Eye Scream/Real Life

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.


  • How Louis Braille became blind: One eye lost to a close encounter with an owl, the other to the result of an infection. The dude was 3 when this happened!
  • Lobotomy
  • Anyone who has owned several hamsters might have seen Glaucoma. When a hamster is struck by it, one or both of its eyes become filled with liquid from the inside of the eyeball. The hamster will find this irritating and usually ends up scratching its eyes off during the course of several days, effectively making it blind.
  • This story of an old man who impaled himself on a pair of gardening sheers. X-ray picture included, do realise that the thing went from his eye socket all the way down into his NECK.
  • Saint Lucy of Syracuse, venerated in the Catholic Church, is famous for her martyrdom, where her eyes were gouged out when her persecutors could not move her in any other way. (That's the popular version. Another story says a suitor wrote to her of her beautiful eyes and she cut them out and sent them to him and asked him to leave her alone. She was still able to see without them, and is often portrayed holding her own eyes on a plate.
  • Snopes.com confirms the story of a human botfly larva having to be removed from a five-year-old kid's eye by an Air Force opthalmic surgical team in Honduras. Link is not for the squeamish and definitely NSFW.
    • There are moose botflies that might mistake human eyes for elk nostrils and can cause pain in the eyes.
  • In the Byzantine / East Roman Empire, it was standard operating procedure to deal with "pretenders to the throne" by putting out their eyes and mutilating their faces in other ways, at least among some of the more ruthless rulers.
    • This policy came about because the Emperor was required to have an immaculate face, and missing eyes would get you disqualified on that count. Originally, they were a bit more civilized in getting rid of rivals, and would only cut their nose in half verticially instead of preforming "Three Stooges Play With Knives", but then one of the deposed split-nosed emperors was rude enough to force himself back into power. After that, they decided to be safe, rather than nice.
    • Also, at least some of the time to accomplish the feat they'd first heat up an iron plate until it was red hot. Then they would pour vinegar into it and hold the non- or ex-emperor's face over it until their corneas were scarred over by the vinegar vapor. I assume that's the only thing their HMO would pay for.
    • Blinding was supposed to be a more civilized/Christian way to deal with rivals than the alternative of killing them.
      • Amusingly, Charlemagne's father Pepin the Short--who was around while the Byzantines were doing this--showed the Byzantines up when he sent the old Merovingian king to be a monk, rather than killing him or disfiguring him (unless you count getting tonsured "disfigurement").
  • The special "101 Things Removed From the Body". It's sequel "101 More things Removed from the Body". All with real photographs and some with real archive video footage. One was a lead pipe through the eye. (None of the characters from Clue were involved.) Not a good idea to eat while watching.
  • Cracked's "Your Body Hates You: 6 Gruesome Disorders Anyone Can Get" article. Just. Eek.
  • The reason for David Bowie's permanently-dilated eye -- a childhood accident (either involving getting stabbed in the eye with a compass or alternately and more tamely, being punched in the eye in a fight over a girl by someone with a class ring...) that did permanent damage to his pupil, essentially locking it in the "on" position.
    • According to a loading screen factoid in Rock Band, the injury was caused when a fan threw a lollipop at him on stage, which struck him in the eye.
      • The lollipop stick was a seprate injury that happened in 2004, much later than the initial accident [1]
  • A fortuitous photograph of a toddler helped diagnose her with cancer in her eye.
  • King Harold Godwinsson may have had his eye put out by an arrow at the Battle of Hastings.
    • Whether this actually happened or not is up for debate. The "arrow in the eye" is not mentioned in any source except the Bayeux Tapestry.
      • There is an argument that Harold might be the guy to the right of the man with the arrow sticking out of his eye; the one being chopped down by a sword-wielding knight on horseback. Or they could BOTH be Harold--close examination of the Tapestry shows stitch marks coming out of the eye of the fellow being chopped down.
  • There is an actual cosmetic ocular implant now, called Jewel Eye that allows one to get small shapes implanted just beneath the external surface membrane, allowing one to have a little silver heart/moon/whatever swimming in their sclera.
    • Featured in the show NCIS -- with a microchip. Ewww.
