14 Things You Don’t Want To Happen To You
1. Acanthamoeba Keratitis
Meaning: A disease in which amoebas invade the cornea of the eye.
Case: In 2014, 23-year-old student Lian Kao made the awful mistake of leaving her contacts in for six months. A bacterial infection formed between her eyeball and the lens, which created the perfect feeding ground for a vicious colony of microorganisms. The amoebas fed on her cornea, causing her to go blind. That’s right, amoebas gnawed on her eyeballs. For six months. Kids, change your contacts every day.
2. Hydrochloric Acid Poisoning
Meaning: Consuming lethal doses of this legal poison.
Case: Car washer Zorancho Dimov was feeling deeply depressed. So he decided to kill himself. In the worst of ways. After ingesting diluted hydrochloric acid which is used to clean cars, Dimov realized he made a mistake. The acid coursed through his body and began to eat it away.
Fellow car washer, Graham Silander, who saw it all, said, “I did not know if he had bad teeth to begin with but they seemed to be dissolving.” Yes, the acid dissolved his teeth, too. You heard that right. Dimov was rushed to an intensive care unit but it would be too late, as according to a doctor, “The extent of his injuries were catastrophic. The whole tract had been corroded away by acid.”
3. Touching a Gympie-Gympie Tree
Meaning: A Gympie-Gympie tree, unlike its name, isn’t cute. It’s dubbed the “Suicide Plant,” and it secretes a deadly neurotoxin called moroidin.
Case: Why is it called the “Suicide Plant”? Because witnesses have seen horses brush by Gympie-Gympie trees and go mad with pain, jumping off cliffs to put an end to the misery it causes. Legend has it that a soldier during WWII once used this Australian killer’s leaves to wipe his ass, only to shoot himself a few days later.
Going deep into the science, tiny stinging hairs attached to the Gympie-Gympie tree’s leaves shaped like hypodermic needles latch onto the victim, digging into the skin. A scientist named Marina Hurley who was studying this plant in Queensland described it as “being stung in the worst kind of pain you can imagine — like being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.”
4. Uranium Poisoning
Meaning: The worst kind of radiation imaginable.
Case: Hiroshi Ouchi — what a fitting last name — was in the wrong room at the wrong time in 1999. Working at a uranium processing plant in Japan, he was near a precipitation tank which exceeded critical mass with 16.6 kilograms of uranium, only to explode and shoot radioactive particles through Ouchi like a million little daggers.
Everything was fine until his skin started to fall off. Don’t look at this picture. I said don’t. They kept him alive at the University of Tokyo Hospital for 83 days, studying him, watching as his skin blackened, blistered, and slid off his bones like tender ribs. The radiation blasted his chromosomes to bits.
5. Locked-In Syndrome
Meaning: A medical condition usually after a stroke which involves your body being completely paralyzed, in many cases even your eyes, with your mind staying completely conscious.
Case: South African Martin Pistorius, of no relation to the stubbed out psychopath Oscar Pistorius, fell under this medical spell when he was 12 years old. Everyone thought he was a vegetable. His face, his body, his voice, nothing would work. Doctors and family had no idea he had locked-in syndrome, and was able to hear and think like a completely normal person.
He remembered hearing his mother tell him once, “I hope you die,” seemingly out of anger and despair for the situation. Trapped in his own thoughts alone for more than a decade, Pistorius recovered, and has since forgiven his mother for those words.
6. Burning Alive in a Hot Spring
Meaning: Burning alive in a hot spring.
Case: In July 1981, California native David Kirwan and his friend Ronald Ratliff went to Yellowstone National Park to check out the Celestine Pool, a hot spring which reaches temperatures above 200 degrees Fahrenheit. When they parked the car, his beloved pooch, Moosie, ran to the Celestine Pool and leaped in. He yelped to high heavens.
Kirwan saw that his dog was burning alive so he decided to save him, to which bystanders objected. He told them all, “To hell I won’t!” and dove in headfirst. As he swam to Moosie, he realized he was fucked, and clutching Moosie in his arms as he swam to the shore, he couldn’t make it, so he let Moosie go. When Kirwan got out of the water he said, “That was stupid. How bad am I? That was a stupid thing I did.” His eyes were entirely white, blind, and he suffered third-degree burns on 100 percent of his body. Kirwin died the following day at a Utah hospital.
7. Naegleria Fowleri
Meaning: Brain-eating amoeba.
Case: In 2013, Zachary Reyna of Florida was kneeboarding in a watery ditch with his friends. Somewhere along the line, he unknowingly imbibed this hellish microscopic monster through his nose, and within days it would reach his brain. The 12-year-old succumbed to the nightmarish process of a slow death, and 23 days later, the parasite killed the young host. Over the past 53 years, Naegleria fowleri has killed 98 percent of its 132 victims. Stay out of the water, kids.
