Category:
Animals

Live Burros By Mail!



I want these at the Spencer's Gifts location in my local mall!

From THE ELKS MAGAZINE for October 1954.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 24, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Retailing, 1950s

Chicken’s Symphony

Not bad, for a chicken.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 11, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Farming, Music

Alice White and Bunnies

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I am not sure why 1930s actress Alice White was made to pose with bunnies so often, but she certainly looked fetching with them.


Source of third foto.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 12, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Movies, Publicity Stunts, 1930s

Perky the Duck



It seems like 2016 was a year marked by an unusually high number of celebrity deaths. And among those who passed away was Perky, the duck who wouldn't die, who did, in fact, finally kick the bucket.

Perky was a one-pound, female, ring-neck duck who gained international fame in January 2007 after she survived being shot three times by a hunter, retrieved by a dog, and then stored in the hunter's refrigerator for two days.

By chance, the hunter's wife happened to open the refrigerator (she reportedly rarely looked in it because it was the spare fridge her husband used to store game), at which point Perky lifted her head to say hello. The wife took compassion on Perky and rushed her to a vet.

That wasn't the end of Perky's brush with death. During the surgery to repair the gunshot damage Perky stopped breathing, but the surgeon was able to revive her.

Once she had regained her health, Perky was given a home at the Tallahassee Museum, where she lived for nine years before dying of old age in May 2016.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 03, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Death, Obituaries

Mary Krupa, the Squirrel Whisperer

Over the years there have been quite a few trained squirrels that have won fame. For instance, there's Sugar Bush Squirrel, Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel, and Tommy Tucker Squirrel.

What makes Mary Krupa and her squirrels slightly different is that during her time as a student at Penn State she's managed to make the wild squirrels on the campus act like tame squirrels — wearing hats, holding props, posing for photos, etc. This has earned her the title of "Squirrel Whisperer" as well as "Squirrel Girl."

I'm quite impressed by what she's been able to achieve since I can't even get my cat to wear a collar, let alone a hat.

More about Mary and her squirrels at ABC News.





Thanks to Hotsauce!

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 18, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals

Goat coughs up diamond ring

And the only thing my cat coughs up is hairballs...

The White Plains Journal News - June 9, 1984


There's a few more details about the diamond-coughing goat here.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 01, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Jewelry, 1980s

Compu-Chick

A mid-1980s alternative to Compuserve.



It was actually an interactive exhibit at the I.Q. Zoo, the famous animal training facility and tourist attraction in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Founded in 1955 by Marian and Keller Breland (students of the psychologist B.F. Skinner), it stayed open until 1990.

Apparently you typed in questions, and the chicken would type a response. From the "official online home of the IQ-Zoo":

Developed in the 1980s, when smaller computers were becoming popular, Compu-Chick "appeared" to answer questions typed by the visitor. A small keyboard in front of the chicken, containing small lights that were invisible to the visitor, "cued" the chicken as to which letters on the keyboard to type.


I'm not sure, but maybe Google's "PigeonRank" technology, which the company revealed on April 1, 2002 to be the secret behind their search results, could have been inspired by Compu-Chick.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 29, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, 1980s

Illicit Abbatoir

  • Two goats' heads
  • Dried hides from reindeer and deer
  • Dried trachea, tendons, ears and tails
  • 100-200 dried bulls' penises
  • 700 litres of bones
  • 500 litres of lard

These were among the items recently discovered by Swedish police when they raided the home of a property owner in Hudiksvall municipality. The man was suspected of running an illegal, unlicensed abattoir from his home. The article notes, "Dried bull penises are often used to make bully sticks for dogs (a fact that completely passes by a surprising number of dog owners)." [TheLocal.se]

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 26, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals

Windsurfing Swans

In the latest issue of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Olle Terenius of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences reports observing swans windsurfing (i.e. "using tailwind as a support for high-speed water transportation"). This is something that bird experts were apparently unaware that swans could do.

Terenius hopes to spread awareness of the phenomenon of windsurfing swans, although he notes that the general public may have been more aware that swans can do this than bird experts were. He says, "I think the reason that this is missing in the literature is that ornithologists who are out in the field only quickly note that they see a Mute swan and write it down on the list of bird observations, while the general public has observed windsurfing swans thinking that this is already a well-known phenomenon." (Science Daily)

Below are his field observations of windsurfing swans.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 22, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Sports

Earrings on a deer

Bettie Phillips' fifteen minutes of fame involved her decision to put earrings on a baby deer. It happened back in 1997 when she found a two-month-old deer stranded by the side of a road and "thought it would be pretty" if it had earrings. So she pierced its ears by hand, pushing the posts of two earrings through its ears.

Police later found the deer in her truck and charged her with animal cruelty.

The charge was eventually suspended, but she had to pay the $250 veterinary bill for treating its infected ears.

San Bernardino County Sun - July 11, 1997



Asheville Citizen Times - Sep 17, 1997



Galveston Daily News - Nov 20. 1997

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 09, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Jewelry, 1990s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

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