25 Most Unusual X-Ray Images on the Web

8 Sep, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Images, Radiology

As a radiologist, you have probably seen some pretty interesting things. People come in to be x-rayed for any number of strange accidents. X-rays help doctors and surgeons pinpoint the type of break that might need to be fixed — and where strange objects might be lodged in the body.

Of course, most radiology technicians don’t see the most unusual images out there. For most radiologists, the craziest thing you are likely to see is something swallowed or stuck up the nose by a kid — or, for adults, the results of a freak home improvement accident.  Luckily, though, we have the Internet to help us find the truly bizarre. Here are 25 of the most unusual x-ray images on the Web:


Here are some of the most unusual x-rays of human subjects.

  1. Steel Balls and Magnets: This is an x-ray of the inside of Haley Lents‘ body after she had swallowed 20 steel balls and magnets from a toy set. The magnets had high enough intensity that that they began tearing holes in the little girl’s intestines.
  2. Falling on Keys: You really do have to watch toddlers as they learn to walk. 17-month old Nicholas Holderman fell on some car keys — and they were lodged in his eye and skull. Luckily, no long term damage occurred — the little boy made a full recovery and still has the use of his eye.
  3. Pepsi Bottle in Anus: Do you believe this story? A 60 year old man in Pakistan claimed that thieves forced a Pepsi bottle up his anus and then stole his buffalo. There’s no way to dispute his story — except the part where the Pepsi bottle got shoved up there.
  4. Hairspray Can: Unlike the 60 year old, who told a story of assault, Mirela Gradinaru refused to explain how a huge can of hairspray came to be lodged in her body. Surgeons removed the foreign object, and many are still curious. After all, a hairspray can is pretty huge.
  5. Impaled on a Tap: Yi Zhao slipped in the bath and impaled himself on the tap. This tap was stuck in his eye. One of the most unusual parts of the story, though, has to do with what happened next: The doctors debated for three hours over whether or not to perform surgery. So Yi Zhao just pulled it out himself.
  6. Eiffel Tower Lodged in Hand: One of the most unusual x-rays is this one, of an Eiffel Tower keychain lodged in a woman’s hand. Amy Preston was jogging through a London neighborhood when she fell on the keyring, which was in her hand.
  7. Arrow through the Eye: A young boy, Liu Cheong, was shot through the eye by a fellow student while practicing archery on their own. The arrow had sunk through the child’s head — but misse the brain on its journey to the back of the skull.
  8. Swallowed Scissors: Scissors shouldn’t be used near your mouth. However, one man, Kong Lin, decided to use a buddy’s nail scissors as a toothpick. When a friend told a joke, he ended up swallowing the scissors — needing surgery to have them removed.
  9. Knife to the Head: Muggers stabbed a boy in the head, using a kitchen knife. The boy’s friends rushed him to the hospital, instead of trying to remove the knife — and it save the boy’s life. The knife missed the brain, and surgeons were able to remove it.
  10. Nail through the Skull: Would you notice if you were shot with a nail gun? Construction worker Patrick Lawler had a nail embedded in his skull as the result of a backfiring nail gun. He finally went to the dentist — and the dentist found a four-inch nail.
  11. 16 Toes: Due to a genetic mutation, a boy was born with extra fingers and toes. You can see these unusual x-ray images of his 16 toes. He also had 15 fingers. Surgeons eventually removed his superfluous digits. The x-rays, though, remain, and they are quite interesting.
  12. Bed Springs and Batteries: In an effort to “earn” trips outside, inmates of Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, swallow all sorts of things. This picture shows x-rays of a bed spring and of batteries inside the bodies of two inmates.
  13. Twin Absorption: Lakshmi Tatma absorbed a twin that had quit developing. As a result, the little girl was born with eight limbs, as well as doubles of some organs, and a nervous system that was horribly tangled. This is a scan of her body.
  14. Swallowing Silverware: This patient swallowed two forks, a toothbrush and a ballpoint pen. That’s an interesting diet to be on. The objects in this x-ray are actually in the intestine, making their way through the digestive system.
  15. Baby Swallows Safety Pin: This infant swallowed a safety pin, and surgery was required to remove it. How did a safety pin end up inside an infant? Apparently the baby’s older sister put it in her mouth.
  16. Killed by Nails: While many of the stories of unusual x-rays have happy endings, this one did not. Chen Liu was shot 30 times in the head with a nail gun, and died as a result. This disturbing x-ray shows the results of a distressing homicide.


Animals do weird things, too. Here are some of the most unusual animal x-rays:
  1. Swallowed Christmas Decor: A little puppy — a cute Yorkshire terrier — swallowed a Christmas decoration. The star shaped ornament is what makes this one of the most unusual looking x-rays. Luckily, little Charlie has a few more Christmases coming.
  2. Python Eats Kitten: This crazy x-ray shows a kitten, swallowed whole, inside a python. Does it matter that the kitten’s head is much bigger than the python’s head (as you can see by the way the technician positioned the snake). The snake can just dislocate it’s jaw, and force it down.
  3. Python Ingests Electric Blanket: Experts estimate that it would take six hours for a Burmese python to swallow a queen size electric blanket, and it’s clear that Houdini the snake was determined to get it all down – cord, control box and all. After an operation, Houdini made a recovery.
  4. Puppy Swallows Knife: How would you fare, after swallowing a 13-inch serrated knife? A Saint Bernard puppy apparently swallowed one — and recovered after having it removed. Perhaps this dog has a career as a sword swallower…
  5. Dog Eats Dog: A dog came across a toy from a little girl’s dollhouse and ate it. The toy looked like a dog — and the x-ray is quite clear and unusual. It looks like it’s a dog eat dog world after all. At least if one of the dogs is a toy. Make sure you keep toys away from pets.
  6. Dog Swallows Fish Hooks: Lucky for this dog, he was allergic to fishing bait. That meant that the bait on the hooks speeded things up. Rather than having surgery, the god passed all of the hooks safely, not one catching on anything inside the dog’s system.
  7. Rubber Ducky: This unusual x-ray shows a picture of the rubber duck that a dog swallowed. Dogs seem to swallow all manner of things, don’t they? Dollhouse toys, bath toys, and just about any other small toy is at risk.
  8. All Locked Up: This pet swallowed a padlock. Can you imagine? It’s a very clear picture of a padlock, and needed to be removed through surgery. Eventually, though, the padlock was removed, and was able to lock things up again.
  9. Dog Swallows Wiimote: This dog loves technology, really loves it. In fact, this dog ate a Wiimote. Rather than surgery, though, the vet massaged the Wiimote out. Once the Wiimote was out, the dog began a rapid recovery.