r/Damnthatsinteresting Jun 27 '22

The case of the “Two Headed Boy of Bengal.”a boy with a condition (craniopagus parasiticus) thrown into fire by his mother due to his horrendous appearance. He would go on to be exploited by his parents to be an exhibit for wealthy patrons and many freak shows across India. Image

Post image
11.4k Upvotes

2.5k

u/Phoenix_Squadron Jun 27 '22

Absolutely wild, terrifying and heartbreaking all at once. Holy cats.

1.3k

u/MegavirusOfDoom Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 27 '22

Unfortunately, he died from a cobra bite just four years after his birth. The east india company stole him too. he was put in a bag by his parents if nobody paid up. the top head would salivate when he ate. two other kids have had this condition since 2000 and were unsuccessfully given to surgeons for fixing up.

269

u/CageyLabRat Jun 27 '22

Holy shit.

196

u/EriccMendez Jun 27 '22

Reminds me of the conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel. They are having separate heads but share one wide ribcage, two arms, two legs, two breasts, one liver, a large and small intestine, one bladder, one pelvis, and one set of reproductive organs. Found an interesting article that answered some of the curious questions.

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270

u/GovernorSan Jun 27 '22

I saw a documentary of a girl born with a similar condition, she had a conjoined twin that was just a head and a lump of tissue where its neck would have been. It was attached to her head and their brain tissues were mingled. It was living off of her blood supply because it never developed a heart on its own. Apparently while developing in the womb the second twin failed to attach to the womb and/or didn't develop an umbilical cord, instead it got nutrients from the intact twin, but not enough to develop fully.

They had to do a surgery to remove the other head, though, because the strain of supplying blood to two heads was too much for the baby girl's heart, she had a couple heart attacks shortly after birth. The other head had its own emotions, even cried but without any sound because it had no lungs. After the incomplete twin was removed the parents named it and buried it (it was part of their culture and faith). The girl survived the surgery.

116

u/elsieburgers Jun 27 '22

She died at 2 from a brain infection though :/

67

u/BamInyeup Jun 27 '22

Thanks very much for that

377

u/markydsade Jun 27 '22 Silver

I will no longer say “two heads are better than one.”

16

u/Haughty_n_Disdainful Jun 27 '22

Smart thinking…

taps head

13

u/ApolloPS2 Jun 28 '22

taps second head

7

u/Graylorde Jun 27 '22

Which one?

73

u/Plantsandanger Jun 27 '22

“Unsuccessfully”?!

144

u/JarlaxleForPresident Jun 27 '22

They were on route to the surgeons but the East India Trading Co got em before they could get there.

29

u/ihrie82 Jun 27 '22

If you read the article it's actually a lot more grim. He wasn't cared about at all. Nobody was ever going to give him surgery. The East India Trading Co. robbed his grave after his death.

6

u/smartchin77 Jun 28 '22

East India Company robbed? how surprising /s

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11

u/Otherwise-engaged Jun 27 '22

I’m trying to imagine what “fixing up” would even look like since one of the heads has no direct connection with the body.

47

u/Mission_Hamster9026 Jun 27 '22

Salivate?? Damn that is mesmerising

10

u/Advanced-Studio-3615 Jun 27 '22

Or fortunately

10

u/CactusBiszh2019 Jun 27 '22

Sad but that was my thought as well. This kid had nothing but pain and hardship ahead of him.

3

u/EquivalentSnap Jun 27 '22

Fuck those parents 😡😡

109

u/V_es Jun 27 '22

The fact that since it’s India everything that happened would’ve been the same if it happened today- is more heartbreaking.

157

u/Deep-Ad6868 Jun 27 '22

They do have a middle class of 100 million people these days, It's multiple societies in one. Europe did export 50 trillion dollars of cotton, spices and tea in a century, unpaid, using serfdom, and annihilated their leadership, so perhaps that's why they're not like Thailand?

-5

u/FeynmansRazor Jun 27 '22

What about the caste system, is that the West's fault too?

0

u/moonstruck9999 Jun 28 '22

stfu. you guys have a "race system" and are somehow doing fine.

-9

u/Conscious-Cricket-79 Jun 27 '22

Shhh, brown people can't have agency. That is un-woke.

