FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Rare Eye Disorder Called ‘Pupula Duplex’?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show a rare eye disorder called “Pupula duplex.”

Verdict: False

The image is a digital creation. A spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology stated that while there is a similar condition under a different term, the photo is not an accurate depiction of it.

Fact Check:

A Facebook post shows a photo of an eyeball with two separate pupils and irises, with both seemingly looking in different directions. “The Pupula duplex is a medical oddity that is characterized by having two pupils in each eyeball,” text in the post claims.

The image is a digital creation. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the creation in a 2015 blog post from SixPenceee.com. The website notes that the images in the blog post are the work of photoshop and that the condition “does not officially exist in medical literature.”

“Since there isn’t a great deal of evidence in the form of official literature supporting the existence of this condition, many people believe it is simply mythological. There is also a lack of genuine photographs, the above pictures aren’t real but photoshopped,” the post reads, in part.

The same image also appeared in a 2013 post from the Tumblr page “facts-i-just-made-up,” a self-proclaimed satirical page that makes fabricated claims. It can also be found in a 2011 blog post from “Shop with Me Mama,” which links the photo to a now-defunct website.

When asked about the claim, the American Academy of Opthalmology told Check Your Fact in an email that the image appeared to be “photoshopped.”

“While there is a condition called polycoria that gives the appearance of two pupils in one eye, it does not look like that Facebook image,” the organization stated, which directed Check Your Fact to an actual photo of the condition on the organization’s “EyeWiki” webpage. (RELATED: Do Tears From Certain Eyes Have Different Meanings?)

Polycoria is an eye condition where someone has two or more pupils in one or both eyes, according to Healthline. A person can either have “true polycoria,” which can affect the vision due to separate iris sphincter muscles, or “pseudopolycoria,” which does not affect vision, the outlet explained.

The term “pupula duplex” was first noted in academic literature in an academic essay in 1918 titled “The Pupula Duplex and Other Tokens of an ‘Evil Eye’ in the Light of Ophthalmology,” authored by Walton Brooks McDaniel for the “Classical Philology” journal. The article focused on the phenomenon of the condition and whether it was indicative of an “evil eye” as depicted by poets during the time.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].