Five Real Life Mutant Monsters
During the 1800s, P.T. Barnum (of Barnum and Baily Circus), made a fortune by showcasing the world’s freakish oddities. Some of these were human, while others were animals that had been born with birth defects. What Barnum understood was that people have an uncontrollable urge to look at something different and they would pay to see these things if you put them in a setting where the “normal” people wouldn’t consider it rude to state. The ghoulish delight the people had covered all social classes and educational levels – everyone loved to stare at a freak! That still holds true today and circuses and side shows still make use of these unfortunates. The difference is that you don’t have to go to a circus to find these creatures. That’s what we have the internet for! I’ve searched the world (from my office) and have found these five mutant oddities. Enjoy!
In the city of Yalta, on the Black Sea, the “Skazka (which means Fairy tale) Zoo” is currently showing an albino California Kingsnake which has two heads. The creature is alive and both heads function separately from the other. Two headed snakes are rare, because when they are born one of the two heads often kills the other and then the whole creature dies. Because of this, they typically only live about six months. This snake is different, though. Its been around awhile and the zoo handler has to put a barrier up between the two heads when he feeds them so they will not fight. The snake will be on display at the zoo until mid-September.
This creature looks like an elf out of the Harry Potter series. It’s down-right scary and if you saw this thing staring at you during the night, you’d probably have a heart attack. The Aye-Aye (possibly named by pirates) is a lemur found on the island-country of Madagascar. It has huge eyes, rodent-like teeth, and a freakishly long middle finger which it uses to snatch and eat grubs and other creatures found in trees. It is the largest of all nocturnal primates, which gives it a vampire-like quality, and it grows to about the size of a large house cat (around 20 pounds). The Aye-Aye is so named because of the sounds that it makes. The natives of Madagascar have a superstition about the creature and symbolize it with death. No wonder. Look at this thing – and that’s just a baby one!
No, this isn’t a cartoon character, but an actual living thing. Nicknamed, Mr. Blobby by the Australians that found him in their net, Mr. Blobby is a type of deep sea fathead (which did nothing for his ego), known as a psychrolutes. Normally, these fish are just big and gray, but Mr. Blobby was also pretty ugly. He was caught at a depth of about 3400 feet in 2003 and probably scared the pants off the fishermen who found him. Since fish like this don’t do well out of water, Mr. Blobby died and now resides in the Australian Museum Ichthyology Collection – probably giving children ‘Down Under’ nightmares too!
Is it a lobster? Is it a Spider? Is it a Sonny Bono-impersonating crab? If you showed this picture to most people, they wouldn’t believe that this thing were even real – but, oh! It is! The furry lobster, also known as a Coral Lobster, is the runt of the species. They don’t grow very big in the Caribbean and South America where they are from. They were first discovered in the 1880s and probably made sailors jump when they saw them. The lobsters are covered with hair, making them part crustacean and part mammal. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t want them on my plate covered in butter! Yuck!
How can you be frighted by the little Axolotl? It’s such a cute mutant-alien looking thing! When I look at this creature, I think this is what sea monkeys really should look like! The Axolotl comes from Mexico and is really a type of Tiger Salamander. Like many types of lizards, the Axolotl can regrow its limbs, so scientists primarily use them for research. The Axolotl may even be a missing link! They never lose their gills – like other salamanders – so the adults remain aquatic throughout their lives. Currently, due to pollution in Mexico, the Axolotl is nearing extinction. The Mexican government is doing all that it can to keep this cute little mutant-monster alive and well.