• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

Medical Mysteries, Bizarre Cases

If someone is under a spell, then the answer is a counter spell, surely?

(And I suspect many canny GPs would know this).
Orgasm has nothing to do with having another baby.
She doesn't say it does, just that she's been told that if she wants a baby she will have to conceive via the vagina that she enjoys sex less with.
I have never been here and don’t know the area, but does the park have any washroom facilities or a rest area that people either start or end their hikes? A place to dispose of garbage? They are, presumably, following known trails set up throughout the park. Despite it having areas described as “backcountry” which only means more rugged and wild terrain, hikes start and end somewhere.
I just saw your post :)

I have been to the Grand Canyon, both the south and north rims, many times. The park is extensively developed for visitors, with good restrooms with washing facilities, free potable water, restaurants, garbage cans, and numerous rest areas. However, what the park cannot provide is a population of visitors who are aware, conscientious, and respectful of others. So, for example, in an area which has endemic bubonic plague, and many signs warning visitors to NOT approach or feed the wildlife, I run across visitors (oddly, usually from Japan or South America) who are feeding the chipmunks and taking photos and selfies with the critters. When I ask them to stop feeding the wildlife, and point out the signs, they are offended and say the signs are not real. WTF.

If it is a norovirus-like problem, then I think almost impossible to contain, as the virus can be picked up from door handles and anything else one may touch. Pile on the stupidity and selfishness of many of the visitors, and the problem is long-term.

Edited: like on a cruise ship.

The gruesome and mysterious case of exploding teeth

In the 19th Century, a Pennsylvania dentist called WH Atkinson came across a condition that sounds like the stuff of nightmares. Writing in The Dental Cosmos, the first major journal for American dentists, Atkinson documented an outbreak of exploding teeth.


He saw it in three patients. The first, the Reverend DA from Springfield, went through this unpleasant ordeal in 1817:

The right superior canine or first bicuspid commenced aching, increasing in intensity to such a degree as to set him wild. During his agonies he ran about here and there, in the vain endeavor to obtain some respite; at one time boring his head on the ground like an enraged animal, at another poking it under the corner of the fence, and again going to the spring and plunging his head to the bottom in the cold water.

Not terribly dignified behaviour for a clergyman, which gives you some idea of how much pain he must have been in. The unfortunate priest had a happ[y] outcome:

All proved unavailing, till, at 9:00 the next morning, as he was walking the floor in wild delirium, all at once a sharp crack, like a pistol shot, bursting his tooth to fragments, gave him instant relief. At this moment he turned to his wife, and said, “My pain is all gone.” He went to bed, and slept soundly all that day and most of the succeeding night; after which he was rational and well.

Thirteen years after this distressing incident, something similar happened to a patient known as a Mrs Letitia D, who lived only a few miles away. She suffered a prolonged toothache, “terminating by bursting with report, giving immediate relief”.

The final case in this trio of dental disasters occurred in 1855. Mrs Anna PA reported that one of her canines split from front to back:

A sudden, sharp report, and instant relief, as in the other cases, occurred in the left superior canine. She is living and healthy, the mother of a family of fine girls.

Although unusual, these stories are not unique. The editors at the British Dental Journal recently highlighted a lively correspondence from its archives, originally printed in 1965, detailing many other tales of detonating dentine throughout history.

They included a case recorded in 1871 by another American dentist, J Phelps Hibler. He treated a young woman whose toothache ended spectacularly when the tooth, a molar, “bursted with a concussion and report, that well-nigh knocked her over”. The explosion was so loud that she was deafened for some days afterwards.

Although there were five or six reported cases in the 19th Century, there has been no documented case of exploding teeth since the 1920s.

…the answer may lie in the chemicals used to make early fillings. Before the advent of mercury amalgam in the 1830s a wide variety of metals were used to fill dental cavities, including lead, tin, silver and various alloys. Andrea Sella, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at University College London, points out that if two different metals had been used this would create an electrochemical cell – effectively, the whole mouth would be turned into a low-voltage battery: “Because of the mixture of metals you have in the mouth, there might be spontaneous electrolysis. My favoured explanation is that if a filling were badly done so that part of the cavity remained, that would mean the possibility of build-up of hydrogen within a tooth.”

