42 Real Stories That Sound Like They Came Straight Out Of An X-Files Episode – Part 3

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1Rapunzel Syndrome

Rapunzel Syndrome

There is a rare mental disease called the "Rapunzel Syndrome" named after long-haired Rapunzel from the Grimm's fairy tales. The disorder causes a patient to develop an irresistible urge to pull out their own hair, and sometimes eat it.

2. On January 15, 1919, a 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents in a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that traveled at 35 miles per hour. The Great Boston Molasses Flood claimed the lives of 21 people.

3. A man named Alexis St. Martin suffered a gunshot wound which did not fully heal. He then allowed a doctor to carry out experiments on indigestion, by transferring food in and out of his stomach via the bullet hole in his chest.

4. Composer Arnold Schoenberg had Triskaidekaphobia. He feared the number 13 so much that he called it 12A instead of 13, and when he was 76 (7+6=13) he stayed in bed all day on Friday the 13th, to avoid any danger. He died that night.

5. In 1906, a Congolese man called Ota Benga from a Mbuti pygmy tribe was held in a human zoo exhibit in the Bronx, as a display of the "earlier stage" of human evolution. In 1916, after getting out and unable to return to his homeland, he shot himself in the heart with a stolen pistol and died at the age of 32.

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When you open your eyes in a perfectly dark room you don't see black, but "Eigengrau", a shade of gray that arises from visual noise.

7. Kottabos was the world's first drinking game, where you tried to fling wine from your cup onto a small disc that rested on a lampstand, the goal being to try to tip-off.

8. Around less than 1% of the human population, which is overwhelmingly female; suffer from Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD), in which the afflicted person experiences spontaneous genital arousal, unresolved by orgasms and triggered by sexual or nonsexual stimuli, eliciting stress.

9. Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov was a Soviet scientist and pioneer. Originally he planned an experimental heart transplant which went wrong. Not wanting to "waste the sterilized operating table", the surgeon proceeded with the head transplant resulting in a (living) two-headed dog.

10. The Manhattanhenge is an event during which the setting sun or the rising sun is aligned with the east-west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, New York City. The term was coined by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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11Hyphen War

Hyphen War

In 1990, Czech and Slovak politicians "fought" the Hyphen War, a political battle over whether "Czechoslovakia" should be spelled with a hyphen.

12. King Charles VI of France suffered from glass delusions, a psychiatric phenomenon in which people believe they're made of glass. Charles VI refused to let people touch him and wore reinforced clothing to protect himself from accidental "shattering."

13. Approximately 7000 years ago, humans used to drill holes in their heads to allow spirits to flow in and out of the body. This practice is called 'Trepanation.'

14. The man with the longest personal name ever used is Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, Sr. That's only the abbreviation for it; in total his surname is made up of 26 other names and contains 666 letters.

15. Tinnunculite is a naturally occurring material that only forms when Falcons poop directly into burning coal mines as they fly.

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16Illegal prime numbers

Illegal prime numbers

Illegal prime numbers exist. An illegal prime is a prime number that represents information that is forbidden to possess or distribute. For example: when interpreted in a particular way, a certain prime describes a computer program that bypasses the digital rights management scheme used on DVDs.

17. "Cryptophasia" is a phenomenon where twins make up a language which they only speak with each other. Twin languages often consist of onomatopoeia, and new words twins create by simplifying the words used by adults around them. Up to 50% of young twins may develop their own twin language.

18. A beer tsunami devastated a neighborhood in London killing 8 and destroying whole houses. The 1500 cubic meter flood was ruled as an "Act of God" and nobody was held responsible.

19. There is a rare human condition called Trimethylaminuria, also known as Fish Odor Syndrome, that causes a person's sweat, urine, and breath to smell like rotting fish. It is caused by a defect in the production of a particular enzyme.

20. The Toynbee Tiles are cryptic messages placed in asphalt on roads in about two dozen major cities in the United States and South America. They started appearing in the 1980s and while there have been different suspects no one has been clearly identified as the creator of them.

21Horse diving

Horse diving

There used to be a thing called horse diving. A person would literally jump a horse off a sixty-foot ramp into a shallow pool of water. A girl named Sonora Carver was a horse diver in the late 19th century, and she went blind doing it when her retinas detached during a dive.

22. A woman named Ruth Belville made a living selling people the correct time. Every day she will calibrate her pocket watch to the official Greenwich Mean Time and travel around town letting people set their clocks to hers.

23. Germans have a word for the proper labeling of beef: Rinderkennzeichnungs- und Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz.

24. During the Norwegian Butter Crisis of 2011, two Swedes were arrested for illegally smuggling more than 250 kg of butter into the country. The police destroyed the confiscated illegal butter.

25. Alien hand syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes hand movement without the person being aware of what is happening. The afflicted person may reach for objects and manipulate them without wanting to do so, even to the point of having to use the healthy hand to restrain the alien hand.


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