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u/lycan_the_dog Jun 27 '22

Please expand on that ignorant general comment of yours sir

9

u/Intrepid-Ad4511 Jun 27 '22

What batshit nonsense are you spouting, you ignorant, racist asswipe?

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u/Apprehensive-Stop347 Jun 27 '22

The second head was functional??? JFC that's terrifying!

609

u/Adhdicted2dopamine Jun 27 '22

I can’t even imagine being born as the second head.

546

u/InkSpotShanty Jun 27 '22

No lungs so you can’t talk, can’t eat because of no stomach. Just upside down and thinking in your own private prison while watching the upside-down world go by and hearing your brother do all the things you wish you could do.

Damn shame he died of a cobra bite of all things. This really should have been further studied. Especially if their brains were able to communicate with each other.

192

u/rush2me Jun 27 '22

I wonder what the other head was telling him

875

u/The_Truth_Believe_Me Jun 27 '22 Silver

"Find a cobra and end our suffering."

119

u/raven4747 Jun 27 '22

the guiltest chuckle I've had in a while, take my upvote you bastard lol

11

u/[deleted] Jun 27 '22

Hahaha

10

u/redditiscompromised2 Jun 27 '22

"be strong for mother Clarence"

102

u/Dystopic23 Jun 27 '22

"Walk towards that cobra.."

5

u/AngerCookShare Jun 27 '22

Deatro, Find Cobra Commander....

86

u/wileyrielly Jun 27 '22

Man... Would he even see the world as upside down? If he's always been upside down from birth then would that just not be normal for him. I mean thinking about it... It's kinda arbitrary, an objects direction

64

u/bjanas Jun 27 '22

I wondered this immediately, too.

I remember a story about, years ago, a researcher put on glasses that totally flipped his vision. After a surprisingly short amount of time (I think it was only a couple of days or so?) his brain essentially deciphered the input and he could see just fine.

Here we go: https://gizmodo.com/does-your-brain-really-have-the-power-to-see-the-world-5905180

22

u/InkSpotShanty Jun 27 '22

That story casts doubt on that guy though. Although your brain adapts to the distortion , nobody was able to actually have the image inverted. (Other than the scientist from the 1800s who claimed that it did.)

2

u/sanna43 Jun 28 '22

So they tried to recreate the experiment and it didn't work?

25

u/Al-Anda Jun 27 '22

I don’t know if it’s true but our eyesight is supposedly inverted from the beginning. Our brains learn to read images as we see them in the real world. This might also be complete bullshit but I’m not looking it up.

7

u/khekhekhe Jun 27 '22

Well the eyes work like pinhole cameras, so...

5

u/yickth Jun 27 '22

Secondo was jealous of his brother’s life — all the things his brother got to do — the parties, the career advancements. Nobody ever talked to Secondo. No one looked up to him

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18

u/Antique_Sentence70 Jun 27 '22

Simply born too early, if that happened today that kid would've gotten support rhey needed

7

u/Adhdicted2dopamine Jun 27 '22

2

u/Steviejeet Jun 27 '22

So are they each controlling a half? One seems a little more centered on the body. Wonder if that means they got the control

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u/yickth Jun 27 '22

Could become President and Veep

2

u/MrHockster Jun 27 '22

Actually your vision would be right. You can even flip your own vision in a couple of days wearing inverted lenses.

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88

u/BitcoinMD Jun 27 '22

If it makes you feel any better, your brain would flip your vision so that you would see right side up.

148

u/MarnerIsAMagicMan Jun 27 '22 Silver

Oh phew, it was my vision I was worried about if I were to be born as a disembodied head attached at the skull to another living person.

9

u/geishabird Jun 27 '22

Disembodied? Or is it just ‘embodied?

92

u/majortvjunkie Jun 27 '22

Idk why but I laughed hard at this particular comment. I think we all feel like second head some days.

397

u/powabiatch Jun 27 '22

Almost certainly an exaggeration for advertising purposes. In modern cases, the second head can blink, make mouth movements, even cry etc, but they are just rudimentary functions with no consciousness and often mirror what the real head is doing.

