought it was confined to the Twilight saga and True Blood, but it’s not. Truth is, some people really do look like werewolves. That’s because they have something called hypertrichosis or Werewolf Syndrome and while they don’t turn into raving, mad wolves on the full moon, they do grow excessive hair on their body.
Some have it restricted to certain areas and others are afflicted all over.
What causes it? Like Tree Man disease, this one is a genetic mutation. Werewolf Syndrome runs in families and according to reports, it’s triggered by an extra gene chunk that researchers think turns on a nearby hair-growth gene.
Pros? Science might be able to use the mutation to treat baldness, with a little splicing.
4) Pica Disorder
This strange eating disorder makes people want to eat stuff that isn’t food. Like rocks, and hair. Weird!
Experts aren’t entirely sure why people acquire this weird disease, but some say it can be caused by stress, emotional or developmental issues or other underlying medical conditions.
Mineral deficiencies may cause a person to have this disorder, but really, take some vitamins, please. Don’t eat bricks.
Elephantiasis causes people to blow up like balloons. These poor souls have their bodily extremeties increase in size tenfold. Parasitic worms and lymph problems are the cause. Yikes!
6) Blaschkos’ Lines
Human zebras, that’s really what this disease seems to cause. It’s named after Alfred Blaschko and involves lines developing on the skin. They’re invisible normally, but sometimes diseases of the skin bring them about.
7) Jumping Frenchman of Maine
This unique disease is interesting to watch. Youtube shows a mild version of Jumping Frenchman’s Disorder , which has been detected the world over, but got its name when it surfaced among Canadian lumberjacks working in Maine, in the 19th century. Not so good with an axe in hand!
It causes people to exhibit an over-exaggerated startle reaction. Catch them unawares or call their name when they aren’t expecting it, and you may see arms flail about, the person jumping up and down and other strange reactions.
8) Foreign Accent Syndrome
Foreign Accent Syndrome is a strange speech disorder that causes a person to suddenly speak in, well, foreign accents. It’s related to damage to the brain caused by a stroke or a head injury, and be quite surprising for the person and friends and family.
9) Stone Man Syndrome
Stone Man Syndrome causes the body to grow bone on top of the skeleton you already have. Apparently, removing the excess bone can actually make it worse as the body just tries to put more bone back in where you took the other stuff out. And I thought I had problems.
Don’t guess if you think you actually do have something going on medically- see your doctor and get things checked out by a professional.