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"I Was 37 When I Learned This": People Are Revealing The "Unusual Body Things" They Didn't Know Were "Unusual" Until Someone Else Broke The News

"Never knew I was different until one day mentioned it to a coworker, and she looked horrified."

As someone who has on more than one occasion had a doctor look at me and go, "Huh!" I know just how strange it can feel to find out something you thought was totally normal and chill about your body is, in fact, not at all normal or chill. Nobody prepares you for it!

Two images of a woman (Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey) with a concerned expression in a medical drama setting

Existing in these mortal flesh prisons is a simultaneously fascinating and supremely weird experience, but I personally can say I've taken solace in learning there are tons of other people who are in the same boat as me, especially here on www dot BuzzFeed dot com. In fact, there have been a few times when I've learned there are other people whose bodies do the exact same strange thing mine does, which makes the whole thing a little less isolating and strange.

Woman expressing, with text "Me too." on screen

So, I've created this little safe space online for fellow strange-body-havers to share the weird thing their own body does that they did not, in fact, know was strange until someone else pointed it out to them. Every month or so, I round up stories from BuzzFeed readers just like you. Here are 24 more of them:

1. "I didn't know that I had aphantasia until I read a BuzzFeed article a few years ago. I can't visualize anything, and it's pitch black when I close my eyes — every time. I never knew that when someone said, 'Picture this,' other people actually SAW something. I thought it was just describing a situation. I was blown away when I learned people can 'watch' their memories, too. I just remember the order of events, certain details, and feelings."

"Oh, and I am an avid reader, so everyone I've talked to asks how I like reading if I can't see the story 'playing out' as I read. I'm just here for the plots. But, it does explain why I never liked certain books that were too descriptive and didn't get into the story quickly enough."


2. "Sometimes, when I look at an object, I see it completely out of proportion. Like a gigantic spoon, for instance. It used to cause me terrible anxiety when I was a kid, and no one would understand. Flash forward to a couple of years ago, and I found out that what I have is known as 'Alice in Wonderland syndrome.' Basically, there's a miscommunication between my cornea and my brain that causes it. As an adult, it is easy to just breathe through until it goes back to normal as it only lasts a few seconds, but as a kid, it was a complete nightmare."


"I have it, too; happened more in my youth. It's pretty wild! Never thought much of it until I talked about it sometime in my 40s. People were shocked, maybe disbelieving."


3. "When I was in third grade, there was a lump behind my front upper tooth. They assumed it was an abscess, put me on antibiotics, waited a week, then lanced it. It turned out to be full of tiny teeth. They looked like squirrel teeth to me. They saved a bunch of them and then put three stitches in my gum. Because of the tiny teeth and stitches, I got a whole $5 from the tooth fairy!"

Dental panoramic radiograph showing upper and lower teeth and jawbone structure

4. "I couldn't breathe through my nose for most of my life. I always assumed that this was normal and that everyone who talked about breathing through their nose was lying or exaggerating. I got a CPAP in my late 20s, and as a side effect, my nasal passages finally opened up. My ENT said it's weird but not unprecedented."


5. "When I'm exhausted and need to sleep, I hear a loud knocking sound like someone is at the door. No one else ever hears it, and now I just associate it with needing rest."


6. "It was years and years before I found out that the reason other people can gulp soda is because most don't experience a serious burning sensation when they drink it. I can only sip carbonated drinks very slowly because they burn all the way down. Obviously, I don't drink a lot of soda. I thought the people in ads where they chug a Coke were drinking colored water, because why would anyone torture themself that way?"

Person drinking from a bottle against a neutral background

7. "When I close my eyes, I see pictures. Not an outline of what I was just looking at or not a picture of something I'm thinking about — just random ass pictures. They are all over the place. I thought this was normal until I asked my boyfriend, 'You know those pictures you see when you close your eyes?' and he had no idea what I was talking about. Turns out most people see black. I was 37 when I learned this."


8. "I have PETD. After a sinus infection, I had unbearable ear pressure. The lining of my eustachian tubes was damaged, so they didn't close properly anymore. Tubes in my ear drums helped some, but now I can breathe in and out of my ears. I can also blow smoke out of them, but do not recommend it. I can't go scuba diving, but I never have to worry about ear pressure on a flight. When the tubes fall out, the pressure returns, and it sounds like chip packets crunching away when I breathe. Extremely distracting and uncomfortable. It's such a rare condition that insurance companies don't have codes for it, and most ENTs have no idea how to fix it."


9. "I thought everyone saw static 24/7. When I was told that wasn't normal, I assumed that everyone still saw static in the dark, because it's a known phenomenon of human brains making things up in darkness. All my eye appointments were normal — there was nothing wrong on the visual end. I tried doing research, but nothing came up. On a whim about six years ago, I decided to try googling my symptoms again, not expecting to find anything, but sources about Visual Snow Syndrome popped up, and it explains all of the symptoms I have related to the static vision. Haven't been officially diagnosed yet, but it would explain a lot."


"I have Visual Snow. Best way to describe it: when the cable cord to the TV isn't screwed in all the way and the screen is slightly fuzzy. That's my entire field of vision. Not to mention the tons of floaters and shadow auras, migraines, and tinnitus that are also symptoms. I've found online forums of people with the same, but have never met someone in real life. Never knew I was different until one day mentioned it to a coworker, and she looked horrified. She asked, 'Like...how do you see??'"


