You never know when the Muse will strike you. It could be while you're gazing through the work of great Renaissance artists. Or it could be while you're shitting yourself over rodents eating your fingers. Point is: Inspiration doesn't always need to be a brilliant light bulb. Sometimes it can just be broken glass to a bare foot.

To help illustrate this, we asked our readers to highlight some creators whose great ideas came from odd places. The winner is below, but first the runners-up ...

Entry by Ted E.

FOR PAN'S SLABYRINTH, GUILLERMO DEL TORO BASED THE PALE MAN OFF HIS FEAR OF MANTA RAYS. There was also this thing that I had as a kid where manta ray

Entry by Scott Laffey

Nora Ephron conceived the 1990 comedy My Blue Heaven while her author husband was researching a book on a real life mobster. The subject of the book h

Entry by Comunacho

Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak was writting a book called Where the Wild Horses Are, but he was unable to draw a horse for his life. So his

Entry by Danzy

Bob Kane came up with the idea for Batman from a book of Leonardo Da Vinci's sketches

Entry by Quo

Mark Twain, in his 1872 book Roughing It noted, the coyotes are starving and would chase a roadrunner. Many years later, this line of text inspired

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We are offering so many opportunities for you to win some dough that it'd be insane if you didn't get in on this. Aside from our photoplasties ($100 per contest) and GIF contest ($150), we are paying out 10 winners for our macro contests. And YES, you can win all 10 spots ($350 payout) if you've got the skills to blow our minds that many times.

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