  • There was a serial killer who surgically removed the eyes of his dead victims.
  • Two Words: Hammurabi's Law. An eye for an eye indeed.
  • An 11-year-old in China recently took an arrow through the eye. Article has pictures, so don't click if you're too squeamish.
  • Date Masamune at one point during his childhood suffers a pox in his eyes. Seeing it as a hindrance, he orders his servant to pluck it out. Thus, the One Eyed Dragon of Oushuu is born.
  • Historic reality: Cataract surgery. Without anasthesia.
    • Most of historical ophthalmic surgery falls into this trope. Consider that the first successful corneal transplant was done in 1905, long before the vast majority of surgical techniques and technologies came into widespread use. (Surgeons operated bare-handed in their street clothes, instruments weren't usually sterile, anesthesia usually consisted of a dose of intravenous cocaine and then inhaled ether, controlled from an open drip bottle...)
  • Bugsy Siegel's death by gunfire included the charming note that one of the bullets knocked his eye out as it exited his head.
  • Man gets water tap lodged in eye [dead link]... and has a Crowning Moment of Awesome when he pulls out the tap himself with no damage to his eye or brain (he did get a few fractured bones though).
  • "In one experiment, to prove that color perception is caused by pressure on the eye, Newton slid a darning needle around the side of his eye until he could poke at its rear side, dispassionately noting "white, darke & colored circles" so long as he kept stirring with "ye bodkin." Oh, science.
  • According to legend, after St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow was completed, Ivan IV "the Terrible" of Russia was so impressed by its beauty that he had the architect's eyes scooped out so that he could never again design so beautiful a building. (Perhaps Jossed by history, since the architect is known to have designed several buildings after the supposed blinding.)
    • The exact same thing is said about the Taj Mahal. Apparently having your eyes gouged out is a major occupational hazard for architects.
    • The same supposedly happened to the guy who designed the famous Astronomical Clock of Prague. It would seem though that the stories of this happening are far more common than the actual events. After all, what if you want to hire the guy to do something else, or want to hire someone with equal talent and knowledge of what happened to the last guy?
  • Lasik surgery. Where they shoot lasers into your eye. And you're awake. And, for that matter, contact lenses. You're putting something in your eye. Imagine something surprises you, such as your cat jumping on the sink, and you jump. You would be gouging your eye out with your own finger.
    • For more funny facts about lasik surgery (I.E. the laser is the tamest part of the thing), please consult our friendly real life section in our nice and fluffy Nausea Fuel page...Have Fun!
    • Consider also that almost every doctor smiles and tells you to be careful not to move your eye during surgery...
    • During the procedure, when the laser is firing, the patient can smell the flesh being burnt from their eyes.
    • PRK is similar to Lasik but far more traumatic to the eye. Lasik involves an incision to create a flap that is folded out and then back after the laser does its work, creating a natural bandage. With PRK the surgeon uses an instrument similar to an electric toothbrush to scrape off the entire outside layer of the eyeball. After the laser finishes a soft contact lens serves as a bandage for the first few days although it takes months for the outer layer to regrow.
      • Said electric toothbrush sounds a lot like a miniature circular saw, and I really wish I was making this up.
  • Dan Bigley, who had his eyes ripped out in a bear attack in 2003.
  • Retinoblastoma (don't google image search this)
  • There are many, many videos on YouTube of various eye surgeries, implanting glass eyes, people removing their glass eyes, etc. On one hand, great for research. On the other hand, they're naturally quite candid and graphic, and some of the comments could make you feel a bit ill.
    • There was one of Jay Leno doing it that backstage at the tonight show. But it was most likely a joke.
  • This quote on Overheard Everywhere.
  • Trachoma. Caused by a species of Chlamydia bacteria. Scarifies the corneas of its victims, potentially leading to Milky White Eyes. Can be sexually transmitted.
  • River blindness.
  • R&B singer Houston gouged his own eye out in 2005.
  • Coloboma, a defect in the iris that can cause one's eyes to resemble cat eyes.
  • What do you get if you mix the Eye Scream with cannibalism? This. Note the use of the plural.
Cquote1.svg

"My daddy ate my eyes."

