animals

Japanese food blogger makes fried chicken poodles: “They’re too cute to eat!”

Whether our parents like it or not, food is an art form. Playing with food is awesome, and we’ve seen some spectacular examples of shaved-ice masterpieces, printed designs onto food, or corgi omelets.

But if you’ve been looking for a quick, easy artistic recipe you can do at home, look no further. Get ready to make the cutest little appetizers you’ve ever seen: fried poodles.

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Enjoy delicious pork sandwiches served to you by the manager of this katsu joint…who is also a pig

We’ve already talked at length about the complex feelings we have whenever we see an anthropomorphic mascot for a food joint shucking his own kin as delicious, greasy human grub. We bet you can’t even count the number of times you’ve walked by a chicken joint whose crazily grinning avian mascot was holding up a bucket of deep-fried drumsticks, or a contented pig sitting down – fork, knife, bib and all – to a barbecue rib feast and never really thought much of it.

Well, if the usually slapdash, cartoonish mascot on the sign of your local wing joint wasn’t in-your-face enough to disturb you with implications of animal cannibalism and the idea that you might just be eating animal protein that was once a creature with enough intelligence to talk and use kitchen utensils, maybe this Kanazawa, Japan pork restaurant ostensibly managed by a live, miniature pig is just the thing to kickstart your conscience, you monster.

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Japanese convenience store FamilyMart inadvertently gives away pearl in pack of seafood snacks

In a lot of ways, convenience stores in Japan are more like miniature supermarkets. So while they still sell a lot of the candy and canned beverages their counterparts in other countries specialize in, you can also find plenty of edible, even gourmet-sounding food.

For example, the chain FamilyMart sells pouches of fried scallop meat, specifically the mantle, or part of the animal that attaches it to its shell. There’s a certain level of risk that comes with eating any mass-produced foodstuff, though, as one customer found out when he found what he felt was a foreign object in his pack of marine mollusks. And while generally the only thing you want to find in your food is, well, food, we suppose if we had to find something else mixed in there, we’d want what he discovered hiding in his snack: a pearl.

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Japan’s Kawakami Dogs: Descended from wolves, adorable as puppies 【Video】

Many animal lovers are already familiar with Akita Inu and Shiba Inu, Japan’s two most prominent breeds of dog. But while they’re both popular choices as pets, there’s another special type of pooch in Japan, the Kawakami Inu.

Extremely rare, the Kawakami Inu are said to be descended from Japanese wolves. And while they have the courage you’d expect from such lineage, that doesn’t mean they’re not also adorable as puppies.

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Vietnamese police detain 16 pigeons on suspicion of being Chinese spies, discover true identities

With all of the advanced technology intelligence agencies can employ, plus the fact that so much information is now stored digitally, it’s easy to make the assumption that modern espionage is all hacking and drone surveillance. In fact, though, there’s still plenty of room in the spy game for carbon-based operatives working in the field.

As such, it’s the responsibility of militaries and police forces the world over to be on guard against organic espionage threats. So while you can admire the diligence and zeal shown by a group of citizens and police in Vietnam who captured and detained what they thought was a ring of 16 Chinese spies, the suspects turned out to be innocent.

They also happen to be pigeons.

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There could be a panda in your closet, and a blanket inside the panda with these storage cases

Staying warm during Japan’s chilly winters can be tricky, especially when it’s time to hit the sack. A lot of Japanese apartments don’t have the best insulation, so if you don’t want to blast the heater on high all night long, a nice warm blanket or down comforter is essential.

Unfortunately, six months later the weather becomes hot and muggy nationwide, so all those blankets need to be put away. And while you could just wrap them in plastic garbage bags and stick them in the closet until next winter, the far cuter option is to use a specialized case that looks like a snoozing bear, panda, or wolf.

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What happens when you scratch a capybara’s back? 【Video】

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell exactly what you’re getting with a video just from its title. For example, we recently looked at one called 100 Sizzling Japanese Maids in Action, which sounds like it should be a saucy little romp, but actually has more to do with frying pans, since it’s a cookware advertisement (albeit an awesome one).

On the other hand, the title of Scratching Many Capybaras lets you know exactly what it’s about. What it doesn’t tell you, though, is the adorable thing that happens next.

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These placid penguins really love taking a ride on this seal’s silky back【Photos】

The holiday period is well and truly over, and it’s cold, grey and generally blah outside. If this sounds like your life, then you could do with a penguin pick-me-up to perk you right up, courtesy of RocketNews24! We’ll even throw in a free seal to seal the deal! Join us after the jump for some adorable photos of a beautiful interspecies friendship!

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Man discovers fluffy wild deer nestled under porch, turns to Twitter for help

If you head out to the countryside in Japan you’re likely to notice that there’s a whole lot of wildlife to be found on these myriad islands. Whether it’s brown bears (Hokkaido), venomous snakes (Okinawa), or stinging centipedes (Everywhere), it’s important to be aware of what might be lurking. It’s not all creepy crawlies and bitey-stingies, though – there’s a possibility you’ll bump into capering monkeys, wild boar trotting down residential streets, and other adorable and fuzzy members of the animal kingdom. If you’re extra-lucky, one might even seek you out as a special friend, which is what happened to one bloke on Twitter when a deer decided to take up residence under his porch!

