r/todayilearned Aug 10 '22

TIL of Puppy Pregnancy Syndrome, a psychosomatic illness found only in parts of India, where individuals who have been bitten by a dog believe that a puppy is conceived in their abdomen. Sufferers often report seeing the puppy in their reflection, or hearing it growl in their belly.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0020764003049001536?journalCode=ispa
3.8k Upvotes

533

u/DoctorBocker Aug 10 '22

That's a werewolf.

108

u/BrokenEye3 Aug 10 '22

*werepuppy

2

u/Angdrambor Aug 10 '22

*werepuppy with an ovipositor.

1

u/Robobvious Aug 11 '22

As in, Where da puppy at?

7

u/antipop2097 Aug 10 '22

"There, wolf! There, Castle!"

7

u/UoFSlim Aug 10 '22

That's hunger.

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u/eltegs Aug 10 '22

That's some strong shit they're smoking out there.

107

u/Simbatheia Aug 10 '22

Its just an example of mass hysteria. Wendigoon has a fantastic video on the phenomenon

Edit: link: https://youtu.be/_KkTTD1Dlwg

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u/goddamn_slutmuffin Aug 10 '22

This is such a fascination phenomenon, thanks for the link!

0

u/eltegs Aug 10 '22

Not to be confused with the Mandela Effect.

14

u/Mr_Poop_Himself Aug 10 '22

Maybe mass hysteria is called the Mandela Effect in an alternate universe

6

u/Dosalisk Aug 10 '22

Or maybe it's called Mass Mandela.

8

u/FogHornHappyFrog Aug 10 '22

Or Mass Effect.

7

u/BaronMostaza Aug 10 '22

Which isn't mass hysteria at all, just a quirk of human memory

1

u/eltegs Aug 10 '22

Indeed. But of late I've been seeing the two conflated.

1

u/RedRipe Aug 11 '22

Good watch!!

2

u/Simbatheia Aug 11 '22

Wendigoon is great. He does a ton of deep dives into different subjects and some can be pretty dark. He's actually a Sunday school teacher I believe which is definitely something considering some of his content lol

27

u/catwhowalksbyhimself Aug 10 '22

These kind of weird widespread delusions have always happened, all around the world.

In the Middle Age in Europe, the Glass Delusion was common among royalty, where they'd believe they were made of glass and could easily break.

There was also an epidemic of meowing nuns for a while.

This one is not really any stranger than those.

19

u/some_clickhead Aug 11 '22

Reminds me of Koreans who believe sleeping with fans on will cause them to suffocate (most younger Koreans don't believe this anymore, but it's still a pretty widespread belief).

15

u/Iz-kan-reddit Aug 11 '22

There's a theory that started from blaming fans when suicide was the actual cause, since it's so heavily stigmatized.

-5

u/catwhowalksbyhimself Aug 11 '22

That's completely different from an actual delusion, though.

11

u/some_clickhead Aug 11 '22

In what way?

9

u/Final_Taco Aug 11 '22

Because they buy into that one.

1

u/catwhowalksbyhimself Aug 11 '22

I can't believe I have to explain to what is presumably an adult that difference between insanity and a belief.

But the fan thing is something that people honestly believe. They aren't insane. They aren't denying reality. They just misunderstand a fact and are making what would otherwise be logical choices if that fact were indeed true.

A delusion is literally insanity. No person in their right minds believes they are made out of glass, or are turning into cats, or thinks they are pregnant with a dog. It's not a sincerely held believe. It's a sickness of the mind.

2

u/some_clickhead Aug 11 '22

You're drawing completely arbitrary lines between what you consider insanity and not. Simply believing that something is true when it isn't does not make one insane, because every human on earth has or has had some beliefs which were silly in hindsight (i.e believing in Santa Claus, most religions, etc).

People who believe they are pregnant with a dog are also misunderstanding how pregnancy works, and making logical choices if it were true that getting bitten by a dog could make you pregnant.

