Telling Tails

Behind the scenes of Planet Of The ApesWarning: Those with weak stomachs may find this post a bit rough.

I’m in a bit of a time crunch today, but I wanted to throw out an idea for your consideration. First, from the wikipedia:

Infrequently, a child is born with a “soft tail”, which contains no vertebrae, but only blood vessels, muscles, and nerves, although there have been several documented cases of tails containing cartilage or up to five vertebrae. […] A man named Chandre Oram, who lives in West Bengal, a state in India, is famous because of his 33-centimetre (13 in) tail. It is not believed to be a true tail, however, but rather a case of spina bifida.

While it’s not technically a ‘true’ tail, here’s a bit of Mr Oram from Japanese television.

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– and, to add to your possible discomfort, here’s a clip I’ve little further information on, but which demonstrates a, uh, less-mushy ‘real’ tail.

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I/We consider these oddities, and possibly even off-putting, but the reason I mention it is this: how long will it be – twenty years? – until bioengineering advances can activate our ancient attributes on demand, and allow those interested (I’m looking at you, Furry community) to grow custom prehensile-tails?

I’m not a huge fan of the aesthetics, but it would be handy to have an extra grip on my coffee.