Bizarre-looking sheep with an upside-down head sparks debate (video)

Video of a sheep that appears to have a head that is upside-down has surfaced in the U.K. and is making the rounds on the Internet with skeptics calling it a fake, despite the video owner insisting on its authenticity.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Allan McNamara of North Yorkshire told the U.K. Daily Mail. “I’m friends with a girl who has a horse on the farm and she was like, ‘Aww Allan, come and have a look at this sheep.’ After a little walk we came across the sheep, its head is properly upside-down. It looks like it has been twisted 180 degrees.”

McNamara videotaped what he saw. The close-up shot starts at around 33 seconds:

McNamara, who wouldn’t reveal the farm’s location other than it’s in England, told the Daily Mail:

“Its spine is curved as far as I can tell. I don’t think it’s in any pain–it certainly seemed as normal and docile as sheep normally are. It’s crazy.

“He lives happily and has been checked by a vet to ensure he is in no pain. He can eat, sleep and do everything other sheep can.”

The beginning of the video does seem to show the sheep’s head is upside-down, or perpetually twisted. The skeptics aren’t buying it, though.

One commenter wrote, “a disabled sheep would have been culled after birth, this isn’t a deformity or disability, the sheep is probably just [being] stupid and turning his neck like that for some weird reason. It’s not like that by default.”

Another wrote: C’mon, look the angle where it is shot. It just turns it head to right and it looks like it is twisted.”

Andres Jauregui of the Huffington Post wrote that “McNamara reportedly responded to critics by going back to the farm to snap more pictures,” but added that those photos and the original YouTube video hosted on the website Imgur had been removed.

Jauregui also stated a scientific case in support of McNamara’s claim. Wrote Jauregui:

According to a Web site maintained by the Purdue University agriculture department, there are more than 30 known or suspected genetic defects in sheep.

One of them, called spider lamb syndrome (SLS), can lead to deformities that “commonly include abnormally long, bent limbs, twisted spines, shallow bodies, flattened rib cages, and long necks.”

So, science says this oddity is possible. If it’s a hoax, it’s a pretty good one. And if it’s real, one might question whether the sheep is pain free. Poor thing could probably use a chiropractor.