ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 6th August 2017, 09:53 AM   #1
Mackenberg
Thinker
 
Mackenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 148
Now trending: Russian "How to make a homunculus" videos

My son alerted me to these videos, which purport to show a method for creating an artificial lifeform by injecting a chicken's egg with human semen. After incubation, the eggs are cracked open and seemingly disgorge various bizarre creatures. The videos have been on YouTube since 2015 but are now undergoing a bit of viral spread.

Taking the obvious biological impossibilities as read, some of the "creatures" do exhibit realistic movements. Skeptics have created more-or-less convincing demo. videos of their own, using modeling clay and magnets to illustrate how the illusion might be performed.

The clay and magnet explanation is, however, less convincing in debunking some of the more elaborate "creatures". I strongly suspect that the creator of the original videos has been experimenting with organic props and puppets; basically - as my son pointed out - reinventing the Feejee Mermaid for the YouTube generation. A section of beef tongue makes a plausibly organic slug-like "body", especially when animated by concealed magnets; glue on some live, writhing maggots (yes, this is as revolting as it sounds) and the illusion is complete.

Copycat videos have also appeared, some featuring complete living animals such as shrimp emerging from the egg shells.

It's all very distasteful, but also an interesting example of hoaxer ingenuity.
Mackenberg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th August 2017, 10:49 AM   #2
sadhatter
Philosopher
 
sadhatter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,258
Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
My son alerted me to these videos, which purport to show a method for creating an artificial lifeform by injecting a chicken's egg with human semen. After incubation, the eggs are cracked open and seemingly disgorge various bizarre creatures. The videos have been on YouTube since 2015 but are now undergoing a bit of viral spread.

Taking the obvious biological impossibilities as read, some of the "creatures" do exhibit realistic movements. Skeptics have created more-or-less convincing demo. videos of their own, using modeling clay and magnets to illustrate how the illusion might be performed.

The clay and magnet explanation is, however, less convincing in debunking some of the more elaborate "creatures". I strongly suspect that the creator of the original videos has been experimenting with organic props and puppets; basically - as my son pointed out - reinventing the Feejee Mermaid for the YouTube generation. A section of beef tongue makes a plausibly organic slug-like "body", especially when animated by concealed magnets; glue on some live, writhing maggots (yes, this is as revolting as it sounds) and the illusion is complete.

Copycat videos have also appeared, some featuring complete living animals such as shrimp emerging from the egg shells.

It's all very distasteful, but also an interesting example of hoaxer ingenuity.
I got shown this while running a program in schools for 11 to 13 year old boys.

What kind of took me back was how much they believed it, and that the reason was that they were so popular they had to be real.

As a trend it kind of scares me. The Internet should be a great tool for debunking this garbage but the rise of Internet culture is promoting it.
sadhatter is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th August 2017, 10:53 AM   #3
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22,640
In before the inevitable Trump jokes!!!

This signature is intended to irradiate people.
theprestige is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th August 2017, 11:17 AM   #4
shemp
a flimsy character...perfidious and despised
 
shemp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: People's Democratic Republic of Planet X
Posts: 25,268
The important question is, how do they taste?
__________________
"Shemp, you are the one fixed point in an ever-changing universe." - Beady

"I don't want to live in a world without shemp." - Quarky

"I'll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!"
shemp is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th August 2017, 11:39 AM   #5
Mackenberg
Thinker
 
Mackenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 148
Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
I got shown this while running a program in schools for 11 to 13 year old boys.

What kind of took me back was how much they believed it, and that the reason was that they were so popular they had to be real.

As a trend it kind of scares me. The Internet should be a great tool for debunking this garbage but the rise of Internet culture is promoting it.
My son also works with kids in that age range and it bothers him for the same reasons. To be fair, there are also quite a few debunking videos out there, but of course they don't attract nearly the same attention.
Mackenberg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th August 2017, 10:21 AM   #6
jakesteele
Fait Accompli
 
jakesteele's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Rain City
Posts: 2,090
Originally Posted by shemp View Post
The important question is, how do they taste?
They taste just like chicken.
__________________

Beware of the person who believes
in their own sincerity
jakesteele is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th September 2017, 01:42 AM   #7
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 21,048
Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
As a trend it kind of scares me. The Internet should be a great tool for debunking this garbage but the rise of Internet culture is promoting it.
The internet is a great tool for debunking this garbage.

Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
My son alerted me to these videos, which purport to show a method for creating an artificial lifeform by injecting a chicken's egg with human semen.
I guess a "which came first" pun would be inappropriate for this thread?

Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
Taking the obvious biological impossibilities as read, some of the "creatures" do exhibit realistic movements. Skeptics have created more-or-less convincing demo. videos of their own, using modeling clay and magnets to illustrate how the illusion might be performed.

The clay and magnet explanation is, however, less convincing in debunking some of the more elaborate "creatures". I strongly suspect that the creator of the original videos has been experimenting with organic props and puppets; basically - as my son pointed out - reinventing the Feejee Mermaid for the YouTube generation. A section of beef tongue makes a plausibly organic slug-like "body", especially when animated by concealed magnets; glue on some live, writhing maggots (yes, this is as revolting as it sounds) and the illusion is complete.
That's possible, and it wouldn't necessarily be unheard of for people to go to some thoroughly disgusting lengths for a neat effect I guess; but in 2017 it's not even necessary. Take the following video for instance - part of a vastly larger sci-fi project that's worth having a look at in its own right, but that's a digression I suppose - here you'll see an effect that required no "real" grossness at all to produce an effect not at all dissimilar from the kinds of things you see in these "homunculus" videos:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th September 2017, 12:19 PM   #8
sadhatter
Philosopher
 
sadhatter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,258
Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
My son also works with kids in that age range and it bothers him for the same reasons. To be fair, there are also quite a few debunking videos out there, but of course they don't attract nearly the same attention.
Yeah I tried that, but there was this odd vibe of "this is boring so if you believe it you are not cool". It seriously felt like I was talking to aliens. "Who the hell watches this ****" was a direct quote in regards to debunking videos.
sadhatter is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th September 2017, 02:59 PM   #9
Mackenberg
Thinker
 
Mackenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 148
The modular body footage is fascinating but the "homunculus" video I was thinking of pretty clearly was just a hunk of beef tongue with some maggots glued to it, puppeteered via magnets. That said, I'd be willing to bet that the purveyors of homunculus videos would love to get their hands on some modular body tech.
Mackenberg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th September 2017, 03:02 PM   #10
Mackenberg
Thinker
 
Mackenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 148
Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
Yeah I tried that, but there was this odd vibe of "this is boring so if you believe it you are not cool". It seriously felt like I was talking to aliens. "Who the hell watches this ****" was a direct quote in regards to debunking videos.
Yep - that's why I keep saying that skeptics need to up their pizzazz game and make debunking interesting/gross/cool/etc. enough to keep pace with the hokum.
Mackenberg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th September 2017, 09:36 PM   #11
TheSapient
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 400
Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
The modular body footage is fascinating but the "homunculus" video I was thinking of pretty clearly was just a hunk of beef tongue with some maggots glued to it, puppeteered via magnets. That said, I'd be willing to bet that the purveyors of homunculus videos would love to get their hands on some modular body tech.
To be clear, the Modular Body footage is CGI that is part of a science fiction story.
TheSapient is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th September 2017, 01:00 AM   #12
Mackenberg
Thinker
 
Mackenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 148
That was clear, but thanks.
Mackenberg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:52 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.