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Killer Caterpillar: Touch this insect and you will bleed to death
09:43 am



Killer Caterpillar
In her new book, Venomous: How Earth’s Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry, scientist Dr. Christie Wilcox writes about a unique type of insect found primarily in Brazil, the Lonomia obliqua, a/k/a the “assassin caterpillar.” This moth-to-be is unlike most caterpillars, in that it doesn’t have a furry appearance, instead they’re covered with what looks like small trees. They’re actually pretty cool-looking, but don’t even think about picking one of them up, as inside the tip of each spiky “branch” is a deadly venom.
The Lonomia obliqua
Getting pricked by one of these caterpillars isn’t exactly ideal, but to make matters worse, they usually gather in bunches, so the unsuspecting who brush up against them are actually stung multiple times. Once that happens, the insects’ poison enters the bloodstream and causes over-clotting. What look like bruises will soon appear, the result of internal bleeding. Other symptoms include pain, swelling, headache and vomiting, but that ain’t the worst of it. After a day or so, all that over-clotting will cause the victim to run out of blood platelets, resulting in a death that is fucking horrifying.

Dr. Wilcox:

Without those platelets available to form clots when needed, the envenomated victim bleeds. Uncontrollable. Even there’s though there’s no wound to be seen. [The sufferer can experience] bleeding mucous membranes in the nose and eyes, bleeding from scars, and even internal bleeding into the brain.

Holy shit, right? Perhaps most upsetting of all is that if you are pricked by multiple caterpillars and end up experiencing this harrowing ordeal, you—and whoever you are with—will likely have no idea what is going on. Aside from the fact there won’t be any visible wounds, most people who are stung don’t feel it, so even though there is an antivenom available, the need might not be realized, if at all, until it’s too late.

More after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Jack and cobra anyone? Whiskey & vodka infused with tarantulas, giant centipedes, snakes & toads
09:11 am

Stupid or Evil?


Vodka infused with a giant venomous tropical centipede by ‘Thailand Unique.’
I cannot tell a lie—I had a hard time blogging about these insect and amphibian-infused bottles of booze made by Thailand Unique as just looking at them made my lunch churn rather restlessly in my stomach. Never mind the thought of actually imbibing a bottle of vodka that had been infused with a giant venomous tropical centipede. Yikes.

These bug and arachnid-enhanced speciality alcohols are the products of Thailand Unique (based in Udon Thani, Thailand) a company that caters to the the world’s “growing numbers of “entomophagists” otherwise known as humans who enjoy consuming insects. They carry a large variety of infused vodka and whiskey that has been enhanced with everything from bugs to cobras and even toads. Some of these creatures, it is claimed, have healing and medicinal properties. The centipede whiskey is used in parts of Southeast Asia as an aphrodisiac and according to Thailand Unique could also help ease muscular and back pain. (Do not mistake this post for medical advice, okay?)

If you’re not a drinker (or just gave up drinking after reading all this, like I almost did—close call) Thailand Unique also offers various foodstuffs made from a variety of creepy-crawlers such as edible canned tarantula, earthworm jerky, pasta made from silkworms (it’s also gluten free!) and the “acquired taste” of these “seasoned to taste,” “roasted and dehydrated “dung beetles” which are harvested in northeast Thailand during the monsoon season. If you’re not an aspiring etymologist, the dung beetle feeds on “nutrient rich” Water Buffalo poop. Gaaa!

If you’re interested in obtaining any of Thailand Unique’s products—they sure live up to their name, don’t they?—it will take anywhere from two-weeks to two months depending on the shipping option you choose. Many of the infused vodkas and whiskeys are currently sold out, mostly due to the fact that many of the things made by the company take several months to prepare for market. Their “Armor Tail Scorpion” vodka (which was triple distilled and steeped for months allowing the scorpion to infuse the liquid with a “unique woody taste”) is in stock and can be yours for about $17.46 via registered airmail to the U.S.

Tarantula infused vodka.

Longhorn beetle-infused vodka.
More yucky things after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The bizarre contents of a dead Ostrich’s stomach
10:01 am



An ostrich by A. Kniesel.
The ostrich is the world’s largest bird. The male of the species can reach over nine feet in height—the female around 5’ 7” to 6’ 7”.

