The world of medicine is full of tales of the bizarre from the rarest and mysterious diseases to the oddest medical anomalies. Every so often, doctors encounter a patient with a problem so unusual that tests the limits and mysteries of the human body. The year of 2014 has seen its fair share of heroes with physical irregularities to weirdos who do strange things to their bodies.
In Medical Daily’s 2014 year in review, we have rounded up 2014’s top seven most bizarre medical news stories that you have to read to believe.
1. Electric Shock Causes Bizarre Star Pattern To Form On Man's Eyes
Art often imitates life, and in the case of a 42-year-old electrician, this was no exception. The electrician became starry-eyed after being shocked by 14,000 volts of electricity while he was on the job. An electrical current went through the unidentified man’s entire body after coming into contact with his left shoulder. According to the case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the current struck the optic nerve and caused star-shaped cataracts to manifest in both of his eyes.
The electrician was treated after he went to see Dr. Bobby Korn, an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego four weeks after the initial incident. The man went to the ophthalmologist complaining of impaired vision. Three months after, the electrician had surgery to remove the cataracts from his eyes and implant a new lens. The man’s vision is still impaired after 10 years, but he still leads a normal life.
2. Man 'Wakes Up From The Dead' Inside Body Bag
The notion behind “life after death” has been up for debate, but in this unusual case a man from Mississippi has proven you can “wake up from the dead” — sort of. Walter Williams, a 78-year-old man from Lexington was pronounced dead at 10:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night at his home only to be found alive hours later inside a body bag Thursday morning inside a funeral home.
The elderly man woke up from the dead just moments before funeral home workers were getting ready to embalm him. Although the funeral home manager and Williams's family members were baffled by the series of events, the coroner believes the man’s pacemaker was to blame, Medical Daily reported. It is believed Williams’s pacemaker stopped for a brief period and then started up again. The case is seen as a miracle in Mississippi.
3. Doctors Find Teeth In Baby's Brain Tumor
A 4-month-old infant started to grow teeth in the most unusual and unexpected place — his brain tumor. The boy, who underwent brain surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma. This brain tumor most commonly occurs in children but can also be found in men and women. The benign tumor develops near the pituitary gland, which is a small endocrine gland at the base of the brain.
Upon removing the tumor, Drs. Narlin Beaty and Edward Ahn, physicians at University of Maryland Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Children's Center, found multiple teeth forming inside the brain, according to the case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Despite its unusual occurrence, this isn’t the first time teeth have been found in a human brain. They’ve appeared in teratoma tumors. The boy’s teeth were sent to a lab for further examination.
4. Norwegian Artist Cooks And Eats His Own Hip
This unusual and gut-wrenching story eerily echoes the infamous Donner party. Alexander Selvik Wengshoel, a 25-year-old Norwegian artist, decided to fulfill a self-serving art project when he ate his own hip first off a “whim” and then later saw it as a “nice moment” that became a kind of catharsis for enduring all the pain since he was 3 months old. Wengshoel, who was born with a hip deformity, had potato gratin and a glass of wine to go with his hip.
“It had this flavor of wild sheep, if you take a sheep that goes in the mountains and eats mushrooms. It was goaty,” he said, Medical Daily reported. The conceptual artist spent a year trying to convince doctors to let him film his hip replacement operation and then keep the bone. As noted, Wengshoel’s pleads were successful and became part of his art project in a graduation exhibition titled “No Guts, No Galaxy.”
5. Man Has Amputated Leg Made Into Real-Life Lamp To Sell On eBay For $128K
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure — or this is at least what one Dutch man was hoping when he built up the courage to sell his own disembodied leg turned real-life leg lamp on eBay. Leo Bonten, the 53-year-old man, had a leg amputation earlier this year after he slipped into a pool and broke his right leg two years ago. The amputee’s financial woes prompted him to sell it rather than keep the lamp.
After fighting a long legal battle with the hospital to keep his amputated limb, Bonton designed the real-life leg lamp with the help of forensic pathologist William Schaper Kotter and a lamp maker, Medical Daily reported. However, selling his amputee leg went against eBay’s policy against the sale of body parts. Shut down by eBay, Bonton looked for ways to sell his leg to deal with the loss and use the money to buy a bionic leg among other things.
6. Woman Hospitalized After 'Potato Contraceptive' Grows Roots In Vagina
We are often told “Mother knows best,” but this unusual case proves mother was wrong — way wrong all along. An unnamed 22-year-old woman from Colombia was recently hospitalized after her “potato contraceptive” began to grow roots in her vagina after just two weeks of insertion. By the time the patient began to experience severe lower abdominal pains, the potato had germinated and grown roots inside her, Medical Daily reported.
It is not surprising the potato flourished inside the woman’s vagina, since potatoes thrive in the dark because they’re tubers and develop off the roots of the potato plant. Doctors were able to remove the root vegetable without the need for surgery, and even assured the woman she would not experience any lasting physical effects. Unfortunately, this isn’t a bizarre case in Colombia and other parts of South America where there is a lack of sex education.
7. Man Drinks The Young People's Urine To Stay Forever Young
Addiction is a terrible thing as a person can become addicted to literally anything — including urine. Robert Wells is a man addicted to drinking other people’s urine, specifically from young children in order to remain forever young. The man’s fascination with urine is not sexually based but built on the strange fantasy that drinking kids’ urine will prevent him from ever aging.
“Robert is not a pedophile. Robert has a delusional belief. His end game is the urine. That is really all he wants,” Dr. Mike Dow, an addiction specialist, explained in the video, Medical Daily reported. Wells knows his unusual behavior is morally wrong, but like other addicts this is not enough to keep him satisfied from his urine urges.