9 Wild and Wonderful Jack-o-Lanterns


Have you carved your Halloween Jack-o-lantern yet? If not, we've got some fine ideas you can try out! If you have already carved a pumpkin, the stores near you almost certainly have more, so if you like one of these Jack-o-lanterns, you could get another carved before trick-or-treaters show up at your house this evening.

1. Zombie Snow White

DeviantART member shecantrinsehim22 entered the DeviantART carving contest a few years ago with an image of Zombie Snow White preparing to devour an apple. This is definitely the way to scare trick-or-treaters away!

2. Business Cat

Here's how you combine a black cat, a Jack-o-lantern, and an internet meme into one project. Karyn at The Pumpkin People carved the Business Cat image into a pumpkin and posted it as part of their Facebook gallery.

3. Face Not Necessary

Redditor yestomichael2 recreated the iconic image of Freddy Krueger slashes in a Jack-o-lantern. The details of a face aren't necessary, as the slashes are a painful enough sight in themselves. The pumpkin was spray-painted black. I wish there was an image of this Jack-o-lantern lit up at night.

4. Show Off That Smile!

Have you ever seen a Jack-o-lantern wearing braces? They are popular with orthodontists and other dental professionals -and it might just remind trick-or-treaters to take care of their teeth. German artist Ingo Butsch shows us the process of giving your pumpkin a set of braces.

5. That's No Pumpkin...

DeviantART member The-Masked-Marauder used two pumpkins to illustrate the destruction of Alderaan as seen in the original Star Wars film for the DeviantART carving contest in 2010. The Death Star and Alderaan are connected by a piece of yellow tubing as the superlaser. Parts of the exploding planet are held with wooden skewers. It's an impressive sight lit up in the dark!

6. Pumpkin Nose

I like the recent trend of orienting a Jack-o-lantern so that the stem becomes the nose. Flickr user Dirk Gently posted this example last year. Most such jack-o-lanterns have carvings that follow the natural features of the fruit. 

7. The Walking Dead

Hip & Urban Girl's husband surprised her last year with a Jack-o-lantern featuring a zombie on it -specifically, the most recognizable walker from the TV series The Walking Dead, known as Bicycle Girl. A template for the Bicycle Girl Walker is available free online, If you want to carve a well-known pop culture icon into your pumpkin, there are plenty of downloadable stencils available

8. The Nightmare Pumpkin

Everybody panic! Megan MacKay carved the scariest Jack-o-Lantern you've ever seen! Be cautious when you share this image; it might induce nightmares and melancholy in certain sensitive people. I know I may have to take a breather, or at least I would if this weren't a scenario I confront just about every day. 

9. Laser-carved Jack-o-Lanterns

The wave of the future is laser-carving pumpkins. Redditor MFghost13 posted this jack-o-lantern carved by his father and a laser-etching machine. You can see the process for a similar carving in this video

See also: The Art of the Jack-O-Lantern: More than just a pretty face! and 9 Halloween Pumpkin Projects.

Live Smarter
Here's What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

Americans indulged their sweet tooth in a major way this Halloween, spending an estimated $2.7 billion on candy intended for front porch distribution. Rather than confronting a weepy child with an empty bowl because they bought too little, shoppers tend to buy in bulk. Come November, that can mean pounds of sugar-packed temptation still sitting in the house.

The good news: You can remove the risk to your waistline and do some good at the same time. A number of charitable organizations take leftover candy and send it to troops stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude has set up a number of drop-off centers around the country—you can search by zip code—to accept your extra treats. Once collected, they’ll send them to both troops and first responders. Last year, the group collected nearly 534,000 pounds of goodies.

Often, drop-off locations will be located in dental offices as a way of reminding everyone of the perils of tooth decay from excess sugar consumption. Some dentists even offer buy-back programs, paying $1 for each pound returned.

If donating to a national program is proving difficult, you can always deliver the extra candy to local food pantries or homeless shelters.


The FDA Has a Warning for People Who Love Black Licorice

Most versions of black licorice contain glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in the licorice root. While tasty, glycyrrhizin can affect potassium levels in the body, causing them to fall to dangerously low levels. High blood pressure, swelling, and even heart issues can develop as a result.

It’s not just bingeing that can cause issues. According to the Food and Drug Administration, adults over 40 who eat more than two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could suffer heart problems like arrhythmia. If you have a history of heart disease, you’re even more susceptible to complications.

The FDA recommends using a little common sense when consuming black licorice, eating it in moderate amounts and stopping if you notice any adverse symptoms. If you do experience potassium level drops, it’s usually reversible once you put the bag down. Treats that are licorice-flavored are typically artificial and won’t have the same effect as the actual plant root—but for your waistline’s sake, try to avoid gorging on anything.

[h/t Consumerist]


More from mental floss studios