We often forget of the true illnesses that occur when plagued with a stubborn cold or unbearable sore throat. The human body, a complex composition of cells, biological compounds, tissue, organs, nerves and a myriad of other things is truly a work of art but many cases have proven that even the slightest mutation of a cell or glitch in genetics can result in excruciating and often fatal life ailments.

Here are some of the most bizarre diseases you didn’t know existed:

10 – Harlequin Ichthyosis

Harlequin Ichthyosis

Harlequin Ichthyosis – By J. Bland Sutton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Harlequin Ichthyosis is a relatively uncommon skin disordered where babies are born with thick layers of excess skin, resemblance of a shell. As a result the the face of the child is contorted by the growth, pulling and hardening of the plate-like dermis and requires daily attention in order to survive. Sufferers are obligated to the act of scrubbing and peeling off skin daily followed by lathering copious amounts of moisturizer in an effort to quell the pain.

09 – Pseudomamma



When you hear pseudo and mamma I’d imagine the first thing that comes to mind is fake mom and well, that’s pretty accurate. Pseudomamma is the unnatural growth of breast tissue with underlying structures that mimic mammary glands. Often times pseudomamma or, supernumerary nipple can be accepted as simply being a third nipple, but when accompanied by actual breast tissue, it’s more like an extra boob.

08 – Autosarcophagy



Autosarcophagy is self-cannibalism and is often the secondary disorder to a crippling mental illness such as psychosis. Sufferers feel an innate need to consume parts of their own body both consciously and subconsciously.

07 – Argyria

Argyria - Paul Karason

Argyria – Paul Karason

Argyria is the purpling/bluing of skin after becoming exposed to chemical elements high in silver. Many sufferers are workers of silver mines and metal alloy manufacturing companies but there have been reports of minor argyria after dental procedures or the use of silver medical sutures.

06 – Porphyria

Porphyria is the word used to represent a cluster of diseases in which a substance called porphyrin builds up in the body, resulting in damage of the skin and nervous system. All diseases under the umbrella of porphyria have a universal problem, an inability to produce a hemoglobin component called heme. Most cases of porphyria are inherited and symptoms include sensitivity to sunlight, receding gums (resulting in ‘vampiric’ looking teeth), an aversion to garlic and treatment by blood transfusion earning its title as the vampire disease.

05- Fregoli & Capgras Delusion

Capgras Delusion

Capgras Delusion – By Craig Finn (schizophrenia patient) (Plos Medicine) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Fregoli delusion is the belief that different people are actually just one person changing faces. Capgras delusion is the belief that individuals close to the sufferer have been replaced by identical frauds. Both mental disorders are often associated with patients diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

04 – Auto Brewery Syndrome

Auto Brewery Syndrome

Auto Brewery Syndrome

Auto Brewery Syndrome is exactly what is sounds like. Patients diagnosed with this disease have a digestive system that produces inebriating amounts of ethanol, resulting in a perpetual state of drunkenness.

03 – Proteus Syndrome

Proteus Syndrome

Proteus Syndrome – By Konstantinos C Soultanis, Alexandros H Payatakes, Vasilios T Chouliaras, Georgios C Mandellos, Nikolaos E Pyrovolou, Fani M Pliarchopoulou and Panayotis N Soucacos [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Proteus Syndrome is the asymmetrical overgrowth of skin and bone. The disease is caused by a mutation in AKT1 gene and is therefore not hereditary. Symptoms are apparent as early as 6 months and worsen with age.

02 – Latah



Primarily considered a culture-bound syndrome of the Malaysian and Indonesian, Latah is a word used to encompass the explosive reactions caused by excitement. Symptoms include exaggerated, involuntary actions like laughing, screaming, swearing, mimicking and dancing. It is said that women suffer from the syndrome more because they are naturally bred to be softer individuals making them more susceptible to stimuli.

01 – Cotard Delusion

Cotard Delusion

Cotard Delusion

Often accompanied with chronic psychiatric depression, patients with cotard delusion believe that they have lost organs, blood, body parts and even their soul, forcing them to conclude that they have died. There have been cases of sufferers wandering aimlessly in graveyards in an attempt to “be with their kind.”