According to the old English saying “There’s nowt as strange as folk”. From the sad to the strange to the downright weird, here are ten simply unbelievable examples.
1. Rick Genest
Born in Quebec in 1985, Rick Genest is a Canadian actor, artist and (unbelievably) a model. Unbelievable because almost the whole of Genest’s body is covered in macabre skeletal corpse tattoos. Genest’s living skeleton appearance earned him the moniker “Zombie Boy” and while his appearance may not appeal to most people it certainly caught the imagination of singer Lady GaGa who featured the Canadian in her 2011 video for “Born This Way”.
2. Mannan Mondal
Known as the “melted man of Delhi”, Mannan Mondal has refused reconstructive surgery to his heavily disfigured face so he can continue to beg for a living. New Delhi born Mondal suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disease where tumours form along the nerves. Although frightening to look at, the condition is neither painful nor cancerous and Mondal is quite happy to remain as he is and make a good living from his life as a beggar.
3. Sanju Bhagat
From his earliest years Sanju Bhagat had been self-conscious about his over-sized stomach. In 1999 when the 36 year old Indian farmer fell ill with breathing difficulties it was thought that a giant tumour might be the problem. Nothing could prepare the surgeons for the shock that awaited them as they cut into Bhagat’s distended belly. Gallons of liquid poured from Bhagat’s body and inside his stomach the surgeons found a half-formed human body complete with hands, legs, feet and genetalia. The extremely rare disorder is known as Fetus in Fetu whereby a twin develops inside its sibling rather than in the womb as a separate entity.
4. Garry Turner
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a rare medical complaint which affects the connective tissues in the body. This affects the skin, joints, ligaments and some internal organs. In 1999, Englishman Garry Turner entered the Guinness Book of Records for the stretchiness of his skin. Turner can stretch the skin on his stomach out to almost 6½ inches without pain and pull the skin on his neck up and over his mouth. In extreme cases the disease can be fatal and there is, as yet, no known cure.
5. Romario dos Santos Alves
In an effort to emulate his childhood television hero the Incredible Hulk, Brazilian bodybuilder Romario dos Santos Alves injected himself with a synthetic drug called synthol. The drug, a mixture of oil and alcohol, worked to the extent that Alves boasted 25 inch biceps and bulging neck muscles. But there was a very big downside! The muscles in Alves’ arms solidified and amputation was at one point considered. Alves himself became suicidal and local children referred to him as a ‘monster’ because of his misshapen appearance.
6. John Doyle
An Internet marketer from Liverpool in England became a hit on YouTube for his eye-popping talents. Literally! John Doyle can make his eyeballs pop out of their sockets and feels confident he can beat the current world record of 12millimetres. Forcing one’s eyeballs to bulge from their sockets may or may not be a talent but it is certainly eye-catching.
7. Jono Lancaster
It is estimated that one in every ten thousand babies born in the United Kingdom suffers with Treacher Collins syndrome. Jono Lancaster is one of those babies. Born with no cheekbones, Jono’s eyes droop downward and he also has hearing problems. His parents couldn’t deal with the way Jono looked and gave him up for adoption immediately after he was born. Today, after numerous operations and battles with alcohol and depression, Jono accepts that he will never look “normal” but has come to accept his life for what it is and is a happy person.
8. Danny Ramos Gomez
Billed as the “wolf children”, Danny Ramos Gomez and his brother Larry grew up as circus attractions due to their faces being entirely covered by thick hair. The Mexican brothers have a rare condition called hypertrichosis which causes unnatural hair growth, particularly on the head and chest. Gomez says he is quite happy with the way he looks and has no desire to shave his face, instead settling for the occasional trim at the local barber’s shop.
9. Henry Damon
To say that Henry Damon is obsessed with the comic book character Red Skull from the Avengers series is to put it mildly. Venezuelan Damon has had his nose removed, his eyes and face heavily tattooed and surgical modifications to his entire facial structure in order to copy his comic book hero. Perhaps even stranger than Damon’s surgical transformation into Red Skull is the fact that the procedures were carried out by a medical school dropout.
10. Chandra Wisnu
Indonesian Chandra Wisnu came to be known as the “Bubble-Skin Man” because of eruptions of small blisters all over his body. Wisnu’s blisters first appeared when he was 19. Five years later the bubbles had spread over his back and by the age of 32 covered his entire body. For over 30 years neither mainstream doctors nor alternative healers could help Wisnu with his condition or even diagnose the cause. Finally, Wisnu was diagnosed as having very extreme Neurofibromatosis which causes the formation of non-cancerous growths due to gene malfunction. While there is no cure for the condition and Wisnu’s face and body remain covered in unsightly blisters at least he can now get some relief from the painful itching that accompanies the disease.