When you're in the market for a slew of very specific facts that all fall under the same general theme, the internet really delivers.
Forget streamlined public health capabilities and revolutionized human communication, the true beauty of the internet is all the random, barely useful information you can find when a bunch odd people decide to assemble and swap info.
A recent Reddit thread centered around one theme in particular: the weirdest things about the human body.
Doctors were asked to weigh in, but unsurprisingly most of the contributors were non-doctors who read something weird one time.
But that was probably a blessing for the thread. After all, some of these bizarre facts are real doozies.
"Dental student here. Black hairy tongue is a common condition and it's exactly what it sounds like."
"It's just caused by buildup of dead skin that becomes hair like because of tobacco use or antibiotic use. Usually combined with lack of frictional forces from brushing"
Load Em Up
"When a patient gets a kidney transplant, they usually leave the old 2 behind unless there's a significant problem with them."
"The extra kidney is just tucked in the peritoneum leaving the patient with 3 kidneys."
Come On Mutations!
"Every single melanocyte on your skin (you know, the ones that give your hairs color, and your skin its skin color) is connected to your sympathetic nervous system via modified synapses."
"No-one knows why they're connected that way - but we do know that under stress, those nerves nuke the pool of stem cells that create hair pigment, which is why it makes you go grey."
"A few mutations and you could theoretically be able to control them and change color like a chameleon."
"So in many ways, we're basically walking cuttlefish."
Play the Long Game, People
"Humans can outpace any animal on the planet."
"No, we're not the fastest, but if we were chasing the fastest animal (cheetah) we would catch it and be able to keep going."
Little Helpful Critters
"There are little microscopic organisms living in your eyebrows, eating away at the dead skin."
"Don't freak out, they are very helpful and completely harmless, just a little gross"
Thankfully That Filter is a Pretty Good One
"Saliva is filtered blood. Your tears are too. And if you're too stressed out you can cry blood."
Imagine It All in a Bottle
"I know that the average human churns out between 1 and 2 liters of saliva every day.... oh and we have parasites who are embedded in our hair follicles, and they eat away at our skin, thus causing Dandruff :,)"
"Humans give off so much body heat that in 30 min we can boil a gallon of water" -- Financial-Ad-6050
"Rookie numbers" -- nopenothappening
"Pshh I can get a gallon of water boiling in like 10 minutes tops" -- ridiculouslygay
"Old ladies often have prolapse of their pelvic organs. This means their vaginal walls got so weak that it can no longer support their bladder or uterus."
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If you ever find yourself administering first aid in a chaotic emergency situation, here's hoping Hollywood movies and middle school rumors aren't the only things running through your mind.
Nobody knows exactly were common medical myths get started. But one day, it just seems that everyone shares belief in some oddly specific fact about human health and illness.
And it's a miracle that most of these totally misguided "facts" are harmless, interesting descriptions more than advised remedies.
But there are some myths that could be a real problem and endanger the health of the countless people that believe them. But thanks to Reddit, the record was recently set straight on at least a few of them.
locks_are_paranoid asked, "What medical myth do people still believe?"
Anything to Make it Stop
"Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis" -- VodkaMargarine
"A guy actually tested this! For over 60 years Donald L. Unger cracked only his left hand to prove that cracking knuckles doesn't cause arthritis." -- SourTomato123
"The person who first said this, did so likely because the sound is f***ing irritating." -- Schneetmacher
Stop Peeing People!
"People always want to pee on you when you get stung by a jellyfish."
"It doesn't help. Keep it in your pants and get me some vinegar to pour on it instead." -- ConflictDonuts
"You need heat and/or acidity, depending on the jellyfish. Urine has both, but has neither in sufficient quantities to do anything." -- Malvania
Don't Underestimate the Pinch
"Leaning your head back when you have a nosebleed. You do this if you enjoy blood running down your throat."
"What you need to do is to lean forward and pinch your nostrils shut and start breathing from your mouth. Give it 5-10 minutes and the bleeding usually stops then."
A Very Important PSA
"All strokes/heart attacks start with the same symptoms for all people. Especially when symptoms are ignored because they don't fit what we've seen on TV/movies." -- FakingGumption
"I had a heart attack at 35. I'm a woman. I literally sat on the sofa for 10 - 15 mins working out how on earth I had pulled a muscle in my shoulder."
