Everybody is different. Some of these differences are obvious, like hair and eye color. Others are much less obvious, and can, for better or for worse, even be considered rare. While some people may see a rare difference as a flaw, there are many others who wear these differences as badges of honor. These Reddit users choose to see the glass as half full, and teach us all that where one person might say the word, “unlucky,” another will say, “rare.” Here are 42 people talking about what makes them statistically rare.
1. Definitely Not an Autumn
I’m allergic to the chemical released when fresh oranges are peeled. That first spray when you open an orange will put me into anaphylactic shock. Super specific, super rare when the allergy is that severe. Bad oranges.
I’m chimeric, except I have two twins. I’m walking around with my fraternal twin brother’s DNA and identical twin sister’s spinal tube next to my spinal tube. I was supposed to be three individuals.
3. Teaching Skeleton
I have epilepsy. So about 1 in 100, not that rare at all really. But, I’ve had a status epilepticus which is when you have seizures that don’t stop until you die, without intervention. I woke up in the ICU with my hands strapped to the bed, a feeding tube in, a catheter, and an insanely sore throat from being intubated.
I also have had surgery where they drilled two holes in my skull and inserted two subdural electrodes to find out where the seizures originate from. That’s under the dura matter, right on the surface of my brain. Still have two holes in my skull now. I always thought they’d grow over, but apparently just the exposed marrow around the edges closed itself up.
So, I want to be donated to a university and turned into a skeleton when I die.
4. True Survivor
I was present the two times the US was attacked on American soil. I lived in Pearl City, Hawaii, just outside of Pearl Harbor when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on 12/07/1941. I worked in the Pentagon when a missile struck it on 9/11/2001.
5. The Miracle Child
My mother was born with an upside-down uterus. They told her it would be impossible to have a child. I was born with my umbilical chord wrapped three times around my neck, and was presumed dead. Yet here I am with no birth defects, perfectly healthy. I was paraded around the hospital as a miracle child. Having been born in a small town, everyone always told me I was going to grow up to do miraculous things.
I feel as though I uh…have not lived up to the hype.
6. Yeah, I’m Cross Dominant
I have cross-dominance, which means I can do only some things with my right hand, and only some things with my left hand. Like for example, I can write with my right, can only throw with my left, and can eat with both. I also have cross eye dominance, meaning my right hand moves to what my left eye sees and visa versa.
7. Lots of Balls
I met a dude with three testicles. His specific type meant that all three balls were producing sperm and testosterone. There has only been something like 203 cases of this ever occurring in medical history including ANIMALS. This means me even meeting this guy is a statistical rarity.
8. Forget the Odds
I have congenital panhypopituitarism, which basically means I don’t have a pituitary gland, my immune system is really, REALLY weak, like basically nonexistent. Most people don’t live past five. But here I am!!
9. Stomach Churning
My dad’s stomach spontaneously turned upside down and migrated to the location of the lungs. Nobody knows why, not my dad or the doctors. He was in his mid to late 50s. It started as a hiatal hernia. Then, a bit of his intestines got pulled up into where the esophagus goes through the diaphragm. The esophagus got pulled through the same hole. Nobody knows why this happens to some people.
10. Life-Saving Blood
I have O-negative blood that has never been exposed to the Cytomegalovirus, making it safe for preemies. I am such a sap, I got all misty-eyed when the Red Cross guy told me that my blood was very special.
11. Ears Like a Bat
I have better hearing than most people, especially with high frequencies. I get headaches all the time because of how noisy people and things are. I usually have to wear earplugs to be able to sleep. I also can’t yell. I have a small whistle on my keychain in case I need help.
12. Anti-Vax Without Choice
I actually had an allergic reaction to a vaccine as a kid. I passed out and stopped breathing. I almost died. I had a speech impediment as a kid that was probably a result of lack of oxygen to my brain during the incident. True allergic reactions like this are one in a million. I couldn’t finish my vaccines and can’t get boosters shots because the chance of another reaction is higher than the chance of me actually contracting anything we vaccinate against.
Or it was until we starting losing our herd immunity. If I had kids, I’d still vaccinate them.
13. Forever Sober
There are a few things… I have centralized heterochromia, which is a mutation of a mutation… of a mutation. On top of that, it’s hereditary and not linked to any horrific condition that’s normally linked to hereditary centralized heterochromia. However, if you want to hear something incredibly rare…my wife is alcohol intolerant.
I didn’t learn about it until she recounted a tale about her grandmother trying to calm her down as a baby by putting whiskey on her gums. Yeah, she calmed down alright…then her face turned blue and she wasn’t breathing. This anomaly is rather rare. But what makes this crazy? My dad is allergic to alcohol, which is very similar but just as rare!
