5 Famous People You Didn't Know Have Real Mutant Powers
Mutants are very real, and they are among us -- in our TVs, and our iPods, and our sexual fantasies. We've already told you about some famous people whose careers benefited from their little-known physical mutations, but the world is full of iconic figures who rode a deformity or mutation to fame and fortune. For example ...
Ozzy Osbourne's Genes Let Him Withstand More Drugs Than Normal Humans
Ozzy Osbourne has been rocking panties off since the 1960s, and in that span, more drugs have coursed through his veins than through the airports of every South American country combined. And you may make fun of the way he (barely) moves and speaks today, but he still looks considerably better than all logic says he should look, which is "like a corpse."
Maybe not "considerably," but, you know, at least there aren't any maggots and stuff.
So what the fuck are you, Ozzy? This is the exact question that a group of researchers at a leading genomics company set out to answer, because seriously, that man should not be alive. What they found was that Ozzy was genetically engineered for the rock 'n' roll lifestyle; basically, he's a real-life X-Men whose superpower is getting shitfaced.
Variations of certain genes allow for greater tolerance of (and dependence on) certain drugs. In Ozzy's case, that would be "all of them" -- his DNA contains genes that allow him to drink more, snort more, and inject more than us mere mortals. Ozzy's variation of the ADH4 gene, which is associated with alcohol, is something that these genomics experts had "never seen before." He's six times more likely to be addicted to alcohol, but also has a higher ability to absorb "marijuana, opiates, and methamphetamines."
And rodent heads.
This explains why Ozzy is still around while the likes of Keith Moon and John Bonham (not exactly lightweights) overdosed from what in the Osbourne household would be considered a light breakfast.
A Mutation Gave Elizabeth Taylor Unnaturally Sexy Eyelashes
When Elizabeth Taylor died in 2011, her death was mourned all over the world, and it's easy to figure out why: Statistically speaking, any breathing male on the planet had an 80 percent chance of marrying her at some point as long as she lived. But also, Taylor became an international sex symbol in the '50s because of her trademark violet eyes.
And now you know what gave your grandfather a boner. You're welcome.
Women who envy Taylor's legendarily sexy peepers probably wouldn't if they knew that they were the result of a rare and sometimes painful disease. You see, when Taylor was born, the doctor solemnly told her mother that she had just given birth to a little mutant baby. Though he could have phrased that a little more tactfully, the doctor was telling the truth: Taylor had distichiasis, or a double row of eyelashes.
This made her bond with Richard Burton, who suffered from an even rarer disease called "two dicks."
Distichiasis, which happens in dogs as well as humans, can cause a number of unpleasant complications: The spare eyelashes can rub against the eyeball, which leads to irritation, frequent tearing, and even reduced vision. Sufferers probably have a hard time explaining to everyone that, no, they didn't get high and put too much mascara on. Sometimes those rebel lashes will grow straight into the cornea, which probably feels like having microscopic needles stabbing your eyes every day.
But in Taylor's case, the consequences were happier. When she was shooting a Lassie movie at age 11, someone pointed out that she was wearing too much makeup and had her taken off the stage so they could tone it down. It was only at this point that they realized it wasn't makeup: That was just the way her eyes looked, thanks to the extra row of eyelashes. She already looked like a film star before she was one.
Lassie, in a fit of jealous rage, demanded that they take "that little bitch" out of the movie.
As Taylor grew, her sexy eyes stopped being so inappropriate and helped her become a sex symbol. Two academy awards, countless humanitarian crusades, and seven husbands later, those unnatural mutant eyes are still firmly in our hearts.
Many Impressionists Painted That Way Because of Shitty Sight
The impressionists were a bunch of troublemaking 19th century painters who ended up changing the rules of the stuffy art world. Before they came along, artists trained for a lifetime to be able to accurately capture a scene, utilizing the myriad tools in their arsenals to bring a moment to life. Impressionists kind of just painted a vague outline (an "impression," if you will) and called it a night.
Their third grade teachers were most impressed.
Despite initially being rejected by the art world, these painters were extremely influential: Impressionism led to more abstract movements like expressionism, and that led to Picasso painting women made out of triangles (there, we just saved you four years of art history classes).
But the impressionists weren't (always) making an esoteric statement about the nature of beauty, understanding, and life -- some of them just couldn't see shit.
This was actually a painting of a bowl of fruit.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, for example, suffered from myopia, and therefore painted the world like a myopic person would see it: all blurry. He would even step back from the canvas so that it was out of focus.
"Not blurry enough. Must masturbate more often."
Another impressionist, Edgar Degas, had a condition that made bright lights super annoying, so he avoided exteriors -- which is why his most famous paintings are of the ballet and the opera. Meanwhile, Paul Cezanne (a direct influence on Picasso) was nearsighted and refused to wear glasses, probably because he knew his whole style would change if he started seeing well. Compare the amount of detail in a Cezanne painting of something he had right in front of him ...
You probably didn't even notice the schooner hidden in this painting.
... to the amount of "what the fuck is going on" in one of his famous landscapes:
Contrary to popular belief, he did not barf the paint onto the canvas.
