Thomas, the Winged Cat of Pineville

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Thomas, the Winged Cat of Pineville

Region of origin: Pineville, West Virginia

In 1959, Pineville resident Doug Shelton found a cat out in the woods who possessed a pair of fur-covered wing-like growths extending off its shoulders. It seemed skittish but comfortable around people, so Doug took it home and named it Thomas, where she quickly became a local celebrity and even got some time in the national spotlight, receiving attention from curious reporters and scientists. A neighbor to the Sheltons, Mrs. Charles Hicks, eventually heard of Thomas and came forward to claim it was her cat, Mitzi, that had gone missing a few days before Doug had found her. The Sheltons refused to give up the cat, who they had begun charging curious onlookers a dime to see and had begun generating some decent income for the small family. The case eventually went to court, but ended abruptly when Doug arrived to the courthouse with a wingless Thomas and a box containing her shed “wings,” which had just been protuberances of matted fur, and Mrs. Hicks claiming upon seeing Thomas that it wasn’t her cat, anyways. Thomas remained with the Sheltons, but without her wings she no longer drew in much of a crowd.

[Sources referenced: X | X | X| X ]

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Heikegani

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Heikegani

Region of origin: Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Small crabs indigenous to the waters of Japan, their shells often feature a pattern resembling a human face. Local legend says these faces are the manifestation of the spirits of the Heike samurai who had died in large numbers during the Battle of Dannoura, a major conflict during the Genpei War circa 1185 AD. As a sign of reverence for the warriors they are said to represent, the crabs are not eaten and, if caught, are released back into the water.

More or less unrelated to the folklore aspect, but found this video of Carl Sagan talking about these guys on the original Cosmos.

Originally posted on Tumblr on June 3, 2016

Tufted Ground Squirrel

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Tufted Ground Squirrel

Region of origin: Borneo

The tufted ground squirrel is a rare squirrel from the lowland forests of Borneo, possessing large tufted ears which earn it its name, and the distinction of the largest tail-to-body ratio of any known mammal.

… Oh, and some locals claim they are brutal carnivorous hunters capable of disemboweling deer and livestock many times their own size.

Originally posted on Tumblr on February 15, 2016