Everyone has something about themselves that makes them special. Yet, deep down, we have many similarities that connect us together as a species. Humans are 99% identical at the genetic level due to our common ancestors and genome composition. Therefore, the 1% difference can lead to fantastic variation in appearance, ranging from having a flexible thumb to being ambidextrous.
The Bright Side team aims to celebrate diversity and uniqueness by compiling a list of the most jaw-dropping body features that only a small percentage of the population has.
1. Double jointed thumb
A double-jointed thumb, or Hitchhiker’s thumb, is a hypermobile (or extremely flexible) thumb that can bend backward beyond its normal range of motion. This rare body feature can be helpful in real life, especially for musicians who play the flute, violin, or piano.
2. Webbed toes
Syndactyly, or webbed toes, is a syndrome in which the skin between two or more toes is joined by bone or cartilage. It is the most common congenital hand condition, occurring in one out of every 2000 newborns. The exact cause is uncertain. However, this condition is believed to be caused by an unusual slowdown of finger buds’ growth and development during weeks 7 and 8 of pregnancy.
3. Natural red hair
Only about 2% of the world’s population has natural red hair. It’s much more common in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales than anywhere else on Earth. The gene for redheads is recessive. This means that both parents must have a copy of it for their offspring to inherit.
4. Clear small dots on the tongue
The human tongue is covered with papillae, which are a collection of taste buds. Their role is to help us taste the flavors of the food we eat. Some people have more taste buds and receptors and can sense flavors more intensely, so their sense of flavor is stronger. Supertasters are what they’re called and they are sensitive to bitter flavors like spinach, coffee, and chocolate.
5. Being even-handed
A person who is ambidextrous, or even-handed, can use both hands equally well. The term derives from the Latin word “ambidexter”, which translates as “right-handed on both sides”. Only 1% of the population has this rare body feature. Among the most famous ambis in history are Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, and Albert Einstein.
6. Right-sided heart
It is well known that the heart is on the left side of the body. However, a rare condition called dextrocardia may cause an individual to have a right-sided heart. This is a rare disorder that affects fewer than 1% of the population and can sometimes be treated with surgery.
7. Two rows of eyelashes.
Distichiasis is a rare condition in which a person has extra eyelashes. If you were to look closely at someone with this condition, you’d see two rows of lashes instead of one. The extra set of lashes can sometimes even look like normal lashes, but they are mostly short and stubby and will vary in length and thickness depending on where they are located on the lid.
8. A small hole near the ear
Having a small hole near the ear is a rare condition called preauricular pit. It can occur in one or both ears, although it’s most often seen on the right side. It is usually benign and does not pose any health issues.
When you think of your body, what part makes you feel unique? Is there a rare body feature that we didn’t mention? Please let us know in the comments.