Strange Celebrity Body Parts: Stars Are (Super) Human After All
By Sharon Tanenbaum
Take one glance at most celebrities (like Karolina Kurkova, Seal, or Joaquin Phoenix) and you'd think from their lean and toned frames, perfectly clear skin, and shiny, flowy hair, that they were practically born perfect.
However, recent star admissions suggest otherwise. Read on to find out which famously sexy leading man was born with extra fingers, which country music sweetheart had a third nipple, and other celebrities' seriously weird body quirks.
Taye Diggs: Extra Fingers
As a child, Taye Diggs had polydactyly, which means you have more than five fingers or toes on a hand or foot. "As a child I had an extra digit on each hand," he said on the CBS show The Talk, showing off the scars from his surgery to remove the extra fingers.
Polydactyly occurs in one out of every 500 to 1,000 newborns and is thought to be passed down in families.
In most cases, like Diggs's, the extra digits are removed surgically. Otherwise, the Private Practice star joked, "I could've been really handy."
Ashton Kutcher: Webbed Feet
The Two and a Half Men star has syndactyly, or webbing of the toes. "I have slightly webbed toes," he said on BBC's Friday Night with Jonathan Ross via Daily Mail. "When everything else is this good-looking, something has to give!"
Syndactyly, which usually occurs in between the second and third toes, is one of the most common congenital hand or foot defects. About one out of every 2,500 babies is born with syndactyly, which may require surgery to separate the fingers or toes.
Carrie Underwood: Extra Nipple
During her American Idol audition in 2004, Carrie Underwood confessed that she'd had a third nipple removed, and that it was nothing to be grossed out by. "It just looked like a mole," she told the judges.
Also known as polythelia, having a supernumerary (extra) nipple is fairly common. Other celebrities who were born with one include singer Lily Allen and actor Mark Wahlberg.
Andy Garcia: Conjoined Twin
Actor Andy Garcia was born with an undeveloped conjoined twin attached to his shoulder, according to IMDB.com. The very rare condition known as heteropagus twinning occurs when a well-formed twin (called the autosite) has an incomplete twin (called the parasite) attached.
Garcia's conjoined twin (roughly the size of a softball) was surgically removed shortly after birth.
Seal's famed facial scars are the result of discoid lupus, an autoimmune disease that mostly affects the head and neck. It typically occurs in people 20 to 40 years old. About half of those with discoid lupus have a telltale butterfly rash over the cheeks and bridge of the nose like Seal does.
Joaquin Phoenix: Cleft Lip
Joaquin Phoenix's unique lips aren't as mysterious as some might think. Their unusual shape is due to a cleft lip, which occurs when the two sides of a baby's upper lip do not fuse properly during the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. The condition is very common and occurs in about one or two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year, according to KidsHealth.org.
Other stars with a cleft lip or cleft palate include Peyton Manning and Jesse Jackson.
Karolina Kurkova: No Belly Button
Model Karolina Kurkova may be known for her sexy curves, but she caused quite a stir when she walked the runway in 2008 during a Victoria's Secret fashion show in Miami exposing a belly button-less midriff. Although magazines touch up her stomach to show a belly button, the lack of one in real life is probably the result of an umbilical hernia, which occurs when part of the intestine pokes through the abdominal muscles and can alter the appearance of a bellybutton.
Umbilical hernias are most common in infants and, while most usually close by age 1, they can be repaired with surgery to prevent further, albeit rare, complications like tissue damage or infection.
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