Cquote2.svg
  • If we are willing to believe what Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior has told us, the Samurai would fire their bow aimed at the enemy's eye for a complete incapacitation... if you survive. The Shaolin monk also went for the eyes during his demonstration of "emei piercers"- small, arrow-shaped stabbing daggers that are easily concealed within a monk's robe sleeves. You could see what he was planning to do when he got the first ever gel-mannequin with big googly eyes. He goes for the gold, however, by prying both of the mannequin's eyes out and impaling them like 'mushrooms on skewers' while continuing to stab away at the mannequin until he's separated the entire sinuses and frontal lobes. Then keeping the eyeballs on the piercers while the tech guys run their calculations, much to the disgust of the tech guys.
    • Pumping your enemy's eyeballs full of ground glass or caustic powder is also the idea behind the ninja's "black egg". It proves less effective than it should be against the Spartan, possibly because the computer couldn't figure out what to do with a non-lethal weapon (even if the weapon's purpose was to render your enemy vulnerable to attack by more ordinary weapons and incapable of aiming their own weapons, it still scores "zero" kills).
  • Contact lenses, initially. After a while you learn to suppress the blink reflex, and become aware that your eyes do not go squish when you touch them and won't burst at the slightest pressure. But until then you're holding your eye open, often with your fingers, while every instinct tells you to close it, and sticking your finger in there.
    • For Jim Carrey the makeup process he had to go through every morning to play the title role in How The Grinch Stole Christmas was a most torturous one, he was so uncomfortable in the makeup and costume that they had to get an ex Navy SEAL to teach him torture resistant techniques. Also, the big yellow scheral contact lenses he had to wear proved to be extremely uncomfortable for him, and they had to digital colour his eyes yellow because of this. Kind of funny, actually, given one of this torture techniques in Ace Ventura involved pushing against his eye with his fingers to gross out the mook.
    • Then comes the fun when a contact lens gets put on inside-out or with a contaminant on it. Trying to remove it is painful. Leaving it in is painful. Rubbing at your eyes makes the pain go away for a little while, but will just make it worse when you stop...
    • Also, please please please do not handle your contact lenses if you've been cooking with hot peppers recently. Really.
  • There is a quirky, rather charming yarn known as Vitreous Humor spun in a mix of colours, all in the vague neighborhood of red, orange, and yellow/cream... and embellished with tiny felted exposed eyeballs, making the yarn itself resemble exposed ocular nerves. Little bare eyeballs...
  • Just try touching your own eyeball (preferably with clean fingers). It's amazing how much you can squick people out.
  • You can get tattoos anywhere on your body. Including your eyeball. Not many people do it, but it's possible. With a needle near the eye, a lot can go wrong.
  • This poor woman (illustrated extremely graphically) probably does not feel that Everything's Better with Monkeys any more, given how one ripped hers out.
  • Ron Hunt, a Truckee, California construction worker, accidentally drilled through his right eye and out the side of his skull with an 18-inch long 1.5 inch diameter drill bit. He tossed the power drill away when he fell on a 6-foot ladder. Not far enough unfortunately, since he landed face first on it.
  • There are a number of martial arts techniques designed to take advantage of exactly this trope. Lets just say they're not designed for competitions and leave it at that.
  • Some versions of the legend of Saint Christopher include him being supposed to be killed by arrow shooting, yet no arrow touched him. One of them, however, hits the prefect Dagon (who had ordered his martyrdom) in the eye. Christopher takes pity on him and tells him to mix his own blood with some dust and apply it to his bloody eye; if he does so, he'll be healed. Dagon takes the advice, regains his sight, and after Christopher dies he becomes a Christian as well.
  • Three men in Iowa State Prison have dyed the whites of their eyes WHILE IN PRISON. The colors they chose are Red, blue and black, respectively.
  • This page (warning: contains pictures). For those that can't read French, it's about the execution of eye-for-an-eye justice in Iran, for those who'd blinded another. They tie the condemned down, give local anaesthetic, and pull out his eyes using pliers. While he's awake and conscious. If that doesn't make your stomach churn, you're either a doctor or a robot.
