I Recently Found Out Not Everyone Hears That Rain Stick-Like Sound In The Back Of Their Necks, And 27 Other People Who Had Similar "I Didn't Know This Wasn't Normal!" Experiences

Every month, I ask BuzzFeed readers to share the "normal" things their bodies do that...uh...actually aren't so normal after all. As someone with a famously strange body that has puzzled doctors on more than one occasion, this series has become a nice little online safe space for people to share the unexpected ways they learned the things they thought were totally chill, fine, and happened to everyone were in fact, not the case. I've even seen people in the comments finally find names for things that have been happening to them their whole lives, and I love to see it!

Here are 28 "Wait, not everyone's body does that???" experiences people shared, starting with one from yours truly:

1."Since I was a kid, I've heard this weird, TV static-y-sounding, rain stick-y noise coming from the back of my neck randomly. It almost feels like something is draining. I assumed that, kind of like when your stomach growls, it was just a weird body sound nobody really talked about. Well, fast-forward to this year and during a doctor's appointment, I mentioned it offhandedly. My doctor looked absolutely horrified — she'd never heard of that in her life. I told my partner, my friends, my parents...and not a soul had any idea what the hell I was talking about."

An X-ray image showing the side view of a human skull and cervical spine

2."Anytime I go from a dark place to a very bright place — like when you come out of a dimly lit movie theater to the sunny outdoors — I get a sneezing fit. I researched it, and it’s actually a condition called photic sneeze reflex, and it was first written about by Aristotle.


3."Whenever I get really sad (like deeply sad or hurt), the tip of my index finger hurts. Like, it’s sore inside for some reason! I’m not quite sure why it happens, and I have yet to find anyone else who has the same thing! But that’s how I can instantly tell what's really, deeply painful and what's just kinda upsetting."


4."I have Sex Sneeze, aka sexual arousal that causes sneezing fits. They have theories that it’s probably genetic and could be caused by being able to detect pheromones using the cranial nerve zero, crossed wires in the nervous system, or even erectile tissue in the nose that gets inflamed when aroused. It's not a huge problem, but it's interesting and weird to explain to others."

Man and woman embracing closely on the left; on the right, the woman is sneezing into a tissue
Studio4 / Getty Images / Guido Mieth / Getty Images

5."Apparently, some people have an 'internal monologue?' My friends have described it as a continuous narration of your existence. I'm def missing that. No idea which side of this is 'the norm,' but it's definitely interesting."


6."My mouth 'attacks me' when I start to eat if I’ve gone a while without eating. My saliva just does this thing that hurts my mouth. It’s not any one specific food, either. The only explanation I could find from a search was that I potentially have a somewhat unusual pH in my saliva, so when I eat a food that’s very different from it, there’s a reaction."


7."I inherited a lovely skin disease called the 'Writing Skin Disease' or Dermatographia. It turns out it’s more common than I realized — it affects 2% to 5% of the population — but basically, my skin has a mild-to-moderate allergic reaction to the exact spot where I was touched or scratched. The raised red skin only lasts about 15-20 minutes. My dog playfully pawed my chin once, and I looked like I had been mauled for half an hour."

The image shows the bare shoulder and upper chest of a person with visible red skin irritation and inflammation
Atsawin1002 / Getty Images

8."My friend told me that she gets this thing in her ear when she starts to feel tired, like a buzzing or knocking sound. It truly fascinated me because I’d never heard of it before. She said it goes away once she goes to sleep, but for the most part, it happens when she’s really tired or when she knows that it’s time for her to finally go lay down and get some sleep."


9."I have histamine intolerance, which basically means I’m allergic to being allergic. My body doesn’t metabolize the histamines that bodies typically release and metabolize regularly, so if I consume a food that causes histamines to be released, I have an allergic reaction. This was discovered after a skin prick test turned up negative for everything but latex, so I had a bunch of bloodwork that showed that I have abnormally high levels of histamines in my blood."


10."I learned while I was pregnant with my oldest that I have a retroverted uterus, meaning my uterus is facing backward. It's not super rare — it occurs in roughly 20% of women — but it certainly helped because I didn't show until I was five months along with all three of my kids. Back labor is way worse, but the visible recovery was great... I was able to wear normal clothes almost immediately since everything was leaning back into my body."

MRI scan of the lumbar spine showing the vertebrae, spinal cord, and intervertebral discs
Paul Biris / Getty Images

11."I have a huge bladder. I pee when I wake up, once in the afternoon, and then before bed — that's it. Sometimes, I'll go a few more times if I've drunk a lot. I also have ADHD, so sometimes I forget I need to go. After I had my son, I had an out-of-body experience, and my blood pressure spiked. The nurse emptied my bladder (a huge amount, especially after peeing a little in the bed after delivery), and then my blood pressure instantly dropped. It was the weirdest experience."


12."I was in college before I realized that 'normal' people can't control their dreams. Quite frequently, when I'm asleep, I will realize I'm asleep and will alter what is happening in my dreams. I'm also able to realize I'm sleeping and wake myself up."


13."My husband has aphantasia. He can’t picture things in his mind. He always thought 'picture this' was just an expression and didn’t realize most people could picture things in their heads. He learned about it while listening to a podcast and had a serious meltdown when he realized many of us are able to see things he couldn’t. When I read a book, it’s like a mini-movie is going on inside my head. For him, it’s just words."

