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-   -   What was the deal with Abe Lincoln's eyes. (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=792525)

chacoguy 05-07-2016 09:36 PM

What was the deal with Abe Lincoln's eyes.
 
I cam across this image.

His left eye is clearly out of alignment vertically; I've known folks with eyes out of line on the horizontal axis, but never this.

Did it give him any particular difficulty?

scr4 05-07-2016 09:57 PM

Looks to me like a badly lit photograph, causing a shadow around his eyes.

Ethilrist 05-07-2016 10:07 PM

Maybe he's Emmanuelle Vaugier's great-great-grandfather.

dropzone 05-07-2016 10:18 PM

Long exposure. The other eye was stronger so he favored it 'cuz he didn't want to look like a dork in glasses. Lotsa reasons.

RivkahChaya 05-07-2016 10:32 PM

His face isn't symmetrical. One side is larger than the other. This is actually fairly common. In Lincoln's case, it could be due to something like Bell's Palsy, because it looks like it got more obvious as he got older. People with Bell's Palsy have "droop" on one side of their face.

Also, it took a long time to expose a photo back then, and you had to sit still for a while; Lincoln may not have had his eyes focused on anything.

SpeedwayRyan 05-07-2016 10:46 PM

My God, his ears don't line up either!

Colibri 05-07-2016 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpeedwayRyan (Post 19314507)
My God, his ears don't line up either!

Actually, he head is just cocked to one side. If you rotate the picture 4 degrees, his eyes and ears are aligned.

SpeedwayRyan 05-08-2016 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 19314519)
Actually, he head is just cocked to one side. If you rotate the picture 4 degrees, his eyes and ears are aligned.

If you rotate your head 4 degrees upward, you might see the joke that just went over it.

Colibri 05-08-2016 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpeedwayRyan (Post 19314621)
If you rotate your head 4 degrees upward, you might see the joke that just went over it.

I understood the joke. That's exactly what I was commenting on. You're the one that was whooshed. ;)

elfkin477 05-08-2016 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chacoguy (Post 19314384)
His left eye is clearly out of alignment vertically; I've known folks with eyes out of line on the horizontal axis, but never this.

I don't think it's that uncommon. Our local weather man's eyes are further out of alignment than that, for example.

Northern Piper 05-08-2016 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 19314638)
I understood the joke. That's exactly what I was commenting on. You're the one that was whooshed. ;)

Can you let the rest of us in on it, please? :confused:

Lucas Jackson 05-08-2016 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Piper (Post 19315081)
Can you let the rest of us in on it, please? :confused:

I'd be interested as well.

Suburban Plankton 05-08-2016 11:43 AM

My eyes are slightly out of alignment as well. I can't recall which eye is higher than the other, because in my case it's not enough to notice unless you really try hard, but it does have a minor impact. I cannot see those '3-D' pictures where you need to let your eyes cross, because mine don't cross 'evenly'.

I didn't discover the 'problem' until I was 40-something when I went to my eye doctor with eye strain; he gave me a prescription for glasses that have s prism in one lens to shift the image up (or possibly down, I don't recall) so that both eyes would see images on the same plane.

They didn't really help with the eye strain though. But I fixed that by taking more frequent breaks from starting at my computer screen at work. I stopped wearing the glasses after a while; i think my body had just gotten used to the way my eyes operated, and trying to change out after first years just want working.

Colibri 05-08-2016 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Piper (Post 19315081)
Can you let the rest of us in on it, please? :confused:

Quote:

Originally Posted by White SIFL (Post 19315133)
I'd be interested as well.

It's pretty obvious. The apparent misalignment is due to Lincoln's head being slightly cocked to one side (as the misaligned ears also indicate, as Speedway Ryan also noticed, but chose not to explain). In other photos, his eyes and the tops of his ears are more aligned. His eyes are somewhat asymmetric, but I don't think they are at greatly different levels.

I don't think you could demonstrate lack of alignment of the eyes from a photograph unless you were sure his head was exactly level.

panache45 05-08-2016 12:46 PM

But if you rotate the photo until it's level . . . then his mouth is crooked.

The problem, though is with his eyebrows. They seem to extend downward, all the way to his eyes.

engineer_comp_geek 05-08-2016 02:45 PM

All joking aside, everyone has a certain amount of facial asymmetry. Wikipedia even has a nice drawing of a face that has been cut in half and each half duplicated and flipped to make the point.
Quote:

While symmetrical faces (leftmost image) are perceived to be attractive, completely symmetric faces (a and b) are disconcerting and are not perceived as normal.
See the picture at the top of this article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_symmetry

That said, Lincoln's face showed a greater degree of asymmetry than what is normal.

Cite:
Quote:

Laser scans of two life masks, made from plaster casts of Lincolnís face, reveal the 16th presidentís unusual degree of facial asymmetry, according to a new study.

The left side of Lincolnís face was much smaller than the right, an aberration called cranial facial microsomia. The defect joins a long list of ailments ó including smallpox, heart illness and depression ó that modern doctors have diagnosed in Lincoln.
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/20250871/n...facial-defect/

Many of the potential implications of Lincoln's facial asymmetry along with his other distinctive features are discussed at length in this wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medica...braham_Lincoln

Aspidistra 05-08-2016 05:03 PM

Obviously, any human being with two functional eyes can make them line up parallel to the ground any time they like.

Whether your ears, eyebrows and mouth will be getting with the program at the same time is a whole 'nother matter. But ears, eyebrows and mouth make no contribution to vision. So I don't see how any "misalignment" could make a difference

Hail Ants 05-08-2016 08:30 PM

90210's Shannon Doherty famously had this misalignment...

Tibby 05-12-2016 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 19315423)
But if you rotate the photo until it's level . . . then his mouth is crooked.

The problem, though is with his eyebrows. They seem to extend downward, all the way to his eyes.

More concerning to me is his nose. I never realized before that he had three nostrils.

kayaker 05-12-2016 07:23 AM

He's got Bette Davis eyes.

Ludovic 05-12-2016 07:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tibby or Not Tibby (Post 19324998)
More concerning to me is his nose. I never realized before that he had three nostrils.

And now for something completely different...

panache45 05-12-2016 10:45 AM

At least the photo doesn't show the bullet hole in his temple.

(too soon?)

kayaker 05-12-2016 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chacoguy (Post 19314384)

Now that's a disgusting fetish.:eek:


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