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People Share The Most Terrifying Facts About The Human Body

Reddit user Dummlord28 asked: 'What are some terrifying human body facts?'

anatomy model
Alan Calvert on Unsplash

Part of life is care and maintenance of the human body we inhabit and a lot can go wrong with it—even if we take good care of it.

Most of us have had a pain somewhere or odd bodily function then fallen down the rabbit hole of online medicine.

Do I have a cold or the flu or COVID or malaria? Is the bubonic plague still around?

What are the symptoms for Dengue fever or ebola?

Before we examine some horror stories, just know there is a reliable link from a reputable source with everything you're about to read—just in case you recognize some symptoms.

It'll save you that trip to WebMD.

Reddit user Dummlord28 asked:

"What are some terrifying human body facts?"

Edgar Allen Poe Has Entered The Conversation

"I find it kinda freaky that the heart never stops pumping."

"Like from the moment were born to the moment we die, it's just a constant movement."

~ sunshinesmiles203

"I always worry mine will get tired and decide it needs a break."

~ thepensiveporcupine

"That actually happens—it's called 'sudden death syndrome' and can happen at any time without warning. It is incredibly rare, but the chances are higher if you possess any risk factors."

"Lethargy is a huge one, but there are compounding issues that can lead up to SDS, so there's a lot of warning before that happens. Lethargy otherwise can lead to having a weak heart, and then the heart just stops."

"On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you're too active, your heart is working overtime more often than it was designed to, so it can get tired and just stop. Body builders and marathon runners are at a heightened risk for SDS, because all that muscle needs oxygen, even at rest."

"At some point the heart just can't keep up with the demand and just stops."

"Other ways SDS pops up is through having a faulty heart, totally out of your control. The rhythm is just weird, and you often don't even know about it until a doctor sees it on an ECG just by coincidence, or you just die without warning."

~ cburgess7

New Fear Unlocked

"There is also a condition called Stress Cardiomyopathy. Stress cardiomyopathy is caused by intense emotional or physical stress leading to rapid and severe reversible cardiac dysfunction."

"It mimics myocardial infarction with changes in the electrocardiogram and echocardiogram, but without any obstructive coronary artery disease."

"My grandmother nearly died from this. Well, she eventually did succumb several years later."

"Luckily, when her heart stopped she was standing outside her doctor's office. She still coded several times on the way to the hospital, but she made it to an OR and got an implanted defibrillator that kept her going for six more years before it malfunctioned and didn't save her the last time her heart stopped."

"Still made it to 86, and had a wonderful life. She was at peace with the end."

~ Shojo_Tombo

Like A Bag Of Worms

"I noticed this after my abdominal surgery."

"When I turned over in bed my guts seemed to fall from one side to the other."

"Mentioned to my doc and she confirmed it was my bowel and intestines rearranging themselves."

~ Dolopokijusa56556

"It's the same after birthing a child. The stomach area is really squishy, I mean really really squishy."

"When doctors do post birth checks, they can push pretty far in and around on the abdomen. So much room in there when the organs are still up in the rib area and no baby is taking up the rest of the room!"

"Weirdest feeling ever, like just a wrong, eerie feeling."

~ crashdowncafe51

"If you have any kind of abdominal surgery, doctors don’t arrange your intestines, they just shove them in your body and they rearrange themselves."

"Intestines move and contract often, you just don’t normally feel it."

~ wrkplay


"You can have a stroke (transient ischemic attack) and not even know it unless you have a brain scan."

"Lots of little mini strokes you don’t even know about until..."


" kills you."

~ Aggressive-Coffee-39

"My dad thinks he had one this summer, he was reading a book and all of a sudden he just... couldn't read. The feeling went away after about twenty minutes, but it scared him so badly that he had my mom take him to the hospital."

"He says he thought it was a lucky thing he was awake when he had it."

"His mother-in-law (my maternal grandmother) had a HUGE stroke almost twenty years ago where she ended up just sitting in a chair for days until my uncle finally found her. She lived, but was never the same."

"I think my dad thought of her when he had his episode, and wanted it taken care of right away."

"His scans all came back normal, but they put him on a couple blood thinners for a couple months just in case."

~ Immortal_in_well

Unknown Danger

"You can get a cerebral aneurysm at any time no matter how healthy you are."

~ Agreeable-Middle-829

"You can have that aneurysm all your life and not know until it bursts and kills you."

~ toxic_concretegirl


"You can die from a seizure in your sleep. It’s like SIDS, but a different acronym."

"I don't know if it only happens to people with epilepsy."

"I have seizures, but there’s nothing you can do to treat or stop it. Hence the name."

~ No-Professor-7649

"Called SUDEP—sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Terrifying."

"My son has seizures and I try to not let the intrusive thoughts keep me up at night."

~ lindsasaurusreks


"Locked-in syndrome is a thing."

"The affected person is fully aware and unable to move anything except their eyes, unless they get total locked-in syndrome, which paralyzes the eyes too."

~ distantbass

"And even worse, you can still feel pain."

~ Money_Reindeer

The Rush

"Your body can dull the pain until you get somewhere safe at which point all hell breaks loose and you finally realize you’re severely hurt."

~ penndelnj

"Yup, adrenaline is quite the stuff. I broke my hand, but kept using it for a solid 15 minutes, before I felt the feeling that doing it might be NOT the best idea, and asked to be taken into a hospital."

"They took 3 X-ray and went something like this with the X-ray tech:"

"After the first X-ray: 'You are just imagining it, nothing wrong with your hand, it's just a bruise'."