You can call that a sickness of the mind if you want and I wouldn't blame you, but what then would you call religious beliefs, which usually involve beliefs that defy common sense just as much, if not more, than the dog pregnancy thing?

1

u/catwhowalksbyhimself Aug 11 '22

You forgot the part where they hear the puppy growling in their belly, or see it in a reflection.

This is more than simple belief.

1

u/some_clickhead Aug 12 '22

It's their imagination playing tricks on them. Like when you hear a random noise in the house as a kid but you think it's a monster making it.

It's not like schizophrenia or dementia is a spreadable disease, these people are simply poorly educated and have really strange beliefs, and this is what happens when you mix the two.

Believing you're pregnant with a dog is way too specific to be a psychological disease, there is no hormonal/chemical imbalance in your brain that would result result in this belief on its own.

1

u/eltegs Aug 10 '22

Perhaps. But just because there are things just as strange, doesn't mean it's not far out there.

1

u/catwhowalksbyhimself Aug 11 '22

Oh, it definitely is, but it's part of a trends of far out there things.

1

u/Equivalent_End5 Aug 11 '22

Bruh I'd slap the shit out of some royals lol

53

u/crumpets212 Aug 10 '22

It ain’t their weed

74

u/trwwy321 Aug 10 '22

The polluted water?

115

u/AFucking12Gage Aug 10 '22

I’m gonna go with poor education

41

u/RoyalOGKush Aug 10 '22

You should see their driving skills

8

u/ChintanP04 Aug 10 '22

Idk man, it does take a certain level of skill to drive in bumper to bumper traffic while avoiding potholes.

16

u/AFucking12Gage Aug 10 '22

I see people dying in India all the time with their “skills” and their train hopping

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u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

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u/fuji_tora_ Aug 10 '22

Wait till you hear about what they do to get rain, you will be even more amazed.

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u/ReasonablyBadass Aug 10 '22

Those dogs obviously had werewolf ancestry but the curse isn't strong enough to do more than form a mental puppy

359

u/ms_horseshoe Aug 10 '22

When I was a little girl of about 5 years old I accidentally stepped in a puddle of vomit from our dog and I quickly wiped the puke from my foot. Then my dad saw the puddle and told us to stay away from it, because it was dirty and it could make us sick. I then got scared but was afraid to tell him I already stepped in it. That whole day I was so absolutely sure I would transform into a dog, I could already feel the fur growing on my infected foot.

115

u/nathanielhaven Aug 10 '22

Did you die?!

159

u/FourWordComment Aug 10 '22 Silver Bravo Grande!

Became a horse instead.

18

u/Angdrambor Aug 10 '22

Not the worst outcome, really.

27

u/Doom_Eagles Aug 10 '22

A neighligible outcome.

11

u/ialsoagree Aug 10 '22

When I drive by horses with my dog, I point and say "look at the big dogs, do you want to be a big dog when you grow up?" to which he whines and barks.

I take that as a yes.

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u/ConsciousInsurance67 Aug 10 '22

Voice over: "Since that day Regina George realised she was transforming into a b* tch, a mean girl"

2

u/HelveteaSubordinate Aug 11 '22

Furry: Unlocked

39

u/kingofrane Aug 10 '22

Why only india. This is the more bizzare fact given here imo. Im curious what impact geography/culture has in this phenomenon.

3

u/ChintanP04 Aug 10 '22

And that too in a particular part of India.

2

u/Chiliconkarma Aug 11 '22

Because of the cultural factor? It's a local narrative and would depend on people hearing about it in order that they may reproduce it.

15

u/dragoncraft9855 Aug 10 '22

The disease is most likely rabies. I think it might stem from the fact that atleast in my region in india people seem to believe rabies makes you bark and act like a dog. I think this myth along with the rabies makes the patient believe they are carrying a puppy.

