dimanche 6 août 2017

Now trending: Russian "How to make a homunculus" videos

My son alerted me to these videos, which purport to show a method for creating an artificial lifeform by injecting a chicken's egg with human semen. After incubation, the eggs are cracked open and seemingly disgorge various bizarre creatures. The videos have been on YouTube since 2015 but are now undergoing a bit of viral spread.

Taking the obvious biological impossibilities as read, some of the "creatures" do exhibit realistic movements. Skeptics have created more-or-less convincing demo. videos of their own, using modeling clay and magnets to illustrate how the illusion might be performed.

The clay and magnet explanation is, however, less convincing in debunking some of the more elaborate "creatures". I strongly suspect that the creator of the original videos has been experimenting with organic props and puppets; basically - as my son pointed out - reinventing the Feejee Mermaid for the YouTube generation. A section of beef tongue makes a plausibly organic slug-like "body", especially when animated by concealed magnets; glue on some live, writhing maggots (yes, this is as revolting as it sounds) and the illusion is complete.

Copycat videos have also appeared, some featuring complete living animals such as shrimp emerging from the egg shells.

It's all very distasteful, but also an interesting example of hoaxer ingenuity.

via International Skeptics Forum http://ift.tt/2wkfZ15

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