Medical mysteries may be more common than you think — and while intriguing, can be traumatic for patients suffering from mysterious illnesses. Some medical phenomena could remain mysteries indefinitely, while others might have explanations some day. Either way, you'll be boggled after learning about the following unsolved medical mysteries.
Because water is an essential part of human life, it might come as a shock that people can indeed be allergic to water. But according to a 2011 study published in Annals of Dermatology, several cases of aquagenic urticaria (water allergy) have been reported. These patients who come in contact with water (regardless of water temperature) show signs of skin lesions, redness, and rash. How and why this occurs is anybody’s guess.
Foreign Accent Syndrome
Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) seems like fiction, but this medical condition is a real unsolved phenomenon. FAS causes sudden changes in speech, so individuals with the condition begin speaking in accents from foreign countries they may or may not have traveled to. The University of Texas Dallas says FAS can happen as a result of brain injury or stroke, but some cases have no clear cause and remain unsolved medical mysteries.
Skyscraper Fall Survivors
How could someone possibly fall 47 stories (almost 500 feet) all the way to the ground and survive? This doesn’t seem like reality, but in 2007 window washer Alcides Moreno did just that — survived a 47-flight fall when his brother (who also fell 47 stories) died upon impact. How is this possible? It remains an unsolved medical miracle.
Being decapitated (the head is severed from the spine) usually means you’ve met your eternal fate, but this isn’t always the case. In 2008 Jordan Taylor was in a car crash, and his head was separated from his spine. Jordan not only survived the orthopedic decapitation, he beat the odds of becoming paralyzed and walked out of the hospital he was recovering in. While his head wasn’t fully detached from his neck and his spinal cord wasn’t severely injured, an almost complete recovery after internal decapitation is deemed a medical miracle.
People Who Don’t Age (Literally)
Picture a 20-year-old person weighing just 16 pounds, which is the size of many six-month-old babies. This medical mystery happened to Brooke Greenberg, who died at age 20, as she remained the size of an infant with the mental capacity of a 2-year-old toddler her entire (20-year) life. Abby Williams suffered from a similar condition and weighed just 11 pounds at age eight. Dr. Richard Walker from the University of Florida Medical School says science can’t fully explain this type of anti-aging medical mystery.
Wim Hof, nicknamed Iceman, is extremely resistant to cold temperatures. He’s run marathons near the Arctic Circle with bare feet, scaled Mount Everest in just shorts, immersed himself in ice for over an hour, and has earned Guinness records for the longest time swimming under ice. Why is Wim Hof able to endure such extreme cold temperatures? The answer is as good as anybody’s guess.
Feeling No Pain
Ever imagine what it would be like to feel no pain? What might seem like a huge painless blessing can actually cause severe bodily harm, as Gabby Gingras has discovered. Gabby suffers from a medical condition that prevents her from feeling any pain. As a result, she’s suffered numerous injuries — such as tooth loss, a badly scratched eye leading to surgical eye removal, and several head injuries — just to name a few. Why this health condition (with no cure) occurred is anybody’s guess.
Miracles from Heaven
Annabel Beam suffered from a condition known as intestinal pseudo-obstruction, which often requires patients to be tube fed indefinitely as there’s no known cure. Through a miracle (from God, says Annabel as she describes her journey to and back from Heaven) and near-death experience, Annabel was miraculously healed upon regaining consciousness.
Unsolved medical mysteries are intriguing to find out about, and many have and will remain mysteries. Others might someday be explained by science — or supernatural powers that be.
[Image via Getty]