You can watch a video of how people with Visual Snow see here:

View this video on YouTube

Mayo Clinic / Via youtu.be

10. "I have Cooks Syndrome. Only my feet are affected, and I passed it on to my daughter. Her father and I lovingly refer to her 'toes' as 'skin bags' since some don't have the medial and distal phalanges and are missing toenails. Of all the genetic mutations to get, it's relatively lucky to have something so benign."


11. "I have Snatiation. It's nice because I have an automatic trigger to tell me when to stop so I don't overeat. It was way worse when I was a kid — the whole family would count my sneezes after meals. Sometimes, I'd get up into the 30s. Now, it's just three to five sneezes."


12. "My boyfriend has sneezing attacks when he's horny. I used to think it was weird, but 11.5 years later, I'm just used to it."

Man in glasses blowing nose with tissue, eyes closed, expressing discomfort

13. "I have musical auditory hallucinations. Mine go 24/7, nonstop. I can tolerate most of the songs, but every once in a while, the national anthem gets playing, and I could really do with a dial to change the 'channel.'"


14. "I made the mistake of casually asking my friends and coworkers if it bothers them that their hands tingle when they pee. I got looked at like I had three heads. I still haven't brought it up to my doctor because of how wild everyone acted about it, like I was a freak. But I've experienced it my whole life. When I'm peeing, my fingers and hands tingle, kind of like the static-y tingle when you put too much pressure on your arm and it falls asleep."

Person reaching for a toilet flush lever

15. "I sometimes experience exploding head syndrome. It usually sounds like someone knocking on a door. When I experience it, I look to my pets (if they're around) to see if they've reacted to a noise. If not, then I know it's just in my head."


16. "I have a chronic pain condition that wasn't diagnosed until I was 30. My entire life, I was exhausted and in pain and would yelp whenever someone poked my forearms or hugged me too hard. After my diagnosis, my mom told me she had just thought I was being melodramatic when I would cringe away from her."

"I also don't have that flap that separates your tear ducts from your nose or whatever. So whenever I would blow my nose, I would push air into my eyes. Again, my mom just thought I was being difficult when I would refuse to blow my nose. I also can't breathe if I cry because I get so congested.

On a much more enjoyable note, I smell colors and really enjoy things that smell green and white."


17. "My teeth have way more roots than normal. Dentists always marvel at them when doing X-rays and ask if they can show their coworkers. Getting my wisdom teeth extracted was a blast because of the numerous, twisted roots."

Dental crown on a textured surface

18. "I saw on Instagram recently that not everyone gets really itchy, red legs after coming inside from the cold. I really thought that was normal."


"This happens to my hands! Anyone I've ever asked about it has no idea what I'm talking about."


19. "Whenever I drink water, I feel nauseous. Like even one sip of water. I can feel it move down, and I instantly feel sick. But no other liquid seems to do this. I've asked people if they experience it, too, and they look at me like I'm making it up."


20. "My arms can't go all the way straight. I've been teased by loved ones about it. My elbows just...don't do that. I also have those weird tentacles on the bottom of my tongue, and I sneeze at the sun."

Person receiving a physical examination on their elbow by a healthcare professional

21. "I have a problem with local anesthetic. When I had to have cataract surgery, they gave me more and more and more anesthetic while I kept saying, 'Yes, I can feel that. Yes, I can feel that, too.' They had to give me a super-massive dose before it worked. Same with dental anesthetic. The last time I had a dental procedure, they had to sedate me because the local wasn't working."


22. "The roof of my mouth itches whenever I'm starting to get sick. I just found out last year that this is apparently not normal."

Illustration of a human mouth interior showing teeth, tongue, and palate

23. "I was born with one leg longer than the other. It's about 2 cm (3/4 inch) longer, which doesn't seem like much but screwed up my knees and back really badly. The weird part is how it is. I don't have one specific bone longer than the other — the whole leg is proportionally longer. I had one doctor tell me that if you took an X-ray of me from the waist down and cut it in half, you'd think it was from two different people. Nobody knows why. No doctor I've ever seen has seen anybody like me. I even had to calm a podiatrist down once because he didn't know what to do, and it freaked him out. A physical therapist once brought students in to see how one side of my buttocks was visibly larger than the other due to the way I have to stand."

"I still, as an adult, cannot bear weight on both legs at the same time. I just never learned how because I couldn't until I got a correctly sized-lift at age 26. My official diagnosis is skeletal asymmetry, or even more specifically, 'significant idiopathic leg length difference and iliac rotational asymmetry.' For the most part, since I wear an in-shoe lift, it's an invisible thing, but it causes issues with all kinds of things like stairs and slippery floors. It makes me very clumsy."


24. And finally, "My husband just had hernia surgery a few weeks ago, and the doctor came out afterward and told me he not only repaired the hernia but had to remove over two feet of intestines because they were too long! He said it's not wildly abnormal, but it made his outie belly button into an innie, so there's that."

Surgeons performing an operation with various surgical instruments in use

Does your body do any unusual things like these? If so, tell us about them in the comments below! You can read more stories like this here, here, and here.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.