A large number of people are thronging 60 kilometers off Bengaluru to see a seven-headed serpent. Locals in Marigowdana Doddi village in Kanakapura spotted the ‘seven-headed’ snake near a temple. After the local news networks flashed the seven headed snake and it went viral on social media several people rushed to spot the miracle.
In the Hɪɴᴅᴜ mythology, Shesha or Sheshanaga is depicted as a giant serpent that floats coiled in space, or ocean to form the bed on which Lᴏʀᴅ Vɪsʜɴᴜ lies. Really? Polycephaly is a condition that occurs in animals, including humans, when they are born with more than one head.
We’ve seen snakes with two heads, but no snake with more than two heads has ever been seen in the world. In general, polycephalic animals sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ poorly (especially in the wild) and usually have rather short life spans, although instances of two-headed snakes sᴜʀᴠɪᴠɪɴɢ long enough to reproduce and live out normal lifespans have been reported. Cases of bicephaly are uncommon enough, and examples of tricephaly (three-headedness) are quite rare. As far as we know, no cases of live animals born with more than three heads have ever been observed, which would make the seven-headed snake pictured above a headline-grabbing phenomenon if it were real. However, the image is just a digital manipulation of an earlier digital manipulation.
Can you count how many heads this ᴘᴏᴏʀ cobra has? Multi-headed animals, which resemble mythological creatures, exist in the real world as conjoined or parasitic twins. Creatures with two or more heads are not limited to mythology. Polycephaly is a condition in which an animal or human has more than one head as a result of a developmental ᴀʙɴᴏʀᴍᴀʟɪᴛʏ caused by a gene mutation.