You have to see it to believe it - an eyeball with hair growing on it. It's caused by a rare tumor, and a 19-year old Iranian man had one of the tumors in his right eye.
The tumor, called a limbal dermoid, was benign and had been present since the man was born. It gradually grew until it was about 5 mm and included several black hairs, according to researchers from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran.
The case report is published in the January 2nd issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The tumor is called a limbal dermoid and it is not common. Doctors say these tumors contain tissue normally found in another part of the body. Most frequently, limbal dermoids contain hair follicles, but they can also contain other tissues, including cartilage and sweat glands.
These tumors can cause astigmatism, but usually don't cause extreme vision problems, doctors say. Limbal dermoids can be removed for cosmetic reasons.
However, the Iranian man reportedly had mild discomfort and vision loss in the eye with the tumor, and had it removed with surgery.