Rare Human Body Features
We all know that our bodies are unique, but some people take that to the next level. Here are ten of the rarest body characteristics only found in 5 percent of people.
Really REALLY dense bones
LRP5, the gene responsible for the mineralization of bones, helped scientists discover mutations that result diseases related to bone fragility. However, there’s one kind of LRP5 mutation that is much better than all the rest— it makes a person’s bones almost impossible to break, and their skin less prone to aging.
One of the few drawbacks is it makes it harder for an elderly person to get joint replacements.
Long palmer muscle
This muscle is left over from our ancestors who used it to climb trees. Check to see if you have it by putting your hand palm up on a flat surface. Next, touch your pinky to your thumb and lift them slightly. If you see a ligament pop up, you’ve got the long palmar muscle. Not that it means anything, it’s useless for us. But it’s still a neat party trick, I guess?
No, you won’t bleed shiny metallic stuff, but if you have this blood you have no antigens. Antigens help the immune system recognize pathogens, but they also prevent us from easily transfusing blood or receiving organ transplants. This type of blood was discovered in 1961, and so far we only know of 40 people who have it. 9 of them are the ideal donor because anyone can receive their blood.
Usually it’s women who have extra ribs. They’re located in the cervical spine area, and their sizes range from small growth to full-sized ribs. The only time they could cause discomfort is if they reach large sizes, in which case they would cause discomfort.
Ability to see “invisible” colors
Women also experience this feature (called tetrachromatism) more. Some can distinguish shades of color much more than others. For example, a dandelion to us is yellow, but to them it’s a whole range of shades. Mutations in the X chromosome cause this condition. Exactly how many more colors can they see? Unaffected people see 1 million colors, while tetrachromatics see up to 99 million.
Double lash line
Elizabeth Taylor was the most famous person with this rare disorder called “distichiasis.” It doesn’t cause any harm, it just makes your lashes look extremely luscious.
Impossibility of cholesterol growth
A tiny group of people can pretty much eat whatever they want and never have to worry about cholesterol, reducing their risk of heart disease by 90%. They don’t have enough working copies of the PCSK9 gene. Pharmaceutical companies have followed suit and are now creating a drug that would block PCSK9.
A hole near the ear
About 5% of people form this congenital auricular fistula during fetal development. It’s thought to be an atavism, left over from a time when the ancestors of all living beings had gills. It’s genetically inherited and poses no threat to the individual.
A chimera is an ancient Greek mythical creature with the had and neck of a lion, the trunk of a goat and the tail of a snake. In humans, it’s a whole extra set of DNA. Most of the time it goes unnoticed, but sometimes it pops up as “mosaic” skin” or heterochromia (a color differentiation of the eyes). It’s completely harmless, but your DNA won’t always show up the same as your family. One case involved a mother with genetic chimerism who almost lost her children because their DNA test showed they were not related.
Little need for sleep
These lucky people are able to restore strength twice as fast as the normal person. Famous people with this ability were Winston Churchill, Nikola Tesla, Salvador Dali and Margaret Thatcher. I guess when you’re awake more you have more time to achieve greatness, right?
This is likely caused by the DEC2 gene, which is found in low-sleep people. Scientists from the University of California found that people with this mutation can do the same things normal people can, just in less time.