A mutant pig that looks like an alien creature was born on May 20 in rural Brunopolis, in the state of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil.
Pictures shared by locals show the piglet has only one eye in the center of its forehead and no nose, instead it has excess flesh protruding from its muzzle that resembles a trunk. Another excess of flesh was also observed above the eye.
Experts say the creature may have suffered from a rare congenital disease known as cyclopia, which prevents the embryonic-stage forebrain from dividing properly to create two eye sockets. This is when some proteins are poorly expressed, preventing the brain from developing into two separate hemispheres, resulting in a single visual lobe and a single olfactory lobe.
The incidence of cyclopia is 1 / 16,000 in born animals. Previously, similar cases had also been reported in China, Argentina and elsewhere in Brazil. In most cases, piglets die soon after birth. Brunopolis’ misshapen creature is no exception.
Cyclopia also occurs in humans but is rarer. On September 13, 2018, a baby with this syndrome was born in Mandailing Natal, in North Sumatera, Indonesia. The baby had one eye, no nose, weighed 2.4 kg, and only lived 7 hours after birth.