An already weakened tooth might conceivably burst under this pressure – and the hydrogen could even explode if ignited, for instance if the patient were smoking at the time or if an iron filling caused a spark in the mouth.


maximus otter
Ancient Mummies From Mexico Might Be Infecting Humans

There’s a group of mummies in Mexico you may not want to go see. Even though they remain on display in Mexico City—and have routinely traveled the country as part of exhibits—not everyone in the country deems them safe.

Unlike in the movies, there’s no threat of these mummies coming back to life. Instead, the unexpected life causing problems here is of the fungal variety.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History says the appearance of fungal growth on the traveling display is causing concern about the way the mummies are handled and presented to the public. Known as The Mummies of Guanjuato, the exhibit made an appearance in the United States in 2009.

“From some of the published photos, at least one of the corpses on display, which was inspected by the institute in November 2021, shows signs of a proliferation of possible fungus colonies.”

Deadly fungal infections from mummies certainly aren’t common occurrences, but they also aren’t unheard of. 10 of the 12 scientists present at the 1970 opening of King Casimir IV’s tomb in Poland died within weeks of the event, likely from fungi. And this isn’t the only example on record.


maximus otter
Woman has bullet removed from clitoris in 'first' injury of its kind

A woman in Somalia had to undergo emergency surgery after getting shot accidentally in the clitoris while relaxing at home.

According to the study, the 24-year-old unnamed patient had been relaxing at home, when all of a sudden, a stray bullet came through her ceiling and struck her in the nether regions.


The alarmed woman reported to the Erdoğan Hospital in Mogadishu, where a CT scan revealed that the errant lead pellet had lodged itself inside her clitoris. As far as the study authors knew, this was the first case of its kind.

Surgeons placed the patient under local anesthesia and removed the projectile from her private parts.

Thankfully, she didn’t suffer any complications following the lead-ectomy, and was discharged the following day in “in good condition.”


l’m assuming that they were male doctors, so l’m surprised that they managed to find it. (Forestalling the Millie Tants of FTMB.)

maximus otter
Dermatographic urticaria, also known as "skin writing" is an allergic reaction, causing raised wheals to appear on the skin.
Usually these are just random lines or blotches, where the patient has been scratching themselves.
If the patient traces a shape on their skin, it can appear in raised relief within seconds.
In some rare cases though, it has been claimed that the condition can manifest as recognisable letters and even complete lines of text, without any conscious action from the sufferer. Like a sort of textual stigmata:


Felix Wehrle (1858 - 1933), the Elastic Skin Man deserves a mention here.
He was born with an extremely rare genetic disorder known as Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS), which causes very flexible joints and stretchy skin due to weakened connective tissue. He famously performed at many Barnum & Bailey shows.
Photos below show him as a young man and in his later years.

Dermatographic urticaria, also known as "skin writing" is an allergic reaction, causing raised wheals to appear on the skin.
Usually these are just random lines or blotches, where the patient has been scratching themselves.
If the patient traces a shape on their skin, it can appear in raised relief within seconds.
In some rare cases though, it has been claimed that the condition can manifest as recognisable letters and even complete lines of text, without any conscious action from the sufferer. Like a sort of textual stigmata:

View attachment 66079

I think I've mentioned in the past that I suffer from this.
Here's an odd one:

Smoker’s tongue turns green, spouts hair after rare reaction​

A man, 64, went to hospital after his tongue changed colour and started growing hair – with doctors discovering the rare reaction.
A US man’s tongue turned green and hairy following a rare reaction to smoking cigarettes while simultaneously taking antibiotics.

