“Well, just who do you think you are, honey?” flounced the insect quivering its wings in rage, “Zaphod Beeblebrox or something?”
“Count the heads,” said Zaphod in a low rasp.
— The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Chapter 6
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a new exhibit opening at the World Aquarium at the City Museum in St. Louis that celebrates two-headed-ness. And, they hope to set Ã¢â‚¬â€œ make that create Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a Guinness World Record for “Largest Exhibit of Two-headed Animals.”
On display will be We, the two-headed albino rat snake that the Aquarium tried to auction off on Ebay in January, but werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t allowed to because of the siteÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ban on the sale of live animals. Joining We, will be at least 10 other two-headed snakes and turtles, nine of which are owned by Fred Lally of West Fork, Ark.
Lally hopes this exhibit will help him branch out his animal exhibit business. Currently, he and his wife display the animals at fairs and festivals. This exhibit could boost the reputation of his collection and allow him to display in cooler surroundings. “I’d much rather make up (a display) that could go inside malls,” he said.
Leonard Sonnenschein, president of the World Aquarium, hopes that We will make friends during the exhibit and that little two-headed snakes will be the result. However, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not sure whether We is male, female or both. The aquarium has been trying to breed We since the failed auction earlier this year.
Two-headed snakes are rare, but have been found in the wild. Most likely they are lucky to be captured, as having two heads could make them vulnerable to predators. “Just watching them feed, often fighting over which head will swallow the prey, shows that feeding takes a good deal of time, during which they would be highly vulnerable to predators,” Gordon Burghardt, a herpetologist at the University of Tennessee, told National Geographic News back in 2002. “They also have a great deal of difficulty deciding which direction to go, and if they had to respond to an attack quickly they would just not be capable of it.”
The World Aquarium is part of the St. Louis Children’s Aquarium, a museum that educates the public with its hands-on, friendly exhibits and interactive programs.
The exhibit will run through Sept. 5. I think if he were real, Mr. Beeblebrox would say this exhibit was “Far Out!”
For more information:
World Aquarium at the City Museum
Life Is Confusing For Two-Headed Snakes
“If I had two heads like you, Zaphod, I could have hours of fun banging them against a wall.”
— The Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy Radio Series.