DEC 21, 2017 11:10 AM PST

Weird body anomalies only 5% of people have


One day in my college biology class we learned about auricular fistulas - the tiny holes that some people have in their ears that are the evolutionary remnants of fish gills. Of course, curious, I looked in the mirror as soon as I got home and was surprised to see a little hole on the top of my right ear that I had never noticed before. Only about 5% of people have these holes and in the US only about 1% of the population. Turns out, I am special after all (thanks, mom!)

But auricular fistulas aren't the only weird anomalies that some people have. Some people have double rows of eyelashes, some have extra ribs, some even have gold blood. Others have a condition called chimerism, which means you have an extra set of DNA, which can show up in the form of mosaic skin or two different colored eyes. Some lucky individuals have a mutation on the x chromosome which results in tetrachromacy, or the ability to see colors that are invisible to the rest of us. Such people can often see up to 99 million colors while the rest of us can only see 1 million.

Ever heard of the long palmar muscle? This muscle is leftover from our ancestors who used to climb trees - but about 16% of people have evolved past their tree-climbing years and no longer have the muscle! Watch the video to learn how to test to see if you have it.
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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