The 5 Strangest Medical Ailments You Can Get


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Chances are that your parents, friends and coworkers have bugged you to get a flu shot this year. All the hassle hardly seems worth it for something that isn’t even 100% effective. Besides, there are so many other illnesses to worry about. You could wake up tomorrow and speak in a strange accent. Or have your hand move independently of your brain. Or get addicted to carrots. So relax, it’s just the flu, not these bizarre documented ailments…

1. Foreign Accent Syndrome


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After suffering a stroke or brain damage, some people will suddenly speak their native language in a foreign accent. One reported case occurred in 1941 when a Norwegian woman, who suffered a head injury during an air raid, suddenly spoke with a German accent. Would a German accent in occupied 1940s Norway make you lose friends, you think?

2. Alien Hand Syndrome


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Alien Hand Syndrome causes one of your hands to move independently of your wishes. The effects can range from mild inconveniences–such as involuntarily unbuttoning your shirt–to more threatening situations, like involuntarily strangling yourself. Movie buffs will be familiar with the condition from the the classic film “Dr. Strangelove” and the 1999 horror/comedy “Idle Hands.” This would definitely be the weirdest masturbation of your life.

3. Uncombable Hair Syndrome


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Sufferers of Uncombable Hair Syndrome have dry, tangled hair–triangular in shape–that is impossible to comb. The problem can be treated with hair moisturizers and often gets better with age. Or you can roll with it, buy some props and headline Vegas like the gentleman in the above photo.

4. Carrot Addiction


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Speaking of Carrot Top, the British Journal of Addiction has chronicled a few cases of carrot addiction. One man tried replacing his cigarettes with carrots; he managed to quit smoking, but ended up consuming five bunches of carrots a day. And you thought people who smoked e-cigarettes looked stupid.

5. Stendhal Syndrome


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Sometimes referred to as an “art attack,” Stendhal Syndrome causes people to experience heart palpitations or hallucinations when they look at great works of art. (Maybe that’s the official medical explanation for what happened to Ray Stantz in “Ghostbusters II“?) Here’s your excuse the next time a girl tries to drag you to some boring museum.

Now go get a flu shot, you lazy bastard.

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Neal Stastny (@NealStas) is feeling a little better.