Hunger Games fans, are you unsatisfied with this ho-hum world full of naturally occurring animals? Well, never fear! According to a New York Times article, the books’ symbolic mockingjay — the Capitol-flouting hybrid of a mockingbird and the fictional jabberjay spy bird — isn’t inconceivable. “The tools needed to modify organisms are already widely dispersed in industry and beyond. Do-it-yourself biology is growing,” writes James Gorman. He cited Freeman Dyson of the Princeton-based Institute for Advanced Study (former home to Albert Einstein), who “envisioned the tools of biotechnology spreading to everyone, including pet breeders and children, and leading to ‘an explosion of diversity of new living creatures.'”
The chance to hear the mockingjay’s rebel song got us thinking: What other fictional animals would we like to see made real? Read on for a few of our ideas, then share your own.
While we’re on the subject of fictional avians, let’s start with Big Bird. Zoologist Mike Dickison has beaten me to the punch, narrowing down Sesame Street‘s beloved yellow giant to a mix of, among other things, the nearly extinct whooping crane and a super-size yellow canary. Using this recipe, Big Bird could be sweeping the clouds away (thanks to his 8’2″ height) in the near future.
Scientists might need to dig further into the past to bring Big Bird’s pal Mr. Snuffleupagus from felt into the flesh. Snuffy is made up of woolly mammoth genes with a touch of Chihuahua (those eyes!). It would be tricky because woolly mammoths are extinct, but then again the Times article did make it sound like lots of things are available on the Internet these days, so why not mammoth DNA?
Another flying friend I’d like to meet is Falcor from The Neverending Story, a mash-up of a Pekingese, a Dalmatian pelican, and an albino peacock. Simple, right?
Finally, I would like some minions from Despicable Me. Admittedly, I have no idea how one would make these squeaky li’l guys come to life, but Danny DeVito is a good place to start.
That’s my wish list, PopWatchers. Your turn! Which fictional creatures would you like to see in real life? Fair warning: Playing pop culture God in this manner could very well mean the advent of tracker jackers. Those things don’t play well with others.