20.3.14

"No Grotesques in Nature"


Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), sometimes referred to as Stone Man Syndrome, is an extremely rare disease of the connective tissue. A mutation of the body's repair mechanism causes fibrous tissue (including muscle, tendon, and ligament) to be ossified spontaneously or when damaged. In many cases, injuries can cause joints to become permanently frozen in place. Surgical removal of the extra bone growths has been shown to cause the body to "repair" the affected area with more bone.

FOP is a disease that causes damaged soft tissue to regrow as bone.

According to Jo-co's description, "sufferers are slowly imprisoned by their own skeletons."

A case of Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva
Patient with severe bone formation
San Diego, California, 2009

Yet, as Thomas Browne once noted, "There are no Grotesques in nature."

Source: Browne, Religio Medici (1645), pt. 1, sect. 15: "Natura nihil agit frustra, is the onely indisputed axiome in Philosophy. There are no Grotesques in nature; not any thing framed to fill up empty cantons, and unnecessary spaces" (James Eason, Religio Medici, facsimile version, University of Chicago, 2001, p. 28, pt. 15; 13.12.07).

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