Chimera

So Turkey Day is upon us. For our many non-American readers, we always defer to Jim Gaffigan to explain what our holidays are really all about.

But yes, the holiday is about being thankful. But the truth is: it's mostly about eating. And dealing with family, for good or ill. Mix thinking about eating with geekery and what do you get? Eventually you start thinking about meat that you'll never be able to get a hold of. That's right, fictional creatures. Assuming they existed and we could have them with a side of fries, what creatures would I definitely want to sample? Good question.

Here's nine I came up with, in alphabetical order.

  • Chimeras. Not the genetic chimera, but the standard mythological beast. Your first question might be: so it's a three-way beast--lion, goat and snake--so what? So if you're too lazy to fix up a turducken, here's a carnivorous trifecta already made to order. Done and done!

  • Drop Bear

  • Drop Bears. When looking around lists of creatures to see if I had missed any, I stumbled across this for the first time and was charmed by what is the most insane cryptid I've run across in some time: "unusually large, vicious, carnivorous koalas that inhabit treetops and attack their prey by dropping onto their heads from above." (That's from Wikipedia, always right.) What's there not to find enticing about an attack koala? And, really, if the drop bear would be considered a natural predator for humans, then there's nothing wrong with upending the food chain and eating one before it could eat you, right? Right.
  • Lobstrosity

    Not a lobstrosity, of course...but it does put across the gist. Namely Gah.

  • The Lobstrosities from Stephen King's The Dark Tower. Again, perhaps its the eating-your-natural-predator thing again, but apart from the scorpion aspect of these monsters--a giant lobster sounds like it could be delicious. And they were indeed eaten in the series, so we know they're quite edible. Butter. I'm thinking of lots of butter.
  • Muscaliet

  • Muscaliet. Apparently this beast is "said to have a body like a hare (though smaller), legs and tail like a squirrel, ears like a weasel, a muzzle like a mole, hair like a pig and teeth like a boar." Of course, your initial and perfectly reasonable assumption is that the above three-way animal/meal wouldn't be enough. But check this out: "It makes its nest in a hollow underground below the tree; its nature is so hot that it causes the tree to dry up and die." That's pretty hot. So I'm thinking: it's self-cooking. How perfect is that, right? Image.
  • Ouroboros

  • Ouroboros. I'm not terribly inclined to eat a snake, but on reflection, I think this is a must-have for the menu. After all, if you're tasty enough that you can't help but literally eat yourself? That's impressive, to be certain.
  • Night of the Lepus: Giant Bunnies

  • Rabbits from Night of the Lepus. I love this film and I think it's one of the silliest When Animals Attack films ever. And rabbit is tasty. But giant rabbit would be giant tasty, methinks. And hey, if you've seen the film you know that they're already pretty prepared by the end! Bonus!
  • Ramon the Alligator

  • Ramón the Alligator from Alligator. This is mostly a revenge fantasy. I have had regular-sized alligator before, but the giant alligator from this film scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. Giant alligator + kid + swimming pool = not good for a young aquaphobe.
  • Salmon of Wisdom

  • Salmon of Wisdom. So yes, fish is supposed to be brain food...but for the ultimate brain food you have to go to this Irish legend where a salmon ate hazel nuts that had been soaking in the Well of Wisdom. Thus the salmon had all knowledge. And whoever ate the fish first would gain that knowledge. So we've got a hazelnut-fed fresh salmon? Delicious--even before you get to the passing-on of wisdom. Although, it does occur to me that if all you have to do to gain the knowledge is eat whatsoever possesses it before you...then information-seeking cannibals would be after me if I did manage to consume this dish. Image.
  • Roc or Thunderbird

  • Thunderbirds or Rocs. That's right--instead of worrying about having a big enough bird to feed everybody, go big. Really big. You'll have enough for leftover sandwiches for weeks afterwards. And bonus: as I understand it, thunderbirds contain no tryptophan!
  • Got an animal you'd like to gnaw on? Share it in the commments.