"As the pain spread and changed I then thought about if I was having some sort of panic attack. I have anxiety so wouldn't be unreasonable."
"It was 2 am, by the time I woke my husband to tell him I was calling the ambulance my whole arm was numb and cold and I couldn't breathe properly."
"It just didn't occur to me that I could be having a heart attack, it didn't appear like any heart attack I'd ever heard off." -- lynara82
Nobody Tell Rambo
"You can't suck the venom out of yourself from a snake bite, idk why movies show this." -- Datsunking
"Probably because they're movies and aren't required to follow the same rules we are." -- CyanOyster
Keep the Steak Away from Wounds
"Putting a steak on a black eye helps it heal. Don't do this! It could cause a bacterial infection!"
"Back in the day, ice was very expensive so they wouldn't put ice on the black eye but instead reach in the cooler and grab the steak because the steak was less expensive than the ice."
"I'm Not Toast, Grandma!"
"My gramma heavily believes that smearing butter on burns will help it out."
"If you are curious, no, its not helpful, you are just making your already sensitive tissue more tasty to the bacterias that will probably try to infect your burn."
"I am 5 pictures of infected burns away from making her see how bad of an idea it is."
Inside vs. Outside
"Being thin is the same as being in shape" -- Ahyeeoobee
"My stepdad was as thin as a bean pole and from all outside appearances seemed healthy. In fact, his diet was sh** and he rarely exercised."
"He died two years ago at the age of 37 as the result of a heart attack. He had coronary artery disease that wasn't discovered because no one thought to look for it. Still hurts." -- debonair_dahling
Weight Loss is Not a System of Lasers and Shrink Rays
"That you can lose weight from a specific part of your body" -- TheYungestYonk
"Spot training, and how it doesn't exist, is the biggest thing I've had to educate middle aged women on when doing any sort of physical training." -- JeetKuneBro
"I wish but having done the whole weight loss thing, pretty sure genetics have something to do with where weight disappears/appears first, last, faster, slower."
"It's definitely interesting to watch the changes happen over time but yeah turns out you can't just do a ton of sit ups and expect ripped abs. It'd be so nice to be able to pick and choose cause sometimes I just want to skip leg day." -- TechToTrail
That deoxygenated blood is blue. It's actually a darker red than oxygenated blood." -- NeutralityTsar
"Actually had this argument with my sister in law who is an actual nurse in a hospital! I'll never go to that hospital." -- deeboe
"Easy way to check this - Get your blood drawn. The inside of the tubes are vacuum, the blood coming from the veins is a dark red." -- acoupleabcs
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Life is beautiful and can be full of miracles on the daily. Now I know in this day and age, especially in the year 2020, hope in miracles is a difficult concept to believe in but try, they keep happening. Medical miracles occur regularly, or maybe science is just that certain. Who knows? Every once and awhile people pull a Lazarus. You can be on the brink teetering towards the end and suddenly, a turnaround. Proof that our bodies alone are a miracle. So keep the faith.Redditor u/poetsnaps wanted doctors and medical staff to give us some hope about life by asking.... [Serious] Doctors of Reddit, what unexplainable miracles have you seen in your profession?
Awake and in painsnakes miracle GIFGiphy
Had a woman who was practically unresponsive for days, no sign of improvement, deemed to be end of life.
Arranged discharge to a hospice for end of life care, ambulance arrived and transferred her.
Less than an hour after arriving at the hospice she woke up and asked one of the nurses there for a can of fosters.
Eventually went home and lived for a few years after.
Another one, not really a miracle but it scared the hell out of me: I had been off sick with the good old D+V, first shift back we had a new patient arrive a few hours into shift.
Started admitting him, paperwork and so on. Part way through he told me to stand up, looked at me for a while and said "that stomach pain you have been having - I thought it might be your appendix but you had that taken out as a kid in Scotland, never mind."
I did have it removed when I was on holiday in Ayre - yay butlins!
Stayed as far away from him as I could after that.