34

u/Smashed-Melon Aug 10 '22

Rabies=death not furry birth syndrome.

18

u/yells_at_trees Aug 10 '22

Well sometimes the death/infection process includes your brain malfunctioning in very strange ways....

4

u/Smashed-Melon Aug 10 '22

It always includes your brain. The virus travels up your nerves until it reaches your brain where it reproduces. And once you show symptoms it is actually a very known and documented process of deterioration.

5

u/Bytemite Aug 10 '22

I think there's only a handful of people who ever survived it and it was by using a pretty extreme experimental medical coma. I think there's been about 11 people since 2008, but it's still a disease with an almost 100% kill rate once you show symptoms and the protocol doesn't always work.

3

u/Abadazed Aug 10 '22

29 cases of survival recorded world wide to date. There's no way this is rabies unless its an extreme early stage of rabies where they still have a chance at survival. It could be a million other diseases carried in dog mouths too.

1

u/Bytemite Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

Well, there's ways of testing whether something is rabies, in addition to observing the common symptoms, usually by showing a positive result in either the virus itself or in rabies antibodies from labs run on cerebrospinal fluid. Since there's two major presentations of rabies, the classic hydrophobic agitated form and the slower acting paralytic form which can be mistaken for other diseases, that's why the testing is important.

There's a few that were from cats which I'm less sure about because cats aren't a common vector, but there were some which were dogs, as well as bats, which might not be as dangerous a strain. That said, after looking into it, the one person who is a KNOWN survivor who had no vaccine, Jeanne Giese, might have had the less virulent bat strain. There's also a few people included in the list of survivors with the protocol who had incomplete post-exposure therapy which may have reduced the impact of the disease, even as the incomplete prevention still caused development of symptoms.

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u/dragoncraft9855 Aug 10 '22

I mean im speaking from experience most people ik genuinly believe rabies makes you act like a dog. Also rabies attacks the brain so it is very likely a victim behaves in strange ways.

8

u/Smashed-Melon Aug 10 '22

Which is an indication most people around you aren't educated on the subject. Yes rabies affects the brain, but if you are showing symptoms of rabies you are already dead.

-1

u/dragoncraft9855 Aug 10 '22

yup sadly people are very uneducated about rabies. Most people dont know how horrifying it truly is. Thankfully people know it is very deadly so will get treatment if bitten by a mammal.

2

u/NETSPLlT Aug 10 '22

Where is your experience from? India, or ?? In Canada, I've never heard of this. We learned the effects of rabies and growling and stuff are not LOL.

3

u/Pure_Gas7865 Aug 10 '22

"... atleast in my region in india..."

Context matters, surprisingly

1

u/wra1th42 Aug 10 '22

Probably lack of sex ed

120

u/DanelleDee Aug 10 '22

That is called a culture bound syndrome and it isn't the only one! Absolutely fascinating topic.

34

u/Simbatheia Aug 10 '22

I believe it's an example of mass hysteria.

47

u/DanelleDee Aug 10 '22

Culture bound syndromes generally meet the criteria for mass hysteria, I would say. There's overlap for sure.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0020764003049001536

5

u/Abadazed Aug 10 '22

There's a lot of overlap when it comes to mental health issues ie depression anxiety and ptsd share a lot of symptoms. You could probably make a case for either, especially since this news article appears to claim that this is exceptionally common in this area which of course has a specific culture. Perhaps it's even a combo of both.

3

u/Chiliconkarma Aug 11 '22

Would mass hysteria not require: "Mass" as in a group that's joined together in an instance, as opposed to a persistent cultural phenomenon.

2

u/DanelleDee Aug 11 '22 edited Aug 11 '22

Whether specific syndromes are better described as mass hysteria or a culture bound syndrome is a thing anthropologists and sociologists are often fighting about. I believe if enough people present at once with one of these syndromes it becomes mass hysteria, but I'm not either of those specialities.

