5 Animals We've Bred Into Existence That Spit In God's Face
The hammerhead shark, the cassowary, this ungodly shrieking, charging scorpion-spider -- nature doesn't need any help brainstorming weird stuff to confuse and horrify us. And yet here we are helping her breed increasingly bizarre and upsetting creatures anyway. We're a bunch of go-getters. By which we mean you should go, or these abominations will get you.
Dong Tao Chicken
Here's a question that kept at least one madman up at night: What would you get if the Thing from Fantastic Four banged some poultry? Answer: the Dong Tao chicken.
The Dong Tao chicken, also known as the Dragon Chicken, is bred specifically for its delicious foot meat. However, if you look very closely, you'll notice that its legs are, scientifically speaking, totally shitty.
The legs, which can weigh up to 13 pounds each, are a delicacy mostly enjoyed by the upper class in fancy restaurants where you probably have to wear clean pants. A pair of these biological jokes recently sold for $2,500. Part of the cost has to do with how difficult the chickens are to breed. They're hugely sensitive to changes in ambient temperature, so sometimes they simply don't feel like getting busy. Also, they lay fewer eggs than regular breeds, and the eggs they do lay have to survive those awful waffle-stompers first. It's almost -- almost -- as if nature doesn't approve of us slapping elephant feet on a chicken for shits and giggles. But that can't be true ...
If you've ever wanted to own a length of intestines as a pet, you're in luck! Here you go, it's a scaleless snake.
Sure, it looks like a terrifying meth hallucination of a penis now, but here's what the Leucistic Texas rat snake looked like before we straight-up ruined it:
There are scaleless snakes in the wild, but it's more of a genetic mutation. Of course, breeders saw these freaks and decided to breed for this specific trait, because they hate life and all that lives it. Now, there is controversy in the reptile-breeding community about whether or not this is a fair thing to do to an animal. And when the people who spend all day cajoling legless cold-blooded egg-layers into fucking each other are freaked out by something, you know it's legit.
Apart from generally looking like a nightmare sausage, the snakes are also completely defenseless. Scales offer flexible protection for snakes' body sacs, and without them, they're just ... well, body sacs. Giving them mice and other live food would be like serving a rodent snake pudding.
And if you're a rattlesnake (are you a rattlesnake?), being scaleless sucks on multiple levels. We can only assume that this dude has to eat by himself in the Snake Middle School cafeteria:
It isn't even technically a rattlesnake anymore. Rattles are modified tail scales, which cannot exist on a snake that is scaleless. Bummer! Sorry, buddy, we were curious! Sorry you have to live as the physical representation of our hubris!
As a swine that isn't bred for slaughter, teacup pigs seem to have a natural advantage. They're too cute for the tiny amount of bacon they provide to be worth it. Yes, they really are so small they can fit in teacups. What could possibly be worrisome about something so cute?
Animals sold as "minipigs" are usually pot-bellied pigs that have been severely underfed to keep them nice and small for prospective buyers. They're also sold as babies, but marketed as fully-grown adults. They're branded as highly intelligent companions that can be easily litter-trained and fit in your pocket forever. Buyers are instructed by the breeder to feed them a very small amount of food to keep them little for as long as possible. And as an extra layer of "you can trust us," breeders often show their customers the pig's parents as proof of how eensy and/or weensy they'll stay. Too bad teacup pigs can breed as early as three months, when they're not even fully-grown. Not even close.
While the starvation diet prevents bones from growing, it doesn't slow organ growth, leading to health problems like obstructed breathing, skin and hoof issues, and a weak immune system. Also, poor breeding practices, like trying to net 100 piglets from a pair of siblings (blech), leads to terrifying inbred defects ... like not having an anus.
But the major issue that causes pet owners to give up their bacon bits is that they won't always fit in a teacup. They can grow to 50, 150, sometimes even 500 pounds. Teacup pigs are one of the most commonly abandoned pets in the world, because the exact kinds of people who don't do any research on an exotic pet before buying it are the same ones who would ditch that pet when they become inconvenient. They see celebutantes like Paris Hilton sporting Princess Pigelette in 2009, and rush out to grab themselves a living accessory.
But don't hate on Hilton. She's one of the few who stuck by their pig:
Peruvian Satin Guinea Pigs
We did it. We finally did it. We scalped Donald Trump. Here's proof:
Don't take a long sip of any drink just yet, because that's not a wig. That's a Guinea pig. Now, Guinea pigs are among the best pets you can give a kid. They're cute, friendly, and less bitey than gerbils. But if your child isn't satisfied with normal Guinea pigs and craves something more fabulous, look into the Peruvian Satin Guinea pig. It's fabulous. It's beautiful. Its fur flows in the wind like Fabio's hair on a romance novel cover. Oh, and it also lives in constant pain.
Satin guinea pigs have a specific gene that makes their coats shiny and reflective to light. Add that gene to a long-haired breed like the Peruvian guinea pig, and what you get is a breathing mop of well-shampooed hair. Unfortunately, having a cool hairdo has some downsides. The fancy gene makes them susceptible to a painful and incurable disease called osteodystrophy, a calcification of the bones that leads to lameness and tooth problems, which grow so bad that they eventually result in death. Studies have found that nearly all Satin Guinea pigs suffer from this, and the only choices owners have are to watch them suffer or euthanize them. Osteodystrophy cannot be bred out of the satin gene pool -- it comes with the shiny package.
It's true what they say: Beauty is a curse. A much more horrifying curse than we initially thought. We thought they were talking about creeps bothering them in bars and stuff, not Bonitis.
Large-Tail Han Sheep
Meet the large-tail Han sheep, who understands the term "pain in the ass" better than you ever will.
The large-tail Han is a Mongolian sheep bred to have all its subcutaneous fat concentrated in their tails, which can weigh up to 55 pounds. The purpose of having all that fat stored in one place is to make it easier to use as cooking oil. After they're dead. Which they probably wish they were, like, all the time.
The sheep obviously have major issues getting around. To understand what they live with on a daily basis, imagine having to carry around a backpack full of barbells for the rest of your life, and also it's been nailed to your butt. Then somebody kills you for your backpack. Which you never wanted. And which they gave to you in the first place. If karmic justice exists, the first thing humanity will kiss in Hell is the now-spiky ass of the long-tailed Han sheep.
Dibyajyoti Lahiri, in the course of his relatively short life, has learned that most people who look like teacup pigs at first often turn out to be pot-bellied pigs. You can follow him on Twitter here.
For more bizarre creatures, check out 5 Ridiculous Animals That Nature Clearly Hates and 5 Animals That Look Like Cartoons (Until They Kill You).
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