The mystery of a Kazakhstan village that was plagued by a sickness that caused children to hallucinate, people to sleep for days, and men to have high sex drives has finally been solved.
In the village of Kalachi, the medical issue has lasted three years and has been noted for causing people to fall asleep for days and for children to have strange hallucinations, Time reported in March. One girl reportedly saw an elephant trunk on her mother while a boy saw light bulbs and horses flying around his head.
Scientists have finally discovered the answer to the mystery: a Soviet-era uranium mine below the town. The mine reportedly emits high levels of carbon monoxide poisoning those in the village, according to The Daily Mail.
“After numerous medical tests, our researchers have confirmed that carbon monoxide is to blame for sleeping epidemic in Kalachi village,” Berdybek Saparbayev, the vice president of Kazakhstan, told The Daily Mail.
One of the side effects of the poisoning was that men would reportedly wake up after days of sleep wanting sex. The state of arousal reportedly lasted up to a month.
“The doctors laugh, and the nurses are embarrassed when they see our men in this state,” said the wife of one of the men inflicted by the condition, The Daily Mail reports.
Some of the more mild-mannered elderly people in the town reportedly began to refer to their nurses as “whores” and “prostitutes," according to a photojournalist who allegedly spent the night in the village.
Reports also include claims that one victim leapt out of his hospital bed, gave the Nazi salute, and greeted medical personnel with “Heil Hitler.”
A 60-year-old grandfather also allegedly hallucinated that he was a rooster, and would flap his arms while crowing.
Officials from Prague and Moscow found the carbon monoxide levels in the village to be 10 times the normal levels.
“To describe it simply, when the uranium mines were abandoned, they began to fill with ground water,” said Russian scientist Leonid Rikhvanov. “Radon and other inert gases which release as a result of the decay of uranium are squeezed out by groundwater and through the cracks in the ground rises to the surface.”
The government is now planning an evacuation of the entire village. This move will displace some 223 families as they are relocated to a new location. The government will also front some of the cost of the move.
Photo Credit: The Daily Mail