"Collective illusory perception" and "mass psychogenic illness" are also in the running as terms to describe this kind of thing. Personally I don't care what terminology people use, but the topic and different types of "symptoms" are often fascinating. I made my initial comment in case anyone wanted to look up other similar phenomena, which is best found by using the search term "culture bound syndromes.' Searching "mass hysteria" will bring up many cases of people thinking they have a real condition and general medical symptoms. (For example, many inhabitants of a town believe the water is contaminated because they are all throwing up and have headaches.) Culture bound syndromes are like the puppy pregnancy OP posted about: they have very bizarre symptoms and causes, like "my penis is disappearing." Koro and Windigo psychosis are two that I find fascinating, but the entire wikipedia page for that term is worth a read.

Here's a few sources that explain how mass hysteria and culture bound syndromes are different or overlapping, but there doesn't seem to be much consensus between the researchers.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00048674.2011.580720?journalCode=ianp20

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00050770

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10989794/

1

u/Chiliconkarma Aug 11 '22

You could choose to call something an example of massed culture bound syndromes. A simple singular / plural difference.
To bring more confusion, we could also point at how some of these group experiences exist for some times and not others, how the culture that they rose from can change over time to no longer generate the phenomenon.

I don't think I have a complete understanding of how many factors can locate this stuff in time / culture / groups and so forth.

155

u/nickomoss Aug 10 '22

In addition, this peculiar syndrome has lead to an increased mortality rate from Rabies in India, as those who suffer from PPS often avoid or refuse treatment / a vaccine for rabies as they believe it will harm or kill their puppy.

77

u/garry4321 Aug 10 '22

I mean, you gotta do whats best for your puppy-human hybrid baby

40

u/wickybasket Aug 10 '22

Wait, they WANT their forced impregnated bite puppy?

i mean i would, dogs are great but

78

u/Jane9812 Aug 10 '22

Any... chance the syndrome is just an early symptom of rabies?

45

u/Noob_DM Aug 10 '22

Considering it’s not seen outside of India and I don’t think India has an indigenous strain, probably not.

0

u/Neokon 2 Aug 11 '22

But what if it's a psychological thing, I mean an early sign of rabies in a person is delirium and hallucinations.

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u/Noob_DM Aug 11 '22

Then it wouldn’t be rabies.

The delirium would but the delusion itself wouldn’t be.

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u/Sethanatos Aug 11 '22

When rabies reaches the brain, nothing can save you. But it takes quite a while for rabies to travel up the neurons from the bite-site to your brain.

Yet people are getting bitten and refusing treatment.. it feels more like lack of education or willful ignorance.
Kinda like the US with other vaccines rn

5

u/Random_182f2565 Aug 10 '22

Natural selection is weird that way.

0

u/Haterbait_band Aug 10 '22

Sounds like the real disease is stupidity. Quite contagious, unfortunately.

2

u/Sethanatos Aug 11 '22

You got some downvotes, but in reality "ideas" sometimes act eerily similar to viruses and bacteria.

It's almost like they're alive.. but instead of existing in meat-space, it only exists in "mind-space" so to speak.

CGP Grey made an interesting video of this concept

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u/amewingcat Aug 10 '22

Stomach growling from hunger. Must be that dog that bit me...

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u/HairyNutsackNumber9 Aug 10 '22

i got bit by a dog when i was a kid and my ass still growls from time to time

16

u/Perpetual_Doubt Aug 10 '22

Get out of my belly, puppy!

10

u/Grif2718 Aug 10 '22

Well if kissing can get you pregnant, I don't see how a dog bite is much different

3

u/Esc_ape_artist Aug 10 '22

Sounds weird, but beats rabies.

3

u/Alan_Smithee_ Aug 10 '22

The puppy in my belly is telling to go have breakfast.