  • Jack Elam, who as a child had his eye pierced by a pencil thrown by a classmate. The eye was left dead but intact, and he got quite a good career as a movie heavy, often hired due to the unsettling effect of only one of his eyes moving.
  • This pensioner in Germany's Stuttgart after getting hit by a water cannon while protesting a building project. Protip: That's not his skin bulging out there.
  • In 1980, Matthew Conway-Beeby - a 20 year old schizophrenic - committed suicide by taking two dinner knives, stabbing his eyes, and then pounding his head on the ground until the knives penetrated his brain.
  • Nobel Laureate K. Barry Sharpless lost an eye in a lab explosion in 1970. A first person account of the accident may be found here.
  • During the Papin sisters' murder of their mistresses in 1933 in Le Mans, France, they pulled out their victims' eyes. When the police broke in, one of the first things they found was an eyeball sitting on a stair. Read all about it.
  • Maharana Sangram Singh, better known in India as Rana Sanga, a 16th century Rajput King, while fleeing on horseback was shot at by his brother with an arrow that pierced and blinded one eye. He later lost An Arm and a Leg as well.
  • Luis Salazar, then a coach for the Atlanta Braves, got hit directly in the left eye by a batted ball during 2011 spring training in Orlando, Florida. He ultimately lost the eye.
  • Haplochromis compressiceps, a species of African cichlid, is a predator that incapacitates prey by biting out the eyes of other fishes. Another (extinct) cichlid species is believed to have fed entirely on eyeballs; at least, that's what the type specimen's stomach was full of.
  • The highly publicized Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's compound saw this happen to the terrorist leader himself. Sources say that during the shootout and immediately after a hit to the chest, a bullet hit just above his left eye - effectively shooting it out (and causing other significant damage to his head). If the hit to the chest wasn't a fatal wound, then that certainly was.
  • This story about a holidaymaker who had his right eye pecked out by a gannet.
  • Capsaicin, found in chili peppers, is an irritant in moderate concentrations, toxic in high ones, and is the basis for incapacitants such as Mace and pepper spray. Capsaicin in the eye is very, very, painful, as anyone who has been maced or ground up chilis can tell you.
  • In Fort Collins, Colorado, a couple teenagers went driving with a paintball gun and shot people with it. Among their victims was a girl who was shot in the eye. Turns out there's a reason you wear goggles in paintball.
  • Quite recently in Italy, a man in a church who "claimed to hear voices" suddenly gouged his own eyes in front of the whole church. Thankfully he was saved by the skin of his teeth.
  • In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American street gangs routinely carried, and used, eye gougers...instruments designed to enable their user to rip an enemy's eyeball straight out of the socket in a fight. When this became general knowledge, public outcry pressured the corrupt lawmakers of the time to pass the word to their gangster allies that getting caught with a knife, gun or club could easily be fixed...but someone caught carrying an eye gouger could expect no help..
  • Legend has it that Xiahou Dun, a Chinese general under Warlord Cao Cao during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, took an arrow to the eye in a battle against rebels lead by Lu Bu. Since he promised his worried family that not one part of him would rot in the ground in his military service, he took out the remnants of sticken eye using the offending arrow like a squicky kebab and ate it. It turned into a Crowning Moment of Awesome in the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
    • It was also to scare the enemy too.
  • Laser pointers higher than Class 3a/3R can cause permanent damage to the retinas even when shone on for less than a second. And you would be well advised to not shine these things at a mirror.
  • a woman profiled on the series Bizarre ER, who got an itch while in her garden and rubbed her eye. The *next morning* it was a swollen mass of pus and infection because she'd contracted necrotizing fasciitis and her eye and eye socket were being eaten by it. Antibiotics and removal of the infected tissue saved the eye, though she later needed surgery to fix the scar tissue that had fused the lids shut.
  • For those non-humans out there, the ommatokoita is a crustacean that feeds off the eyeballs of the Greenland shark. Yup. It just burrows right in there and starts chomping away. Fortunately for the shark (well... depending on your definition of 'fortunate'), some scientists speculate that the sharks use the parasite as a means of attracting food since almost all Greenland sharks have ommatokoita in their eyeballs (or lack there of).