Sealed With a Kiss
Nurse here. When I was a new grad there was this young woman who had a severe brain bleed to the point that we removed two skull flaps to relieve pressure. She had a really bad prognosis. Her husband always was at her side and kissed her every day even though she was unresponsive. One day she kissed him back. I happened to be in the room hanging a med when it happened. It was her first purposeful movement after her stroke. She ended up making a pretty great recovery last I heard. Walking and talking. Came back to visit us with her husband. Will never forget it.
On a Walk
As a student nurse I did a placement on a Neuro floor. Had a guy who had had a sever stroke. Aphasia (jumbled words) and 3 x assist with a hoist. Late one evening dude walked past the nurses station like nothing had happened, my preceptor carefully followed him and asked what he was doing. He said "oh just going for a walk" like it was no problem. We followed him around the ward for a bit and then he went back to bed.
The next day he was back to being a full assist. The guys wife said he would go for a walk every evening before the stroke. The doctors think it must of been muscle memory or some other part of the brain driving him (I'm not sure maybe a Neuro person could explain, I'm a cardiac nurse now! Haha).
In the ICU
I am an ENT surgeon. During my post-graduation we were just winding up at 2 o'clock a busy OPD, the senior resident of ob's hospital came rushing on a scooter to get us. As theOPD was locked the phone was no reply and it was the year 1989. Turned out that a full term woman was taken for caesarean under spinal anesthesia and was later given general anesthesia in which a breathing tube was required to be inserted through the mouth/nose into the airway. But she hid the fact while giving history that due to a childhood injury, her mouth opening was just one finger. So it was impossible to go through mouth and a blind insertion through nose wasn't working. (No flexible endoscope at that time).
So they called us to do a tracheostomy (making a hole in airway at the front of neck) through which the tube could be inserted. Meanwhile the only oxygen that the pt could get was through mask. Tracheostomy is a 1 mt procedure in emergency but it was easier said than done. The pt was repeatedly arresting and they would do CPR and the moment we began our work, there would be cardiac arrest again. This happened 5-6, times. Ultimately we succeeded in inserting the tube. It seemed a futile exercise to me. Pt.
Was shifted then to the ICU. The next morning i had a call of some other pt from ICU and went there. A woman came and said, thank you so much, my daughter is fine now! I didn't understand then I went to the bed no. She told me and the pt. Was there, conscious, obeying commands, with no hypoxic damage to brain despite a series of terrifying cardiac arrests. Her daughter from caesarean was also fine and healthy (of course she was delivered before the cardiac arrests.)
I'm an RN, not a doctor. I worked in dialysis for almost five years. People who have acute renal failure (somehow injured the kidney, kidneys got messed up due to an illness, stuff like that) will sometimes get better and be just fine. Chronic renal failure patients (kidneys just get worn out, usually from diabetes and/or high blood pressure) don't get better. Between my main clinic and floating to other clinics over the years I've cared for hundreds and hundreds of patients. Chronic renal patients don't get better.
I got into dialysis because my kidneys were failing and I wanted to know what I was in for. I'd had diabetes for 24 years and high blood pressure for a couple. I was very much a chronic patient. My doctor said I had five, maybe ten years before I'd be on dialysis and looking for a transplant. That was twelve years ago and somehow my kidneys are better today than when I first got diagnosed. The only thing I, or any of the doctors I worked with, can guess is that being in the dialysis center scared my body into somehow fixing them so we don't end up there.
Doctor here. I've seen a good handful of miraculous turnarounds, but the one that stuck with me is a little different.
I was a medical student, and an elderly gentleman had come in with a worsening of his heart disease. Neither the patient or the cardiac surgeons were thrilled with the idea of surgery. So we were treating him medically the best we could, but he wasn't making much progress. While talking with him one afternoon, I discovered that his wife was also very sick, and also hospitalized.
Because hers was an autoimmune problem, and his was a cardiac problem, they were kept apart in two different hospital units. So, we asked around and got approval to transfer his wife up to the cardiac unit into a shared room with her sweetheart. They were both so ill that they couldn't get out of bed, so we pushed them together. After they all got set up, everybody left to do their paperwork, but I stuck around and talked to them for a bit.
