Awesome or Off-Putting is a weekly delve into cryptozoology, ufology, aliens, medical marvels, scientific wonders, secret societies, government conspiracies, cults, ghosts, EVPs, ancient artifacts, strange facts, odd sightings or just the plain unexplainable.
Have you ever heard of Alien Hand Syndrome? It’s a pretty weird thing where your hand turns gray and your pinky and ring finger rot off. Then it grips a laser gun and starts blasting empty soda bottles off your neighbor’s back porch.
Actually, that’s not what it is. We would, however, very much like to see WebMD list that as an official symptom. What it is could actually be considered a bit stranger. To have alien hand syndrome is to have one of your hands acting out without your consent. It does weird things like slapping you in your own face – like in the video link on the next page.
Hecklerspray‘s dream is to have alien hand and turrets at the same time. Think about it – you could pretty much do anything you want and then produce a doctor’s note to any mob that’s about to lay you on the ground and kick you repeatedly. Speaking as people who are frequently in angry mobs – we’d never hurt anybody who had a doctor’s note.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of Alien Hand Syndrome? An article on WebMD describes it like this:
“In alien hand syndrome, the patient’s hand moves involuntarily, sometimes forcing the patient to “use their healthy hand to restrain the alien hand’s actions.””
It’s real and it’s weird. Although it would seem to be a perfect murder defense – a quick scan of the internets shows it hasn’t been used yet. This is probably because murderous scoundrels are too stupid to think of something that great.
It’s a very rare condition – and it usually follows brain surgery. As Wikipedia explains it:
“Alien hand syndrome is best documented in cases where a person has had the two hemispheres of their brain surgically separated, a procedure sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of extreme cases of epilepsy.”
Karen Byrne is just such a person. BBC News tell us her story:
“It started after Karen had surgery at 27 to control her epilepsy, which had dominated her life since she was 10. Surgery to cure epilepsy usually involves identifying and then cutting out a small section of the brain, where the abnormal electrical signals originate.
“When this does not work, or when the damaged area cannot be identified, patients may be offered something more radical. In Karen’s case her surgeon cut her corpus callosum, a band of nervous fibres which keeps the two halves of the brain in constant contact. Cutting the corpus callosum cured Karen’s epilepsy, but left her with a completely different problem. Karen told me that initially everything seemed to be fine. Then her doctors noticed some extremely odd behaviour.
“[The Doctor] said ‘Karen what are you doing? Your hand’s undressing you’. [Karen replied] ‘until he said that I had no idea that my left hand was opening up the buttons of my shirt.'”
To most people that may seem 100% unproblematic and sexy, but that’s just because most people are inconsiderate perverts. You see – the problem got worse than Karen never being completely sure if she was still wearing a shirt or not. Worse because the free-range hand started to hit her in the face repeatedly. For weird proof of this – see this video.
Let it be a lesson to us all that the next time you see a homeless guy’s hand on your wallet – don’t get mad. It’s probably just his greedy, unwashed hand in desperate need of alcohol/drugs/a sandwich.