Macrodactyly or other wise known as local giantism is a condition in which a certain part of the body acquires larger than normal size due to excessive growth of the fatty tissue, tumors and inflammation. It is more common in fingers and toes. However in more extreme cases sometimes an entire limbs may be enlarged.
Though not many know of this health condition, Neurofibromatosis is a hereditary condition that carries higher chances of tumor formation in the nerves, particularly within the brain region. It is also the same disorder which the well-famed Joseph Merrick (AKA Elephant Man) was afflicted with.
Cutaneous horns, also known by the Latin name cornu cutaneum, are unusual keratinous skin tumours with the bizarre appearance of horns. They are usually small and localised, but can, in very rare cases be much larger. Doctors are unsure of causes but believe they are linked to excessive exposure to radiation.
In 2001 Leppard (whose real name has been variously listed as Woolridge, Wooldridge or Woodridge), was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the most tattooed man on Earth. Although he subsequently lost that title to Lucky Diamond Rich from New Zealand, he retained the title of most tattooed male senior citizen.
Leppard’s entire body, apart from the insides of his ears and in between his toes, was covered in a saffron yellow design flecked with black spots. Even his eyelids were tattooed with piercing blue-green feline irises. To complete the leopard look, he had a set of fangs custom-made by a dentist.
He would often be photographed with nothing on except a small pouch to preserve his modesty – except that it was also covered in leopard spots so that he gave the impression of being entirely naked.
His derelict bothy beside Loch na Beiste had no windows, electricity, heating or gas. The thatch had rotted away, and his makeshift metal sheet roof would not permit him to stand upright. He slept on a bed made from polystyrene board and cooked on a Primus stove, heating up tins of baked beans or ratatouille bought on weekly 5-mile round trips by kayak to the mainland. For 20 years he coped with freezing winters and plagues of midges in summer, but he insisted that life on the island suited him well.
The Leopard Man lived an apparently blameless existence and, though he claimed not to like people, appeared to be remarkably popular among the locals. Therefore it came as something of a shock in 2001 when it was revealed that a self-proclaimed vampire called Manuela Ruda, aka the “Bride of Satan”, then on trial for murder in Germany after sacrificing a man on an oak coffin in front of an altar of skulls, had stayed with him during a holiday in Scotland in 1996, claiming that she had been taught to worship the devil and drink blood during her visit.
Manuela Ruda was later convicted, and Leppard was appalled by the suggestion that he might have inspired her actions.
“She expressed an interest in me and told me she wanted to come and visit,” he told The Observer. “She seemed like an ordinary teenager.” He stoutly denied any satanic proclivities, explaining that he was a Catholic who prayed for three hours every day.
There is some mystery about Leppard’s early life, but it seems that he was born on October 14 1935, either in London or Suffolk.
Before his move to Skye, he spent nearly 30 years of his life in military service, first in the Royal Navy, which he joined aged 15, and later as a colour sergeant in the Rhodesian special forces. “I was based for a time in the Zambezi Valley which was the biggest open zoo in the world,” he recalled. “There were all sorts of animals there. Lions, elephants and giraffes, but no leopards.’
Interviewed in 2001, Leppard explained that after leaving the miltary, he found it difficult to mix with ordinary people: “I decided I wanted to be the biggest of something, the only one of something. It had to be a tattoo... I thought if I get the biggest of something and live in a strange way people might pay me.” The tattoos, etched on to his body over 18 months in the mid-1980s, cost £5,500.
He chose leopard spots not because of an interest in cats, but because they were easy for a tattoo artist to do: “It was a necessary evil to supplement my income support, or latterly my pension.” Despite his tattoos, Leppard felt “no affinity with leopards”.
In 2008, Leppard packed all his possessions into a couple of bin bags and moved into a care home in Inverness, admitting that he was getting too old for the weekly canoe trip to collect his shopping.
Tom Leppard, born October 14 1935, died June 12 2016
Polymelia is a type of birth defect which occurs inside the mothers womb when the foetus is developing. Symptoms normally include developing extra parts of the body including deformed and shrunken limbs. Polymelia does not only happen in/on humans, but also in most species of land-dwelling animals. Polymelia is passed on through genetics, although it thank fully is an extremely rare condition.
Werewolf disease is a very rare disease called Congenital Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa which causes excessive body hair growth. It is sometimes referred to as werewolf syndrome, because the appearance is similar to the mythical werewolf. There are two main distinct types, one which occurs over the entire body, and another that is restricted to a certain area. Hypertrichosis/werewolf disease can be either present at birth or acquired later in life.
This gentleman from China is undergoing a bizarre but revolutionary approach to surgical facial reconstruction. Due to a car accident the 22-year-old man suffered irreparable damage to his nose from a car accident and subsequent infection. In a new but strange idea surgeons came up with the idea of growing a nose on his forehead, which is apparently the perfect place due to the strong blood flow needed. The surgeons caring out this procedure say that the nose is in good shape.