8. Aquagenic Urticarial
Meaning: Allergy to water.
Case: When Barbara Ward was in her early 20s, she took a bath and it sent her into anaphylactic shock. Doctors concluded she was like the aliens in “Signs” in that she is deathly allergic to H20. Ward says that she hasn’t drunk a plain glass of water in 20 years, only small sips of milk and tea, and that she only takes two two-minute baths a week — which also cause her body to writhe in unimaginable pain.
It affects one out of every 230 million people. Ward isn’t the only known case, however. There’s a teenager out of Utah named Alexandra Allen who described aquagenic urticarial as a feeling “like your skin has been sandpapered down until there’s only one layer left and it itches, but you can’t itch it or it will break and burn and bleed.”
9. Death by Cassowary
Meaning: The cassowary is a six-foot-tall, 120-pound ostrich-like bird native to Queensland that is basically a Freddy Kruger velociraptor with five-inch toes described as “death cudgels with knives attached.” It kills people.
Case: In April 1926, a 16-year-old named Phillip McClean was out with his brother hunting in northern Australia. They came across an aggressive cassowary that charged them and made nasty noises. The boys put up a fight, knocking it with baseball bats, but it wouldn’t budge. In fact, this only pissed it off more. I’m not making this up: The bird literally roundhouse-kicked McClean in the jugular, causing massive blood-loss within seconds, killing him.
10. Boiled Alive
Meaning: Sean Doyle – The recipient of the worst death in history.
Case: Sean Doyle and his friend Michael Wright were out for the night during Christmas in 2002. Wright accused Doyle of hitting on his girlfriend, and a sequence of typical New York City street fighting ensued. Witnesses say they heard Doyle scream, “No, don’t break my legs!” before he was thrown down an open manhole.
But this wouldn’t be an ordinary manhole. At the bottom was boiling water which resulted from a broken main. Doyle was still alive after falling 18 feet down the hole, not even suffering a single broken bone, but he would suffer an even worse fate. The manhole itself was a scalding 300 degrees, and firefighters called to the scene wouldn’t even go down it. They heard him scream for what seemed to be forever until they were able to retrieve him … four hours later.
When they brought his lifeless body to the surface, his body temperature was 125 degrees. The medical examiner who told this story to the New York Post cited it as one of the most horrific things she has ever seen. As she put it, Doyle was “steamed like a lobster,” his internal organs cooked, his skin peeled from his bones. The man literally boiled alive.
11. Alien Hand Syndrome
Meaning: A neurological disorder where hands do things without the person’s control. Kind of like the movie “Idle Hands.”
Case: It’s afflicted many, and one New Jersey native told the BBC of her travails. After a surgery to treat her epilepsy, strange things started happening to Karen Byrne. The 55-year-old’s left hand would do things that she didn’t command with her brain. One time at the doctor’s office, a doctor asked her, “Karen, what are you doing? Your hand’s undressing you.” Her left hand was opening her shirt, but she didn’t know. “So I start rebuttoning with the right hand and, as soon as I stopped, the left hand started unbuttoning them,” she said. “I’d light a cigarette, balance it on an ashtray, and then my left hand would reach forward and stub it out.”
12. Cotard’s Syndrome
Meaning: Also called “walking corpse syndrome,” people believe they’re dead.
Case: In 2008, a 53-year-old Filipino woman went to the hospital under the delusion that she was dead. She told the doctor that she smelled her own rotting flesh, and requested that she be moved to the morgue to be among other dead people. There have been more than a hundred cases of Cotard’s syndrome happening all over the world, including an Alabama teenager whose affliction was cured with a large dose of Disney movies. Seriously.
13. Brain Aneurysm
Meaning: A leak or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.
Case: Horrific because it happens at random, survivors of brain aneurysms describe the sensation like drowning, because your brain is literally leaking blood. Last year, a story went viral of a news anchor who fatally succumbed to a brain aneurysm after a shoot in Queens. When she was inside the van, she told others, “Oh my God, something is wrong,” and died on the spot. Lisa Colagrossi was entirely healthy right up until the last second.
14. Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis
Meaning: A recessive skin disorder combined with HPV which causes your extremities to look like gnarled tree bark.
Case: A Bangladeshi man named Abdul Bajandra has been living with this disease — I refuse to type it again because it’s obnoxiously long — for over 20 years. In his small village of Khulna, people call him “Tree Man.” He was forced to quit his job as a rickshaw driver, can’t use a toothbrush anymore, and gave up on forks because it was impossible to eat. In February, Dhaka surgeons offered to remove the growths from his body for free since it’s since a rare disorder.