A person with glasses is sitting on a couch and reading a book. The living space includes a window in the background
The Good Brigade / Getty Images

14."When I scratch my sacrum, I have to pee immediately, even if I just got done peeing. I told a former primary care provider, and she laughed at me, said she had never heard of this happening, and that it must be something I trained my body to do."

"She finished off by reminding me of her medical degrees. I'm a medical provider, too, and just because a patient tells me about something I've never heard of doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Medical gaslighting is ridiculous."


15."Several people in my family have a condition in which their esophagus sort of 'locks,' with food stuck moving very slowly once it gets about halfway down. It's usually triggered by starches, even in very small bites. It eventually goes down, but it’s very painful and feels like a burning in the chest. They can breathe fine while it’s happening, so it’s not like choking or something going down the wrong way. It's very strange."


16."I can taste words. For example, if someone says three, an image of a cupcake immediately comes to mind, and I sometimes will start salivating. The same word has always had the same food association. It’s called Lexical–gustatory synesthesia."

The image shows the number '3' followed by an equal sign and a vanilla cupcake with frosting and sprinkles
Dariya Belkina / Getty Images/500px

17."I was getting in-depth testing for a chronic illness, and one of the questions they asked was if I ever get sharp shooting pains down my limbs that dissipate after a few minutes. I nonchalantly said, 'No more than most people.' I genuinely thought it was normal; it's always happened to me. The three doctors and my mother all looked at me like I had three heads, and eventually, my mom had to break it to me that it wasn't normal."


18."Ever since I was a kid, I have gotten a cough when I eat a lot of salty food. It’s super annoying, and I’ve never met anyone else this happens to."


19."My cavities don't ever show up on X-rays. Dentists don't believe me, even ones that have experienced it with me prior. I end up with an infection and a root canal every time."

Panoramic dental X-ray showing a full set of adult teeth, including upper and lower jaws, with some dental work visible
Belterz / Getty Images

20."I have sesamoiditis (a kind of tendonitis) in my right big toe from an extra sesamoid bone. I discovered it in middle school because the ball of my foot would just randomly hurt, and it got worse when I started track. After a year of trying to figure it out with my primary care, I went to a podiatrist. He knew what it was right away, though he was a little surprised by the extra bone when he did an X-ray."

"I did cortisone shots for a while and had a custom shoe insert for it. It doesn’t bother me as much now, but it still does if I’ve been walking a lot or when I wear heels. I can crack it on command, and you can see the difference between my feet when I bend my toe."


21."I have Arnold’s Cough Syndrome, and I thought it was normal for a long time. What do you mean you don’t cough and gag when you put something in your ear? What do you mean you don’t have to have someone hold you down while someone else cleans your ears for you? 😅"


22."I’m allergic to dried stone fruits. I was maybe 12 or so and eating some dried apricots when I noticed my mouth/throat felt weird. I said to my family, 'These are good, but does anyone else’s mouth feel like they’ve swallowed little bits of glass when they’re eating them?' They looked at me like I sprouted a second head, and my mom said, 'Stop eating those and take a Benadryl. You’re having a mild allergic reaction.'"

Dried apricots spill from a transparent jar onto a wooden surface
Salez / Getty Images

23."I sneeze when I get cold. I finally figured out it wasn’t common during COVID. I couldn’t understand why people would freak out if you sneeze. Because in my mind, they could just be cold. 🤷‍♀️"


24."I have abelchia — I can’t burp! It’s super annoying and causes this 'gurgling' sound that can be heard both by me and others. If I feel especially full of gas in my stomach, I’ll do a small retch to, in a way, burp out the extra air."


25."I have cataplexy — I lose the ability to grip/hold things, chew, sometimes even stand when laughing. Basically, my muscles shit the bed whenever I start laughing too hard. Me, my sister, and my dad have it. My sister has even dropped her children because of it (don’t worry, it's more of a gradual release than a full blown drop, and no one was hurt). I grew up thinking it was entirely normal, and my mind was blown when I found out it was not. I asked the next 10 people I saw — my friends, coworkers, drug dealer — if they got weak while they were laughing, and they looked at me like I had three heads."

A young person standing on grass, wearing a striped dress with a large stain on the front. The person's face is not visible
Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

26."I have a genetic mutation that means I have a tolerance to opiates. I found that out after I gave birth to my daughter by C-section. Once the spinal block wore off, they gave me morphine and oxycodone, which did nothing for my pain. The same thing happened after my first brain surgery three years later, and they gave me Dilaudid. Nothing. I found out there’s a mutation common in Norway (I’m ~25% Norwegian), got genetic testing, and found the mutation."


27."My mom had this thing where she would sneeze when she was done eating. Three sneezes meant she was full and she needed to stop. She got this from her mom and passed it down to my brother. So far, I haven’t gotten it yet."


This is often referred to as "snatiation."

28."My tongue itches when I sneeze. I asked my husband if he gets annoyed when that happens, and he was like, '....What???' I've asked so many friends, and no else has this problem."

Close-up photo of a child's tongue sticking out
Pawel Wewiorski / Getty Images

Does your body do any unusual things like these? If so, tell us about them in the comments below! You can read more stories like this here, here, here, and here.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.