Weird Nature
15.3k readers

Was Cyclops Actually A Real Creature?

Updated August 4, 2020 15.3k views10 items
Editor's Note: Voting and Reranking have been closed.

The best lies are based in truth, and the same goes for myths. While it is easy to treat the myths of the ancient Greeks as pure fiction, one must also wonder where exactly they got their inspiration from. If all myths are based on some morsel of fact, are mythical creatures rooted in realism?

Was cyclops real, or at least based on a real thing? It's difficult to say for certain, but the origin of the cyclops may have been representing some natural phenomenon. There are animals that are born with a single eye, and humans are known to experience unique deformities that seem to match the definition of a true cyclops. Some scientists even claim to have found a fossil originally believed to have belonged to a cyclops, which could have led to the first legends about these mythical beasts. While it is unlikely that this one-eye monster ever truly existed, it is possible that things in the natural world played a part in the formation of this classic cryptid.

Photo:
  • The Large Hole In Mammoth Skulls Separated Them From Elephants

    The massive hole where the trunk connects to the skull has captured the imagination of humans everywhere, both today and thousands of years ago. Amazingly, the elephants of today are actually on the small side when it comes to the history of giant, terrestrial animals. So the giant skulls of mammoths were somewhat of an anomaly to the Greeks. They hypothesized that the massive, single-socketed skull could only have belonged to a monstrous being.

  • It Is Possible For People To Be Born With One Eye

    Photo: Columbia Pictures / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Humans who match the appearance of the legendary cyclops are far from a thing of myth. While they may not have cloven hooves and a single horn protruding from their skulls, infants with holoprosencephaly do have some features that are reminiscent of the classic cyclops. This genetic disorder can cause the eyes to fuse in the center of the skull, roughly where the nose should be. This results in a massive, single eye that dominates the face. 

    Infants with holoprosencephaly are often afflicted by a number of neurological disorders. Parts of the brain may be entirely missing, and some infants are born without a windpipe. This means that they can't breath or eat properly, which often leads to the death of the infant.

  • Babies Born With Holoprosencephaly, Or Cyclops Disorder, Were Treated Horrendously

    Babies born with holoprosencephaly often live short and painful lives, if they come to term at all. Most parents today choose to end pregnancies where the baby has been diagnosed with holoprosencephaly, but rewind the clock 50 years and it's a whole different story. In the past, babies born with significant deformities were often considered "monsters" and treated as subhuman.

    According to the testimony of Dr. Fredric Neuman, who was just an intern at the time, a baby born with a single eye lived for 13 grueling days before it passed. During that time, the severely handicapped newborn was refused pain relief treatment and was even mutilated by the staff. One of it's fingers was amputated without anesthesia for no reason other than to practice removing excess fingers. This behavior seems to prove that, if the mythical cyclops was ever real, humans would have killed it long ago.

  • Our Repulsion Of The Cyclops Might Be An Adapted, If Cruel, Trait

    While it may be difficult to swallow the brutal reality that is the life of a cyclops child, our inhumane reactions might be a result of our biological wiring. Conditions like holoprosencephaly usually result in death, and our primitive brains might be hardwired to abandon the weak or differently abled. In the savannahs of Africa where our first ancestors began to develop, protecting a deformed baby could mean death for the parent. But we are not animals, and our natural instincts to abandon a baby with holoprosencephaly must be shunned in order to treat the child with true, human compassion.