212

u/Hrbalz Jun 27 '22

The article stated the other head only mirrored occasionally. For the most part it was autonomous and did it’s own thing.

350

u/[deleted] Jun 27 '22

"While the second head was rarely conscious, it did act independently from the other at times.

When the child laughed or cried, the second head sometimes didn’t match the action. If the first head was asleep, the eyes on the second head darted around as if observing its surroundings. But the heads also acted in unison in some instances."

This kinda implies that it doing anything at all was rare

211

u/swiss-y Jun 27 '22

The eyes moving while alseep "darting" sounds like it could be REM just triggering there also

34

u/NerdModeCinci Jun 27 '22 Silver

Idt REM was a band yet /s

7

u/FunetikPrugresiv Jun 27 '22

Stipe sleeping.

61

u/Heidan20 Jun 27 '22

Imagine trying to go to sleep and your second head has a stupid song in it.

23

u/Jedi_Mind_Trip Jun 27 '22

My second head already gives me enough trouble sleeping without adding music to the equation.

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41

u/ropoqi Jun 27 '22

yo wtf

60

u/TheLurkerWithout Jun 27 '22

That’s nightmare fuel

7

u/InkSpotShanty Jun 27 '22

“Quaid…. Start the reactor….”

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17

u/shady_vin Jun 27 '22

Mf it happened in 1700's. It's all exaggerated hearsay on the things he did part of the account

6

u/InkSpotShanty Jun 27 '22

It had its own brain so not controlled by the brother.

69

u/DerG3n13 Jun 27 '22

The real question is, does he wear a scarf or a hat?

9

u/Handris18 Jun 27 '22

I... wha... I just cant anymore.

23

u/Madsinner9 Jun 27 '22

Leave John F. Cennedy out of thi- oh wait

17

u/MrSparr0w Jun 27 '22

No no no she just loves Jentucky fried Chicken

10

u/[deleted] Jun 27 '22 edited Jul 06 '22

[deleted]

675

u/LostCache Jun 27 '22

Only 2 out of 5,000,000 babies are born with this condition with a majority dying immediately after birth.

643

u/wiznun Jun 27 '22 Silver Helpful

You could have said, "Only 1 out of 2.5 million babies," so why did you say 2 ... Oh.

161

u/TWANGnBANG Jun 27 '22

This was my guilty laugh of the day.

34

u/Top_Lime1820 Jun 27 '22

Thanks for explaining. I didn't get it

11

u/regular-jackoff Jun 27 '22

Two heads are better than one

20

u/regular-jackoff Jun 27 '22

Took me a good second there to get it.

8

u/[deleted] Jun 27 '22

Almost missed it. Thanks

542

u/Gr0und0ne Jun 27 '22

That’s a lot more common than I ever would have imagined

127

u/lorenzomofo Jun 27 '22

The chances of it are higher than winning the lottery.

50

u/FirstAtEridu Jun 27 '22

That's like 30 births every year.

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u/sarcofaguy Jun 27 '22

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u/Tribblehappy Jun 27 '22

Poor kid died of a cobra bite after being gawked at for 4 short years. That's awful. I wonder if he'd lived longer, what could he have told us about his experience. Obviously the second head wouldn't talk with no respiratory system of its own but if it was autonomous and the boy heard its thoughts, that raises the terrifying idea that the second head was a fully sentient human trapped in a body it could not control.

445

u/ThenCokeitShallBe Jun 27 '22 Take My Energy Doot 🎵 Doot

Yeah! You know what? To hell with sleep.

190

u/Adorable-Case-7485 Jun 27 '22

It might’ve been since that article said it would act independently of the boys main head…it’d stay awake and move its eyes while he slept🫣

76

u/Junior-Profession726 Jun 27 '22

The thought of that in my mind is terrifying

54

u/Suekru Jun 27 '22

There’s a good chance that the eyes moving around were due to REM sleep and it was probably one of the cases where it was mirroring the main head.

2

u/mildroo Jun 28 '22

This... is probably the most terrifying thing I've ever heard. Truly wish I'd never learned how to read

2

u/Adorable-Case-7485 Jun 28 '22

I think I might use this article and any other ones in my report on Chimerism for my Genetics class. A chimera is when a person has two sets of DNA in their system--Like when people have two different eye colors. But one of the ways it happens is when twins share DNA in the womb, and in cases like this, absorb the other. It's creepy seeing that the head is fully fucking functional, but it still fits for my report so why not.