And there's more: Matisse was nearsighted, too, Pissarro had a bad tear duct, and Cassatt and Monet had cataracts later in life ... hell, the biggest obstacle to going down in history as a famous artist is apparently having eyes that work.
Speaking of which ...
Marty Feldman: A Deformed Face Made for Comedy
Let's take a step back. Waaaay back. OK, imagine the complete opposite of Elizabeth Taylor.
OK, now stop. No, seriously, please stop. We don't want to play this game anymore.
That's Marty Feldman. You definitely remember him as Igor from Young Frankenstein, because let's face it, there's no way you'd forget that ugly mug. Feldman had one of those faces that inspire hilarity as soon as you see them, which is pretty helpful when you're a comedian, but not so much if you're a Supreme Court judge, for example.
And of course, the most distinguishing features in that face are the eyes, which look like they're trying to escape his skull in different directions. Believe it or not, those things aren't natural -- Feldman suffered from Graves' disease, a manifestation of hyperthyroidism characterized by distinctive bulging eyes. A less amusing side effect is that it leads to heart problems, which ended up killing both Feldman and fellow eye-popping comedian Rodney Dangerfield.
And here you assumed he looked like that due to cocaine. Tsk.
His peculiar look helped Feldman get a head start in comedy and got him his most famous role -- Gene Wilder saw him in a British TV show and wrote the part of Igor specifically for him. This is clear in the classic scene from Young Frankenstein where Wilder says, "Damn your eyes!" and Feldman turns to the screen and replies, "Too late." Yeah, that probably wouldn't have worked so well with Robert Redford or something.
And yet, Feldman almost ruined everything: When his hyperthyroidism manifested, he had an operation that would have turned his eyes "back to normal." Fortunately, the doctor botched it, and he ended up looking even worse.
"You bitch now, but if it was opposite day, the surgery would have been a smashing success!"
But Feldman didn't hold any grudges: When he was famous, he said that he could have his face fixed for good this time, but he didn't want to because, well, he'd kind of be screwed if he did.
Two Different Diseases Caused JFK and Abraham Lincoln to Each Look Presidential
John "He Tapped That" Kennedy is one of the United States' most beloved presidents, and one of the most obvious qualities that made him so well-liked was his youthful vigor and movie star good looks: The guy always looked like he just walked in from tanning by the pool with a bunch of starlets. When compared to somebody like, say, Richard Nixon, the differences were striking.
"Can you repeat the question? I was too distracted making love to the audience with my eyes."
Meanwhile, read any one-sentence description of Abraham Lincoln and you will always get three things: beard, top hat, and "freakishly tall." He's still the nation's tallest president at 6 feet 4 inches, and the average person was way shorter back then (for instance, James Madison was only 5 feet 4 inches -- a full foot shorter). Lincoln's impressive and/or terrifying height made him stand out in any crowd, and he would even make visitors to the White House measure themselves against his massive frame. Lincoln wore that 8-inch-tall stovepipe hat to make himself tower over people even more -- he wanted to be larger than life.
Both men, Kennedy and Lincoln, owed their most striking features to diseases.
JFK suffered from Addison's disease, a malfunction of the adrenal glands that causes people to gain a misleadingly healthy-looking golden complexion. Here's a comparison between a person with Addison's and a healthy person of the same ethnic pigmentation -- both hands should have the same color.
This may be among the many diseases shared by the entire cast of Jersey Shore.
This curious side effect ended up working in Kennedy's favor. Rudimentary color televisions were gaining popularity for the first time in the early 1960s, and along comes a young-looking candidate with a permanent movie star tan (it also helped that Nixon had another condition that made his face look like a butt).
Kennedy always denied having Addison's disease, because the condition required constant treatment and could result in a coma, which isn't exactly a desirable feature for a president. Recently declassified medical files, however, confirmed that he did have the disease, and that it was more serious than everyone thought -- between 1955 and 1957, he was hospitalized nine times. Had Kennedy not been assassinated, the condition probably would have caused further complications down the line.
If the gonasyphaherpilitis didn't get him first.
Lincoln, on the other hand, may have owed his unnatural height, narrow face, long arms and legs, and small lower jaw to Marfan syndrome, a condition that weakens the connective tissue in your body. Some researchers disagree and claim that Lincoln's build was caused by a genetic mutation that is shared by 11 generations of Lincoln relatives -- either way, most researchers seem to agree that there was something wrong with his DNA.
But maybe we shouldn't say "wrong with" when we're talking about a politician in a world where we are more likely to see tall people as leaders, as a leftover psychological quirk from the days when leadership was defined by one's ability to wrestle a Bengal tiger. Oh, and remember when we said a narrow face is one of the symptoms of Marfan syndrome? Well, you might already know that Lincoln grew his iconic beard because a little girl wrote him a letter suggesting it. You might not know that she said he should do it because of his weird, thin face.
"Seriously, Abe, you're freaking people the fuck out."
For more mutants amongst us, check out 7 People From Around the World With Real Mutant Superpowers. Or check out while we'll soon all have our own comic book adventures in 5 Superpowers Science Will Give Us in Our Lifetime.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Signs the Backlash Against Justin Bieber Has Begun.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how you can become awesome like Ant-Man.
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