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Animals
Hogzilla, the 1000lb wild hog supposedly shot and killed in Georgia, has already had its fifteen minutes of internet fame. But now the small town of Alapaha, GA is hoping to extend the fond memories of Hogzilla just a little longer by making the dubious hog the centerpiece of their November festival. They plan to have a Hogzilla float, a Hogzilla information booth, and Hogzilla T-shirts. Maybe they should make Hogzilla fest an ongoing tradition. It could become like the iceworm festival held every year in Cordova, Alaska. Oh, and despite what this story claims, President Bush has not declared Aug. 23 as 'National Hogzilla Day.'
Categories: Animals, Folklore/Tall Tales
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 31, 2004
Comments (1)
image What is a cabbit? It's a cross between a cat and a rabbit. They're as cute as rabbits, but as affectionate as cats. But according to Sarah Hartwell, who's written an extensive study about this animal over at MessyBeast.com, cabbits aren't real. Though having said that, they're not exactly tall-tale creatures either, like the jackalope or fur-bearing trout, because there have been documented cases of animals that look like cat-rabbit hybrids. But these apparent hybrids always turn out to be cats with genetic mutations that have resulted in rabbit-like deformities. As Hartwell notes, "It is possible to cross-breed some animals... But you can't get crossbreeds from cats and rabbits because they are unrelated and are genetically very different from each other. A cat is a carnivore with its whole body adapted to hunting and meat-eating. A rabbit is a herbivore with its whole body adapted to eating plants." Lots of other curious cats are discussed over at MessyBeast.com including squittens, kangaroo cats, cacoons, cat-skunks, and woof-pusses. (via Metafilter)
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Thu Aug 26, 2004
Comments (14)
image I never realized that the pet psychic industry had grown so large. Should you have a need for someone to peer into your pet's thoughts, you now have a wide range services to choose from. There's Animalstalk.com, run by Barbara Morrison (her company motto is 'I talk to the animals!'). Then, of course, there's tv personality Sonya Fitzpatrick. But my favorite is Terri Diener, owner of Petspeak.com. She tells us that communicating telepathically with animals is "similar to turning on a radio and tuning into the station you want." To get her to read your pet's thoughts all you have to do is phone her up. Everything can be done long distance (how convenient!). Personally I don't often have much trouble figuring out what my cat is thinking (it's usually either 'feed me' or 'pay attention to me') , though I would be curious to know what's going through her mind when she has her 'mad half hours' which involve tearing through the house at breakneck speed, bouncing off furniture, and squawking insanely.
Categories: Animals, Psychology
Posted by Alex on Thu Aug 19, 2004
Comments (9)
Here's an interesting picture that's going around via email. I can't tell if it's real or photoshopped, but I'm inclined to say that it's real. I can't see any obvious signs of photoshopping, and dolphins do like to surf waves. However, I wouldn't like to be those guys staring down a school of dolphins about to crash down on top of them (though the perspective probably makes the people appear closer to the dolphins than they actually were). It reminds me of this other (real) picture of a dolphin in a wave. Click on the image for a slightly larger version. image
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 17, 2004
Comments (29)
Allison, who runs an ultimate frisbee company in Nottingham, just sent in these pictures of frisbee-playing animals. First we have Frisbee Croc.

image

Yeah, Frisbee Croc is a pretty obvious fake, but it's a cool photoshop nevertheless. The image comes from the Northern Territory Ultimate Frisbee site. Next we have Frisbee Horse.

