cat-boy

Do you know somebody who can see in the dark? What about you, can you plainly stretch your sight amidst the darkness? Can you answers questions perfectly without light? Have you ever doubted superheroes were among us? Well, check out this cute super power of Nong Youhui!

Nong Youhui is a young Chinese boy from Dahua in Southern China who can see perfectly in near pitch black conditions that’s why he is called as “Cat-Boy.” This news first broke out in 2009.

Youhui’s father said two months after he was born, he was told there was something strange about his son’s eyes. They then visited a hospital but the doctor told them not to worry, and that his eyes would be fine when he grew up.

His eyes remained the same but it didn’t bother Youhui. He would go to school, play outside with other kids, and does pretty much everything young boys do. With this, his family began to care less about his condition

However, a teacher noticed something peculiar – Youhui squinted his eyes in bright lights and complained about blurry vision. It was also the same time when one of the boy’s playmates told him his eyes were like a cat’s. The teacher then asked him if he could see in the dark, Youhui said yes. The teacher invited him to catch crickets at night, but Nong told him he didn’t need a flashlight to see the bugs. Rumors about his unusual gift spread, many reporters came and performed all kinds of tests to see if he was for real.

In fact, a Chinese journalist prepared a set of questionnaires for him which he was able to answer sitting in a dark room. The test proved that his night vision is equal to the daytime vision of most ordinary people. He passed all the tests and his reputation as Cat-boy, Starchild, or real-life mutant kept growing.

Experts believe that Nong was born with a rare condition known as luekodermia, leaving his eyes with extremely high light sensitivity and less protective pigment. Thus, he is vulnerable to heavy sunlight exposure and eye damage.

An eye-specialist visited the boy, in his home village, to examine his unusual eyes. The first thing he noticed when he arrived was that Nong’s eyes were light blue just like Westerners, but very unusual for Asians. He became even more intrigued when he noticed that when shined upon with a flashlight, the boy’s eyes would emit a kind of blue-green light, just like a cat’s

However, many experts remain highly skeptical. James Reynolds, a pediatric ophthalmologist at State University of New York who spoke with Live Science, said that no single genetic mutation could produce a fully formed and functioning tapetumlucidum in a human.

Though night vision in animals is made possible by the existence of a thin layer of cells, such thing cannot be said about the human eyes.

Whatever is the cause of Youhui’s condition, his name has been etched in record books already when World Record Academy, the leading international organization which certifies world records, named Nong as the first human who can see in the dark. Amazing!

-Klyte Faye C. Veloso
LNU, ABCom Intern