The human piggy bank

PolyphagiaEels seem to have featured regularly in this blog, for some reason. First there was the physician who had a shocking experience with an electric eel, and more recently we’ve had the dubious tale of the boy with an eel in his stomach.

Here’s another story involving an ingested eel, and much more besides.  In 1826 The London Medical Read more

The man with three testicles

Three testiclesIn September 1842 a young man called William Howard went to the army recruiting depot at Coventry, hoping to join the 35th Infantry Regiment.  As is usual on these occasions, he was examined by the medical officer, one Dr Macann.  The good doctor had a surprise in store, as he later reported to the Provincial Medical Journal and Retrospect Read more

An intestinal… mouse?

An extraordinary caseAs regular readers of this blog may be aware, early medical journals often carried tales of unlikely creatures found living inside the human body.  Examples include beetles found in the bladder, millipedes and winged insects in the stomach, and the curious case of the girl with spiders in her eyes.

This is, however, the only case I’ve found which … Read more

Oshkosh, by gosh

Severe fracture of the skullHere’s a spectacular head injury (and recovery) reported in the Transactions of the Wisconsin State Medical Society in 1869.  This lucky, lucky man survived an accident which left him with a large portion of his brain hanging out of his skull. The unusual case was reported by Dr Linde of Oshkosh, Wisconsin – a city perhaps best known today as … Read more

Trees do not grow in humans

In June 1879 the Chicago Telegraph made quite a splash with a story published under this headline:Extraordinary case

Probably the most wonderful phenomenon that has ever come under the observation of the medical fraternity of this city developed itself at the Montcalm House, on Erie street, in the person of a boy named Herbert G. Schwartz.  Schwartz senior is a farmer, Read more

Penis in a bottle

foreign body in the urethraA regular feature of any hospital accident and emergency department is the patient who turns up in an embarrassing and self-inflicted predicament. When questioned about the nature of the injury and how it came about, they come up with an utterly implausible explanation. One example: “I was standing on a chair in the nude, trying to close the window, and … Read more