Human genetics is fascinating. We’ve been studying them for decades, but we probably know less than 1% about them, other than the fact that all humans share around 99.3% or so of the share the same genetics. But that last bit that we don’t share can be responsible for so much more. Genetics dictate height, weight, skin and eye color, and that’s just the superficial stuff. There are things that go beyond skin deep, and can carry so much weight on how we act, feel, and think that it’s actually a very big question as to whether or not we even have free will. Not that environment doesn’t matter. It does, but what we are and where we are often interact in ways that make it impossible to determine just how much of our decisions are truly our own.
But what’s fascinating is that people who can be so closely related can appear radically different in ways that are difficult to grasp. Other people have conditions that don’t make them look very good but they are practically superheroes in ways we think of Wolverine as a superhero. Others just make people look like curiosities and make us wonder what would be possible if we could get a true understanding of genetics and what we can do, both in practical terms and maybe even altering genetics for aesthetic appearances.
So without further ado, let’s dig into the 15 mind-blowing people with fascinating genetics.
15. These men are twins
One of these men doesn’t look like the other. On the streets, you would think they’re from entirely different families. The man with black hair looks like he could pass for a Middle Eastern person, and the man with red hair would look great playing the bagpipes in a Scottish highland getup, but these people are not just brothers. They’re twins. One side of the family is Irish, and these brothers even crack jokes about the radical differences in appearance by saying, ‘My brother is an Irishman, but I am not.’ I wonder just how many variations they have on that joke up their sleeves.
14. They’re sisters, and her smile is terrifying
So here we have two twin sisters. I’m not sure if they’re twins or not actually, but one thing that’s fascinating is how one of the sisters has red hair, which is an exceptional rarity for all East Asians. The sister on the left has the most terrifying smile I have ever seen in my life. As I write this, I feel like if this was anything but real life (like a horror movie) I would feel like the girl is drawing away the very life force of my soul, leaving me a dry husk of a human being. But I just kid… please don’t take offense… please…
13. They’re all family
Albinism is a rather rare disorder. It results in skin having no pigment content at all. Ditto for the eyes and the hair. While an Albino parent can pass the gene onto their children, it’s still pretty rare, even when both parents have it. But apparently, these people beat the odds and now have a large extended family of people who are entirely free of such trivialities as melanin and skin pigmentation. People with albinism often face a lot of social discrimination in many parts of the world, which is something that needs to be brought to people’s attention, since it still happens in many parts of the world, especially in Africa where a lack of education often results in serious social disadvantages for these people.
12. Twins marrying twins and don’t have twins
Twins are fascinating. The whole idea of more than one baby being born at a time (the medical term for that is ‘singleton’ by the way) has captivated people in both real life and in fiction. Identical twins are what people really think of when they think of twins, and what happens when identical twins marry other identical twins? Well sadly they didn’t both produce another pairs of identical twins each. You can’t win ’em all, right?
Still, it’s actually incredibly rare that identical twins do meet other identical twins to get together. I wonder how different they are from one another, or how they learned to tell the difference. There’s nothing more embarrassing than waking up in the morning and confuse one spouse for the other. That must cause some major embarrassment…
11. The smurfs are real…sort of
So once upon a time, in some very isolated communities in Kentucky, there were inbred hillbillies that were blue-skinned. These are not people who held their breath for too long and ended up like this. I’m not kidding, they are like this naturally, and yes, with more inbreeding, they can pass this gene onto their children. While they are no longer inbred as they were in the 19th century, it still does pop up in individuals and even entire families who still hail from that one specific area in Kentucky. I wonder what would happen if the Smurfs movies included them instead of the CGI abomination that we got…
10. Always bet on red…
Remember that Albino family above? Well these people have decided to take Albinism and replace it with redheadedness to the highest degree. This entire family apparently had to be specifically bred to have red hair, since even in places like Scotland and Ireland, which have the most number of redheads, doesn’t have more than 6 and 10% respectively. These people must have been rolling natural 20s in the game of genetics for all of them to have red hair, except for the auntie and the grandma in the picture. They’re the ones without the trademark familial red hair. I wonder if family get-togethers are confused for redhead conventions or something.
9. Blonde haired, blue eyed…and black
OK, so he isn’t blue eyed, but his eye color is still very uncommon when we’re talking about black people. And by the way, he isn’t a mixed race individual. This guy is naturally like this as a result of a perfectly normal genetic lottery. It’s actually pretty rare for this to happen naturally, but when it does, it is a testament to the sheer absolute range of genetic diversity that humans have, and how seemingly minor and barely perceptible differences in DNA can result in some rather fascinating external results. I wonder what the rate is for black Africans to have blonde hair.
