New parents count out their newborns' 10 fingers and 10 toes as a symbol of their perfectly normal health, but for this family, 12 fingers and 12 toes isn't out of the ordinary.
The Redditor going by "the_cozy_zone" recently posted fascinating photos of his father's six-fingered hands.
"My dad's thumbs are there and just would not bend at the knuckle, but are fully formed and can be moved at the base of the fingers," the_cozy_zone wrote. "That is what happened with mine as well so I had to have my thumbs removed and they moved my extra fingers to where my thumbs were because they would bend and I could use them for thumbs. I had my surgery in the late 80s, and it didn't look the greatest, but most people say they haven't noticed them until I'd say something.
Be warned: one of the photos shows off how a person with six fingers flips someone the offensive bird.
After someone asked, the Redditor wrote that his father doesn't play an instrument. He wanted to play the mandolin but the son said his hands are a little too big. The_cozy_zone, however, can "play a mean game of Tetris Attack on SNES. I'm accused of having an unfair advantage with my finger-thumb."
He added that his first daughter had 12 fingers and 12 toes as well, but she was stillborn at 32 weeks gestation. His second daughter was born with the more typical 10 digits for hands and feet.
As for his other family members, the Redditor wrote that his uncle and uncle's daughter had an abnormal number of digits as well.
According to the National Institutes of Health, polydactyly can be passed down in families genetically or can be the result of a genetic disease. Perhaps the most famous (and fictional) case of polydactyly is in "The Princess Bride," a book and movie where a character named Inigo Montoya seeks to avenge his father's death, which came at the hand of a six-fingered man.
A recent study of polydactyly in mice revealed that the extra digits were the result from an error in one gene, which led to cellular malfunction.
“Dr. [Licia] Selleri and her colleagues have discovered that an unexpected cellular pathway is involved in the generation of extra digits,” Dr. Lorette Javois with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development said in a statement. “The findings expand what we know about genetic pathways involved in normal limb development and offer researchers a new direction in which to search for human mutations.”
Front page image via Shutterstock.