They shared with me that they had been married for nearly 70 years, and bragged about each other, and how grateful they were to have shared their lives with each other. They held hands across their hospital beds and expressed a profound contentment with their time on earth.
The following day, I went to check on them on early morning pre-rounds, but the room was empty. The overnight nurse explained that they had fallen asleep holding hands, and both had passed away in the night.
NailedSick Germany GIF by UpReachGiphy
Medical assistant here. I saw a nail go through a guy's thumb and to the other side. Glove included. As we were workman's comp/urgent care and he wasn't severely bleeding, we got an X-ray before we sent him to the ER. The nail was a hairline away from the bone.
His story, paraphrased and in English (he spoke Spanish): "I was using a nail gun at work. I turned off the safety to move quickly and my dumb butt forgot to move my hand."
The X-ray was freaking awesome.
The Untold Science
It happened to me a lot of times as a medic. But we, as the doctors, have to attribute it to some physical, explainable circumstance. Problem is: our scientific community is very cropped, very narrow sighted and arrogant. There is an untold paradigm: "Anything that happens but I don't understand, didn't happen or must be converted to something I can explain", instead of accepting our science is limited and we (humans), at our current level, cannot understand or explain certain things. Current science doesn't like to expand; the scientists who are revolutionary explorers of the unknown are mistreated, marginalized and are not financed.
Miracle with a Catch....
I was a CNA. For three years I broke my back moving this women in and out of her wheel chair to bed and vice versa. And you know how some people just seem to be heavier than others, even though they are the same size. BACK BREAKING WOMAN SHE WAS. One night I am doing rounds. Making sure no is falling out of bed in this nursing home. Norma had gotten herself out of bed and walked over to roommate and was suffocating her with a pillow because she was a constant screamer. I saved a life that night.
Life is MessyTelevision Doctor GIFGiphy
I'm a doctor. I've seen unlikely things, but unlikely is not impossible. So of course I will see unlikely things.
In terms of explanations, loads of things happen I can't totally explain. Good and bad. That's medicine, we don't know everything. I worry a lot about questions like this because it assumes medicine (or science) has some kind of near total knowledge, which is not true. Ie. It assumes that most things are perfectly explained, but instead run the best or most likely odds of certain things happening and if something happens that is less likely then so be it.
We know lots and lots but we do not know everything. And that is fine! We are constantly learning and trying to advance our knowledge.
That's where all these probabilities come from. Life is messy, things go unexpected ways all the time. That isn't the same as something being unexplained.
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It's so important to keep your head on a swivel. Everywhere you look, consumer culture abounds.
With so many people trying to make a buck on the side or become the next dream startup, it seems like all it takes is a sigh and someone's whipping around the corner trying to sell you a solution.
Those who never take the bait are left wondering how so many sketchy products continue to exist and survive. After all, shouldn't enough No's make the peddlers give up?
The sad truth is that there are just enough people saying Yes to keep all those cockamamie schemes churning along.
Some Redditors gathered to discuss the most egregious--or entertaining--examples of the peddled goods.
monophag asked, "What products prey on stupid people?"
Not Functional, Thankfully
"Penis enlargement pills" -- yxnni12
"I forgot who said it but the bit goes 'if those pills worked men would figure out how many are the lethal dose and take one pill less than that'" -- Uv2015
"If those pills worked, they wouldn't be advertising it on cable television at 2AM, they'd own the damn moon." -- VealIsNotAVegetable
Discipline is Free
"A lot of those fitness products on instagram, there's no easy way to a good body I'm afraid." -- mister1bollock
"Sure there is."
"Keep an eye on the obituaries and a quick trip with a shovel can get you any kind of body you want!" -- Conchobar8
The Science of Steam
"Anything Gwyneth Paltrow tries to sell you." -- booksoverppl
"You mean women don't need a vagina steamer?" -- StevesMcQueenIsHere
"I put one of those jade eggs up my a** and two weeks later gave birth to a dragon so we'll see who is stupid in about ten years buddy boy" -- vivnsam
Donkey Doug and Pillboi
"So this one time I bought this two in one body spray and energy drink called double trouble from these two guy called Donkey Doug and Pillboi in Jacksonville Florida..."
