What the freak is MRS. WINSLOW’S SOOTHING SYRUP?

Is your baby teething? Are you getting no sleep at night? Try some of Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup! One drop of this sweet serenity and your baby will sleep through the night! In fact, your baby might sleep forever! 

Open wide!
Miami U. Libraries – Digital Collections

One teaspoon of Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup contained enough morphine to kill the average child, yet this remedy was incredibly popular in the mid-late 19th century. 

How is this possible?

Drug companies were not yet required to put active ingredients on the label, so consumers had no way of knowing what was inside. You know what they say… “Ignorance is bliss until you start dying slowly.” They say that right?

That looks completely harmless!
Miami U. Libraries – Digital Collections

This syrup is now known as the “baby killer.” No one knows how many children died from the use of soothing syrup because doctors didn’t attribute a baby’s death to it. The recommended dosage for children six months old was one teaspoon, four times a day! At least they stopped teething?

Oof. 

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What the freak is that panda gremlin?

This gremlin looking creature is called the aye-aye. Found only on the island of Madagascar, most people have been spared the knowledge of its existence.

Until now.

The aye-aye’s knobby hands are the things you see opening your bedroom door in your nightmares. The creak of the door, as those bony fingers wrap around your doorframe is horror trope for good reason.

Picture this. 

You’re a little insect larva with your little larva friends peacefully traversing the length of your tree trunk home, when suddenly, the ceiling shakes. Fear takes over. You know what comes next – the finger of doom. You’ve seen the monstrous middle finger that digs underneath your tree bark ceiling snatch away other larvae, never to return again. So you run. And then everything. Goes. Black.

Wow. That was dark.

But that’s exactly what the aye-aye does. It knocks on the bark of trees with its long middle finger and listens for movement under the bark. It then uses the same middle finger to fish little critters out. 

The aye-aye are considered a bad omen to many native people of Madagascar, so the natives used to kill them on sight. Nowadays they are protected by law, but that would explain why aye-ayes have bugged out eyes and an expression of suspicion permanently etched onto their faces.

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What the freak is that cat-dog-mongoose?

With every picture of the fossa, I get more and more confused. What exactly is it? A dog? A cat? A mongoose? Frustrated with vague-looking pictures, I turn to its scientific name for answers. 

The genus is Cryptoprocta. This translates to “hidden anus,” named after the pouch that conceals its anus. Absolutely no help. Thank you science.

Fossa on the hunt.
Source

Recent studies have placed the fossa in the Eupleridae family, which would explain the mongoose traits, and why they are only found in Madagascar.

Animals in the Eupleridae family are thought to be descended from mongoose-like ancestors that populated Madagascar 20 million years ago.

Omnomomom.
Source

What’s even more interesting, is their mating system. A female will sit high in a tree and watch all the males below compete amongst each other for her affections. Once satisfied, she climbs down and may mate with several suitors over the next week.

As soon as she steps down from the tree, a waiting female climbs up and repeats the process. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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