Not just grain alcohol, he’s allergic to isopropyl as well. He can’t even have it on his skin for too long, otherwise, it will start burning. There was even a malpractice suit because a doctor didn’t believe him when he said he was allergic. Her words were, “It’s not possible to be allergic to alcohol.” I won’t go into details, but the doctor almost fainted and my dad has an insane scar because of it.
14. The Medical Equivalent of Being Struck by Lightning
I suffered a stillbirth last year, which is sadly not that rare. But the autopsy discovered the cause was a disseminated herpes infection which I contracted from my partner. Intrauterine herpes infection is very rare. For it to cause death is very rare. Neither of my two OBs, the primatologist, nor the pathologist has ever seen a case of it.
Not only that, I had no symptoms at all. Never experienced an outbreak, had normal CBC, etc. The pathologist could only find cases where the mother also had a disseminated infection which passed to the baby. My doctor said it’s the medical equivalent of being struck by lightning. The good news is that this did not put future pregnancies at risk since this typically only happens during a primary infection.
I am now 36 weeks with another baby boy and other than being on preventative acyclovir, they are not concerned for him.
15. Morning Glory Eyes
I’ve got Morning glory syndrome/anomaly, a birth defect in one of my eyes. Basically, the optic nerve isn’t fully formed, so not only can’t I see out of it, my eye can’t absorb the flash when taking a picture and instead reflects the light. In pictures, my eye looks like a Morning Glory flower, hence the name.
16. A Textbook Case
I’m in a medical journal for a ‘one in two-million’ odds type of rare tumor. My surgeon had only seen one once before, and mine was the biggest. Also wasn’t caused by hormonal birth control—almost all hepatocellular adenomas are. Mine was 7lbs. and the size of a dinner plate. So, I’m in that medical journal as a 16-year-old female (back in 2007) and a photo of my butt is potentially in a medical textbook from that same year.
I developed Henoch-Schonlein purpura and vasculitis secondary to end-stage liver failure. My doctor said it was a “textbook case” and asked for my permission for a photo. Not sure if it was used or not. If you have a pediatric rheumatology textbook from 2008 or so by Dr. Lauren Pachman, let me know. Technically I should’ve died several times but didn’t, and was lucky enough to receive a transplant in 2009.
So those are some anomalies. I also moved to Alaska and married an Eskimo. Which sounds ridiculous but is true. Oh, and I’m left-handed, and my immediate family is all left-handed as well.
17. Get This Man Some Sugar
I was born with no glucose in my body, none at all. They had to jumpstart my pancreas with massive injections of blood absorbed glucose. Which worked. Don’t have diabetes, which is apparently the rare part of all that.
18. Vampire… Without the Blood Part
I have an allergy to sunlight. It’s not serious or anything, I can go outside, but I need really high SPF or I’ll get rashes all over my skin along with a terrible sunburn. And I am physically unable to tan, forever pale. I’m basically a vampire.
19. A Little Tongue-Tied
I have a tongue-tie. About 5% of newborns have one and often they naturally go away over time or have to be snipped to help with breastfeeding or speech, which makes them pretty uncommon in adults. But I still have mine, and so does my sister. My dentist—who’s fairly young, in fairness—said he’d never seen one before he saw mine.
20. Road Tripper
I’ve been to 32 US states and two Canadian provinces, but have never flown in an airplane in my entire life.
21. Blue Hazel Eyes
I have blue hazel eyes, as well as central heterochromia. It’s blue eyes with the patterning of hazel eyes (flecks, strata, etc.). Blue hazel is especially rare because hazel most commonly presents in eyes with high melanin, like brown or green. I don’t have one blue and one hazel eye (as awesome as that would be); both of my eyes are blue with grey flecks, teal strata, a dark blue ring, and a yellow burst in the middle.
22. Beyond Tying Cherry Stems
I can fold my tongue in half laterally, straight across the middle, and hold it there with the strength of my tongue muscle alone. So far, I’ve not met another person who can do it without holding their tongue there using the roof of their mouth. I’m certain others can do it, I’ve just not met any.
23. Let me Read Your Aura
I’m not sure if I’m considered rare, but I can sometimes see colored lights around people. Kind of like a mood ring, or aura. The colors depend on their mood and can change. When I was younger I saw them all the time, but when I asked my mother what the light meant she became really angry and told me there was no such thing.
I stopped seeing them as often and I never mentioned it again.
24. I Don’t Get High
I’m immune/highly resistant to opioids. I’ve been prescribed them numerous times for post-operative pain management but always complained to my doctors about them not working, and leaving me in a considerable amount of pain. I was also given them at high doses before surgeries with little to no results which shook doctors.