"...and now my liver is shot. But if I had to choose from one of the three flavors I would pick I would choose Cedarwood Melon blast"
**Not a False Claim
"Mobile games that say '100% of people haven't gotten passed level 5'" -- fazgator
"It's true though, because they all realized by level 3 that the game is a piece of garbage." -- lordpsymon
"Those ads are infuriating, but what's really sad is that the company behind most of those ads (voodoo) could make really addictive games, if only they stopped pumping games every two seconds and actually took the time to polish them" -- crimsoniac
Special Secret Powers
"Anything with the word 'detox' in it, that claims to do so. Spoiler alert: your kidneys do that for free." -- I4getstuff
"Similar, most things that have _____properties. Advertising laws won't allow specific claims, but somehow the loosely phrased healing properties, fat-burning properties etc afterward get in the door." -- equanimity19
First to Market
"I get they're against big pharma and yeah sure, a lot of conspiracy theories might be true, but if healing stones did work, do those people honestly not think they would have monetised the crap out of them themselves?"
A Manufactured Industry
"Massively-expensive engagement rings."
"I get it, you want something unique and memorable, but for the love of God, don't drop more than you can afford on it! Unless you sh!t money, don't buy 10, 50, 100k rings! They're overpriced, and you can prove that yourself by trying to re-sell them."
"Now if you inherited it from your grandparents, that's another story."
"In a similar vein, weddings. It is completely possible to have a great wedding for a low price. Don't go into debt over it!"
"Multi Level Marketing products. Both for the end user and the 'seller'" -- lordpanda
"MLMs" -- Lethal_bizzle94
"Moms Losing Money" -- Snrub1
"Had a friend lose her mind over this, quit her job and got her kid telling mine that they were 'rich' now and I should quit my job. It was hard to watch and she stuck with it for a crazy amount of time."
"Our kids are still friends, us not so much. She had to go home to another state to live with her parents..'becuz the market was better there.' I'm sure it wasn't becuz she was out of money. Sad.." -- Laylah19
Paid to Peddle
"I tried to sell window, door, and bathroom luxury remodels to people lower income areas because my boss said they were more desperate and will pay a little extra to get any sort of help."
"I left that job real fast after she told me that I was being too nice and I should use my ability to be empathetic to lure people in then aggressively pressure them into buying."
"Life force got drained a little bit."
"Televangelism." -- CoreyGotClass
"Evil on another level. That guy that sells magic water, has been conning people for decades." -- JustJennifer709
"praise be to our lady of perpetual exemption!" -- Coobk165
"'Make $10,000 per month with my easy stock market system*, which I'm giving to you for only $19.95 with a 30 day money back guarantee**. But only if you call in the next five minutes.'"
"*May not be easy, may not be an actual system. You will loose money if you purchase this product. We make no claim that this system will produce any actual profit. May not be an actual 'system.' We make no claim to know what 'system' actually means."
"Actors were compensated for their appearance in this ad. We are not financial experts and nothing in this ad should be taken as legitimate financial advice. If you spend $19.95 on this rubbish, may God have mercy on your soul."
"**Money back guarantee only good in American Samoa and the Virgin Islands."
Stay In Your Lane
"General products marketed 'for women' - like razors for example. Exactly the same as men's razors but with flowery packaging and nearly twice the price!" -- PaisleyBrain
"Fake news! Everybody knows that if a man uses a pink razor, he will grow a vagina. And if a woman uses a blue razor, she will grow a penis. This is science." -- LocallySourcedWeirdo
Knowledge is Savings
"'Sharpest knives in the world' sets... just buy two knives, a chefs knife and a pairing knife. That's all you ever need in the kitchen.... and the knowledge to keep them sharp." -- TannoyVoice92
"I definitely was part of a knife set MLM. I made just enough in sales to pay for my own set then got out. Nice knives but my gods were they grossly overpriced." -- Daedalus1728
Relegated to the Fringes
"If even a single person had real psychic abilities, it would be extremely easy to prove it, and they'd be instantly a zillionaire. But nobody has done this because nobody can do it."
