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5 Most Bizarre Syndromes You've Never Heard Of - Excuse Meme
5 Most Bizarre Syndromes You've Never Heard Of
February 19, 2011
We've all heard of your typical, commonplace syndromes: premenstrual syndrome (i.e. PMS), carpal-tunnel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, and so on. But what about the less commonly spread, obscure conditions? In this post, we dig into the weirdest of the weird.


Uncombable Hair Syndrome: Uncombable hair is a mother's worst nightmare. In some cases, there may be a medical condition as the underlying issue to this annoyance. Also known as Pili trianguli et canaliculi, Uncombable Hair Syndrome causes hair to become straw-colored, sticking up from the head like a bunch of wires, and is completely incapable of being brushed flat against the head - no matter how hard your mom tries. Imagine having constant bedhead paired with Andy Warhol's infamous hairdo, and you have a hair stylist's worst nightmare.


Foreign Accent Syndrome: Imagine experiencing a migraine, falling asleep, and waking up speaking with a foreign accent. This is what happened to Sarah Colwill, a resident of Devon, England, who awoke in the hospital after a painful series of migraines speaking in a Chinese accent. It sounds outrageous and improbable, but it turns out that FAS is a rare condition brought on by serious head injuries or strokes, and can make your speech sound faintly like that of a different country or dialect to the untrained ear. Frightening!


Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: This particularly strange syndrome is a condition in which one essentially feels as though they're on drugs - all the time - much like Lewis Carroll probably was when he wrote Alice in Wonderland. Either that, or like you're peering into a fun house mirror, since a common sufferer of the syndrome will view their various body parts are bloating or shrinking to unusual sizes and may also have distorted visual perception of everyday objects. For someone with Alice in Wonderland syndrome, a short hallway may appear to be a long, skinny corridor; pair that with the also possible symptom of distorted time, and you've got one hell of a seemingly long walk to the bathroom.


Vampire Syndrome: Back in the olden days, this syndrome may have contributed to the spawn of the vampire myth. Its nickname stems from the symptoms, which are quite like those a blood-sucker experiences once he's been changed: sensitivity to light, abdominal pains, purple urine - which was believed to be an indicator of blood drinking - tightened skin and the shrinking of gums, which made typical canines look like deadly fangs. This abnormality, however, has a surprisingly dull origin. The true cause of "the vampire syndrome" is unfortunately not what folklore would have us believe, but rather a disease called porphyria, which hinders enzymes from producing hemoglobin, the iron-rich molecule found in red blood cells.


Genital Retraction Syndrome: Alright - this is the weirdest thing I've read all week. In certain parts of the world (most prominently in Southeast Asia), there is a syndrome in which males are fearful that their genitals are shrinking or "retracting" into their body. It is also believed that when the organ finally disappears entirely into their body, they will die. The origin of these widespread mental panicks throughout Asia stem from ancient cultural beliefs, including Taoism, which states that semen is the life source of all males. Going by this theory, each ejaculation leads to genital depletion and ultimate demise. Also going by this logic, each time you masturbate, not only does God kill a kitten, he eventually kills you as well.
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