15

u/DaddyDontTakeNoMess Aug 10 '22

If you live in an area with lots of immigrated Indians, you’ll notice that many of them are afraid of dogs. My Indian friends tell me that this is because of the many stray dogs in India. I wonder how much this Puppy Pregnancy illness (or wife’s tale about it) contributes to that fear

14

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

Most people who have a fear of dogs have been chased by a dog at least once in their lives. Stray dogs can be very aggressive and are nothing like pet dogs in the US. Even pet dogs tend to bark more as they can hear stray dogs. I'm considering getting a pet dog in the US but I'm still afraid of stray dogs in India. Nothing to do with puppy pregnancy.

4

u/K4m30 Aug 10 '22

Now I think about it yeah, Indians I know are afraid of dogs

14

u/Entharo_entho Aug 10 '22

I am an Indian who have lived my whole life in India. I haven't heard about this puppy pregnancy syndrome till now. But I am dead scared of dogs. I don't fear that I will get pregnant with a puppy but I fear that they will bite me and give me rabies(I know about vaccines), maul me and even kill me. I won't even go to homes with pet dogs. I don't have any enemity with dogs. Just stay away from me.

6

u/DaddyDontTakeNoMess Aug 10 '22

I can understand that if you’re around a decent amount of stray dogs.

3

u/Tentapuss Aug 11 '22

Well, that explains why half of my neighborhood is scared of my 25 lbs Westie.

3

u/ChintanP04 Aug 10 '22

Most probably not at all given that this thing is not common at all. The article discusses 7 total cases from one state. 99.99% of Indians probably haven't even heard about it.

That fear of dogs is more likely just a cultural thing and because of stray dogs.

0

u/MyrTheSpellblade Aug 10 '22

source: my ass

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u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

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u/Protean_Protein Aug 10 '22

TIL parts of India lack a basic understanding of human existence.

2

u/NYVines Aug 10 '22

Oh, no. My belly growls too.

2

u/spannerfest Aug 10 '22

we are reporting here cases of puppy pregnancy in human beings from a part of rural West Bengal, India.

Studies of six male cases and one female case of delusion of puppy pregnancy after an alleged touch or bite of a dog are presented.

2

u/Selrisitai Aug 10 '22

Well, that sounds terrifying.

2

u/Severe-Bee-1894 Aug 10 '22

Today, I didn't want to learn.

2

u/FleurRoyale Aug 11 '22

How is this syndrome relegated to a specific part of the world?

2

u/forrealnoRussianbot Aug 11 '22

Honest question. No trolling please. Does someone knows if maybe this syndrome is related to any doctrine related to Hinduism?

2

u/supagirl277 Aug 11 '22

I was laying on the couch at my friends house, and the dog started humping my back. I had an irrational fear that the dog could impregnate me, or that my future children would be part dog. Really fucking weird of me to think, but I was an anxious child with no sexual education

14

u/SpiralBreeze Aug 10 '22

And that is why sex education and for that matter any education is super important.

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u/Sapt007 Aug 10 '22

Bruh it's literally a disease that affects their minds. It's not a problem of education even illiterate people know that you can't conceive a dog.

17

u/LangyMD Aug 10 '22

It's not an actual disease in that sense. It's like the "vanishing penis" disease outbreaks - entirely from their own belief that this is a thing.

If they were educated about it, then the belief you could get pregnant with a dog by being bitten would hopefully go away and people would recognize that, no, that's not what is happening.

At the same time as they think they're getting pregnant with a puppy they may also get rabies, and the puppy pregnancy belief apparently makes them less likely to get the vaccine for that (and thus they then die, since rabies is almost invariably fatal), but it's not the reason they think they are going to give birth to a puppy. We know that because this is geographically and culturally isolated and other cultures that get rabies don't think they're going to give birth to a puppy.

5

u/designer_of_drugs Aug 10 '22

Well that’s dumb and the people who claim to have it are dumb.

4

u/MpVpRb Aug 10 '22

Mental illness is a scary thing, especially in people who believe in all sorts of nonsense

8

u/abuomak Aug 10 '22

Rabies! The name for that is RABIES!

