Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a bizarre brain condition where your perception of the world is completely out of whack.

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The aptly named Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a strange condition that distorts your perception of yourself and the world around you. It takes its name from the character of Lewis Carroll because, like Alice in the story, people with the syndrome often mistakenly perceive themselves as very small or our surroundings as extremely oversized. It can also impact the perception of time, making people appear to be moving in slow motion, and include other visual and auditory hallucinations such as seeing people’s faces turn into monsters or hearing speech at a abnormally fast speed. From BBC Future:

Gillian Harris, from Pulborough, West Sussex, England, was only diagnosed with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome six years ago at the age of 48, although she has suffered from it since her younger age. “When I was a kid sometimes I felt like things were further away from me and when I was a teenager I also realized that my limbs were huge, with my arms absolutely massive,” says -She. From the age of about 16, she was diagnosed and treated for epilepsy[…]

In children, encephalitis caused primarily by the Epstein-Barr virus is the most common cause of Alice in Wonderland syndrome, while it is most commonly associated with migraines in adults.

Brain imaging also offers information. These suggest that Alice in Wonderland Syndrome may be caused by a malfunction in a region of the brain called the temporo-parietal-occipital junction, where visual and spatial information is combined with cues regarding touch, body position and pain. Changes to this key meeting point of sensory information caused by injury, neurological damage, or swelling can alter how the brain interprets signals.

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