As follows are some of the weirdest medical facts I’ve encountered.
1) It is possible for a girl at the age of puberty to have a penis and balls pop out of her “vagina.” Turns out she was a he all along.
2) You can have half of your brain removed and still be functioning. Half your brain just sliced out, and you’re still alive and healthy. Weird, huh?
3) At one point, the US set up stations along the border with Mexico and made immigrants take baths in gasoline. With explosive results. Literally. (A prisoner after being doused in gasoline decided to light a cigarette.)
4) The fastest killing natural disease I’ve heard of can kill you within several hours of exposure to it.
5) A common treatment for bone cancer is to pump in toxic chemicals that completely wipe out the entire body’s immune system. Why doesn’t this kill the patient? Because after their immune system is wiped out, replacement cells are pumped in. Risky? Yep.
6) Breast implants don’t always stay put. I’ve seen pictures of a woman where her implant migrated up to her shoulder then started pushing out of her skin. Ew!
7) The same medication which it is a felony to distribute, which is classified as being the “most addictive,” induces euphoria and possibly paranoia and psychosis, we give to our kids, hardly thinking about it. The med? “Speed,” amphetamine, or “Adderall.”
8) On the amphetamine subject, we produce and distribute more than 1,000 kg of methamphetamine (also known as “crystal meth”) legally per year.
9) Researchers let hundreds of black men suffer from untreated syphilis for 40 years. The poor men had no idea why they were sick and trusted that the researchers were giving them the best healthcare possible.
This “Tuskgee syphilis experiment” only ended in 1972.
10) Blue skin syndrome, otherwise known as “smurf syndrome.” Not really, but this condition, where your skin turns blue is a bit of a medical mystery.
11) Someone being treated for cancer had their fingerprints disappear. Pretty cool, but the process by which it happened – severe blistering – must have been pretty tough.
12) Anyone who is kept in solitary confinement can become psychotic. The reason that’s so weird is as follows – it means that you, even if you’re in perfect health, could become psychotic (start seeing things that aren’t there, for instance) if someone locked you in a room for a week.
Now that’s pretty freaky. And yet it is still legal for us to stick prisoners in solitary confinement for years. Torture, anyone?
13) Capgras syndrome. People who have this believe that important people in their lives have been abducted and replaced by identical appearing impostors.
14) Then there’s Cotard’s syndrome, where someone walks around thinking that they are actually dead. Why, if they believe that, they continue to eat is a mystery to me.