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Chocolate-Covered Corn Dogs and Other Delicacies

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The San Diego County Fair is a delightfully disgusting romp through the bounds of gluttony. Food is one of the Fair's biggest draws, particularly when it comes to the newest in obscenely fatty treats. Though most people end up eating the standard pizzas, fried zucchinis, barbecued chicken and the like, adventurous eaters have an amazing selection in front of them that expands every year.

This year's biggest hit seemed to be the deep-fried Kool Aid, but if you're looking for the most gut-busting, it would have to come from the booth above that sells deep-fried butter, chocolate-covered corn dogs and beer-battered bacon.

For a look at some of these utterly insane offerings, be sure to check out this great post over on Rue The Day.

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Animals
Truck Launches Thousands of Slime Eels Onto Oregon Highway
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It would be hard to say who had the worst Thursday: the truck driver whose rig released masses of slime eels onto U.S. 101 and its motorists, the slime eels themselves, or the crew who came to clean up afterward.

The truck hauling 7500 pounds of fish was just approaching traffic-stopping roadwork when its driver realized he couldn’t slow down in time. As the driver slammed on the brakes, his cargo was ejected, sailing and splatting into oncoming traffic and causing five collisions. One driver was injured. Many were disgusted.

Slime eels are not true eels at all, but jawless, spineless creatures called hagfish. Like so many of Mother Nature’s ugliest children, they’re considered a delicacy. These particular fish were on their way to Korea.

In the wild, hagfish live impressively disgusting lives, slithering into the bodies of dead and decaying sea creatures—they especially like entering through anuses—and eating their way out.

Each hagfish can secrete buckets of a super-slick slime when stressed. And boy, were these hagfish stressed. By the time the authorities arrived, it was far too late to wrangle them safely back into their container. The only thing left to do was scrape them up.

[h/t Alaska Dispatch News]

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science
The Reason Some Frogs Grow Extra Legs
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Fans of The Simpsons are likely familiar with Blinky, the three-eyed fish species that swims in Springfield's contaminated lakes and ponds. Blinky isn’t real, of course, but during the mid-1990s, scientists feared that frogs in the United States and Canada were experiencing a similar mutation after hearing reports that the tiny amphibians were sprouting extra legs.

Researchers didn’t discover a link between frog deformities and pesticides, nor did they find evidence that whatever was affecting the frogs could also harm humans. Instead, the culprit appeared to be a parasitic flatworm called Ribeiroia ondatrae, which lives inside the digestive systems of water birds but can also infect frogs.

In the Gross Science video below, host Anna Rothschild explains the fascinating (albeit gross) process of how the parasitic worm’s larvae migrate from birds to freshwater snails—and then, to the hind limb buds of tadpoles. There, they grow a hard, protective coating called a cyst that interrupts proper limb formation.

This invasive process can cause the frog to develop as many as six additional legs—or in some cases, no legs at all. That said, experts don't think that infected frogs develop weird limbs simply as a side effect. At the end of the day, amphibians with extra or missing legs are easier for predators to catch, meaning that the parasite will eventually end up back inside its preferred home: a bird’s esophagus.

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