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The pets of Japan wish you a happy new year (some are happier about it than others)【Photos】

Just like how families in the west put lights on their homes and ornaments on trees for Christmas, Japan has its own traditional decorations for New Year’s. One of the most common is kagami mochi, a stack of two or three rice cakes topped with a mikan or daidai, both orange-like citrus fruits.

No one’s exactly sure why it’s called kagami mochi though, since even though the name literally means “mirror rice cake,” there’s no mirror included in the display. As a matter of fact, in the minds of some animal lovers in Japan, the design options for kagami mochi are wide open, as shown by this collection of photos where adorable pets take the place of the rice cakes.

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Pop-pom pigeons are topping Japan’s cute-o-meter this winter

Perhaps the (in)famous pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend has given the nation a soft spot for the feathered creatures, because Japanese people have been going crazy for cute pics of pigeons all fluffed up in the cold.

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Monkey pulls electrocuted buddy from train tracks, revives him as onlookers cheer【Video】

Tales of animals exhibiting unusual behaviour are too often the result of being kept in unnatural conditions in captivity – like that poor “headbanging” bear that was doing the rounds last summer. So we’re pleased to bring you today an interesting video of an animal being a total badass hero and rescuing his friend from a dangerous situation.

After a monkey was electrocuted and fell onto train tracks at a railway station in Northern India, another monkey spent 20 minutes resuscitating him, to the delight of cheering onlookers.

Join us after the jump for video of the dramatic rescue.

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Can’t cope with the feeding frenzy at meal times? Why not stack your cats!

As anyone from a multi-pet household can tell you, trying to feed several hungry animals at once without ending up covered in stinky, sloppy pet food and teeth marks is a serious task. If several of your fur buddies have special dietary requirements and/or special medicine that must be skilfully disguised in the morning’s Fancy Feast, then it gets even harder. If you’re looking for a way to make the whole operation a lot less of a hassle, you could take inspiration from this company president’s method of feeding his nine kitties. All you’ll need is a flight of stairs!

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Video of crafty cat’s escape from behind bars shows no simple cage can hold him

Japan’s comparatively cramped housing means there’s not only less room for a home’s human occupants, but for its animal residents as well. Because of this, you may sometimes see pets spending a few hours a day in cages that, in other countries, would ordinarily be able to run free around the house.

But if the sight of a cat behind bars makes you feel a little sad, you’ll be happy to know that at least one Japanese feline can apparently escape whenever he feels like it.

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Ninja-cat poised for attack, puns and a difficult dismount

We recently learned about some ninja tools and techniques that made use of cats, but maybe cats are actually the original ninja. This picture is more than enough evidence to prove that this theory is spot-on.

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Pooch’s attempt to get out of bathtime involves oddly slow, amazingly cute doggy paddle【GIF】

It seems like it’s not just humans, but every member of the animal kingdom in Japan that loves a nice, relaxing bath. Hot spring-loving monkeys have been attracting tourists to Japan’s rural onsen for decades, and capybaras’ bathtime privacy is also a thing of the past.

But that doesn’t mean all of Japan’s creatures are down for a dip in the tub, though, as this adorable pooch looks like he’s ready to make a break for it, even if it comes at the price of getting his paws wet.

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Adorable circular capybara formation proves they look cute even when doing something nasty

As someone whose eyes are closed in about 20 percent of his pictures, I’ve always thought it must be nice to be naturally photogenic. If nothing else, you must save a lot of time not having to snap a half-dozen photos in the same spot, just in case you look goofy in all but one.

For example, I have a hunch this group of capybaras in Kyushu looks good from just about any angle. Well, except maybe the one that would have revealed the gross activity they were actually involved in at the moment the shot was taken.

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One Piece New Year’s Eve Special apparently set to make series fans cry big, fat tears of pirate joy

Fans of the increasingly wacky and complex pirate world of One Piece will surely be either thrilled or horrified to know that there will be an all-new, super extra special New Year’s Eve broadcast of a One Piece animated film in Japan. As a fan, whether you fall into the thrilled or horrified category will probably depend on whether or not you currently reside in Japan, as the special is apparently set for just one single broadcast in the anime’s native country only.

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Video series of cats with mikan and kotatsu is also a cute survival guide for Japanese winter

Chilly as winter may get in Japan, we’ve got to admit there are some cool things about the coldest part of the year. For example, the Christmas decorations around Tokyo are amazing, and even if you’re not feeling up to braving the cold weather, Japan offers a couple of ways to make winter more bearable even if you’re staying indoors. High on the list are mikan, the mandarin oranges that’re at their tastiest in winter, and kotatsu, the blanket-covered, heater-equipped tables that’re so cozy it’s almost impossible to pull yourself out of one once you get situated comfortably.

Don’t take our word for it, though, as these adorable cats lounging though a Japanese winter serve as far better spokescreatures for mikan and kotatsu than we ever could.

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Dog seems to appear from plank of wood in either coolest pet trick or silliest astral projection

I can’t help but laugh every time I hear a story about people finding an image of Jesus in some household setting. It’s not so much their spiritual fervor that gives me a chuckle, though, but the incongruent nature of the logic being shown. On one hand, he’s powerful enough to send messages to true believers from across the boundaries of our mortal realm, but on the other, he chooses to make his appearance in a piece of singed toast or an oil stain on someone’s driveway?

Call me cynical, but I’m not convinced the son of God rolls that way. That kid of haphazard choice of manifestation setting seems more like the work of a lower being, like maybe a dog who’s still getting the hang of how to project himself through the astral plane.

Speaking of which…

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