Archive for the ‘medical incredibles’ category

The Petrified Cat Market…

February 15, 2013

Oddities– – It’s hard to find a good petrified cat; most are dried out and decayed, and don’t smell very good.  There are aesthetics to be considered when buying a petrified cat, or for that matter, a mummified squirrel; not just any one will do!

Enter the bizarre world of macabre memorabilia as presented through the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel documentary/reality show Oddities, which details the operations of Obscura Antiques & Oddities as they go about procuring oddball items like deformed skeletons, skulls, child-sized straitjackets, and archaic medical items for eager clients.  –Remember that one man’s trash is another’s treasure, and that there’s a market for almost everything in this world! 

The show debuted in 2010, and is now in it’s fourth season.  Operating out of the East Village in New York City (–where else?), the business has been overwhelmed by people trying to sell petrified cats and mummified squirrels that they found in their attics, and as a result is no longer in the market for them.  It’s hardly your grandmother’s antique shop…this is far more interesting!


Along Came A Spider…

August 10, 2012

– – If you are an arachnophobe, this tale is not for you!  It seems that a woman went to China’s Changsa Central Hospital complaining of itching in the left side of her face.–Well, it turned out that the source of her irritation was a spider which had been residing inside the woman’s ear canal for five days!  It had probably set up housekeeping.   The picture shows the actual spider before its removal…

Doctors used a saline solution to flush the spider out in order to avoid having it bite the woman, or burrow deeper into her ear!  Fortunately, the flushing technique was successful.  Speculation was that the spider crept into the woman’s ear as she slept,  brought in while her house was undergoing renovations.  Spiders can be quite the opportunists…

Spiders and insects are appearing in greater numbers this summer due to the warm weather and drought conditions across much of the United States.  As cold-blooded creatures, insects develop faster in heat conditions, producing more generations in a shorter time.   The Orkin folks and other exterminators ought to be able to get some memorable commercials out of this one!  And you thought the giant talking ants were creepy…

Chimp Attack Victim Gets New Face

June 12, 2011

 – – We had posted here following the incident of the horrendous chimp attack in 2009 that left Charla Nash blind, disfigured, and handless.  In a 20-hour transplant operation last month, a 30-member surgical team performed  a full face and double hand transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a medical first in the United States.

While the donor hands failed to thrive due to impaired blood flow from pneumonia and were subsequently removed, the full facial transplant, only the third to be performed in the United States, appears promising.  The donated tissue is expected to conform to Nash’s underlying bone structure, allowing her in time to look somewhat like she did before the attack...

Becoming Horny…

April 11, 2010

– – Now get your minds  out of the gutter; this is a high-class place, at least occasionally!   We are talking today about humans who grow horns, most often cutaneous horns which are composed of keratin, the same substance as fingernails.

A 101-year-old grandmother in China has a rather impressive 2-1/2 inch specimen of such sprouting from her forehead.  Furthermore, another horn is beginning to poke out on the opposite side.  If one has to grow horns, one might as well be happy about it, and the person afflicted, Zhang Ruifang, has refused offers to have the horns removed.

Human horns, while rare, are not a new phenomena.  Robert Ripley of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!” fame had described a case from the 16th century, and in 1930 brought a photo of a Manchurian farmer with a 13-inch protrusion on the back of his head to the world’s attention.

More recently in October of 2007, a 95-year-old Chinese woman was revealed with a 6-1/2 inch horn protruding from her forehead that grew downward over her face.  One month later, a 93-year-old Chinese male showed the media a 4-inch horn growing on the top of his head.

Cutaneous horns have also been known to grow on the arms, legs, buttocks, and even nipples…Believe It, Or Not!

“Wood” You Believe?

April 21, 2009

tree-in-lung–It’s an old wives’ tale not to eat a peach pit or certain seeds, lest they grow into a tree inside you.  –Well, a five-centimeter fir tree was reportedly found in the lung of a Russian man who complained that he had a strong pain in his chest and was coughing up blood.  This is seldom good…

Doctors X-rayed the chest of the 28-year-old male patient, and found a tumor in one of his lungs.  Suspecting cancer, they decided to perform a biopsy, but when they cut the tissue reportedly found a small fir tree growing, which was removed.  The needles were poking capillaries, causing the bleeding.  It was felt that the patient had inhaled a small bud which started to grow inside the lung, a portion of which has been preserved with the little fir tree for further study.

Western experts doubt the entire story, feeling that an object that large couldn’t have been inhaled without being coughed out or lodging in the patient’s airway.  Or perhaps, the patient was taking too seriously the admonition to “…carry a little bit of Xmas around with him all year ’round…”   😉

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