15 Animals That Are Sometimes Born With Two Heads

Two-headed creatures aren't just something out of a sci-fi story. Double-headed animals do exist in the natural world. Having two (or more) heads attached to one body is a condition referred to as polycephaly. That intimidating word has pretty simple origins: the Greek poly- meaning "much," and kephali-, which means "head." 

Though it's an extremely rare occurrence, scientists who study and catalog animals have come across quite a few instances of polycephaly. We even use the two-headed animal as a symbol. For example, a two-headed eagle often stands for something grand and historical. It was also the mark of the Byzantime Empire. 

This list of two-headed animals aims to separate the myth from the unbelievably true. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

  • Porpoise

    Two Dutch fisherman discovered this two-headed porpoise in June 2017. The animal - which was dead when they found him - was floating in the ocean. The fisherman took a picture of the animal before throwing it back in the ocean. It is apparently the only two-headed harbor porpoise known on Earth. 

  • Cobra
    Video: YouTube

    Look at how cute this widdle guy is! D'awww. This double-headed cobra has two brains, which means that sometimes, these two butt heads... literally. You know that cool S-shape maneuver that cobras can do? It turns out that it isn't so easy to move like Jagger when you're attached to another snake. 

  • Cat
    Video: YouTube

    This cute kitty has a name for each of his faces. One is named Frank, and the other is called Louie.

  • A two-headed pig was born in China, but unfortunately, it likely won't live very long due to various malformations. The little piggy has two ears, one eye, and two snouts. Births like this are usually the result of a split embryo (which would normally cause twins) that didn't separate completely.

  • This bird didn't stop at growing two heads - it also has three beaks! Found by April Britt in Massachusetts, this grey little fluff ball will grow up to be a beautiful, red, cardinal if it can survive in the wild.

  • This two-headed calf was dubbed Sana Saida which means "Happy New Year" in Arabic. It was born December 30th, 2013 in Morocco.