The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body


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.

A Giant Hairball

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

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.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

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.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

It's a hair-poop.

Brain Worm

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

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.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

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.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

"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.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

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.

A Foot-long Surgical Implement

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

When 57-year-old Daryoush Mazarei experienced severe pain after an intensive operation, doctors immediately booked him in for an emergency CT sca- no, wait, they just told him to stop making shit up.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

"I'm going to prescribe you a pair of nuts, crybaby."

Mazarei had undergone an operation to install a shunt that would allow fluid to drain from his brain and, two years later, he never felt fully recovered. Although in chronic discomfort and pain, Mazarei was told repeatedly that nothing was physically wrong with him and prompted to seek psychiatric treatment. His doctors even went so far as to cite the story of the boy who cried wolf, even though his daughter was able to point to a hard foreign object that was clearly poking out from inside him.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

"What? That's a medicinal arrow."

Presumably finally fed up with the man's constant complaining, Mazarei's doctors gave him a CT scan, on which they could see a large object located in his abdomen. After reopening the patient's abdominal cavity, surgeons found a set of retractors that had been accidentally left inside the man during the last surgery.

Retractors are just doctor jargon for big ass tweezers, which were probably thrown into the man in disgust after one of the doctors got frustrated trying to pull out the spare ribs.


Johnson, hand me the tweezers. This man has a serious case of butterflies in his stomach.

How big were these "bigass" tweezers? Almost 10-freaking-inches long. And nobody noticed they were in there when they were sewing him up.

But Could it Happen to Me?

The bad news is this shit happens all the time. Despite stringent measures taken during surgery, like counting all the equipment before and after to see if the tally matches, surgeons just can't seem to stop leaving their forceps, scalpels and wedding rings inside their patients.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

One study states that 722 objects were stitched inside people in a single year in England. Then again, that's England. In the States, the situation isn't quite that retarded, but we still found reports ranging around 22 a year in Utah, and 80 in Philadelphia. Hospitals seem fairly nonchalant about it, probably because it seems like a small number compared to the huge amount of surgeries that go on.

But just think about it: There are 80 people walking around Philly right now with a stethoscope lodged in their pancreas, because some doc lost it in all the excitement.

Man Fetus

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

Growing up in Nagpur, India, Sanju Bhagat was often ridiculed for his abnormally large stomach. We all know how it is--kids can be cruel, especially when you're a man who has looked pregnant his entire life. It's kind of a horrifying irony that it was ultimately discovered he had been pregnant his entire life. Sort of.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

Enjoy, ladies.

He finally did something about his situation one night when he was rushed to the hospital with shortness of breath and severe pain. When the doctors attempted to remove what they assumed was a tumor, they were mildly shocked to find... Wait, seriously?


...a partially formed fetus. Holy shit, that's like a scene from a freaking John Carpenter movie. Except like 10 times worse.


Maybe not 10 times.

One doctor's natural reaction was apparently to shake hands with the abomination, which had limbs, hair and genitalia.

But Could it Happen to Me?

Luckily, there are fewer than 90 cases of this in recorded medical history, but we still think that's about 100 too many. It's called fetus in fetu, and it basically means that Bhagat had a twin inside the womb who he absorbed like an in-vitro caged death match.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

Apparently, as in this case, the parasitic fetus will sometimes feed off the host until "doctors are forced to intervene." As though having some kind of unborn demonspawn leeching off your life force from the inside wouldn't be your highest priority under any imaginable circumstance.

Lung Fork

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

When John Manley experienced fits of coughing and pneumonia that lasted for two years, it was clear that something was seriously wrong. At times, his condition would get so bad he would turn blue and pass out. Manley visited several hospitals and specialists, but none could figure out what was ailing him, including the one guy who offered to remove his entire lung because "that was the easiest way for them." We assume they also suggested lighting him on fire to burn their way far enough inside to conduct a proper investigation.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body


Manley's plight eventually caught the attention of Dr. Momen Wahidi, director of interventional pulmonology at Duke, who had the more reasonable idea of poking a tiny camera down there to locate the problem. What they found was what appeared to be a tumor emblazoned with the Wendy's logo, sparking fears that corporations were beginning to target the all-important cancer demographic.

AM OOY 10 10445832 COMVENT achlity

It would seem that Mr. Manley had accidentally inhaled a jagged shard of a Wendy's fork during a meal at the restaurant, and failed to notice the chunk of plastic sliding down his windpipe.

