9 Terrifying Things Doctors Pulled Out Of Living People
Cracked has already brought you the 7 Most Baffling Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body and the 7 Most Horrifying Things Ever Discovered in a Human Body, so you may have thought we'd run out of upsetting things that have been yanked out of people by doctors. You fool. You poor, soon-to-be-disgusted fool. Don't you know the body is but a nightmarish junkyard waiting to be excavated by the unluckiest surgeons and proctologists?
The Lost City Of Contact Lenses Found In One Woman's Eye
Think carefully about this question: What is the most number of objects you can jam under your eyelid and forget about? It's zero, right? No. Not even close. Not even close.
An anesthetist in the UK was preparing a 67-year-old woman for routine cataract surgery when he noticed a blue lump under her eyelid. On closer inspection, it turned out to be 17 contact lenses bunched together into a single mass. Here's what it looked like.
You're probably saying, "17? Ha. That's barely 17 more than my record." Well, they later found another 10 lenses stuck even further in there. Seriously, she was more contact lens than woman. She had been wearing contacts for 35 years, and never noticed that they were occasionally vanishing into her head. That's troubling on a number of levels. What else did she not notice? Are there 70 cat skeletons in her guest room?
Surgeons removed the contacts, presumably while also finding several lost socks and $87.32 in change. And remarkably, the woman didn't experience any negative effects. Doctors say she was lucky the lenses didn't suck up bacteria and cause an infection, but is anyone really "lucky" when they have an action figure's worth of plastic stuck to their eyeball?
The Snail That Hatched From A Knee
Look, not everything found growing in your body has to be horrifying. For instance, this entry is about an adorable baby snail found living inside a child's knee. Oh, that's still quite horrifying? It makes you think that you yourself might be filled with tiny hatching gastropods? YOU ARE! EVERY ONE OF YOU!
The story begins with young Paul Franklin playing at the beach, where he scraped his knee against a rock. Since mildly injuring themselves is what four-year-olds do, his parents slapped on a Band-Aid and forgot about it. Little did they know they had just stumbled into a low-stakes version of the chestburster scene from Alien.
Within weeks, Paul's knee had swelled until it was the size of an orange. Knee doctors never expect sudden hatching snails, so they diagnosed it as a staph infection. But antibiotics had no effect, and the lump started turning black and oozing pus. With no other options, Paul's mother knew what she had to do: squeeze that swelling pus pod until it burst. Out popped a live sea snail that had been growing inside the boy. "AAAAHHH!" she probably said.
The snail was identified as Littorina scutulata, an extremely hardy species known for being able to survive in all sorts of environments, though this one will definitely go down in snail hero history. Paul's family think that he fell on an egg, which entered the scrape on his knee and hatched inside his body. The abomination was adopted by young Paul and he named it Turbo. They are both still at large.
The Mystery Of The Man Who Coughed Up A Nail
MRI scans involve incredibly powerful magnetic fields, to the point where they've been known to send oxygen tanks and gurneys flying across a room like Magneto in a retirement home. So you're obviously not supposed to have any metal on you when you're getting one. But awesomely named Colorado man Prax Sanchez didn't have iron on him -- he had iron in him.
Some time back in the '80s, Sanchez got an inch-long nail jammed up his nose. This was long enough for a membrane to form around it. Weirdly, he had no idea how it got up there, even though a goddamned nail flying up your nose seems like the kind of thing you'd remember. Or maybe not, if it went deep enough to poke the part of your brain that remembers this sort of thing. The point is, he was having hearing problems and needed to get an MRI, and nobody knew about the nail in his head before he was sealed inside a tube of very powerful magnets.
The machine yanked the nail loose, and Prax coughed it up on his way home. He later said, "I felt something in my throat and spit it out. It was a nail. It didn't hurt at all." This elderly man had an iron nail jammed in his face and yanked through his sinuses by magnets, and he didn't know either of those things before he hacked it out. That's not tough, that's Prax Sanchez tough. By the time you shake Prax Sanchez's hand, he's already forgotten he kicked your ass.
The Man Who Found His Own Car Inside Himself
If you're like most people, your first car is like your first kiss -- it might not have been perfect, maybe it smelled like gym clothes, but you'll never, ever forget it. In the case of 77-year-old Arthur Lampitt, his Ford Thunderbird became a part of him, and unfortunately, we mean this literally.
Back in 1963, Lampitt was driving his beloved Thunderbird in the rain when he had an impromptu get-together with a semi.
The car was totaled, and Lampitt spent ten days in traction before surgeons could repair his assorted broken bones and other injuries. Suffice it to say it was some Final Destination stuff, and Lampitt was lucky to be alive.
Skip ahead 35 years, and Lampitt had his first inkling that something wasn't quite right when his bare arm set off a courthouse metal detector. Since the arm wasn't painful and had no trouble with arm-related tasks, doctors gave Lampitt some groundbreaking advice: Leave it alone. Fast-forward another 16 years to 2015, when the then 75-year-old Lampitt was moving some concrete blocks and a large piece of metal popped through the skin on his arm. It was the goddamn turn signal lever from his car that died over 50 years ago.
The Man Who Held On To A Piece Of His Childhood Too Hard
Earlier this year, British postal worker Paul Baxter went to see a doctor about his persistent cough. A longtime smoker, the 47-year-old had been coughing up yellow mucus for over a year and was feeling generally "unwell." A pneumonia treatment and several x-rays later, he received the sort of news that would make even the best of us break bad: He had lung cancer.
