Posted by Laura
First to hit the headlines was the zorse (half-zebra, half-horse), now there’s a media flurry surrounding the liger (half-lion, half-tiger). Though such creatures are not entirely new, the recent fascination over these two animal hybrids has more than a whiff of the mythical about it. If you want to see them for yourself, we have video evidence of both the zorse and liger to prove it.
The animal kingdom has come a long way since Carl Linnaeus’s time, but it’s not entirely a surprise that scientists are now able to experiment with nature in a life-imitates-art sort of way. It is still firmly in the realms of fantasy to fuse man and horse to make a centaur or create a Medusa-like, snake-haired woman (though I would like to give this look a try just the once) yet the world’s fascination with hybrid animals shows there’s scope out there for much more curious creatures to be born.
This scares me a little. It’s not that I truly believe, hand on heart, new monstrous life forms are about to change the face of the planet – although the power of evolution cannot be underestimated. It is more that I find interfering with the evolutionary process unnerving. I’m no scientist, nor am I an animal lover, which is probably why a) my imagination knows no bounds of what is possible so is not ruling out the most hideous beasts being ‘scientifically manufactured’ in future, and b) the progenies of my imaginings are not cute, fluffy, puppy-meets-kitten hybrids, but hideous mutations of my worst nightmares.
There’s the snark – a horrific snake/shark incarnation that not only swims, but chases you up the beach when you try to flee the water. And the worst one? The tird – a slimy, burpy, warty toad crossed with a bird – which combines my two worst fears into one huge flying, pecking amphibious wretch. Hitchcock could’ve had a field day if he’d introduced a few of those to the set of The Birds.
Imagination is getting the better of me. One story about a liger and my mind conjures up all sorts of impossible beings. However, committing thoughts to print somehow has an eerie way of jinxing them into becoming possible reality (just look at Orwell), so if the tirds ever come invading from the skies I’ll be the first one running for cover.
What would your most fearsome hybrid animal be? Let us know your thoughts.