I’ve never abused opioids previously, plus I was strongly against taking them due to the addictive nature before finding out they’re duds to me. You can just imagine how fun surgeries or recoveries are! Good thing I rarely have surgeries in addition to relatively high pain tolerance. Phew!
Perhaps many things, but the one that’s most curious and outstanding is my controlled nystagmus. Nystagmus is muscle movement in an eye that makes it twitch at slow or rapid speeds. Most nystagmus is involuntary and the result of neurological damage, but very rarely a person has controlled nystagmus. In the same way that one can choose to cross their eyes, a person with CN can choose to vibrate their eyes, quite literally.
Well, in my many years doing it as a party trick—and a very successful one, as about 66% of people seeing it either shudder or outright shriek—I’ve met two other people who had CN. They could each do it for approximately two or three seconds. I can do it for several minutes straight. The only reason I have to stop, beyond the fatigue of doing any one thing for several minutes straight, is that doing it too long gives me a bit of a headache.
So yeah. That’s my thing. I have the ability on command to make my eyes vibrate at an extremely rapid pace for several minutes, and I’ve never heard of anyone who even comes close to my record, even after researching it.
I’m a mono-chorionic mono-amniotic twin. Not only am I identical, but I shared a single egg with my brother and we didn’t even have a dividing wall, we just floated around in there together. Usually, when this happens you get Siamese twins. We’re “just” identical twins. Having identical twins is random. 0.3% of the world are identical twins. Only 1% of twins are what we are.
So only 0.003%of the world are MoMo twins. There are approximately 7,349,000,000 people in the world so there are approximately 22,047,000 MoMo twins IN THE WORLD.
27. Hard Work Pays Off
I have autism, but I’m in the normal school programs, average honor roll, and am on the student council. I have a much lesser version, but at the same time I worked very hard to get past most of my issues and today you couldn’t tell I had it if I didn’t tell you.
28. A Strong Relationship
I’ve been with the same guy for about 10 years and he was my high school sweetheart. No off and on, no teen pregnancy, and no crazy outlandish shenanigans. We waited, and are getting married a month after our 10-year anniversary. And obviously we are still very happy. I think that makes us rare, from what I understand.
29. Death Defying
I had almost died several times: first I was lit on fire and had a 22% chance of living, but the burn ward saved me. Four years later, I was pulled by an undercurrent and drowned, but a person on a jet ski saw me and was able to pull me out and provide CPR. Three years after that I put a gun to my own head and the shell didn’t fire (stared at the notch on the casing for hours). A year after that I was slashed with a knife in a bar fight.
30. A is for…
I am an a-romantic asexual. It’s super rare to be asexual, like between 3-5% of the human population. But then to be a-romantic on top of that? I won the world’s stupidest lottery.
31. What Accent?
I have the least-accented voice on the planet. Pacific North-West accent is considered the least-accented version of English. A few years ago, they were looking for native English speakers from the PNW to gauge the accent and get good records of it. I volunteered, and I was the friendliest volunteer, and we talked for several hours, told them some stories, read some words out, and it turned out that I am the “reference voice” for the Pacific North West accent.
32. A Life Without Pasta
My uvula is forked. It’s decently common for infants, but I’m 20 and it’s never formed completely. Because of that, my gag reflex is way higher than normal, so I can’t really eat any sort of noodles or have food in my mouth for too long.
33. Pectus Excavatum
I have pectus excavatum, which is fairly uncommon in and of itself, but it’s even less common in women. I didn’t know it was weird until my 20s, since my younger brother has one too and I never thought to look on other people. It’s basically like someone punched a hole in the center of my chest when my ribcage was forming and left a dent.
It’s an absolute pain for photography because my ribs flare out at their base, making me look like I have four boobs. I also have an ear-cough reflex, which is exactly what it sounds like. You stick something in my left ear, I cough. It’s rarer to have it in both ears, but it’s still a bizarre and fun thing to have just in one, even if it does make sticking cotton buds in your ears a riskier business—yeah, yeah, I know.
34. Life-Saving Braces
My left lower canine never pushed itself out after I lost my last baby tooth. Left alone it very well would have resulted in mouth cancer according to the orthodontist. I had to have my gum opened and mandible chipped away so they could attach braces to the errant tooth and pull it up and I know it was rare because the oral surgeon was taking Polaroids during the entire procedure.
Apart from that one tooth, I’ve had perfectly straight and clean teeth with fewer cavities than I can count on one hand. But because of that one tooth, I had to wear braces for three years.