Doctors conducted a bronchoscopy, a procedure that involves sticking a camera into a patient's lung and exploring. While poking around in Baxter's chest, they found a "mustard coloured foreign body" and pulled it out so they could have a closer look. The "tumor" they diagnosed turned out to be a tiny plastic traffic cone from a Playmobil toy set.
Baxter recalls that once the doctors figured out what they were looking at, "everybody just fell about laughing." He remembered getting a Playmobil set for his seventh birthday, and though he doesn't remember specifically inhaling its parts, he says he "regularly played with and even swallowed" his toys as a child. He's otherwise in good health, and doctors report that Baxter's symptoms have almost disappeared since they removed the toy from his lung. Unfortunately, since the traffic cone's disappearance, 43 Playmobil children have died in easily preventable car accidents.
The Invincible King Of All Kidney Stones
Some people enter the record books through an outstanding achievement or sheer force of will. Other people, like Sandor Sarkadi, owner of one of the world's largest kidney stones, are immortalized by terrifyingly lousy luck. And Sarkadi had a kidney stone that will never be defeated.
Doctors discovered the mothership of anomalies inside Sarkadi's abdomen during an x-ray, taken after the Hungarian complained of severe constipation. And holy crap, his x-ray looked like he got caught being a pregnant ostrich in disguise.
Kidney stones, at worst, rarely grow larger than a few inches. They usually look like small, sharp wads of gum, and are eventually passed through the urethra. Make no mistake, any size larger than zero translates to size "OHGODNOAAAAHHHGGG" in urethra measurements, but Sarkadi's was several magnitudes larger than even the most elastic of pee holes. It was like a loaf of bread baked inside his pelvis by the Devil, and had to be removed surgically.
The Tumor That Had Its Own Brain
Human cells are autonomous, which is excellent for keeping you alive. But sometimes they go rogue cop, dividing uncontrollably for no reason and forming a tumor. Ovarian tumors are among the gnarliest because about 20 percent of them include other ... things, like teeth, fat, hair, or on spectacularly horrifying occasions: a motherfucking little brain.
These types of tumors are called teratomas, and contain germ cells which can differentiate into other body parts or tissues. Japanese doctors found this particularly gruesome biological Easter egg while performing a routine appendectomy on a 16-year-old girl. It's a skull-like wad of cancer cells with hair and enough of a brain that she may have technically been cheating on her math tests. Behold this ... thing:
When they cracked into a hair-covered, 10-centimeter-wide tumor growing on the girl's ovary, they discovered the skull-like plate and a brain consisting of a primitive cerebellum and brain stem. They removed it without complication, unless you count birthing Fleshlord Ovarior into our world a complication.
The Secret Of The Turkish Headaches
A Turkish man charged into the doctor's office, screaming for treatment. He had been plagued by headaches since he was five, and by the time he reached 20, the headaches lasted more than five hours a day. The pain was crippling. Imagine being inside an air horn, but also you're the spouse of an E! Network producer who's explaining the top 20 pitches Kylie Jenner brought to his office that day.
Because his family was poor, the man turned down all hospitalization offers as a child. Instead, he treated his problem with pain relievers that made various degrees of no dent. It got so bad that he was nauseous and vomiting with each headache. When he finally went to the doctor, they performed a CT scan on him to reveal the source of his troubles: two needles rusting away inside his damn head.
The medical examiners postulated that some asshole ninja-ed the sewing needles through the top of the head, penetrating the anterior fontanelle when it was still soft -- let's say 7-19 months after his birth. Which suggests either that he was a very accident-prone craft enthusiast in his crib, or that someone tried to murder him as a toddler.
The needles were not removed because cracking the head posed too high of a risk, so this man is still out there, keeping searing headaches at bay with pills. The only thing the doctors gave him was purpose. Because now that he knows what happened to him, he can hunt for the seamstress who tried to kill him as a baby with their murder weapon still lodged in his skull. And with the help of his magic talking skateboard, you can bet Headache Hunter And Wheels will be rolling its way to ratings success this fall on Turkish TV.
The Spookiest Pregnancy Ever
There's no cute way to set this one up. A woman named Kantabai Thakre found a baby skeleton inside herself 36 years after she thought she had a miscarriage. Think about that. For 36 years, tiny skeletal remains had been clawing at her organs as she drove, shopped, and slept. Learning something like that isn't a "surprise" -- it's more like discovering "everything behind you is spiders."
Thakre became pregnant when she was 24, but suffered from a complication whereby the embryo attaches outside of the uterus. This usually produces symptoms such as sharp pain, dull pain, or crampy pain. So basically all of the pains. She did her best to treat it, and a few months later it stopped with what everyone presumed was a loss of the pregnancy. 36 years later, the pain came back, revealing that she was right about being cured of her pain, but wrong about being cured of her baby, whose skeleton had never left.
What's so "special" about this tiny monstrosity is that when it was found, it didn't look like a calcinated fetal mass like a "normal" floating skeletal baby. Instead it looked like the remains of someone who died in a giant can of baked beans.
It's hard to really tell what's going on in that picture if you're not an x-ray tech or a serial killer, so here is what it looked like after they removed all the bones and assembled them.
Snails are adorable, and you can even paint their shells!
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