Most experienced surgeons and doctors will say they've seen it all. Most surgery is fairly routine, and it's only occasionally that you slice somebody open and some really crazy shit pops out.
Have we found you a list of some of the craziest shit? Why, yes.
7A Giant Hairball
In 2007, an 18-year-old woman entered the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago complaining of stomach pains, vomiting and an inexplicable loss of 40 pounds. Losing that kind of weight all at once usually means you've had a limb amputated, or recently gave birth to a full-grown midget.
Rarely, it's a quatto.
An x-ray was taken, and they found a "large, dark mass," which ranks up there with "colony of spiders" in the list of phrases you are least happy to hear after a medical examination.
When they operated to remove what they assumed was a tumor, they instead pulled out a 10-pound hairball. Yes. A ball of hair. It was over a foot long.
We can only speculate that this must have led to the most awkward post-op interview in history.
Basically, Cousin Itt was living in their stomach
But Could it Happen to Me?
Turns out the young woman, whose name has not been released (we don't blame her) suffers from trichophagia. That means she eats her hair. A lot, apparently.
And while we all do a bit of hair-chewing and nail-nibbling from time to time, few of us realize that all this indigestible detritus that we gnaw off our bodies can wind up lodged in our digestive tracts, steadily growing in size year after year until it looks like a furry chestburster.
Damn you furry chestburster!
There are even medical records of something called Rapunzel syndrome, when the hairball snakes its way through your intestines and, oh God stop.
It's a hair-poop.
Let's say you think you have a brain tumor. If the doc comes back and says it's not a tumor, what's the one thing that would make the lack of a tumor bad news?
Ask Rosemary Alvarez. She was worried about a brain tumor when she checked into an Arizona hospital complaining about numbness and blurred vision. Naturally, they cracked her head open and started rummaging around in there.
What they found actually made the surgeon chuckle to himself, which is the last thing you want to hear from a guy up to his wristwatch in your grey matter.
He later said that he laughed because he was relieved to find out that there was actually nothing wrong with her. Oh, besides the giant worm that had burrowed into her brainstem.
"Hahaha! Classic." - Dr. Chucklecutter.
But Could it Happen to Me?
Rather than some nefarious mind-control parasite from beyond the Moon, Mrs. Alverez's cerebral hitchhiker was actually a common tapeworm. The most frightening thing about this story is how it got inside her head.
The usual way of picking up a tapeworm is by eating undercooked pork squirming with worm larvae, which is terrifyingly common enough. But a tapeworm's favorite place to live is inside your intestines. The only way that you can get a worm in your brain, for some reason, is by ingesting human fecal matter.
Since Mrs. Alverez doesn't look like the type to be involved in some kind of fringe fetish porn production, she almost certainly picked up the unorthodox dietary supplement from a disgruntled chef or a Subway "sandwich artist" who didn't wash his hands.
This entry brought to you by Quizno's. Tapeworm free since 2004.
And, without making this worse than it already is, it's our duty to inform you that this is something that happens a fair bit.. If you thought the worst thing you could get from that unhygienic curry restaurant could be cured with some Tums, you're either vastly over estimating the active ingredients in Tums, or vastly underestimating the Lovecraftian horrors can both hide in your food and nest in your brain.