If you are anything like me, you are absolutely fascinated by things in jars of blue-green liquid. It could be a grapefruit, a fish skeleton, or, in this case of the image below, an infant born with cyclopia. Sure, it should be grotesque – it’s a dead baby in a vat of liquid – but I find it absolutely astonishing to observe. It’s why I keep a fetal pig in a candy jar on my desk. But let’s talk this image over, let’s observe what is actually happening here.
To skip getting bogged down in heavy scientific terms, cyclopia is a birth defect where the eyes fail to divide into two cavities. Thus, the birthed individual has only one eye, similar to a cyclops – which is where the name stems from, I suppose. In addition, the face is often missing or replaced with a non-functioning nose. The non-functioning nose (as seen in the picture, to the bottom-right of the face) is a proboscis, also known as a “feeding tube.” While cyclopia is extremely rare, there are some preserved babies in medical museums.
Animals are also known to suffer from cyclopia. The current amount of affected animals is approximately 1 in 16,000 – so, extremely rare. But it is not unheard of, as evident by the following 1665 quote by a man describing a colt affected by cyclopia:
First, That it had no sign of any Nose in the usual place, nor had it any, in any other place of the Head, unless the double Bagg CC that grew out of the midst of the forehead, were some rudiment of it. Next, That the two Eyes were united into one Double Eye which was placed just in the middle of the Brow.
In addition, below you will find a picture of a kitten born with cyclopia. The kitten was born on December 28, 2005, and died one day after birth. Even with its one black eye, it is too cute for words.