Biology Strange

Three Eyed Snake Found + Did You Absorb Your Twin?

A snake with three eyes was found in Australia. Oddly, X-rays showed that it was not the result of a fused double head, but just a third eye appearing. This condition, having three working eyes, may have resulted from the snake absorbing it’s own twin during early development.


A snake found in the Northern Territory brings new meaning to the concept of a third eye.

The more spiritual among us like to talk about the importance of an invisible third eye that provides perception beyond ordinary sight. But this snake actually has one, so he must be one enlightened reptile.
The somewhat deformed long carpet python was found by rangers in the outback, outside the city of Darwin recently.
… At first they thought it might have had two heads, but an X-ray revealed the snake just had a third eye socket with a functional eyeball.
“The snake is peculiar as an X-ray revealed it was not two separate heads forged together, rather it appeared to be one skull with an additional eye socket and three functioning eyes,” the rangers wrote. …
The snake was named Monty Python but sadly died after it was found. …
via News.AU
It’s likely that the strange development of the baby carpet python, which was approximately 15 inches in length, came about during the early embryonic stage, the Parks and Wildlife Service added. …
Snake expert Bryan Fry told the BBC it’s likely that the third eye may be due to the snake absorbing its twin, adding that “[e]very baby has a mutation of some sort – this one is just particularly coarse and misshapen.
via FoxNews

This is an interesting point. I sometimes do think that I’ve absorbed my own twin. How about you? Do you have any little bumps or growths anywhere that seem … somehow… foreign?  This is not as unusual as you might think.

Vanishing twin syndrome was first recognized in 1945. This occurs when a twin or multiple disappears in the uterus during pregnancy … The fetal tissue is absorbed by the other twin, multiple, placenta or the mother.
For example, a woman may have an ultrasound at 6 or 7 weeks gestation. The doctor identifies two fetuses, and the woman is told she is having twins. When the woman returns for her next visit, only one heartbeat can be heard with a Doppler.
A second ultrasound is conducted, and only one fetus is observed. Additionally, some women may have symptoms that would indicate a miscarriage, although an ultrasound reveals a single baby in the uterus.
Vanishing twin syndrome has been diagnosed more frequently since the use of ultrasonography in early pregnancy. Estimates indicate that vanishing twin syndrome occurs in 21-30% of multifetal pregnancies. …
via AmericanPregnancy

So … twins who make it out of the womb as twins beat the 21%+ odds that one of them would absorb the other? That is truly strange. To go along with this biological reality, there is a spiritual or New Age concept of “two soul” identity.

Soul dualism or multiple souls is a range of beliefs that a person has two or more kinds of souls.
via Wikipedia
“Some individuals are not truly one person, but two,” says Dr. Khan, who’s been conducting reincarnation studies in Mumbai, India, for the past 26 years.
via WWN

There are verified real human chimeras, single individuals who are a mix of cells from different individuals.

A chimera is essentially a single organism that’s made up of cells from two or more “individuals” — that is, it contains two sets of DNA, with the code to make two separate organisms.
One way chimeras can happen naturally in humans is that a fetus can absorb its twin. This can occur with fraternal twins, if one embryo dies very early in pregnancy and some of its cells are “absorbed” by the other twin. The remaining fetus will have two sets of cells: its own original set, plus the one from its twin.
via LiveSci

This resulted in a strange case where one of the children of a mother was not hers genetically. It turned out to be the offspring of her absorbed twin, who was sleeping with her husband unbeknownst to any of the three of them.

… in 2002, news outlets reported the story of a woman named Karen Keegan, who needed a kidney transplant and underwent genetic testing along with her family, to see if a family member could donate one to her. But the tests suggested that genetically, Keegan could not be the mother of her sons. The mystery was solved when doctors discovered that Keegan was a chimera — the set of DNA in her blood cells was different from that in the other tissues in her body.

Even after years of study when you think you have a good general understanding of genetics, there are all kinds of interesting surprises. One is that you may have human cells that are not yours, cells from your absorbed twin, in your body. Weird thought.
Not all mutations are visible to the eye. In fact, it is useful at times to keep in mind that we are all mutants.

When parents pass their genes down to their children, an average of 60 errors are introduced to the genetic code in the process, according to a new study. Any of those five dozen mutations could be the source of major differences in a person’s appearance or behavior as compared to his or her parents and altogether, the mistakes are the driving force of evolution.
via LiveSci

Few of us, however, can identify any of our (roughly) 60 mutations.

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