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u/dogcatball Jun 27 '22

Shit I don't blame the mother for throwing it in a fire. That shit is nightmare fuel for real...

18

u/HalflingzLeaf Jun 27 '22

You’re being downvoted, but this is one of the most terrifying true stories I have ever read and I must say I would’ve left it at the fire department or somewhere very fucking far away from me. It’s sad, but fuck that. I couldn’t.

4

u/dogcatball Jun 27 '22

Oh absolutely, chucking it back on the fire I only said for shock value but I would not sleep in the same house as that thing while it drools and blinks at me while the other ones asleep. Fuuuuuuck that.

6

u/appleflaxen Jun 27 '22

How many heads did the cobra have?

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u/snsnjsjajsvshsb383 Jun 27 '22

The midwife assisting the boy’s mother was horrified with his appearance and immediately chucked the newborn into a fire.

….. k

11

u/Vengefuleight Jun 27 '22

Press X to doubt

14

u/_kaetee Jun 27 '22

As soon as I read “The British East India Company” I knew it was gonna be real bad. They dug up that child’s grave and presented his stolen remains as a gift.

4

u/mendokusei15 Jun 27 '22

Right? He was a "thing" even in his grave.

He has no name, at all.

2

u/smartchin77 Jun 28 '22

Ah the British...popularly known as thieves all the world

321

u/LostCache Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 27 '22 Helpful

I know there are museums where they keep birth defect babies.

Museum of Malformations of the Human Body - Belarus

Museum Vrolik - Amsterdam, Netherlands

170

u/measuredingabens Jun 27 '22

There is also the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, where countless biological abnormalities are preserved and kept.

26

u/LostCache Jun 27 '22

Oh really didn’t know. I assume Baltimore, John Hopkins hospital might also collect specimens for medical studies.

2

u/gnortsmr4lien Jun 27 '22

Also the Museum of Medical History in Berlin has a room full of those

23

u/V_es Jun 27 '22

Almost every country has biological museum with pathology exhibit actually.

66

u/fdubzou Jun 27 '22

Wonder what life was like for the other brain.

93

u/CreatrixAnima Jun 27 '22

That’s the question… A functioning brain? That’s a person. This is kind of horrifying.

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u/AberrantCheese Jun 27 '22

I would think that in most cases the 2nd brain may not have access to as much blood flow as the primary brain while in the womb and after birth and so may be under developed and low-functioning... but it's just conjecture on my part based on some dimly-remembered article I read long ago.

17

u/Omardemon Jun 27 '22

You got a point, it did mention it would rarely be conscious on its own, meaning it probably wasn’t receiving enough nutrients.

9

u/CreatrixAnima Jun 27 '22

I think in most cases that is true.

52

u/johnnycbr954 Jun 27 '22

He was thrown in the fire by the midwife, not his mother..

126

u/Bezier_Curvez Jun 27 '22

Who’s singing the NMH song in their heads now? Me. That’s who.

16

u/Dave272370470 Jun 27 '22

Two…..headdddded boy…..

3

u/Jerky2021 Jun 27 '22

Just an excitable boy

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u/Jdonquelous Jun 27 '22

Oh yeah. Came here for this

6

u/arrestedexpression Jun 27 '22

I was looking for this

2

u/ssteel91 Jun 27 '22

I solely opened the comments just to find this. My favorite song by them (part 1, that is).

3

u/Bezier_Curvez Jun 27 '22

So much good stuff on that album. So deep and freakin weird. Oh Comely might be my favorite. Hauntingly beautiful.

91

u/MemoryWholed Jun 27 '22

“The second head would instinctively suckle when presented with a breast.”

94

u/HalflingzLeaf Jun 27 '22

I’m not saying she should’ve thrown the boy in a fire, but I understand the revulsion. There are some things that’ll send us into full primitive monkey mode.

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u/_kaetee Jun 27 '22

Considering it was in the 1700’s, the woman very well may have believed that the boy was not actually a human child, but rather the spawn of Satan or some other sign from god.