Hey, we've all been there. You're hungry enough to eat a horse. You get a bowl of Wendy's chili. You eat it so fast that the fork explodes into fragments from the sheer G-forces caused by the speed of you hurtling the food toward your mouth. You swallow a thumb-sized hunk of the shrapnel. Then by the end of the meal you've forgotten all about it.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

But Could it Happen to Me?

Oh, Manley's own best guess about how it happened isn't any stupider than ours. "It's a fast food place," he explains. "They do things fast. You go in there, you eat fast. That's the only explanation. That's why they call it fast food."

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body


In any event, fast food is always a minefield for unusual fragments of stuff that doesn't belong inside you. There are a ridiculous number of stories on the Internet for anyone who cares to look, with people finding staples, bandages, condoms and even body parts at times. So you should probably give that quarter pounder a tentative strip search before you bite into it.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

But even then, we're talking about some foreign object winding up in your digestive tract and (hopefully) your toilet. If you want to keep stuff out of your lungs, slow the fuck down. If you're eating in fast and furious manner that makes you sound like a wood chipper, odds are your table manners need work anyway, fast food or not.

Thirty Magnets

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

Look, kids are morons, we all know it. When we look at something and see only unmitigated horror, they're wondering what it tastes like.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body


Such was the case of an eight-year-old from Indiana admitted to the hospital with mysterious stomach pains that turned out to be the result of the over 30 magnets and chunks of metal she had swallowed.

The problem with magnets is that they tend to lock together and they aren't fussy about whether they're inside two different organs when it happens. The girl came out OK in the end, but doctors say she is lucky to be alive after her x-ray showed a veritable constellation of possible death.


But Could it Happen to Me?

To you? Hopefully not. To your kid, if you have one? Oh, yes.

It turns out Haley had eaten the small toys because they looked like candy. It's a stunning insight into the mind of a child that they can lick a magnet, see that it tastes like rust and go on to swallow 30 of them.


The green ones taste the best. Like magnets.

Her father said he couldn't possibly imagine how this had happened. He repeatedly stated she got As and Bs, and they had taught her "not to do stuff like this." So unlike with utensil inhalation, faulty reasoning has nothing to do with it: Kids just have this bafflingly overwhelming drive to swallow anything they see that's smaller than their head.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

"I am the devourer of worlds... also, trinkets."

If it can fit in you drunk drawer, some baby genius has heroically attempted to stuff it down his throat. And magnets aren't unusual, although they're not as common as coins and jewelry. Just keep everything out of their reach. Everything. Just lock them in a padded room until they're 18.

An Entire Cutlery Store

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

Now, we here can't judge others by what they choose to eat. Since the Cracked company picnic usually consists of Doritos and porn, when we say that something someone eats is batshit insane, you better believe we mean it.

The 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body

This is how the last three company picnics have ended.

Enter 52-year-old Margaret Daalman, a Netherlands resident who went to the hospital complaining of crippling stomach pains. Her x-rays revealed what appeared to be a huge, dense squid. We imagine the image was instantly faxed around the hospital offices with the caption "Just look at this bullshit."

Lend CEN

After unzipping the woman--seriously, we have no idea what surgeons do--the team found enough utensils to throw a dinner party for the United States Senate. They proceeded to remove over 78 spoons and forks, one by one.

Seventy-fucking-eight. This woman chose to swallow 50 spoons and forks, then thought "fuck it," and swallowed 28 more. We have a picture.

083817001 Mon 1 A l UO th iIE W EN

But Could it Happen to Me?

The perplexing compulsion to eat things that are not food is a well documented mental curiosity called pica. Generally, we grow out of our irrational desire to eat weird shit when we hit puberty, but some people just keep on munching on tires and engine parts well into adulthood.


Science isn't sure why, but for some reason, almost nine percent of pregnant women develop the urge to eat the drapes with a nice side salad.

It's notable that throughout all her years of eating stainless steel, Daalman made sure to never eat a knife. Because, come on, that would be crazy.

For more helpful facts from Fero check out her blog at thisisnthelpful.

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If you ever find yourself in a situation like the ones above, here's a guide to help you understand your doctor: 8 Medical Terms Your Doctor Uses to Insult You. Or find out about some crazier shit people used to willingly put in their bodies, in The 10 Most Insane Medical Practices in History.

Stop by our Top Picks (Updated 4.09.10) to see get your mind off that hairball.

And swing on over to our friends at HuffPo to discover how porn has ruined your favorite sitcoms.

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