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  1.  (6769.1)
    I have webbed feet. At work so can't add a picture, but technically, does that make me a mutant? (Also, my mother, grandmother and daughter all have the same oddity, so it is a genetic abnormality, I guess.
  2.  (6769.2)
    Here's a Cracked article which I think fits this topic just fine:

    13 Real Animals Lifted Directly Out of Your Nightmares

    With wonderful captions, such as: "This strung-out looking thing is the aye aye lemur, which appears to have crawled its way out of the rancid vagina of a Victorian prostitute and went straight to work hiding in children's bedrooms to steal their dreams."
  3.  (6769.3)
    Harlequin type ichthyosis:
    In sufferers of the disease, the skin contains massive, diamond-shaped scales, and tends to have a blue color. In addition, the eyes, ears, mouth, and other appendages may be abnormally contracted. The scaly keratin greatly limits the child's movement. Because the skin is cracked where normal skin would fold, it is easily pregnable by bacteria and other contaminants, resulting in serious risk of fatal infection.

    Sufferers are known as harlequin fetuses, harlequin babies, or harlequins.

    Don't go searching for the topic on Google Image search if you have a weak stomach. That drawing doesn't really give a good idea of how gruesome the condition looks in real life.
  4.  (6769.4)
    Something a little different: this lamp runs on blood.

    "By creating a lamp that can only be used once, the user must consider when light is needed the most, forcing them to rethink how wasteful they are with energy, and how precious it is."

    Luminol is the secret ingredient behind the glow. It's a chemical forensic scientists use to check for blood, glowing bright blue when coming into contact with the iron in red blood cells.

    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2009

    Bizarre baby born in Dolakha

    The neck-less baby with its head almost totally sunk into the upper part of the body and with extraordinarily large eyeballs literally popping out of the eye-sockets, was born to Nir Bahadur Karki and Suntali Karki at the Gaurishnkar Hospital in Charikot. The Karki couple is a permanent resident of Dolakha’s Bhirkot VDC.

    “the baby has a condition called anencephaly, a neural tube defect (like the cyclops baby), with no proper brain formation. The baby would have died a few days later. That’s why women are advised to take folate in early pregnancy.”

  5.  (6769.6)
    The Brazilian wandering spider is considered the most venomous spider on earth. But there's something wacky about being bitten by one. If you're a dude, the bite gives you an hours-long erection.

    So naturally scientists are researching the spiders with hopes to develop another drug for ED. Viagra and its colleagues work by stopping the chemical that makes erections go away; the venom in this spider works through a different mechanism, by ramping up the chemical that's responsible for erections in the first place.

    Those boys over at Intelligent Design, what won't they think of next?
  6.  (6769.7)
    Pretty picture from New Scientist of luminescent mushrooms.

    The author raises an interesting question I'd never really considered before: WHY are some fungi luminous?

    The current favorite answer apparently: "the bioluminescence attracts nocturnal animals, aiding the dispersal of spores. "

    In other words, the fungi WANT to be eaten.
  7.  (6769.8)
    In other words, the fungi WANT to be eaten.
    That's the entire reason fruit exists, after all.
    • CommentAuthorLani
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2009
    With regard to the 13 animals out of your nightmares, my 5th grade class bred tailless whip scorpions in captivity (and our teacher was the first person to ever successfully do it). I have a bit of a soft spot for them because of it. They're pretty weird looking, but they are harmless, and they eat pest bugs so it's cool.
  8.  (6769.10)
    Researchers develop vaccine against cocaine.

    I'm kind of amazed that this hasn't been done before, now that I've read it. It's such a simple, obvious concept — vaccinate people with something that will cause their bodies to produce antibodies when exposed to things like cocaine and nicotine, so it doesn't effect them anymore.
    • CommentAuthorcoffeemug
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2009
    I guess the whole mind-control fungus has already been mentioned here and there, but it looks so bloody scary.

    • CommentAuthorLani
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2009
    This thread is great. I have an ongoing battle with a friend of mine - he sends me wretched '80s music videos that inexplicably get stuck in my head; I retaliate by sending him nightmarish pictures of mother nature's abominations. Keep 'em coming!
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2009
    It's not sick, but I absolutely love this place & like bringing it up as often as possible until one glorious day when I can afford to go visit:

    Socotra Island


  9.  (6769.14)
    Ooh! Yeah, Socotra's one of my favorites.
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2009
    @coffeemug it's creepily beautiful innit?
    • CommentAuthorprof_k
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2009
    More interesting than weird, but Virus Is Found in Many With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Interesting because CFS is barely even recognized by many doctors as an actual physical condition:
    “I think this establishes what had always been considered a psychiatric disease as an infectious disease,” said Dr. Mikovits

    It's rather preliminary work, but it could lead down useful avenues.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2009
    First herbivorous spider:

    Not only is this the first known species of herbivorous spider, they also appear to be evolving towards a eusocial lifestyle like ants and bees.
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2009 edited
    That spider just made my day.
    he's so cute! yay for veggie spiders!
    it says the males care for the eggs and young...that's pretty awesome too...
  10.  (6769.19)
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2009
    just thought i´d share this...

    Purple jellydisc fungus, Ascocoryne Sarcoides. or bits of mince/brain as i call it....