Anatomical Anomalies: Tongueless?

I promised myself that once I started a blog, if I ever tried to Google something and didn’t find results to my satisfaction, I’d make a post so that the next netizen doesn’t have to put up with the same frustration I experienced. This means you may get posts on some rather strange topics, I realize, but you are the one who chose to be here. Live with it!

I remember one christmas, I think it was, I was hanging with my cousins, and they were having a contest to see who had the coolest “special skill.” One of them was doublejointed, one could touch her nose with her tongue, one could roll his eyelids inside out. Anyway, I think I won this competition by having the weirdest skill of all.

I can make my tongue disappear. Specifically, I can move my tongue back behind my uvula and into my nasal cavity, though it looks to the casual observer (starting into my mouth) as though it isn’t there at all. If you keep your mouth closed while talking, you can fool some kids into thinking you don’t even have a tongue at all for a short while. This is hilarious to me.

Anyway, apparently the medical term for this is tongue hypermobility in the nasopharynx. I wonder about the rarity of this ability. It might be extremely rare, which is why there aren’t many hits about it on the Internet. Or, it might be extremely common and people are just a little more embarrassed than I am to have their anatomical anomalies spilled all over the Web.

This article has pictures
(might gross you out a little, if mouths do that to you). Yep, that’s pretty much what it looks like when I do it. Apparently this article claims it can cause an elongated uvula, which may or may not be true for me.  I can attempt to post pictures, if people are interested.

The first time I did this, it was painful.  I don’t remember how long ago it was, I must have been 9 or 10, but it caused a sharp pain that spread to my ears and down my throat.  The second time I did it, it hurt a little bit less, then after that it hasn’t really hurt at all.

I could also try to draw what the inside of the “nasopharynx” looks and feels like, but I think I wouldn’t be able to do it justice in two dimensions.  It’s much drier and scalier than the mouth, with 5 holes that can be felt:  two in the back on either side, which I’m pretty sure head to the ears, two in the front, which become the nostrils, and one in the top kind of in the middle.  I assume that one heads to the sinuses.  Other than that, the cavity is about the same size and feel as the mouth.

So, if we were playing the game I mentioned above, trying to identify each of our “special abilities,” or “anatomical anomalies,” what would yours be?

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One Response

  1. i was intrigued…until the holes in the nasopharnyx….disgusting

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