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This Freaky Eye Condition Is Caused By Fetal Tissue Right After You're Born

NOVEMBER 26, 2016  —  By Sarah Gzemski  
Sarah Gzemski

Sarah Gzemski

Animal and pizza lover with an Internet addiction. Nerd to the max. Currently residing in Arizona, the land of beautiful winters.

Eyes are one part of the body that can really freak people out. Case in point: they're gooey, soft, easily injured, and it's kind of gross to touch them. But if that's not enough to convince you, I'd like to draw your attention to a seriously strange eye condition that occurs right after you're born -- it's called persistent pupillary membrane. The effect of the condition is that the color of your iris looks like it's been spilled into your pupil in strands or small pools. It's harmless, but it looks like it's straight out of a sci-fi flick.

Persistent pupillary membrane (PPM) happens when pupillary tissue strands remain in your iris after birth. Typically, they atrophy, or set in place, when babies are between four and eight weeks old.

The membrane strands exist in order to provide blood to your lens. The threads can connect to the cornea or lens, but usually they run from one portion of the iris to another.

When attached to the cornea, they can create small dark spots, and attaching to the lens may cause very minor cataracts.

Read More: This Strange Medical Condition Is So Rare, Some Believe It's Actually A Hoax

Most people do not have any symptoms or impaired vision. Using atropine directly on the eye sometimes causes PPMs to break down.

The results are beautifully weird.

Next time you look in the mirror, search for PPMs. They can be tiny, even just one strand!

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