Claim: Photograph shows Cyclopes, a kitten born with only one eye.
Example: [Associated Press, 2006]
Origins: Many viewers were tempted to write off the above-displayed photograph, distributed by the Associated Press on 9 January 2006, as a fabrication because it seemed so far outside their realm of experience. However, the congenital abnormality exhibited by this kitten, although not common, has been observed and documented before in a variety of
Cyclopia (or synophthalmia) is a birth defect in which a normally two-eyed animal is born with only a single fused eye, generally disproportionately large and centered on the face above the area where the nose would usually appear. Typically in cyclopic births the nose is either absent or present as an appendage located above the single eye. (Eyelids are also generally absent in such births, which explains why the eye of the one-day-old kitten pictured above is open even though cats are usually born with their eyes shut and remain in that condition for the first week or two of their lives.)
Pictures of cyclopic animals can be found on a variety of web sites (not recommended for sensitive viewers), including a site with photographs of a cyclopic goat, and another site displaying photographs of a number of feline deformities including cyclopia.
Last updated: 10 January 2006