There was a month where no one in my fraternity got out of bed. It was winter, awful weather, and everyone just decided “screw it” and didn’t move. Only food and bathroom breaks, the rest of the day was naps and Judge Judy reruns. We were all just lazy.
The people of Kalachi, a small village in Kazakhstan, want to get out and do things. Unfortunately, for the last two years, they’ve been able to do anything but sleep all day. It’s not as amazing as it sounds. The entire town has been smashed over the head with some type of airborne narcolepsy. Residents will randomly fall into comas or suffer from crippling bouts of dizziness, nausea, blinding headaches and memory loss.
Here’s just a couple horror stories from Kalachi residents:
One day last summer, Viktor Kazachenko set off across the steppe from his village in northern Kazakhstan. He was driving to the nearest town on some errands, but he never arrived.
“My brain switched off,” he says. “That’s it. I don’t remember.” Kazachenko had been hit by the so-called “sleeping sickness” that is plaguing Kalachi, a remote village about 300 miles west of the country’s capital Astana.
The mysterious illness has sent residents into comas, sometimes lasting days on end. “I was going to town on 28 August ,” Kazachenko told EurasiaNet.org, still disoriented by the experience. “I came round on 2 September. I understood [on waking up] in the hospital that I’d fallen asleep.”
Kazachenko blacked out while driving his motorcycle, with his wife riding with him. “It’s good it wasn’t that foreign vehicle,” he jokes, gesturing at his car standing beside his neat white cottage. “That’s fast – a motorbike isn’t so fast!”. He didn’t complain of any other injuries as a result of his sudden sleep.
Holy shit! That’s scary as hell. Imagine traveling on a bike at like 60mph and then ZZZZZZZZ.
The scariest part is that scientists and doctors have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on.
The ‘sleeping sickness’ is baffling doctors and scientists alike who have tested increased levels of radiation; carbon monoxide; radon and a build up of heavy metal salts which can be toxic.
Scientists say radiation is within permissible levels, as is the concentration of heavy metal salts. Elevated levels of radon and carbon monoxide were detected but later ruled out as a cause.
When the white coats don’t know what’s going on, that’s bad news. If I were a resident, I’d get out of town fast! Just as soon as my nap was over.
[via The Guardian]