'I like to call it my Titanium Skull Lamp. It's perfect for reading in the dark as well,' he explains in a now-viral video.
A man who lost his right eye to cancer as a child is proving that the future is now when it comes to body modifications. Brian Stanley, who has been wearing a prosthetic eye since the age of 6 after losing his eye to retinoblastoma, has racked up more than 125,000 followers on TikTok and nearly 63,000 on Instagram by showing off the "cyborg eyes" he makes for himself. In one of his most recent videos—which has been viewed more than 9.9 million times since being uploaded last week—Stanley demonstrates how he turned his head into a "flashlight" with the help of his Titanium Cyborg Eye.
"I've worn a fake eye since I was 6, but I've been wearing my titanium prosthetics for over five years, and I began putting lights in them two years ago," he told Newsweek. According to Mayo Clinic, retinoblastoma is "an eye cancer that begins in the retina—the sensitive lining on the inside of your eye. Retinoblastoma most commonly affects young children, but can rarely occur in adults." Stanley explained that experiencing retinoblastoma as a child is what inspired him to learn how to make prosthetics.
"After losing my eye, I had a desire for more variety," he said. "I feel that if I'm going to have to live my life without an eye, I should have something unique or incredible to take its place." His now-viral video demonstration of the "Titanium Cyborg Eye" begins with a close-up of his prosthetic eye that doubles as a flashlight. "I lost my eye to cancer, so I made this and turned my head into a flashlight," the text inlay on the video reads. "Many of you have asked how well it functions as a flashlight. Battery life: roughly 20 hours as a flashlight, no it does not get hot."
Stanley explained in the video that he is only demonstrating the eye at its half-power capacity. "Safety is paramount, I will work my way to full power eventually," the text overlay explained. "I like to call it my Titanium Skull Lamp. It's perfect for reading in the dark as well. Power source and all hardware is all safely contained inside the prosthetic eye." The "Titanium Skull Lamp" is not Stanley's first invention. He has also created a prosthetic eye featuring the face of Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and countless other eyes that light up green, red, yellow, and blue.
"My LED prosthetics do not affect my other eye in any way, nor do they get hot," Stanley said. "The light is being projected strictly forward from my face, with my now and browline completely shielding my eye... I've made myself quite a few prosthetics. Most of them are titanium. I have a total of 13 LED prosthetics, between two different design variations, and at least another 14 regular titanium prosthetics that I can apply various colors, designs, and emblems onto." Although he doesn't have an answer for exactly how long it took him to learn how to make these prosthetic eyes, Stanley shared that the skills he picked up as a prototype machinist with an engineering background came in handy when creating his first titanium eyes.
As of now, these stunning works of art on only for Stanley's personal use. However, he hopes to offer his work to others in the future once further development and investment becomes possible. "All the iris designs I make for myself have turned into a fun hobby that I enjoy showing others," he said. "The current one I'm most excited to complete has multiple pupils to emit light from... I've been pleasantly surprised at just how many people have enjoyed seeing my work and progression through my content."