The bizarre case has been detailed in the New England Journal of Medicine, stating the unidentified 64-year-old had reported to the doctor several weeks after his tongue changed colour and sprouted fur.
Doctors diagnosed him with a hairy tongue, “an abnormal coating” of skin cells that forms on the tongue when the filiform papillae — tiny conical protrusions containing tastebuds — become enlarged and discoloured due to a build-up of debris and bacteria.
This lends them the appearance of hairs, which can grow to nearly an inch long if the tongue is not regularly scraped.
These can, in turn, trap other substances like bacteria, food and yeast similar to an oral gill net, the New York Post reports.
Here's an odd one:

Smoker’s tongue turns green, spouts hair after rare reaction​

A man, 64, went to hospital after his tongue changed colour and started growing hair – with doctors discovering the rare reaction.

After half a year, his oral hairline had completely receded, although he never stopped smoking.

To keep one’s tongue from sprouting hair, doctors advise practising good hygiene.

21 People Who Thought The Unusual Things Their Bodies Did Were Totally Normal...Until Someone Told Them They Weren't​

3."I have cataplexy — I lose the ability to grip/hold things, chew, sometimes even stand when laughing. Basically, my muscles shit the bed whenever I start laughing too hard. Me, my sister, and my dad have it. My sister has even dropped her children because of it (don’t worry, it's more of a gradual release than a full blown drop, and no one was hurt). I grew up thinking it was entirely normal, and my mind was blown when I found out it was not. I asked the next 10 people I saw — my friends, coworkers, drug dealer — if they got weak while they were laughing, and they looked at me like I had three heads."

7."I once took part in a study as a paid participant. The doctors used ultrasound probes to examine the blood vessels on my face. They commented on how strange my face's blood vessels were. They struggled and puzzled a little while examining my face. Then they handed me more cash and asked whether I would be willing to donate my body after I died to a medical study."

9."That I had eight wisdom teeth grow into the extra space in the back of my jaw (two for each side, top and bottom). They all grew in just fine after 20. On my last trip to the dentist, I found out that I have eight more growing in sideways. The normal amount of wisdom teeth is four, not 16."

11."The first year of menstruating, I had intensely painful periods and severe constipation. The periods would last two weeks, with two weeks in between each one. Everyone told me things would calm down and even out. Then one night, at a friend’s sleepover, I was in so much pain that I was sobbing on the bathroom floor. My parents rushed me to the hospital. Everything I was describing, pain-wise, made it sound like I was in labor. But I was 14 and still very much a virgin."
"After a week of tests and painkillers, they finally figured out the issue. I then had surgery to open up my second uterus and cervix, which had been sealed shut by a membrane. I had been having periods for a year and had built up, like, two liters' worth of blood in my sealed second uterus. So once that was drained out and I was put on major antibiotics, I got to go home and tell all my friends that I had two uteruses.
I was also born with one kidney. Not sure if that’s related, but I sure am a mess down there lmao."

15."Sometimes I can feel and hear my spinal fluid moving in my neck and the base of my head. It sounds like a rain stick."

16."Some of the women in my family grow a third set of teeth in their 30s. My great aunt had a nearly perfect set, only one came in crooked, but my mom's sister had hers come in next to her adult teeth, so she has two rows in some places, like a shark. My mom got a couple extra, but they were pulled, and I haven't gotten any yet, though I got to keep all my wisdom teeth, and they didn't."

18."Nobody told me this… I ended up learning this on my own in my early 20s. I have a third nipple. I always thought it was a mole on my rib cage, and I actually used to like it and kinda thought it was cute. As soon as I discovered the truth, I immediately started to dislike it. And it’s funny, but it actually does make me feel exposed when I’m wearing a bra or bikini and one of my nipples is showing."
First thing that came to mind with the nipples was the Bond villian played by the late great Christopher Lee in The Man With The Golden Gun, Scaramanga AKA Triple nipples
Breast implants helped save a man with severe lung damage


The final challenge was what to do with the heart. It’s in the center of the body, and although it’s attached to multiple blood vessels, Bharat said, it’s “floppy.”

“When the patient turns, it can fall on one side and so forth and kink everything, so we had to create a mechanism to just keep the heart in the center,” Bharat said.

Lab sponges weren’t big enough, he said, and they needed something that could be molded inside his chest. That’s where the breast implants came in: Double-D implants inside his chest cavity managed to temporarily keep the heart where it was supposed to be.