35. Stage Fright
I was born with a branchial cleft cyst birth defect. It’s a rare disease of the head and neck and the exact incidence rate isn’t known. I was 12 when it appeared and was removed; not to mention extremely nervous because I had to have two specialists in the room during the surgery and a class of doctorate students were in a viewing room during the process.
Didn’t help that my dad kissed my head as they were wheeling me off after anesthesia and said “You’ll do great, don’t start panicking until the doctor says ‘oops!'” He’s a funny guy…
36. A College Student’s Worst Nightmare
I have a severe form of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome that, without medication to manage it functionally, makes me nocturnal. My natural body clock regardless of screen time, caffeine, or other variables have me waking up in the late afternoon and falling asleep at dawn. As many as 15% of people may have some form of this syndrome but mine is in the top 1% of that 15% as far as its severity goes.
It made my undergrad hell, but it means I can easily pick up late or overnight shifts that most people can’t or don’t want to do and they usually pay more so that’s a plus.
37. Better in Than Out
I have retrograde cricopharyngeal dysfunction (R-CPD), a syndrome that went without a name until just this year. I can’t burp! Like… never, ever, ever. I can’t make myself burp. I can’t if I chugged a soda (and that would cause intense chest pain and a “frog-like” croak to come out of my throat). Sometimes when I drink carbonated drinks, I get intensely nauseous because my stomach is so full.
It also causes intense bloating in my case and stomach pain. I have femoral anteversion. Apparently some experts estimate as high as 99% that this self corrects by the time a child reaches adolescence. It did not for me. I walk very oddly and have been told by my boyfriend that it looks painful. I am also left-handed!! This one didn’t sound as interesting.
38. That Dizzy Feeling
You know that dizzy feeling you get sometimes while standing up? Not being able to see for a while? I get that but a bit extreme. It’s not really my blood pressure acting up, as it usually is. My heart rate can jump up 40 bpm instantly if stand up after laying down relaxed for a while. That heart rate can keep up for more than five minutes even if all I’m doing I stand still.
It has made me faint once. I’ve been told it’s because my heart compensates for my blood pressure changing as I stand up. Blood pressure is supposed to change as you stand up, but my heart goes, “Oh crap I’m dying.” At about 15 years old I was diagnosed with POTS, which my doctor had no idea what was before, could also be because I live in a small place.
I started taking daily heart medicine old men get. Apparently people with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome have a higher probability to get POTS, which is in my family (I’m not diagnosed, but my mom and grandma are. I share a few of their symptoms). The heart meds help to lessen the usual dizzy and loss of sight/body shakes by stopping my heart from racing THAT fast.
It’s a fast change in bpm that messes me up. POTS apparently (usually) goes away after puberty. I’m 19, done with puberty, and still waiting for my heart to stop overreacting.
39. Fighter from Birth
Was born three months premature, 1lb., 7oz. Was slowly drowning from fluid buildup on a ventilator due to immature lungs. Near the point of no return, I flailed around one night and extubated myself and started breathing against all experience. Six months later I was sent home, went hypoxic, and was airlifted to Duluth for emergency measures…and they ran out of oxygen halfway through the flight.
Have a few more to add on top of that, but all in all, I really shouldn’t be alive.
40. Remember Your Towel
I’m allergic to water. Not hydrogen or oxygen itself of course—I’d really be screwed then—but when my skin is wet it will react to almost anything. Tomato and meat juice are so for, by my experience, the worst. My skin will hurt as if I had spilled acid over myself. Haven’t had tomatoes in sandwiches for ages, and eating a burger with my hands is a joy I haven’t had for years.
41. A Mixed Bag
The bad stuff first. Mild to mid insomnia combined with restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea, plus a major resistance to sleepiness from any medication. I can down Gravol with NyQuil and not get sleepy at all. Sleeping pills, I have to take two to three times the dose for it to have any effect. The doctor gave me samples of a sleeping pill, saying if I take one in 15 minutes if I don’t go to bed, I’ll be sleepwalking.
It takes three pills to help me sleep at all, and it doesn’t feel strong. I feel like I could power through a roofie. So, basically, I don’t get nearly the sleep I should. I can run backward at nearly full speed – which is sometimes a match for others forward speed which really pisses them off when I display this talent.
Oh, and two toes on each foot are half webbed.
42. A Genuine Tail
I have an actual tail. Not like one of those dinky little nubs that you see on dogs who have their tails cut off. I have a full-on tail. Maybe about half the length that you would see on a dog. Obviously it doesn’t have fur on it or anything, just skin. The primordial tail is a lot more common, though still pretty rare. I have what they classify as a primordial-primordial tail.
Sort of primordial for the primordial.