In Mississippi, a snake breeder had the extraordinary opportunity to witness the birth of a cyclops mutant snake among his reticulated python offspring.
Tyree Jimerson, in an interview with Newsweek magazine, shared his experience of tending to his recent python egg clutch. Recognizing the advanced stage of development, he decided to assist the snakes in hatching by carefully cutting open the shells. While this is a typical practice in snake breeding to ensure the offspring’s successful emergence, one particular egg, opened by his wife, revealed an unexpected and peculiar coloration.
The snake inside had the umbilical cord around its neck. “When I pulled its head out,” Jimerson said, “it just really freaked me out.”
What he saw was a snake with two eyes in the same socket and with no functional snout.
Jimerson said the snake was very weak and couldn’t hold its head up. He had heard of this phenomenon before. “Someone else had already had one that was very similar, like a cyclops, and it just wouldn’t live. So I went ahead and euthanized it,” Jimerson said.
Jimerson took photos of then put it in the freezer. He asked his wife, who works as a mortician, for some preservative chemicals. Jimerson is thinking about selling the snake and has been offered $750.
The python may have had a condition called cyclopia, in which the embryo’s face becomes too narrow while developing. In this case, the two eye orbits became one, and both eyes rested in the same space. In other cases, the animal will just have one large eye. Pigs, cattle, huɱaпs and even a shark have had this condition.