"After the second 45 degree X-ray: 'Oh. Uh, yeah, lets call the doctor'."

"After the third 90 degree one: 'Okay, don't go anywhere we are putting you up for surgery ASAP'."

It was 2 shattered metacarpals

"I did not let them take a forth because with that track record they would have put in an amputation request."

"But the surgeon (famous in the country) later just flat out told me, 'I can operate on you if you really want, but I think you have better chances if we don't touch it', and he was right it's back to 100% now."

~ Pazuuuzu

Hair And Teeth

"Tumors can have hair and teeth."

"I think I've worked for a couple of them masquerading as humans..."

~ Schwarzes__Loch

"I had a 9cm ovarian cyst removed a few years ago. There was hair and teeth and tiny random bone bits in it."

"When the surgeon called and told me that I thought I had heard him wrong. Not... teeth‽ Hair‽‽"

"Turns out the cells in that area have the authority to create complex tissues, like hair and teeth."


~ colourkid_

"And eyes. And several other body parts."

~ Reddit

"It's a teratoma, and does that because it originates from a pluripotent cell that turned cancerous/mutated."

"Pluripotent cells are cells that can become almost everything in your body, they can develop in all three of the germ layer. That's why you can find all kinds of stuff in them."

~ anamorphicmistake

"Aaand now I’ve learnt that in rare cases, terataomas can even have brain like structures."

"In one case of an ovarian teratoma, it held a brain-like structure that was so advanced it had partially developed into a cerebellum with a brain stem and was able to transmit electrical impulses."

"Teratomas are easily the most traumatizing thing I’ve ever learned about on Reddit."

~ Reiko_Nagase_114514

Cancer Is Everywhere In All Of Us

"All our bodies are fighting off blood cancer all the time."

~ Hortusana

"That’s true of all cancer, really."

"The good news is that the body’s pretty good at it. The bad news is that it just has to miss one cell a few times before the cancer can evade the immune system outright."

~ Zaithon

"Cell mutation occurs frequently, and our bodies have a few checks and balances to prevent cancer formation."

"It's when those checks fail that we develop cancer."

~ put_a_bird_on_it_

Face Blindness

"You can experience such a traumatic brain injury (physical trauma, stroke, illness) to the point where you are still capable of consciousness, but lose the ability to distinguish faces—including those of your loved ones."

"The condition is known as prosopagnosia."

~ tenderourghosts

"Some of us just have that naturally, no injury or illness needed. Mine is partial and it took so long to find out that it has a name and I'm just missing part of my brain that other people have."

"It makes life more difficult, also movies can be really confusing."

~ shunrata

"About 15 years ago, I was part of a study on prosopagnosia—also called face blindness—combined with autism spectrum disorder. Results found a much higher rate of face blindness in people with autism."

"Mine is on the mild side, but a friend's was so bad he couldn't recognize his parents. And he wasn't diagnosed until age 40. He just thought he was forgetful or other people knew skills he didn't."

"It's sort of like getting your first eye test. You don't know your eyesight is sh*t until then. Neither one of us knew we had prosopagnosia."

~ LakotaGrl


"You can lose your body positioning system (proprioception), so you literally don't know where all you body parts are, what position they're in, or where to move them."

"You can sort of recover from this, learning new ways to figure out where everything is, but otherwise you can't even feed yourself because you don't know what your arm is doing or how to get food up to your mouth."

"You can't drive, or even walk, because you don't know where your feet are."

~ cburgess7

Sleepless Nights

"If you are unlucky enough you could lose you ability to fall asleep... at all."

"I think it's called fatal insomnia."

"It starts as regular insomnia that gets worse and worse untill sleep medication doesn't do anything anymore. You never sleep again."

"There's no cure. All you could do is wait for one of the slowest deaths ever."

~ Gian1993

"There is no cure, no effective treatments, once the symptoms start you are lucky if you have 7 months of tortured sleep deprivation as your body and mind rapidly deteriorate until you're a shell of your former self."

"It's a prion disease, but luckily this particularly horrifying one is extremely rare and almost entirely genetically inherited (fatal familial insomnia). There are only a few known families it runs in."

"There is a spontaneous non-familial type, but it's astronomically rare and not super well understood."

"Prions are horrifying."

~ earfwormjim

Not Zombies

"Bodies will move as they’re coming out of rigor."

"I’ve been bumped by a few. I’m a coroner."

"Bodies can also make sounds as the remaining air/ gas leaves. 2am in the morgue and I thought I was in Call Of Duty: Zombies."

~ Conclusion_Sane470

"One of my sister's friends worked in a morgue for a few years."

"She told us about on her first night working alone, a body half sat up and she about sh*t her pants...just rigor mortis and muscles flexing but f*ckkk that!"

"She also told us the same thing about the random noises/groans and that it is way beyond creepy."

~ viralmessiah00

Infections Are No Joke

"Well, just this week there was a local woman in her late twenties who died of a toothache."

"She had posted on Facebook about needing a dentist over the weekend and decided to wait until Monday."

"Sunday morning she was gone. The infection went to her brain."

~ Dolopokijusa56556

"I work in the medical field and nothing has shaken me more than someone my age going home on hospice because of a sinus infection."

"Went to their brain and they were basically brain dead. Horrifying to think it could happen to anyone."

~ Immediate_East_5052

While these are truly horrifying, it's important to remember they're also extremely rare or extremely preventable.

What terrifying tale do you have about the human body?