Baudet du Poitou – The Donkey That Grows Dreadlocks

Poitou, or Baudet du Poitou is a French donkey breed known primarily for their large size and their distinctive coat which, if left ungroomed for long periods of time, will form dreadlocks.

Originally bred in the Poitou region of France, Baudet du Poitou was once highly sought after all over the world, because of its size and strength. Before the industrial revolution, Poitou donkeys were raised to be used in breeding large mules known as Poitevin, once “regarded as the finest and strongest in France”, and exported to various countries for the development of other donkey and mule breeds. In the former province of Poitou, donkey breeders would  traditionally leave the animals’ coats ungroomed, causing their long locks to form shaggy lumps known as ‘cadenettes’ or dreadlocks. These would sometimes grow so long that they reached the ground.

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These Moth Caterpillars Build Tiny Log Cabins for Themselves

The caterpillar of the bagworm moth is known as somewhat of a gifted architect, building impressive and durable cocoons out of twigs, leaves, seeds and other organic materials.

As larvae, bagworm moths look for a place to settle down and feed, such as a leaf or the branch of a tree. Once they’ve found a suitable location, they go out looking for building material to reinforce their cocoons with. Materials like twigs, dead leaves, seeds and even dirt are most often used, and depending on the species of bagworm moths, the cocoon can end up looking like a pile of leaves or a carefully planned miniature log cabin.

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Care to Buy a Living, Breathing Wish-Granting Cat for $127,000?

Forget wish-granting goldfish and genies in a bottle, you can now own your very own magical cat and have all your wishes fulfilled for the modest price of 10 million rubles ($127,000).

A Novosibirsk woman recently posted a bizarre ad on Russian classified ad platform Avito, asking people to pay a small fortune for her pet cat, a Scottish Fold named Vincent I, or Vinsik, for short. The woman, known only as Elena, told Russian journalists that she discovered her cat’s wish-granting powers by accident, but has since tested its effectiveness three times, to impressive results. She now wants to share its magic with others, but is asking for a considerable fee as reward for her kindness.

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This Mossy Twig Is Actually a Moth Larva in Disguise

A wildlife photographer recently captured one of nature’s most extraordinary camouflage masters on camera – a moth larva that looks like a mossy twig on a moss-covered tree.

Over they years we’ve featured a bunch of natural camouflage artists on Oddity Central, from the butterfly that looks like a dead leaf, or the moth with a disgusting scene painted on its wings, to the terrifying assassin bug, but the larva captured by wildlife photographer David Weiller in the Madagascar rainforest is definitely up there with the most impressive. Looking like a bulbous patch of moss and lichen with a twig-like body attached to a moss-covered tree, this fascinating creature looks like part of the tree, not a living thing.

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Tiny Assassin Bug Wears the Bodies of Its Victims as Camouflage

The assassin bug is a fascinating insect for many reasons, but the one that really stands out is its gruesome camouflage, which consists of the carcasses of its victims glued to its back.

There are around 7,000 known species of assassin bugs in the world, ranging from 4 to 40 mm in length and sharing the same formidable weapon – a sharp, curved, needle-like structure called a “rostrum”. It’s this rostrum that they use to stab their prey – usually other insects – and inject them with a poisonous saliva that liquifies their innards. When the victim stops moving, the assassin bug will start slurping away at its inside, until only the shell remains. That shell is used by some assassin bug species as camouflage, and some specimens have been observed walking around with a mound of insect carcasses glued to their backs.

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Thailand’s ‘Pesticide Ducks’ Clean Rice Fields of Pests and Stubble

Every year, flocks of thousands of hungry ducks are released into vast rice paddies to clean the fields of unwanted pests and rice stubble left over from last harvest.

Humanity has witnessed unprecedented technological advancements over the last few decades, but in Thailand, the world’s second largest rice exporter, farmers still use a centuries old solution to keep their rice paddies in optimal condition. Every year, they rely on duck farmers to unleash thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of young, hungry ducks onto their fields, to clean them of pests like cherry snails and apple snails, as well as weeds and leftover rice stubble. Apart from acting as a natural pesticide, the ducks also fertilize the fields with their droppings.

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Man Leaves Window Open for Five Months, Finds Apartment Invaded by Pigeons

A UK student who left his apartment window open before going away for five months found his home covered in bird droppings after it was taken over by pigeons.

20-year-old Oluwageorge Johnson had to leave his rented apartment in Nottingham in a hurry back in March, after his parents turned up to take him home, because of Covid-19. He forgot a window open, and after seeing no activity for several days, pigeons decided to make the apartment their home. No one disturbed the birds for over five months, until a few days ago when accommodation workers heard some strange sounds coming from the flat and went in to investigate. They found the whole place covered in bird droppings, eggs in the kitchen sink and pigeon feathers everywhere.

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World’s Most Expensive Sheep Just Sold for Half a Million Dollars

A Texel lamb named Double Diamond and described by many as “genetically perfect” recently became the world’s most expensive sheep, commanding a price of 350,000 guineas ($490,000) at a Scottish auction.

