It is unfortunate that some children are born with congenital defects or abnormalities. These rare birth defects or congenital disorders are cause by varied and different factors. A branch of science called Teratology is specifically dedicated in the study of abnormalities of physiological development. This study of birth defects goes on up to puberty stage and it also includes plants and animals.
1.) Mermaid Syndrome
Mermaid Syndrome is medically termed as Sirenomelia. Children who were born with this bizarre medical condition have legs that are fused together that give then the appearance of a mermaid’s tail. This very rare congenital deformity is found in approximately 1 out of every 100,000 live births. This condition is usually fatal within a day or two of birth due to complications associated with abnormal urinary bladder and kidney development and function.
More than 50% of the cases of Mermaid Syndrome result in stillbirth. Maternal diabetes is oftentimes cited as the more likely cause of such condition.
2.) Harlequin Baby
Harlequin Baby, which is also commonly known as Harlequin Fetus, is known in medical science as Harlequin-type ichthyosis, keratosis diffusa fetalis, Harlequin ichthyosis, ichthyosis congenita, Ichthyosis fetalis and “Ichthyosis congenita gravior”.
It is a weird skin disease characterized by a thickening of the keratin layer in a newly born skin. Children suffering from such unusual condition tend to have a reddish color and the skin contains massive, diamond-shaped scales. The appendages, ears, eyes and penis may be abnormally contracted. The child’s movement is limited due to the cracked skin and is susceptible to bacteria which could result to fatal infection.
Encephalocele is an extremely bizarre physical deformity which is also known as Cranium Bifidum. This neural tube defect is characterized by sac-like protrusions of the braina and the membranes that cover it through openings in the skull. The cause of this peculiar defect is due to the failure of the neural tube to close completely during fetal development. Encephalocele causes a groove between the forehead and nose, on the back side of the skull or down the middle of the skull.
Anencephaly is one of the weirdest birth defects. This cephalic disorder that results from a neural tube defect occurs when the head or cephalic end of the neural tube failed to close. This failure usually occurs between the 23rd and 26th day of pregnancy and results in the absence of a major portion of the brain, scalp and skull. Most children with this bizarre genetic disorder don’t survive birth because they are born without a forebrain and the remaining brain tissue is often not covered by skin or bone.
Cyclopia is a bizarre birth defect characterized by a child with one eye due the failure of the embryonic prosencephalon to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities. This very rare form of holosencephaly is found in approximately 1 in 16,000 in born animals, and 1 in 250 in embryos. Causes of this abnormal condition are associated with genetic problems or toxins. This bizarre physical anomaly is also known as Cyclocephaly or Synophthalmia.
6.) Cat Eye Syndrome
The eyes are said to be the windows of the soul but some individuals are unfortunate to be born with eye defects such as the so-called Cat Eye Syndrome or CES. This rare condition is known to have been caused by the short arm (p) and a small section of the long arm (q) of human Chromosome 22 being present three or four times instead of the usual two times.
7.) Proteus Syndrome
Proteus Syndrome is a bizarre congenital disorder that causes skin overgrowth and atypical bone development and usually accompanied by tumors over half the body. This abnormal condition is also known as Wiedemann’s Syndrome named after the German pediatrician Hans-Rudolf Wiedemann.
Proteus Syndrome was identified in 1979 and it is estimated that there are only 120 people currently alive with this extremely rare condition.
Other bizarre birth defects…
8.) Turner Syndrome
Turner Syndrome is a bizarre condition, a chromosomal abnormality in which all or part of one of the sex chromosomes is absent. This disorder occurs 1 in 2000 – 1 in 5000 phenotypic females and is characterized by physical abnormalities like broad chest, short stature, low hairline, webbed neck and low-set ears. It is also known as Ullrich-Turner Syndrome or Gonadal Dysgenesis.
Microcephaly is a weird neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by smaller head than average. It is either congenital or it may develop in the first few years of life. Sufferers of this condition have shorter life expectancy.
10.) Pectus Excavatum
Pectus Excavatum is an unusual condition which literally means “hollowed chest”. This congenital deformity of the anterior wall of the chest is caused by the abnormal growth of several ribs and the sternum and produces a caved-in or sunken appearance of the chest. It can be congenital or it can develop until puberty. It is also referred to as Cobbler’s Chest, Funnel Chest, Sunken chest and a dent in the chest.
Animals and humans alike suffer from congenital disorders…and plants too.