The girl who never aged
Brooke Greenberg died at the young age of 20 in 2013. But she didn’t look like your average 20-year-old because her body stopped developing at the age of five. Her hair and nails were the only parts of her body that continued to grow year by year. Despite being born premature, doctors remained perplexed as to why she stopped ageing. Numerous DNA studies showed no abnormalities in her genes associated with ageing. Nor did her parents have a history of abnormal development. Plus, all her sisters were normal and healthy. Scientists continued to refer to her condition as Syndrome X, a metabolic syndrome. Yet, her unusual condition remains unexplained by science.
On the other hand, here are 13 unsolved mysteries easily explained by science.
Sirenomelia is a birth defect that partially or completely fuses the legs together, similar to how a mermaid looks, thus the alternative name “mermaid syndrome.” Most newborns don’t survive for long with this anomaly but some children defy the odds like Shiloh Pepin who lived until she was ten or Tiffany Yorks, the oldest known survivor of the condition, who died at age 27 in 2016. But the exact cause of sirenomelia is still unknown in the medical world because most cases occur randomly for no reason. Due to this randomness, researchers believe a new mutation or environmental factors may play a role in the development of the disorder.
Highly superior autobiographical memory
If you give Jill Price a date, she can easily tell you what day of the week it fell on and what she did that day. Price was reported as the first known case of highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) in 2006. Since then, more adults and even children have been identified as having this ability. People with HSAM can recall almost anything from their memories in minute detail from events in their life to conversations they’ve had. The true mystery is why some people have this superhuman brainpower and others don’t. Brain images of people with HSAM have shown researchers that some parts of their brain structure are different from people who have a typical memory. But it’s not yet known if these brain differences cause HSAM or if they occur because the person uses areas of the brain associated with memory more.