The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
A black lion: real or fake?
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Cyclops Kitten
Status: Real
image Ichneutron sent me a link to this picture of Cy, the Cyclops Kitten on Yahoo Photos. According to the info on Yahoo, Cy was born in Redmond, Oregon, on Dec. 28, 2005 with only one eye and no nose. He lived for one day. The other cat in the litter (there were only two) was born normal. The photo is by Traci Allen. There's no reason to think the photo isn't real. The condition is known as Cyclopia. Messybeast.com gives this description of it:

The eyes are fused into a single enlarged eye that is placed below the nose (the nose may or may not form, if it forms it resembles a proboscis). Much of the face may be missing, such that the eye and proboscis (if present) are placed near the crown of the skull... Severe cases of cyclopia result in stillbirth or in death within a few hours of birth.

The four-eyed kitten, however, remains a hoax.

Update: I notice that quite a few people are calling hoax on this picture. But I'm keeping it listed as real. After all, it's a known form of mutation, and the photo has a source.

Update 2: And the photoshops of Cy have begun.
image

Update 3 (April 8, 2006): Cy's owner has sold him to the Lost Museum, a creationist museum opening soon in Phoenix, NY.
Categories: Animals
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 09, 2006
Comments (70)
Kittens have closed eyes for a couple of weeks after birth, though, and when the eyes open, they are a milky blue for days.
Posted by Giblets  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  07:59 PM
I think he's cute. Shame he died.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  08:08 PM
creepy...
Posted by mooo1  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  08:18 PM
At the risk of sounding like a fool, I think that's totally fake. It has slight imperfections in the fur and the lighting. Big time Photoshop hoax.
Posted by Benny  in  Orlando  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  11:18 PM
The imperfection in the photo appears due to using a lens on macro mode (no depth of focal field). In human cyclopia (there are plenty of preserved specimens), the nose often forms above the eye. because the facial development is so badly disrupted The eye is fixed open and dark because the other structures in and around the eye don't form - without eyelids, the kitten can't be born with its eyes shut.

It's a pity people are so ready to cry hoax that they overlook genuine mutations without doing some research into the condition first. This one is just a sad mistake of nature.
Posted by Sarah  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  12:27 AM
Sarah, is the head smaller than normal too?

That eye just looks huge--maybe just because it's lidless?
Posted by Joe Welling  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  01:26 AM
I'm afraid I'm going to have to call hoax on this, also. While, yes, this is an actual condition, we're only presented with one photo of this kitten. If there are more, they need to be shown. Otherwise, it's just going to look like a very clever Photoshop job. I imagine that anyone who happened to have a cat that has given birth to such a rare specimen would want to take a lot of different pictures of it to help document it. This just doesn't happen every day, you see. As for the image, it looks fake in several ways, but mostly just the face in general.
Posted by Rachel  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  01:58 AM
Err... It may not be very common, but it's hardly unheard of. Furthermore, why are you expecting the press to print multiple pictures of something that is such minor news?

I don't think it's fake.
Posted by J  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  05:44 AM
My family's had several cats, and most gave birth several times -- I agree with Giblets, there's no way a one-day kitten could have its eye(s) open and clear in the first day. Yes, mutant or not, I really don't think that's possible -- even if the mutation affected its lids (i.e. it was born without any), I don't think it's possible for the eye to be so clean, it must have been almost white, I expect.
Posted by Gutza  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  06:06 AM
The head appears about the right size (hard to say without a full body picture), but the wrong shape. The muzzle does not protrude. The disruption of growth and fusion of the eyes creates an abnormally sized eye. Some of the human cyclops have an eye that occupies much of the forehead area or central area of the face.

If the photo was taken soon after birth, the lidless eye would be clear because it's still moistened with amniotic fluids. It's equally possible that the breeder has kept it moistened as she would do if a normal kitten was born with eyes open.

I'm surprised that the "kittens don't open their eyes for 2 weeks" line is used as an argument for fakery when there is no evidence of eyelids and when the kitten's facial structure is abnormal (hence normal rules don't apply).

Some of the pictures of human mutants in Gould & Pyle (late 19th century textbook) would almost certainly be shouted down as Photoshop simply because people have trouble accepting that gross deformities happen.
Posted by Louise  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  12:07 PM
Not fake. the AP followed up
http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060111_ap_cyclops_cat.html

Not. Fake.
Posted by Jason  in  Indianapolis, Indiana  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  05:28 PM
Thanks for the update. Hopefully that should settle the debate.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  05:51 PM
Poor thing.
Posted by Big Gary in the northern hemisphere  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  06:21 PM
I found that AP article as well and one thing that struck me was the fact that the owner is currently keeping the kittens corpse in her freezer!

