The strange story of headless body that survived for a year and a half

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We've all heard of freshly beheaded chickens running around with their heads cut off. But an actual headless chicken couldn't maintain a balanced run for more than a second or two, right? Wrong. One chicken managed to make more than just a few twitching movements. It lived long enough to acquire a name, a stage career, and web immortality. This indestructable titan is known to this day as Mike, The Headless Chicken.


Mike was an ordinary chicken living on a farm in 1945. Perhaps, on the day of his beheading, he was despondent. Perhaps he was happy that, since he was chopped on September 10th, he had seen the end of World War II. Perhaps he suspected nothing. Since he was soon to lose his mouth, there is no way of knowing his feelings that day. He would have died an ordinary chicken, too, if he had not received a one in a million blow from an axe. That blow was calculated to leave as much neck as possible, since a guest was coming over who particularly liked chicken necks. Mike was chopped, and left for dead.

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The next morning, Mike's executioner came into the barnyard to find Mike sleeping with the other chickens, his neck tucked under his wing. Because of the generous allotment of neck, as well as many incalculable other factors, Mike had enough brain stem left to continue to live. Although Mike did not have a head, he scratched and pecked at the ground, and attempted to groom his feathers. Either his owners knew they had something big, or they just felt sorry for him. Either way, they took care of him and fed him with an eye dropper. Word spread about The Headless Wonder Chicken and people paid a quarter to see the marvel.

Mike grew up and grew strong. He reached 8 pounds, toured the country, and was such a sensation that he was insured for $10,000. It's lucky that his owners took out that insurance policy. Having no beak, tongue, or anything to guard the passage to his throat makes one vulnerable. Mike was prone to choking, and though his owners usually cleared his passages with an eyedropper, one night they could not find it. Mike died eighteen months after he was chopped, due to complications from headlessness. He remains a hero to zombies, vampires, and Marie Antoinette.

Via Mike the Headless Chicken Home Page.


Corpore Metal

Any biologist will tell you that brains can sometimes be overrated. For more than 3 billion years life on Earth got along just fine without any central nervous system.

Our own brains are incredibly expensive organs to maintain. They are less then 2% of our body mass but they consume slightly more than 20% of all food, water and air we take in, just to sit there and idle and be ready for us, day or night, even while we sleep.