If you’ve been following the news lately, you probably heard that a goat with eight legs was recently born in Croatia. I’m not kidding – here’s proof:
This crazy little guy was also born with both male and female sex organs. And when you’re an eight-legged Croatian hermaphrodite goat, you immediately become an international phenomenon.
The goat has been nicknamed “Octogoat,” and his popularity has already surpassed that of other Octo creatures, including Doctor Octopus and the hideous Octomom. Octogoat is popular because, quite frankly, we’re obsessed with things that have too many things. When an animal is born with additional limbs, we call it polymelia. Polymelia was also a classic 1940 Disney film featuring several pieces of classical music. No wait, that was Fantasia. My bad.
I’m not pulling your leg when I tell you that the media is up in arms over these extra appendages. They’d give an arm and a leg to gain exclusive coverage rights, because it’d give them a leg up on their competition. If there’s a freak animal anywhere in the world, I’d go out on a limb to say that the media will cover it.
A seven-legged lamb in New Zealand? Got it covered.
A six-legged baby human in Pakistan? Got it covered.
A five-legged puppy in North Carolina? Got it covered.
A four-legged duck in England ironically named Stumpy? Got it covered.
People just can’t get enough of extra limbs. That’s why freak shows were so popular when the circus came to town. Other oddities seem ho-hum in comparison. Want to watch a human garbage disposal eat all sorts of weird things? Go to a buffet. Want to see a bearded woman? Wal-Mart, aisle seven. But if you wanted to see a human with four arms, you went to the circus.
Circuses don’t have freak shows anymore, because obviously it’s taboo to stare at other people’s abnormalities. But there are still places to see animals with extra appendages. One of those places is Prairie Dog Town in Oakley, Kansas. I don’t know if it’s still open, but my wife and I stopped there during one leg of our honeymoon six years ago. Once you weave your way past the huge rattlesnake pit, the free-roaming diseased prairie dogs, and Roscoe the miniature donkey, you come across a five-legged cow and a six-legged steer.
The six-legged steer does not have six fully-grown, fully-functioning legs. Rather, it has four normal legs, plus two flaccid quasi-legs that hang off its rear end like mud flaps on a truck. I’m sure they only move when there’s a stiff breeze (or when the steer has a case of the air biscuits). Nevertheless, it’s still a sight to see.
Why is our world so fascinated with additional appendages? Why are we all polymelianiacs? Maybe it’s the same reason why we order extra cheese pizza and double cheeseburgers, or why we cheer for the extra-base hit in baseball. No matter how awesome something is, we always want a little more.