Many of us have heard the urban legend about “Kentucky Fried Chicken” having to change their name to KFC because they didn’t use real chickens, and the government wouldn’t let them falsely advertise that they served real chicken. A friend of mine told me that story in a KFC in a small city, where I used to live, in China. He refused to eat the chicken. I didn’t believe the story. I’m a tough sell. I will put a story like that in a little cloud in my head where it can float around until I have a chance to verify it. Research, for example, established that the story about enterprising Chinese businessmen using a chemical cocktail to convert pork to beef was true.
And, just today I learned that a cockroach really can survive for 9 days with its head cut off. There’s even an article in Scientific American verifying this. If I’d had to bet, and I would have put money down on this one, I’d have said “absolutely not”. I know a thing or two about insects, and that just sounds like the kind of story someone who didn’t know anything about insects would believe. I was wrong.
I was right about the KFC story, though. I just typed in a few key words and found out from Snopes.com almost instantly that it was a big, fat hoax. It was vaguely gratifying to learn that my sense of reality was in the ballpark. Or so I thought.
Now there’s a new KFC story that hasn’t been debunked yet. It comes from a local Chinese newspaper in Shaanxi Provence, and hasn’t been popularized yet, so there’s nothing in English on the internet about it that I can find. I got the info from a science teacher who worked at a university affiliated with the one I worked at in China, and who I’d met at a social gathering and have kept in contact with. He translated the document for me and sent me the pic. According to the article, a girl named Yang Pei, who worked in a “chicken factory” which raises chickens for KFC in China, had heard rumors that the chickens were mutants. Initially, the girl, who was university educated, didn’t believe the stories of multi-winged, multi-legged, beak-less, featherless freak birds. But over time she began to wonder. Interestingly, the chickens at this facility were off limits to general workers like her, which raised her suspicions. She thought it was extremely unusual that you needed special clearance to see the chickens, when her own family had their own chicken farm and anyone and everyone could come and see the whole process.
One day she got a funny idea, and on a lark she decided to test it. While the workers couldn’t see the actual chickens – though they could hear them – they could on occasion see some of the eggs, which looked no different than the ones from her farm, except that they felt a bit “softer” and more “leathery”. Ostensibly to prove her gullible coworkers (who believed the sensationalist stories) wrong, she waited for an opportunity and then snagged a few of the eggs in transit, and brought them home to combine with a clutch of eggs being brooded by one of her own family’s hens.
To her surprise, the eggs actually hatched, but the birds that emerged were laden with multiple wings and legs, had only vestigial beaks that were soft, and little or no feathers. They grew extremely quickly and attained the size you can see in the picture after only a few months.
Supposedly, all of the newspapers except a few of the first copies sold have been confiscated, and websites coming out of China publishing the story have been blocked.
Is this a hoax, a conspiracy, or a strange but true story?* Give your opinion below.
And if you were interested in this story, you might find this one equally interesting: Life on Mars Confirmed!
By the way, you came for the mutant chicken, but check out some of my artwork.
If you liked this post, you might like the one about “The Cretin”
Or the alien autopsy
* I threw this together myself when I was teaching English in China as part of a lesson revolving around the most popular restaurant in the city = KFC, and hoaxes. I wanted the students to be more wary of hoaxes, and after presenting the photo along with the original KFC mutant chicken hoax to the students, l helped them figure out ways to identify hoaxes (no sources; doesn’t appear in a real newspaper or magazine; no real evidence). The Photoshop work is by yours truly, of course, and it was the clincher in proving whether the story was real, and the evidence compelling or not. I’ve altered the content to make it more convincing to a different audience. So, this variant on the story is mine, as is the pic. That should make it abundantly clear if it is a hoax or not.
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