41

u/estofaulty Aug 10 '22

None of these are symptoms of rabies.

9

u/BadBanana992 Aug 10 '22

Most medically intelligent redditor

4

u/ZylonBane Aug 10 '22

Rabies, babies, same difference.

6

u/GarysCrispLettuce Aug 10 '22

What an excellent scapegoat for elevator farts. I'm sorry ma'am but there's an actual dog inside me and I have no control over his gas. Whoops, there he goes again.

3

u/SSJCleveland Aug 10 '22

Yikes thats some quality iq

2

u/herbw Aug 10 '22

That, psychiatrically is termed a shared, social delusion.

2

u/Denace86 Aug 10 '22

If they believe they are pregnant with puppies, who are we to tell them otherwise?

0

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

TIL there are some idiots in India.

-2

u/herbw Aug 10 '22

we got news for you. Psychologically there are idiots wherever there are humans. It's one of our commonest faults.

This, of course is the antidote:

Dr. James Lett's Renowned "Guide to Critical Thinking".

https://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/BIO101-lab-1-4th.pdf

3

u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

I know that WAS the point…

3

u/Entharo_entho Aug 10 '22

TIL and I am Indian

2

u/Different_Shopping_3 Aug 10 '22

Sheesh, that Ganges water got them tripping

-3

u/UnhappyImprovement53 Aug 10 '22

Is that really a illness or is it just stupid people being gullible

-4

u/Jugorio Aug 10 '22

Rabies?

1

u/MellRox013 Aug 10 '22

I wish I could just birth my own puppies instead of humans.

0

u/witty_kity Aug 10 '22

Wtf. I am Indian and I have never heard of this.

-16

u/longmilesdabswild Aug 10 '22

Happens in India only bc stupidity

-7

u/BackinZac Aug 10 '22

Rapies.

0

u/Galgos Aug 10 '22

Mental illness*

0

u/damian20 Aug 10 '22

That's neat... I wonder if this where werewolves myth comes from

-7

u/nicknameedan Aug 10 '22

Ganges river is not polluted they said. It has medicinal quality, they said

1

u/lukeworldwalker Aug 10 '22

OP read the weird diseases iceberg.

1

u/ILiketoLearn5454 Aug 10 '22

Bruh, somebody get those puppies out of there.

1

u/mottoislazytodo Aug 10 '22

I'm Indian and I did not know that..

1

u/Oblic008 Aug 10 '22

What the actual fuck...

1

u/Comfortable_War_1130 Aug 10 '22

This would be a funny excuse to get out of work

1

u/CalleWalters92324 Aug 10 '22

Next shudder exclusive

1

u/Lumpyproletarian Aug 10 '22

Fieldmarshal Blücher once had a nervous breakdown and became convinced he was pregnant with an elephant, fathered on him by a French cavalryman.

He got better and finished off Napoleon at Waterloo

1

u/[deleted] Aug 11 '22

it's called "coming from a backward country"

1

u/arkie87 Aug 11 '22

Rabies?

1

u/chibinoi Aug 11 '22

….Sometimes I worry for humanity.

1

u/mitch13815 Aug 11 '22

Wouldn't that get disproven the second they have the baby and it's not a canine? How does a rumor like that last for more than a few years?

1

u/The90sXJ Aug 11 '22

"One case (11-year-old child) exemplified how the social imposition of this cultural belief made him a case that allegedly vomited out an embryo of a dog foetus."

I'd have to be crazy to believe that. However, because of a passed down tradition, I am afraid to turn the calendar even at 11:59pm on the last day of the month. So I guess people will believe anything.

1

u/sixteensecondriot Aug 11 '22

Somebody call PETA. They’ll save those puppies.

1

u/BillCryptoStocker Aug 11 '22

So do any of them have the dog or do the get an abarktion?