Mysterious Sleeping Sickness of Kalachi, Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan has one notable claim to fame.

Here, we’re not talking about Borat impressions. Nope, we are referring to a mysterious epidemic that causes fatigue, memory loss, hallucinations, and most strangely, long bouts of unexpected narcolepsy.

sleeping illness kazakhstan, sleeping sickness kazakhstan, Sleeping Sickness of a Kazakh Village
The Mysterious Sleeping Sickness of a Kazakh Village. Picture via BBC

Over the past few years, hundreds of residents of Kalachi have reported dropping unconscious, seemingly at random – sometimes for weeks at a time. And no causes have been yet identified.

The disease first struck the village during Spring of 2013 and affected around a quarter of Kalachi‚Äôs population (120 residents). The problem became so prolific that Kazakhstan even evacuated the town’s inhabitants.

In overall more than 150 cases have been reported and investigated.

Despite thousands of conducted studies, multiple commissions have so far been unable to establish the cause of the illness.

Possible Causes Of The Sleeping Illness in Kazakhstan

The leading hypothesis is that the residents of Kalachi are suffering the effects of radiation poisoning, since the town is close to a uranium mine that adheres to the stringent regulations you could expect from Kazakhstan (lol!).

But there are holes in that theory, not the least of which is the neighboring town – even closer to the mine – that hasn’t reported nearly as much unwelcome power-napping.

Also, all of the blood tests have turned out normal, which leads some to believe that the situation might be a case of good old-fashioned hysteria.

Due to the town’s reputation, anyone who falls asleep on the job is likely to blame it on the mysterious sleeping sickness rather than having stayed up all night playing Skyrim.

Or do you think this sleeping sickness is linked to secret health experiments on the residents of this secluded village? [Interfax, News.au.net]

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