Oh crud, I have been hurtin’ for the last couple of days. Like, to the point that I could barely move. Hot and cold flashes and nights spent sweating profusely, thank goodness for my angel of a boy who has stepped up to take care of his pops. I couldn’t help but think about how strange this is, who gets a fever in the middle of the summer? I’m so used to only getting sick at the start and end of winter. Is summer fever a thing? I probably made it up. Which leads me to today’s Top 10. What are the best made-up diseases in pop culture?
10. Spontaneous Dental Hydroplosion
In an early episode of The Office (US series), Dwight is given the duty of selecting a medical plan. Jim and Pam mess with his head by creating a list of new diseases. One such virus is Hotdog Fingers, which sounds terrifying. But, spontaneous dental hydroplosion causes your teeth to turn to liquid and pour down the back of your throat. Nasty.
9. Progenitor Virus
As part of the central plot to the Resident Evil franchise, the progenitor virus was developed by Umbrella Pharmaceuticals to eliminate the need for high-cost armies. Two things went horribly wrong. One, the virus was extremely contagious and spread too quickly. Two, the virus itself was designed to mutate, which has given Resident Evil grounds to stand on for many games and films.
8. Head Pigeons
Brought to light by the brilliant series Invader Zim, Head Pigeons is a serious and afflicting disease. The symptoms involve a pigeon nesting on ones head causing frustration and annoyance. Treatment is near impossible as before a nurse can look at it, the pigeon will fly away and return when the coast is clear.
7. Captain Trips
Captain Trips is the common name for the extremely deadly virus of Stephen King’s The Stand. Created for biological warfare, the disease wipes out nearly the entire human population. Captain Trips starts out as any common cold, making it difficult to know if you have contracted it. Though once you have it, death is inevitable.
6. Bonus Eruptus
Seemingly the only doctor who is aware of bonus eruptus is one Dr. Nick Riviera. The lethal disease involves the skeleton trying to jump out of the bodies mouth and run away. Thankfully, Dr. Nick is a professional, “The only cure for bonus eruptus is transdental electromicide!”
5. Solanum Virus
The solanum virus is one that causes the traditional zombie, as told by Max Brooks in books such as The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. It differs from the George A. Romero zombie, which was more of a religious crisis. “When there is no more room left in hell, the dead will walk the Earth.” Another classic zombie virus that I should mention here is the TS-19 outbreak of Walking Dead (super sorry if that spoils the show at all, I don’t know how far along it is.).
4. Legacy Virus
Marvel’s the X-Men have been representative of many diverse groups. In the 90’s during the HIV crisis, X-Men creators introduced the legacy virus which would only affect those who were mutated. It is this type of evocative storytelling that made X-titles so important throughout the generations.
3. The Rage
From 28 Days Later, a movie that should not be forgotten, the rage was a freaky over-the-top zombification. Effecting its victims immediately, they would turn into raging beasts of pure drive anger. This has to be one of the freakiest diseases ever created.
2. Thing Cells
A virus from another world, the Thing is probably the last “thing” you would want to encounter. Contact with Thing cells would allow the virus to take over your entire body. It may leave yourself as you are until it finds an opportune time to strike. But, it can also transform you into nearly any strange shaped creature imaginable.
Apparently, we have to consider cooties fictional until they are scientifically proven. But, c’mon, they used to think the Earth was the centre of the universe. Science needs to progress. It is unknown what the symptoms of cooties are entirely, but we do know that it has plagued school-aged children for generations. Caused by contact with someone of the opposite sex, there is no known cure for the plague that is cooties.