Not much surprises us nowadays, but some things do happen to carry a significant shock value. One of these things is “stuff” found in the human body that isn’t supposed to be there. Documented accounts of notable cases usually involve medical malpractice and bugs that laid eggs under the skin (shivers), but there’s so much more to this category.
From bugs to surgical instruments and everything in between, here are the ten craziest—and some quite disturbing—objects ever removed from someone.
Sometimes, the things that get “trapped” in our bodies are not by choice, like cysts. Besides all the pus and goo that can come out of larger cysts, when one is in you for so long, it can turn into a strange human pearl, brain-like and bizarre.
The clip above shows Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, removing 35-year-old cysts from a woman’s head. If you have a weak stomach, you may not want to watch. However, this is not the first instance of someone having an antique cyst (not an official medical term) removed from them.
In another instance, one of her patients—Roger, for those who follow the show—had a cyst in his nose that developed its own blood vessel. Once a cyst finds a blood supply, it grows, much like tumors do. Roger’s cyst grew so large that it hung over his mouth. He eventually underwent surgery to have the cyst removed and reconstruct his nostril. After 10 to 12 years of dealing with rhinophyma, it was gone.
Dr. Pimple Popper is a great series to watch if you’re into cyst removal or are popaholics. It really does show you that some of the craziest things removed from our bodies are not because we stick them in there; it’s because our bodies are actually oysters in disguise.
Yes, we are including bugs in this list. It’s not a mystery at this point that flies will lay their eggs under your skin, the eggs hatch, and then the larvae have a field day in there like it’s a Chuck E. Cheese. We’re looking at you, botfly.
Botflies are parasitic bugs that will burrow under the skin of mammals. They are fuzzy like bumblebees but are hellish nightmare insects that need to be destroyed with fire. The fly lays its eggs under your skin, or the larvae will travel to a host and burrow into the skin (very “Parasyte” for those familiar with the manga). The larvae leave a painful wound-like mark on the skin, sometimes with a pustule. You may even feel something wriggling underneath the spot.
To remove them, you should absolutely see a dermatologist; don’t try to do it yourself. If you keep the larvae in you for too long, which I don’t know why you would want to keep them in you at all, the infection they cause can become even more severe. If the doctor finds that the larvae are still alive, they will essentially suffocate the bugs by placing tape or Vaseline over the wound. This makes them easier to remove.
Fortunately, if you live in colder, drier areas of the world, you’re less likely to encounter botflies. However, if you live in or travel to Brazil, you may want to pay extra attention to what crawls on your skin.
8 It’s People
It’s not soylent green; it’s people. Every now and then, you hear about people getting pieces of a twin removed from them, usually hair, teeth, etc. This results from a twin forming inside the other fetus (fetus in fetu), but incompletely. Though these twins rarely develop fully, there was one instance in Malaysia in 2016 in which the twin was quite developed.
A 15-year old boy was rushed to the hospital after complaining of stomach pains. Doctors discovered that a parasitic twin was living inside his stomach. It had fully formed legs, hands, and genitals. The mouth and nose were not completely developed, though.
Unfortunately, removing the twin resulted in its death. Parasitic twins rely on the host for survival, and most die before birth. But sometimes, they live and continue to grow, only to be removed from the host when the host’s health begins to deteriorate.
You know when you have a porch light on at night, and you have to walk to your front door, but there are several inconveniently placed moths all over the place? You aren’t crazy for covering your face and ears as you barrel through.
Moths are just another kind of insect that like ending up inside of you. More often than you think, moths will crawl into your ears. Though you can remove the bug yourself, it’s better to go to a doctor. The doctor will then use warm water or oil to help get the bug out. With larger insects, like the moth, you may just need a good old pair of tweezers.
I thought tapeworms would end up on this list because the lengths these parasites can reach are insane, but I could barely get through the extraction videos. One came out of a nose, one from the mouth; I wasn’t even going to touch ones coming out the rear.
Anyway, I couldn’t get through it long enough to justify writing about it. So I decided to switch gears and go for a roundworm, still awful but more tolerable. People get infected with roundworms if they come into contact with infected fecal matter or parasite-ridden food. They operate similarly to tapeworms and are just as messed up to look at.
For one woman, doctors found a 6-inch roundworm in her lip. I can only imagine the relief she felt when she had it removed, but also the terror of knowing something like that was feeding off of her face.
Welcome to the medical malpractice portion of this article, where doctors leave equipment in their patients and sew them up, unaware that they’ve caused a whole new problem. We start with a surgical retractor.
A retractor is what surgeons use to keep tissue and organs out of the way during surgery. One man by the name of Donald Church ended up with a forgotten 12″ retractor in his chest. After complaining of piercing pain, his surgeon brushed it off as standard recovery pain. However, after 30 days of no improvement, Church’s doctor ordered an x-ray and discovered the abandoned object.
Oops, doc. Oops.
It took Mr. Church a little over 30 days to discover the doctor had left something in him. But can you imagine waiting 18 years?
In 2017, a man from Vietnam named Va Man Nhat underwent treatment for a road accident when surgeons discovered surgical scissors (forceps), broken in two and lodged in the side of his abdomen.
Nhat said that he had received surgery in 1998 and believed that surgeons had forgotten the scissors in him then. He also noted that he was left with lasting pain after that surgery, but doctors told him he had an ulcer.
Yeah, no. It was scissors.
3 Cell Phone
A guy from Kosovo once swallowed a Nokia phone. Yes, you read that correctly. He swallowed an entire cell phone. He was 33 years old and probably knew better, but he did it anyway. The cell phone was in his stomach for four days before surgeons removed it.
Fortunately, they were able to extract the phone in three parts without cutting him open. Unfortunately, they couldn’t figure out why he thought that swallowing a phone was a good idea to begin with.
If you’re a parent, you know that batteries are a huge health and safety hazard, especially since babies and toddlers discover the world by putting things in their mouths. The batteries contain toxic and corrosive chemicals that can be lethal to small kids, and Nokia’s battery is no different. Our very adult patient is very lucky.
2 Forks and Spoons
In 2009, Margaret Daalman went to the hospital complaining of stomach pain. An x-ray revealed that the 52-year-old woman had about 78 pieces of cutlery in her stomach. Obviously, they didn’t just appear there for no reason; she ate the forks and spoons. Daalman successfully underwent surgery to remove the cutlery.
About the incident, Daalman states that she felt compelled to eat the cutlery and ignore the food on her plate. Doctors also reported that she suffers from borderline personality disorder, which contributed to her obsessive desire to eat her silverware.
1 Butt Bottle
Time to end with an embarrassing and incredibly painful case.
A 73-year-old farmer, who happened to have a wooden limb (important detail), was out in the field one day when nature called. There was no modern plumbing where he lived, so he decided to defecate in an empty glass jar, formerly used for maraschino cherries.
Well, his wooden limb broke, and he fell on top of the jar. The jar effectively got lodged in his rectum. The neck of the bottle broke inside of him, which understandably caused a lot of bleeding. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Surgeons removed the bottle using obstetric forceps (what they’ll sometimes use to help babies through the birth canal), and the man lived.
Moral of the story: don’t poop in a jar.