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Arlan Arthur via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain 

Seven Strange and Wonderful Dishes

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Arlan Arthur via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain 

Nothing succeeds like excess! The earlier mental_floss article Food Challenges for the Super Hungry, Super Competitive or Super Cheap celebrated foods that are excessive in size. Now we turn to foods that are excessive because of what they are made of. People love to tinker with food. If you like two kinds of food, why not put them together? Just because they don't normally appear at all similar is no reason to shy away from combining them! Or you find one taste that you love, you can go completely overboard with it. And you can take something normal and traditional and stand it on its head to suit your own tastes.

1. The Luther Burger

One of the specialties served at Mulligan's, a bar in Decatur, Georgia is the Luther Vandross Burger. This may have been conceived by the late Luther Vandross, or just named in honor of him. It's a bacon cheeseburger served between two Krispy Kreme donuts. Several restaurants now carry the "donut burger". Some recipes specify the Luther Burger must include a full pound of beef, as in the homemade versions shown here. (update: Tim left a comment telling us Mulligan's is no longer in business. If there's a resturant near you serving these, let us know!)

2. McDonalds Pizza

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Along the theme of two great tastes that taste great together, Pimp My Snack used McDonalds cheeseburgersasa topping for pizza! They didn't stop there. This pizza also has McDonalds fries and a package of bacon. With cheese on top.

More surprising edibles, after the jump.

3. Deep Fried Balls of Butter

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Paula Deen of The Food Network is known for her Southern fried recipes featuring delicious butter. Last spring she featured a recipe for Fried Butter Balls on her show in an episode titled Everything's Better With Butter. The concoction came from one of her fans, who was invited to be on the show. The whole thing was presented as somewhat of a joke. The recipe caused horror among her fans and on sites across the internet, but she tried it herself before sharing, so it must be pretty good.

4. Bacon Cheese Baconburger

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They say bacon will improve the flavor of anything. Witness the bacon cheeseburger, popular at every fast food outlet you can think of. The Bacon Cheese Baconburger takes this concept one step beyond. In addition to the bacon and the cheese, note that the hamburger patty itself is made of ground bacon! There's a complete subgenre of recipes where you add bacon to... anything! Such as apple pie, candy, or a martini.

5. M&Ms Donut

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Just as some think anything is better with bacon on it, others know that you can improve existing foods by putting candy on it, or in it. This was the thinking behind the DQ Blizzard, which added chopped cookies or candy to softserve ice cream. Now Dunkin' Donuts is trying their hand at it, with the introduction of the M&M Donut. Yes, a donut with miniature M&Ms on top! Homer Simpson will be in hog heaven. In a partnership deal with Mars (owners of M&Ms), Dunkin' Donuts is also offering Milky Way hot chocolate, available through March.

6. Meat Cake

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You expect cake at a wedding, but one fellow didn't get excited about the idea of a sweet groom's cake. What he really wanted was meat, and his chef friend at Black Widow Bakery was up for the challenge. The result was a perfectly presentable groom's cake made of ground beef! After you read the cake story, don't miss the amusing FAQs.

7. Meatloaf Cake

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The very opposite is a cake that looks like meatloaf, but inside is a delicious chocolate cake with raspberry frosting! This is part of a collection of Food That Looks Like What It Isn't, where the hot dogs and spaghetti are sweet, and the waffles are made of turkey or crabmeat.

Do you have any favorite recipes that would fit with these- odd combinations, extreme indulgence, or homemade recipes that make people cringe? Tell us about it!

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Animals
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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fun
How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
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If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]

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