Mike The Headless Chicken...!?


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Have you ever imagined living in the world of reality without your head? WHAT!? Okay, let me rephrase it this way. Have you ever imagined any living organism could literally survive without its head? Probably not, right? Well, have you ever heard about the famous "Mike the headless chicken"? Date back to September 10th, 1945, a farmer named "Lloyd Olsen" was expected to kill a Wyandotte's rooster (Mike) for dinner. As he lifted his ax up in the air and chopped off Mike's head, somehow, the axe blade had missed the jugular vein and clot had prevented Mike from bleeding to death. This resulted to have most of Mike's brain stem to remain the same! 


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The next morning, Olsen found Mike...alive...sleeping. He was shocked and decided to take Mike to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to figure these complex questions about Mike. Those scientists were amazed by Mike's ability to be able to survive without his head! Later on, they came up with a conclusion that even though Mike's head had been chopped off, however, most of his brain stem and one ear was left on his body. According to the nature of a chicken that the brain stem is the main source to control their actions and behaviors. This is why Mike was able to survive!

Who could have ever imagined that Mike would be able to survive for 18 months without his head! Olsen said Mike carried on with his "chicken life" as an ordinary one. People in that area mentioned about Mike, "he was a big fat chicken who didn't know he didn't have a head" - "he seemed as happy as any other chicken." Nonetheless, sad story happened in March 1947. During the travel back home from tour, Olsen and Mike stopped at a motel in Phoenix. Olsen left Mike alone in the room. Suddenly, Mike started choking to death unable to breath in the middle of the night. He then passed away.

Ever since 1999, there is a festival in the memorial for Mike called "Mike the Headless Chicken Day", which occur every third weekend of May. There are many fun activities including in this event such as; "Run Like a Headless Chicken", "Pin the Head on the Chicken", eating contests, Mike's Market etc. For those of you who are interested in attending this fun event, just give it a go! As in the website says, "Attending this fun, family event is a NO BRAINER". 


1 Comment

This was such an intriguing blog post!It left me wondering how Mike choked though? Without an actual head, how did he eat? If he would've had a head would he have still died from choking? Is him not having a head the cause of his death? This blog really got me thinking about what was being said, and made me want to look into it.

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