Are You One In A Million? Check These Odd Genetic Traits To Find Out

Have you ever had someone tell you that you’re definitely “one in a million?” Most of the time the person is just trying to make you feel good. But some people actually are one in a million, at least when it comes to these odd genetic traits.

Do you know anyone with any of these strange physical attributes?

1. A Colorful World

If you are one the world’s rare tetrachromatics, you were born with a fourth type of cone cell in your eyes. They allow you to see over a hundred million colors. The rest of us, with only three cone types, perceive about a million different colors. It must be next to impossible to get your clothes to match.

2. Speaking Of Eyes

The vast majority of humans are born with eyes that match each other. But a few rare births include people who have eyes that are completely different colors. This type of genetic mutation, called heterochromia iridis, generally causes no visual problems. But it certainly is a conversation starter!

3. A Strange Place For A Rib

You might have this rare genetic abnormality and not even know it. While most of us are born with the usual set of ribs, some people discover that they have an extra rib. The extra, called a cervical rib, is often found near the neck, above the collarbone. Most people with the extra bone are able to simply ignore it, but others find that it impacts mobility and causes discomfort. Makes sense to me.

4. A Hole In The Head

This one is creepy yet cool. Way, way back in time, all life forms on earth had gills. As we know by looking in the mirror, humans have evolved far away from those days. Nevertheless, about five percent of the population continues to be born with a tiny hole above the ear, a leftover mark from the time of gills.


Preauricular sinus. Via Wikimedia

5. Golden Blood

This is one of the rarest of genetic mutations, and it wasn’t discovered until 1961. That was when scientists found that some people have a blood type known as Rh-null. Doctors informally refer to it as “golden blood,” because people who have it can receive any other type of blood without risk. They can also donate to people with any other blood type. How rare is it?

Doctors estimate that there are about ten people in the entire world with golden blood.

So there you have it. The next time someone tells you that you’re “one in a million,” rush to the mirror and look for that hole in your head.

Featured image from Wikimedia Commons. (CC BY-SA 3.0)


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