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This man's hands are no optical illusion

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Remember the scene in Gattaca where Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman's characters go to a piano concert featuring music that can only be performed by a pianist with extra fingers? Well, the song the pianist plays is called "Impromptu for 12 fingers," and in case you hadn't noticed, the guy pictured up top would be all over that.

Meet Yoandri Hernandez Garrido. It's barely noticeable at first glance, but Hernandez actually has not ten, but twelve very normal-looking fingers. And Hernandez's extra digits aren't limited to his hands. As his nickname of "veinticuatro" (or "twenty-four," for those of you who don't habla español) implies, Hernandez also has a matching set of 12 toes.


AP's Fernando Gonzalez says:

Hernandez is proud of his extra digits and calls them a blessing, saying they set him apart and enable him to make a living by scrambling up palm trees to cut coconuts and posing for photographs in this eastern Cuban city [Baracoa] popular with tourists.


Hernandez's extra digits are symptomatic of a relatively common condition known as polydactyly (poly meaning many, dactyl from the greek for finger). It's estimated, for example, that 1 in 500 children is born with at least one extra digit. What really sets Hernandez apart is just how well-formed and natural-looking his extra digits appear.

"Since I was young, I understood that it was a privilege to have 24 digits. Nobody has ever discriminated against me for that," Hernandez says. "On the contrary, people admire me and I am very proud. I have a million friends, I live well."

You can read more about Hernandez and see more pictures over at Yahoo! NEWS