8. This is no hair dye
People normally have one hair color throughout life, and while some people will have light hair when they are very young that will darken as they reach adulthood, and they end up turning grey as we all get older and decrepit and crotchety and start sitting around and talking about the good ol’ days that never existed (because they generally involve walking 50 miles to school through shark infected piles of snow or something). But one thing that is rare is that there is normally no variations in hair color in an individual. You don’t have black and red hair together… though this person seems to have a very rare genetic anomaly that results in his facial hair having different colors.
7. All Hail the Red, Green, and Blue
So we’ve seen redheads before, and we’ve seen black people with blonde hair, but this girl has an unusual condition (but it happens in all species, and it’s actually quite fascinating wherever it pops up) called heterochromia iridum, and what that basically means is that one eye will have one color, and the other eye, a different color. Cats have it (and legend has it that they see ghosts… or was it cats with 6 toes? I don’t remember), dogs have it, horses and owls, too. It is a genetic thing, primarily (though it is often a result of inbreeding at times) but it can occur from diseases, or even injuries. Regardless, it’s definitely going to be the first thing that people notice when they make eye contact for the first time.
6. The unbreakable bones man
So there is a genetic mutation called LRP5, also known as the unbreakable bones syndrome, which results in people being born with bones that are several times denser than the average human. What this means is it is that these people have unbreakable bones. I’m not kidding, they have been known to get into viscous car accidents and walk out just fine. You can think of them as a real-life version of Wolverine, the X-man with adamantium bones that cannot be broken. Of course this genetic condition has its downsides. The incredibly density of these bones do result in deformities, especially in the face, as we see with this gentleman here (whose identity is unknown to me).
5. ATCN3: The super-sprinter gene
Have you ever looked at world class athletes and thought, ‘these people aren’t your typical dude or dudess’ (yes, the feminine equivalent of dude is dudess, get over it!). Because there really are things that some athletes are born with that give them the potential to become so much better at something than the average person.
In the case of sprinters, there is such a thing as the ‘sports gene’ it seems. It is called ACTN3, which allows some people to have some incredible ability at sprinting that could, with sufficient practice, win them a medal at the Olympics. I say practice, because even with a natural ability, the person still needs to have a lot of practice before they could see any result. Never forget, Tiger Woods might have been a ‘naturally gifted’ golfer, but he has been playing golf almost ceaselessly since he was 6 years old. Every day, and hours a day on top of that.
4. Congenital analgesia: Darkman syndrome
Congenital means ‘birth defect’ or you’re born with it. Analgesia means relief from pain. Basically what I’m saying is that congenital analgesia is a condition (that you could be born with) that allows you to not feel pain. The whole concept seems like a superpower of some sort. I mean the 1990 classic Liam Neeson movie Darkman, where a scientist is attacked by a bunch of bad guys and left for dead, and during his time in the hospital they discover that his ability to feel pain is gone… and thus he uses this to become a destroyer of bad guys.
As cool as this appears, it’s actually a massive challenge for the people living with it, since they cannot feel pain, and pain is often the first thing we feel when we need to stop doing something dangerous or hurtful, these people have to figure out how to do that in other ways. They often end up killing themselves in easily avoidable accidents. This, like other ‘super’ genetic/DNA conditions, is fascinating to geneticists since if they can find a way to harness this power, and create a world of advancement in surgery and medicine in general.
3. Related? Or they’re different versions from a past life
These two girls have this birthmark at the exact same spot on their arm. I don’t know if they’re related, but this is just the single most amazing coincidence that could happen, and the two girls live close enough to each other to get to know one another. The mark on one girl looks like it was used as a skin graft for the other girl.
My theory is these girls are reincarnated twins. They were both the same person in the past, but apparently during the reincarnation process, the powers that are in charge of reincarnation just split this one person into two and this is the result. At least it makes more sense than some other theories I can mention…
2. Mixed race. They have the same cheeks, but swapped lips…
Another pair of twins that most people would not make the connection that they’re twins. They are almost at complete ends of the color spectrum, but they do have some signs that show that they are related. You might notice that their cheeks are the same, but I noticed one has much more pursed lips, while the other is fuller. For some odd reason, I feel like they just swapped them out somehow. I’m not sure why, but that’s just what I think.
1. These sisters don’t know why they’re like that…
Just like above, this is another set of twins that is also mixed race, but the difference here isn’t just that the white twin is a redhead, but according to the girls who posted this picture on the Internet, their mother actually was left speechless when she discovered that her two baby girls looked like this. I actually wish I had more information about this because it’s pretty fascinating. Why would she be shocked? Is it because she had a recessive gene somewhere that she didn’t know about, or is it that her husband was the same race as her and wasn’t expecting this? This is another mystery that can be solved with a quick interview, but sadly I don’t have the budget for that…
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