The ostrich is a flightless bird. It has long powerful legs and can travel over forty miles an hour.

It also has the largest eye of any land vertebrate—a whopping great two inches in diameter. This helps it spot any would-be predators trying to sneak up on it—allowing the big bird time to hightail it.

The ostrich has a wingspan of over six-and-a-half feet. It has long legs and and a very long neck with a comparatively small head. It kinda looks like a turkey gone wrong, on steroids. It roams freely across the African savanna. It is farmed for its lean meat, eggs and feathers—which are used in making feather dusters.

They live in nomadic groups of up to 100 under the rule of the chief hen. The ostrich diet generally consists of seeds, shrubs, grass, fruit and flowers—from which they also obtain water—and some insects.

And that’s probably what you’d expect to find an ostrich’s stomach if you had to examine one after death.

Well not quite…
An ostrich cart at London Zoo, 1929.
Frederick William Bond was the assistant treasurer and photographer at the Zoological Society of London. He took photographs of the various prized animals kept in captivity at London Zoo.

Around 1930, one of the ostriches at the zoo died unexpectedly. A post mortem examination revealed a staggering array of objects in the big bird’s stomach. It was such a bizarre find that Bond felt compelled to photograph it.
On the back of the photograph Bond listed the contents:

Three odd cotton gloves
Three handkerchiefs
The wooden centre of a silk spool
A piece of lead pencil
Four halfpennies
One franc
One farthing
One coin too worn for identification
Part of a bicycle valve
Part of a metal comb
One piece of wood
Two yards of string
An alarm clock key
Several small metal washers and other pieces of metal
A four-inch nail

The most likely reason this omnivorous ostrich ingested such a bizarre gallimaufry of found objects is less to do with any “sad consequence of the bird’s urban existence” but mainly to do with the fact ostriches swallow their food whole.

Ostriches have no teeth. This together with the fact they have a proportionally small bill, means they have to ingest stones or pebbles to help masticate their food in the gizzard.

They swallow small hard objects like stones to act as “gastroliths” to grind their food. The ostrich fills its gullet with yummy goodies which forms a bolus. This is then ingested into the gizzard where the small stones break it down for digestion.

Most likely this ostrich ingested coins, gloves and alike to help digest its food. Unfortunately swallowing a four-inch nail proved fatal—as it caused its “death by perforation.”
John Lydon vs. the Ostriches, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Souls of Dead Children’ and other creepy field recordings by Cabaret Voltaire founder Chris Watson
09:22 am



Photo by Kate Humble, via
Chris Watson is the coolest. He’s most famous as one of the three founding members of Cabaret Voltaire. Since leaving the Cabs in ‘81, he’s continued to make experimental music (see, for instance, his wonderful 2005 collaboration with KK Null and Z’EV), but he’s best known for his field recordings. BBC Radio 4 has a whole page dedicated to programs that feature Watson and his work; if you’re not careful, you can lose yourself for hours there listening to stories like “Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson presents the crested tit.”

Richard H. Kirk is, of course, the longest-lasting (and sole remaining) member of Cabaret Voltaire, but I wonder if it’s significant that Watson’s name got top billing on the back cover of the Cabs’ first two albums. Watson’s attic was the band’s practice space from ‘74 to ‘78, and Kirk credits his distinctive guitar sound on the first records to a fuzzbox Watson, then a phone engineer, built for him. (Check out the Burroughsian news cut-up Watson contributed to a 1981 tape compilation released by Jhonn Balance.)

Photo by Mark McNulty, via McNulty Photography
When Watson quit Cabaret Voltaire in ‘81, it was to take a job with Tyne Tees Television, where, he says, his career in sound recording began. Since 1996’s Stepping into the Dark, a collection of recordings of “the atmospheres of special places” inspired by T.C. Lethbridge, Watson has released a total of six albums of his field recordings. Each is organized around an idea or story. El Tren Fantasma (“Ghost Train”) is an audio trip across Mexico on the old state-owned railroad, which no longer exists, thanks to the economic miracle that is privatization. His latest album, In St. Cuthbert’s Time, documents what Eadfrith of Lindisfarne would have heard while he was creating the Lindisfarne Gospels.