10

u/AffectionateKoala530 Jun 27 '22

this is one time i think a lot of us are like, “yeah, in the 1700’s, that would’ve been a more merciful death” and look at us, correct! he died at age 4 from a cobra bite after being exploited by his parents his entire life.

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u/Spikas Jun 27 '22

"The boy claimed he could hear the other brain telling him things"... that's the creepy part, however it might have just been him thinking that his internal monologue was the brother.
Though I mean some people think that perhaps we are already "two" in our head but that it doesn't perhaps come about unless you sever the connection between the two hemispheres.

The CPG video is definitely interesting but did kinda freak me out a bit years ago kinda thinking too much about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfYbgdo8e-8

51

u/manifold360 Jun 27 '22

What things?

131

u/FacelessFellow Jun 27 '22

“Everything is upside down”

75

u/Wicked_Fabala Jun 27 '22

“I’m Australian mate”

10

u/HalflingzLeaf Jun 27 '22

“Crikey!”

23

u/hannarenee Jun 27 '22

This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read on Reddit

3

u/TomoyoHoshijiro Jun 27 '22

Then you should swing by r/jokes.

Why does the Russian Navy have glass bottomed boats? Its so that the Captain can see where they're going.

95

u/No-Jackfruit2505 Jun 27 '22

"That’s when members of the British East India Company found out about him. They later stole the boy for the sake of science."

Colonial plunderers didn't even spare a boy.

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u/WIENS21 Interested Jun 27 '22

Bro theres schillings to be made

10

u/pjorter Jun 27 '22

And artifacts to be stolen

12

u/WIENS21 Interested Jun 27 '22

Liberated, not stolen.

14

u/pjorter Jun 27 '22

Becoming civilized, not colonized.

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u/PassiveLemon Jun 27 '22

i can’t imagine what it’s like to hear other peoples thoughts

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u/GreatGooglyMoogly077 Jun 27 '22 Wholesome

Problem is his two heads had very different views. They never saw eye-to-eye.

10

u/realish7 Jun 27 '22

It would salivate!? Where would the saliva come from or go? It couldn’t swallow it… I’m guessing the saliva didn’t just drain into the other heads cranium. Bizarre

9

u/InvasiveAlgorithm Jun 27 '22

Here’s an upsetting question I’m not seeing asked: what was at the back of the top heads mouth?

It couldn’t be an esophagus and throat because it would route downwards through the brain. So it just stops there and isn’t actually able to breathe on its own.

It’s mouth is a dead end.

33

u/brownmiester Jun 27 '22

"two heads are better than one "

7

u/semxyasduck69 Jun 27 '22

bro got extra memory tho :)

38

u/Drakenas Jun 27 '22

He "claimed" mofucka had a whole other person connected to him.

22

u/MarcProust Jun 27 '22

Started life by being thrown into a fire. Says it all. Wonder if these kids were ever given names.

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u/soppingwetshart Jun 27 '22

They were just babies, even their body was stolen and his skull given as a gift.. God rest their souls, how horrible, what was done to them. Everyone around these boys were pure evil

10

u/gunluver Jun 27 '22

It's heartbreaking reading the accounts of the child

20

u/SisterYahtzee Jun 27 '22

Burned and exploited his whole life because of a thing that was not his fault.

People are worse than animals.

8

u/8hu5rust Jun 27 '22

People are animals.

2

u/AffectionateKoala530 Jun 27 '22

we’ve thankfully come a long way though, much rarer now for this reaction to happen. 1700’s was a wild time, being exploited and treated as a prop for 4 years is no life to strive for.

2

u/SisterYahtzee Jun 28 '22

Parents use their kids as props in their influencers videos. Honestly, I see no difference.

2

u/AffectionateKoala530 13d ago

I kinda agree, unless the kid is showing like a REALLY good mature understanding of the internet, or has a skill that THEY want to show off. I work with kids, there are plenty who have that go-getter, blogger energy, and have lots of talents, but I have a feeling if they’re born into that kind of environment, they tend not to develop it and want to stay to themselves. Everyone is different and I really try to look at as much “evidence” as possible to see whether or not it’s a kid more or less running the page, or parents running their kid.