"Diamonds. They're not rare, artificial diamonds are exactly the same thing, and they're the least interesting arrangement of carbon." -- Arkansas_confucius
"And indeed you don't have the blood diamond worry with artificial. Debeers spent a lot of money to make us think diamonds are important" -- AshFraxinusEps
An Arm and a Leg for a Week
"Timeshares. I can't believe they still exist after ripping people off for so many years.." -- fishinbarbie
"I used to work for RCI (timeshare exchange company) and the whole entire thing is a ripoff.
"You pay maintenance fees, property taxes, and then RCI has their own membership fees, exchange fees, extending your points fee, and all these fees totaling hundreds of dollars a year just for a week vacation."
"And why. Why??? Some people are loaded so they didn't care. But some truly are just regular middle-class people who got swindled, and I felt really bad for them. I'm so happy I finally got away from that hellhole." -- wildboywifey
What is your biggest obstacle to getting things done?
Personally, I have a ton of trouble staying disciplined and keeping habits. Fatigue from work and social obligations leaves me too tired most days to justify doing something beneficial for myself. Exercise, home improvement projects, and my writing are usually neglected, because I can't harness the willpower to get going.
Lack of motivation is a common problem... That's why Redditor u/lsfeuerborn asked those gifted with discipline, "People who are motivated to do things, how do you do that?"
10. Baby steps
"Breaking down the massive task into bite sizes helps. Wanna climb that mountain? Just take it one step at a time, focus on the next ridge, acknowledge and reward your progress with breaks/snacks, focus on the journey rather than the destination. When you've reached your summit, think/talk about the tremendous accomplishment and try not to think about the next mountain. While in the context of hiking, the principles apply to almost every task, no matter how big or small."
9. Work through the rut
"I don't wait for motivation anymore. I just do what I need to do. Half the time the 'I don't feel like doing this' feeling goes away within minutes."
8. Build a habit
"It's really about making it a habit, getting up and being motivated to do something comes easier the more you push yourself to do it"
"Start small, make it regular. Do one push-up per day. Walk once per day. Read one page of a book you've been meaning to per day. Make it so easy you can't talk yourself out of it, then do it EVERY day without fail. Even small achievements have outsized effects on your mood and confidence, and you will naturally want to do more as time goes on, it will creep into every area of your life. It becomes addictive - discipline is just like a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it gets."
7. Learning a lesson
"Prison, it's a pretty big incentive not to go back, I have a nice apartment good friends slowly building a support system no way I'm going give that up"
6. Find the routines
"Coffee. Turn everything into a precise routine and make it more efficient than the day before (e.g. combining an audiobook with commuting to work before/after rushhour and using the extra time for a workout; making dinner with the cleanup in mind). Sleep schedule with sleep hygiene. And stop talking to lazy people, they will brainwash you into watching too much TV or being on the internet too much"
5. Think about the results
Routines are the base to my hapiness, so I push myself to do stuff. For example, I wanted to start working out, so I had to reaaally push myself for the first few months, but once it became a habit and what's more important - I saw my body looking good, it's as normal as brushing my teeth"
4. Maybe it's just your brain
"Honestly, Concerta. I always had trouble beginning tasks. Once I started them I could power through but always felt overwhelmed to start. I was an adult and diagnosed with ADD and Concerta literally changed my life. I am able to work, clean, take care of kids, stay fit, all because I'm not having trouble starting. Even when I skip a day I'm able to do it all because good habits have been ingrained. Seriously, if you struggle with motivation maybe you have a brain like mine and can fix it."
3. Keep your promises
"If you continually break promises to yourself, you are literally training your brain that your words and promises don't matter. You're training yourself to fail.
If you can't keep a promise to yourself, how can you keep a promise to someone else?
It's similar to learning to love yourself before being able to love someone else."
2. Dedicate a little bit of time at a time
"Read the book 'tiny habits'. Motivation is unreliable. What you should aim for is making the task as easy to start as possible (ie put floss in visible sight and easy to reach if you want to do more flossing), find a logical place in your day to consistently do it (after you brush your teeth), and commit to doing the 30second version of it (floss one tooth). You are always welcome to do more.
Over time, it will be easier to do more"
1. Think about that future relax fest
"I am always trying to hook future me up so life can be a bit easier rather than a constant slog. If I get stuff done now then I can relax a bit more in the future and that really makes me motivated to keep pushing."