Texel sheep, originating from the tiny island of Texel, just off the coast of the Netherlands, routinely command five-figure prices at auctions, thanks to their lean meat and wool used for hosiery yarns, but a particularly special specimen just made other Texels look cheap. Double Diamond, am outstanding lamb featuring the best genetics, had sheep breeders in the whole of the UK up in arms trying to somehow get their hands on him. Even before the Scottish National Texel sale in Lanark had started, some breeders had already partnered up to bid a higher price for Double Diamond.

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Orchid Bees – The Living Jewels and Expert Perfumiers of the Insect World

The Euglossines, aka Orchid Bees are often described as the world’s most flamboyant bee tribe, and looking at their brilliant metallic coloration, it’s easy to see why.

Orchid bees are probably the closest thing to real living jewel. Sporting bright metallic colors – with green, blue and gold being the most common – and very few hairs compared to other families of bees, these pollinators really stand out as some of the most visually striking insects on Earth. But it’s not just their bright, shiny exterior that sets them apart from other bees. Euglossines don’t make honey, they don’t build hives, most species of the tribe are solitary, and perhaps most fascinating of all, males collect and mix fragrances which they then use to impress females.

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Dog Miraculously Survives 37 Days Trapped Under Landslide Rubble

A dog in China recently made national headlines for being found alive and well after spending over a month trapped under the ruin of his master’s following a landslide.

On July 8, the people of Cangbaotian village, in China’s Guizhou Province had to be hastily evacuated before most of their homes succumbed to a terrible landslide. Only a handful of the 130 buildings in the village were left standing, and despite being unable to retrieve most of their possessions before the evacuation, residents weren’t allowed to return until the area was deemed safe by authorities. Earlier this month, one man who returned to see if anything could be salvaged from his collapsed home was shocked to hear barking coming from under the rubble.

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German Circus Weathers Pandemic by Selling Jars of Lion Poop

They say money does not smell, but a lucrative venture thought up by a German circus is proof that money can actually stink. The Krone Circus in Munich is in the business of selling lion poop.

Circus are forbidden from performing during the pandemic, so many of them have been struggling to stay afloat in the last few months. Animal circuses have it even worse, as they have dozens of creatures to feed every day, so many of them have been forced to think outside the box in order to stay solvent. The Krone Circus, in Munich, Germany, has come up with a stinky yet profitable business idea – selling jars of poop from their 26 lions and tigers for 5 euros ($6) a pop.

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The Irresistibly Cute Honduran White Bat

Of the roughly 1,300 known species of bat, very few can be described as cute and cuddly, but the tiny Honduran White Bat is definitely one of these rare exceptions.

Also called the Caribbean White Tent-Making Bat, this adorable flying mammal can be found in the tropical forests of Central-American countries like Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and western parts of Panama. It has a distinctive white fur, which is characteristic of only five other known bat species, and is very small for its genus, with the largest recorded individual being under 5 centimetres in length. Because of its white color and generally cute look, as well as the fact that it doesn’t live in caves and doesn’t suck blood, the Honduran White Bat is considered a living, breathing contradiction of bat stereotypes.

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This Remarkable Beetle Can Somehow Survive Being Eaten by Frogs

Scientists recently discovered that a species of tiny water beetles can live through being eaten by a frog by somehow surviving a journey through its gut and simply exiting through the butt hole.

Until this week, Regimbartia attenuata was just another species of water beetle, but ever since a study on its astonishing survival skills came out on Monday, it’s been making headlines in mainstream media outlets around the world. And for good reason, as there aren’t many creatures on this Earth that can survive being swallowed alive, journey through their predator’s digestive system, simply crawl out the “back door” and go on with their lives as if they didn’t just pull off a Houdini-like magic trick.

Regimbartia attenuata were the subject of an unusual study carried out by Shinji Sugiura, an associate professor in the department of agrobioscience at Kobe University in Japan. He put the tiny beetles in the same laboratory bin with specimens from five different frog species, and the little bugs managed to crawl out the frogs’ “vents” in the vast majority of experiments.

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The Seneca White Deer – World’s Largest Herd of White Deer

The former Seneca Army Depot in upstate New York is home to a rare herd of white-tailed deer, all of which carry a recessive gene for all-white coats.

The Seneca white deer are not albinos, they are a natural variation of the white-tailed deer, which are usually a brown color. These rare deer are leucistic, meaning they lack pigmentation in the fur, but their eyes are the normal brown color. In the wild, the very visible white coat makes these rare creatures easy targets for both human hunters and predators like coyotes, but this particular herd was protected by a 24-mile (39 km) fence erected around the Seneca Army Depot in 1941. They were isolated inside the depot perimeter and since the military commander there forbade soldiers from shooting the white deer, their number grew into the hundreds.

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The Curious Case of a Belgian Woman Who Temporarily Thought She Was a Chicken

Doctors at KU Leuven University in Belgium recently reported the bizarre case of a 54-year-old woman who was convinced she was a chicken and temporarily behaved like one.

The married woman, whose name was not revealed, reportedly had a stable job at a pharmacy and had no history of drug or alcohol abuse before the strange episode. One day, her brother stopped by and found her clucking, blowing her cheeks and crowing like a rooster. Not knowing what to do, the woman’s brother took her to a nearby hospital, where the 54-year-old told doctors she thought she was a chicken and described feeling a new sensation in her legs.

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