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u/dontknowwhatiwantdou Jun 27 '22

This is making me incredibly uncomfortable and I want to know more.

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u/prive666 Jun 27 '22

Imagine being the other head… damn

6

u/Freshman_Beekeeper Jun 27 '22

The first head emerges during birth and says "Bob will be right along".

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u/chubbuck35 Jun 27 '22

How would the boy know that what he was thinking was coming from the “other” brain? Seems like it was probably just part of the show for the wow factor.

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u/jbucks1993 Jun 27 '22

Okay well I’m not sleeping tonight 🤣🤣🤣

11

u/Life_is_Wonderous Jun 27 '22

Poor kid…I feel so bad for him. May he Rest In Peace

12

u/tttecapsulelover Jun 27 '22

i wish i can have two heads

so i can have 4 braincells instead of two

11

u/GreenstikbotYT Jun 27 '22

I wish there was a video of this, I'm curious as to what this actually looked like

23

u/Agreeable_Metal7342 Jun 27 '22

Manar and Islaam Maged are a more recent example of the same condition. You can find videos of them on YouTube.

3

u/HalflingzLeaf Jun 27 '22

Really wish I hadn’t seen that.

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u/DDwashere Jun 27 '22

Can’t blame the parents. They were just trying to get a head.

5

u/Ultim0Adi0s Jun 27 '22

Now they got two for a head.

3

u/Boobpocket Jun 27 '22

Damn imagine how smart he would have been if properly nurtured

3

u/joshspoon Jun 27 '22

Always cheating off the head in school

6

u/DontSleep1131 Jun 27 '22

“his mother threw him in the fire”

what a terrible woman, that poor child.

“the boy claimed he could hear the other brain telling him things”

nevermind i can totally understand her rationale now

8

u/JacksWorldTV Jun 27 '22

Man looks like the peanut from pvz2

2

u/xdig2000 Jun 27 '22

So the question is were they two persons or one?

2

u/Minimalgoth Jun 27 '22

This is so heart-breaking.

That poor baby.

2

u/NoPerspective4168 Jun 27 '22

So they stole the kid and he’s still on display..

2

u/Nightman2417 Jun 27 '22

Yeah it’s chilling to think about having another person attached to you, let alone their thoughts being transferred directly into yours.

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u/Nuklear_Power Jun 27 '22

Is this like multithreading?

2

u/ShubhamManna Jun 27 '22

Horror movies taking notes

2

u/GlitteringAd2050 Jun 27 '22

I heard that humans see light rays upside down, and that it’s our brains that right the image in our head for correctly-oriented vision. If this head were alive, would their brain reorient their sight to see normally even though they are upside down? Or would they only see upside down throughout their entire life.

2

u/DaveSmecker Jun 27 '22

As sad as this is, my mind went straight to Karl Pilkington.

2

u/The_Powers Jun 27 '22

Quaaaaaid, start the reactor! Free Mars!

2

u/EquivalentSnap Jun 27 '22

Poor kid 😢

8

u/Responsible_Ad_7995 Jun 27 '22

Now that abortion is banned in half of America, we’re gonna have tons of these running around. #silverlinings?

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u/dogstardied Jun 27 '22

Pro-life pro-tip: Claim them as two dependents.

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u/danimonyxd Jun 27 '22

You know what thay say two heads think better than one

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u/coalminexplorer Jun 27 '22

I also have a second mind and it asks me to do things , it's just not visible to everyone.

2

u/joshspoon Jun 27 '22

Another reason not to have kids

5

u/Rolltide4212 Jun 27 '22

very good timing of this post considering uk roe v wade

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u/Suspicious-Year-3825 Jun 27 '22

Oh shit that dudes in LOTR ROTK

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u/xx_megaofleak_xx Jun 27 '22

Go watch the movie Malignant

3

u/AloriKk Jun 27 '22

Which is the second head?

WHICH ONE IS THE SECOND HEAD??!

2

u/SnooGoats6302 Jun 27 '22

This would make one hell of a Halloween costume!

0

u/Skobiak Jun 27 '22

Technically he has 3 heads