I mean, I guess in the interest of science I can see a laboratory with actual scientists keeping the corpse on ice for study but this woman keeping the corpes in her freezer just strikes me as bizarre.
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  09:43 AM
Didnt it say that the kitten didnt have a nose? How did it live for one whole day without breathing? Out of its mouth I guess?
Posted by Mike  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  09:48 AM
I am still not convinced. The eye being open, clear, and not the usual blue, is very wierd (though theoretically possible). The NO NOSE and it lived for a whole day part? Indeed, how is it breathing, especially when the owner is feeding it: "Allen said she stayed up all night with the deformed kitten on her recliner, feeding Cy a liquid formula through a syringe"

WTF? C'mon.
Posted by Lisa  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  02:16 PM
Someone call the guy in Oregon and get the corpse, I want to see more pictures.
Posted by Natalie  in  Fort Lauerdale, FL  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  02:19 PM
I would have to say it's a good attempt at making it look real! But it is missing the milky blue eyes. Technology these days...lol!
Posted by Ursula  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  03:48 PM
its hard to tell if its fake or not but why did it have to die.............
well it made a good mini project and now im done with it
Posted by Kevin  in  Florida  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:24 PM
the mutation makes the cat look really weird but i want to know why its mouth and ears look so weird maybe its not a hoax maybe it is i cant decide if i see more pictures then ill belive its true but for now im not taking any sides
Posted by thomas  in  the land of tomorow  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:30 PM
TOTAL HOAX! It take a few weeks for kittens to open their eyes, as already said before. And even if it was lidless, all kittens' eyes are blue when born.

Looks like a photoshop of a kitten/monkey.

And AP has been so wrong before. If they post more images of the animal soon, maybe I might be more likely to believe it, but one picture? No. Not buying it.
Posted by Siren  in  Palm Coast, FL  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:42 PM
If it didn't have a nose, how did it breathe? Did it have some sort of airhole? If it didn't then how would it have stayed alive? If there was really no way for it to breathe then this is a hoax.
Posted by Betty  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  06:25 PM
Messybeast.com says that the brown color of the eye was just yet another abnormality of it. Only normal cats' eyes are blue at birth, not cyclops ones. Click on the link and read it. This makes me think that maybe the whole blue-eye thing is irrelevant.
Posted by Betty  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  06:58 PM
The photos have been verified by checking the images that were on her camera card. The photos were in order with Christmas photos of her family. Experts say it would be impossible to load then on her card in order with the other pictures. She says she still has the body of Cy in her freezer in case science wants it. And she promises that Cy will not show up on eBay.
Posted by Bill  in  Los Angeles  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  07:36 PM
I work in a vet clinic, foster raise orphaned kittens, and have spent my entire life in the company of animals. A kitten that young would not have its eyes open. In the event that it was a freak with no eyelid, the eye would have begun to dry out. Hoax.
Posted by Amanda  in  Georgia  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  07:31 AM
Ok, here we go... It's amazing how people think that just because they have been around or 'raised' NORMAL kittens, they think they know absolutely EVERYTHING that IS or COULD be possible in relation to a feline, HOWEVER, you obviously don't know much at all, or are very close-minded to scientific anomalies and don't believe the truth even if it were to slap you in the face. For those that don't believe it could have lived through a day with her feeding it through a syringe, DUH, THINK about it. Obviously it was breathing through the mouth since there was no nose, however, she was not ABLE to feed it continuously. I bet you anything that she had to feed it a drop at a time and wait a few minutes between drops, that way it didn't suffocate. Idiots, I tell you! THINK PEOPLE!! This is common sense stuff here! And lastly, for those commenting about the eye being open, let me go back to the first part of my comments, YOU DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING! Things ARE possible. Just because you have never seen it before does NOT mean it can't be a fact or happen. Just because you have never personally experienced it yourself, doesn't mean it isn't real. Also, THE KITTEN WASN'T NORMAL AND WOULD NOT HAVE NORMAL FEATURES! The stupidity is astounding!
Posted by Penny  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  08:35 AM
GOOD POINTS PENNY , BUT ALITTLE ANGRY FOR 5:30 IN THE MORN. DON'T YOU THINK?
Posted by JAKE  in  LYNN  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  09:04 AM
Does any one know this lady who submitted the pictures, we need more NOW. Is the body really in her freezer, put it on ebay, I am ready to bid. I can't wait to see what I will find in my mailbox when I win. A Cyclops kitten or a copy of the Photoshop program?
Posted by Natalie  in  Fort lauderdale  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  09:09 AM
Thanks Jake, not Angry, just awake, and I can get pretty vocal at times lol! I didn't mean to come across as angry, just making some points! smile
Posted by Penny  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  09:14 AM
This has got to be fake, kittens are born without thier eyes open, if this lady can really send the corpse of this kitten to scientists and actually have this documented, maybe I'll believe it.
Posted by Ju  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  02:06 PM
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