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As far as I can tell, these Frisbee Horse pictures are real. The name of the horse is Namoniet. He's an Egyptian Arabian Stallion trained by Jay Evans. Reportedly Namoniet loves to catch frisbees. The challenge is getting him to give them back. I'd love to show up at a park on a weekend where guys are playing frisbee with their dogs, challenge them to a match, and then bring out my frisbee-playing horse.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 04, 2004
Comments (5)
image You wouldn't want to run into this thing while out for a stroll in the woods. It's a 1000lb wild hog with 9-inch tusks, nicknamed Hogzilla, that hunting Guide Chris Griffin claims to have shot in Georgia last month. To put this in perspective, 500lb wild hogs are considered enormous. No one has ever heard of a 1000lb wild hog before, so it's raising a few eyebrows. Plus, the only evidence for the creature's existence is a picture Griffin snapped of himself posing beside it. He says that he buried the hog soon after killing it. In the picture of Griffin with Hogzilla, the hog sure looks big. Hogzilla could be real. Or the picture could be photoshopped, though I haven't seen a good enough copy of the image to make a judgement on that. Or Griffin could have obtained a large hog from a farm. In the hoax forum, posters have pointed out that tricks of perspective might make the hog look bigger than it really is... though even taking distorted perspective into account, that still seems like a big hog. If I were Griffin, I'd dig the skeleton up to prove that Hogzilla is real, because a picture alone is not indisputable evidence.
Update: A better quality picture of Hogzilla can be seen at Kens-fishfarm.com, and David Emery notes that there have been previous stories about giant hogs caught in the wild.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 29, 2004
Comments (40)
image Stephen Wagner, over at About.com's Paranormal Phenomena Blog, reports that this picture of a very weird looking creature has been circulating via email. So is the creature real, or is it photoshopped? After some research, Stephen discovered that the creature is real. It's a deep-sea creature known as the Longnosed Chimera.
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Fri Jul 02, 2004
Comments (9)
image This story about a catfish with a big, red inflatable ball stuck in its mouth found bobbing around in Sandalwood Lake has been getting quite a bit of attention. Apparently the guy who found the fish, Bill Driver, first saw a red ball in the water, then he noticed that there was a catfish attached to it. The story was reported in the Wichita Eagle by Michael Pearce, so there's no reason to think it isn't true. But what I wonder about is how the ball got into the fish's mouth in the first place. Aren't catfish bottom feeders? So how would it have come across a ball floating on the surface? Is it possible that someone stuck the ball in its mouth and then released it in the lake? Who knows. Though it's just as possible that the fish was swimming near the surface for some reason, saw the ball, and opened its mouth real, real wide. I guess I'll just have to file this case under 'unsolvable mysteries.'
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 28, 2004
Comments (4)
image Ripley the Cat has a weblog, and he writes all the entries himself. But I don't think it's a hoax, because my cat writes the exact same kind of stuff on the computer. Maybe it's some kind of secret language that we humans have yet to decode. (via The Presurfer)
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 14, 2004
Comments (9)
image A photo of a curious fish with one head but two bodies has been doing the email rounds. Is it real, or is it Photoshop? It's real, if the Texas Reptiles website can be trusted (and they sound like they know what they're talking about to me). The picture shows a siamese Northern Pike caught by Donald Tayer on the Ottertail River in North Dakota. The Texas Reptiles site also has an interesting gallery of other 'freaks of nature,' including a photo of an 18-foot alligator supposedly found on a construction site in Florida (the picture is real, but the gator was only 13.5 feet long).
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 11, 2004
Comments (9)
Digging through my harddrive, I came across this news item I saved at some time in the past and then forgot about. So here it is:

A classified ad was placed in a New Zealand newspaper in July 2001. It read,

"Where is Killer? We are missing our fat, furry, friendly cat. Killer is a marmalade-coloured tabby cat with a heart of gold and a hearty appetite. He's probably gone to your house to eat your food! If you've seen Killer please let us know. He has a missing right eye, a ripped ear, a limp, a scar down his spine. Please call Jim or June, or John or Joe."

Something about the description of Killer caught people's fancy, and soon hundreds of people were calling the number listed at the bottom of the ad. Some of them claimed they had seen Killer. Others just wanted to learn more about the battle-scarred feline and maybe help find him. Unfortunately Killer wasn't real. He had been invented by a group of co-workers playing a joke on a new employee. His phone reportedly rang all day.
Categories: Animals, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 09, 2004
Comments (0)
Proving, yet again, that truth is stranger than fiction, I present you with VIP Fibers (I'm assuming this is real... I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be). Send VIP Fibers a bundle of your pet's fur, and they'll turn it into any knit good of your choice, except socks. As the site explains: "Many dogs and cats have a fine and lustrous undercoat so suitable for spinning. It does not, however, have the crimp or elasticity such as found in wool from a sheep, and therefore is not suitable for all projects such as socks." My cat sheds constantly, but it never occurred to me that all that fur on the floor could be put to good use. Now I have the perfect christmas presents for my entire family. (via Red Ferret Journal)
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 01, 2004
Comments (4)
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