After the jump, three sinister selections from ‘Outside the Circle of Fire

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Woman hypnotizes rabbits, 1954
10:00 am



Here’s a video shot back in 1954 of a Mrs. Irene Burton from Orpington in Kent, who could apparently hypnotize her pet dwarf rabbits to astonishing effect. Admittedly I was shocked when I saw the video. I thought she had some sort superpower over her rabbits. I had a pet rabbit myself growing up, and I recall seeing him do this once or twice. And no, I wasn’t trying to hypnotize him, he just did it.

After watching the video, I started to question Mrs. Irene Burton’s hypnotizing capabilities over rabbits. Could she really be this good? According to what I’ve read online this trance-like state is called “Tonic Immobility” or “TI,” and it’s actually a defense mechanism motivated by fear.

TI is considered a last attempt for prey to escape being eaten by a predator. When rabbits are tranced, they are at the highest possible fear level, and they can possibly die from fear.

So, yeah, Mrs. Irene Burton wasn’t actually hypnotizing her rabbits at all, but basically scaring the living shit out of them. That’s not nice, Irene!

via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Depressing photos of monkeys wearing doll masks
11:00 am



Finnish photographer Perttu Saksa‘s series “A Kind of You” takes a heartbreaking look at the old tradition of street performing monkeys in Jakarta. The portraits expose the onlooker to monkeys in tattered children’s clothing and freakish doll masks. You’ll also notice the monkeys are on short chains.

The gripping portraits force you to come face-to-face with the sad reality of what’s done for human entertainment.

“Modern city culture has turned the old tradition into [an] eerie and haunting act of cruel street theatre where animals become something else, never able to reach our expectations,” says Perttu Saksa about his series.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Beach Blanket Bug: All the kids will want a giant inflatable cockroach pool float!
12:48 pm



Summer is almost over, folks! That means you only have a few more weeks to sport this giant inflatable cockroach pool float at your next pool party or beach outing. It’s gross, but I dig it.

The six-foot cockroach raft sells for $29.95 here.

I really wish I would have blogged about this sooner, but I didn’t know about it. There’s always next summer (or you could dress as Gregor Samsa for Halloween?)


via Bored Panda

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Truly incredible, extremely life-like animal masks and animal costumes
11:16 am



To say that I’m truly blown away by these handmade animal masks and animal costumes is still an understatement. These are holy smokes-level awesome! Since Halloween is around the corner, I thought I’d share these handmade beauties as a possible costume option or just simply as work of art you’d like to own.

They’re by Deviant artist Crystumes and boy is there a huge gallery to check out! Each animal mask is lovingly crafted with impeccable detail. They speak for themselves, don’t they? I’m particularly smitten with the bird masks.

From what I can tell Crystumes does take commissions according to his or her Deviant Art page. You can contact Crystumes here.

Please click on each image to enlarge it and see its details.




More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Thomas Edison filmed strippers, drug dens, animal murders, and THE VERY FIRST CAT VIDEO
08:55 am



Edison’s early experiments in film were often pretty scandalous even by today’s standards. There was the time he recorded his favorite body-building stripper, rather gracelessly disrobing upon the trapeze, right down to her massive Victorian underwear. There was also Chinese Opium Den, from which only one frame survives, but you can guess the content. There’s even the time he filmed himself electrocuting Topsy the elephant. So you have sex, drugs and violence, all right there at the beginning of cinema.

Edison really knew what the public wanted, so obviously he made a cat video!

In 1894 Edison filmed “Boxing Cats” at his Black Maria Studio, the charming results of which you see here. Why boxing cats? The Library of Congress explains that this was a relatively popular form of live entertainment for the time:

“The performance was part of Professor Henry Welton’s ‘cat circus,’ which toured the United States both before and after appearing in Edison’s film. Performances included cats riding small bicycles and doing somersaults, with the boxing match being the highlight of the show.”

The Library of Congress’s summary of the film is just “A very interesting and amusing subject.” Can’t argue with that!

Via Public Domain Review

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Freakishly cute giant isopod pillows
09:18 am



These may not be pillows exactly, but the photos certainly suggest you can use them as such. Perhaps they’re considered more isopod plushies than pillows? Either way, they’re so darn ugly that they’re actually cute, right?

The stuffed isopods are straight out of Japan (because of course) and come in many different sizes. I found them all on Amazon and linked to the extra large crustacean for $62.58. If you want a smaller size here is the large and medium.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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