Family Finds Rare Animal on Vacation, Then Serves It For Dinner

Nothing like catching your own food and eating it on vacation. Except for when you find out that your nightly catch is an extremely rare species.

That’s what happened recently in Greece. While vacationing in the sunny southern European country, Labros Hydras captured an octopus while snorkeling, and not knowing that it happened to be an extremely rare hexapus, killed it and ended up preparing it for family dinner.

For those not in the know, a hexapus is an octopus with six legs instead of eight. There is dispute on where the first one was sighted, but it was either in the early nineties or 2008. And now there would have been yet another, if it hadn’t been consumed for dinner instead.

But when you have had a vacation tradition for years of catching your own seafood, should you be held responsible for your actions?

“It tasted just like a normal octopus, but now I feel really bad,” Hydras told The Telegraph. “When we caught it, there was nothing to suggest it was any different or had been damaged. I thought it had just been born with six tentacles.”

And in light of his actions, Hydras is insistent on doing what he can to remedy the situation. “Now I want to pursue the scientific angle to make scientists aware of the existence of the wild hexapus. It is the least that I can do given my ignorance and guilt that I feel for killing such a rare animal.”

Lesson: eating locally isn’t always the best policy.

10 unusual foods from around the world

Who doesn’t love trying new and exotic foods when traveling? Maybe some spicy curries in India, a selection of savory tapas in Spain, or some authentic…Pig’s Blood Cake? Check out this list of 10 unusual foods from around the world and see if your perspective on trying international cuisine doesn’t change.

Fried Tarantulas, Cambodia

According to Victoria Brewood at Bootsnall, you can find this delicacy in the streets of Sukon, Cambodia, fried whole with their legs, fangs, and all. Apparently, they taste great pan-fried with a pinch of garlic and salt and have a crispy outside and a gooey inside.

Pig’s Blood Cake, Taiwan

This unique dish is prepared with sticky rice and hot pig’s blood. When the mixture becomes solid it is coated with peanut powder and cilantro then formed into a flat cake and sliced. This meal is usually dipped in various sauces such as chili sauce, hot sauce, or soy sauce.Haggis, Scotland

This Scottish dish contains the internal organs of a sheep, including the liver, heart, and lungs. Mix this with some chopped onions, raw beef or mutton’s fat, salt, and spices. Once this is ready, you stuff it into a sheep intestine as sausage and simmer inside the animal’s stomach. Dinner will be ready in 3 hours!

Drunken Shrimp, China

When hearing the name of this dish, I had kind of hoped it was a cute play on words of some kind. In reality, the name should be taken very literally, as these are shrimp that are actually stunned with strong liquor and then consumed alive. Not shockingly, there have been some problems with this meal of uncooked seafood as there is the health risk of Paragonimiasis, a food-borne parasitic infection.

Live Octopus, Korea

I can’t help but think of Fear Factor as I write this entry. Sannakji, as it is known, is an octopus that is prepared and cut while still alive. It is served while still squirming, and should be chewed well as the suction of the tentacles can stick to the inside of your mouth and throat.

Silkworms, China

This insect is cultivated and bred in factories and sold in local markets for cooking. While you can prepare them anyway you like, popular silkworm dishes include Crispy Silkworms and Silkworm Kebabs.

Bear Claw Stew, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan

Soup made from the claws of bears is a delicacy in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and is literally sold for hundreds of dollars. The bear meat in the stew is actually believed to be a health and sexual-performance booster. According to as well as, environmentalists are protesting the practice of making bear claw stew, as bears are being tortured in front of diners before being cooked, as it is said to make the meat taste better.

Casu Marzu, Italy

This decomposing cheese made from sheep’s milk is, according to Alka Sharma of Environmental Graffiti, full of squirming white worms. Casu Marzu is made when the cheese fly lays its eggs, which is usually about 500 at one time, and the maggots that hatch eat their way through the cheese. Because the digestive system of the maggots breaks down the fat of the cheese, it gives it a very soft texture. The key to eating this unusual food is that it must be eaten while the maggots are still alive and wriggling, unless you want a bowl full of dead maggots (this, apparently, is considered unfit for consumption).

Ying Yang Fish, China

This fish is unlike most seafood delicacies, as it is half dead, half alive. While the top half of the fish is uncooked and moving, the bottom half is deep fried and covered in sweet and sour sauce.

Corn Fungus, Latin America

Also known as Corn Smut, this food, which looks very similar to grey brain matter, is a “pathogenic plant fungus that causes plant disease on maize (corn)” and is often used as filling for quesadillas. According to Martha Mendoza on, Corn Smut is actually good for you, as it contains protein, minerals, and other nutritional values.

Video of the Day: Eating live octopus

We’ve already discussed how much some people enjoy photographing their food. What happens, however, when your food is moving? Still images can’t capture the action of live animals squirming on your plate. Sound strange? Well, it happens. In Korean restaurants around the world, you can order live octopus. The tentacles move. The head throbs. The suction cups stick to your mouth. Weird? Sure. Delicious? Well, you know what they say: taste in the mouth in the ingester.

Dim Sum Dialogues: The MTR

I love public transport. For me, it’s one of the factors that define whether a city is good or great…and after living in Los Angeles for 4 years, I’ve been overdue to live in a city with great transportation. I’ve navigated the underground systems of most of the major U.S cities, as well as London, Barcelona, & Paris – but none of them are as efficient or well-maintained as Hong Kong’s MTR.

The initial proposal for the MTR system began with four rail lines in 1967, with the first line opening in 1979. It has since expanded to 82 stations served by 10 rapid transit lines and 68 stations on 11 light rail lines – carrying an estimated 2.2 million passengers every day.

Each MTR station has multiple street exits that are easily marked alphabetically, with accompanying numbers for exits that are near each other. For instance, if two exits share the same street or provide two stairwells to opposite sides of a street, they are paired as A1 & A2. This is extremely useful when trying to arrange a meeting point with someone in the city…simply name the station and the exit and there’s no confusion on where to be.

Since 2000, the MTR corporation has begun to offer retail space for small shops in most stations. So it’s typical to find stores like 7-11, Circle K, and Mrs. Fields Cookies in every major station, with larger stations offering full fledged clothing stores or health and beauty shops. Small MTR signs encourage people in transit to “pause, take a short break” in the shops – something that might be inconceivable amidst the bustling Monday-Friday rush hour from 6-7pm.

Glass walls with sliding doors separate the platforms from the railways, with overhead signs that display when the next train will arrive. The trains are fairly standard, with each car seamlessly linked to the next – allowing passengers to move freely to less crowded cars.

PSP’s and iPhone’s are the standard gadgets found in the hands of at least 60% of the passengers on any given day. Verbal announcements are made before every stop in Cantonese, Mandarin and English, respectively – and regularly remind passengers to refrain from eating or drinking in the trains or in the stations (which, to my surprise is strictly obeyed). LED signs above each door map the train’s progress on the line, and indicate which side of the train the doors will open on at the next stop. It’s smooth, fast, and cheap – the most you’ll end up paying from one end of the city to the other is the equivalent of $2 USD.

After about a month of riding the MTR, two facts dawned on me: first, there are no bathrooms to be found in any of the stations. This is probably the biggest drawback of the system – but with abundance of McDonald’s on Hong Kong’s streets, finding a nearby toilet is never really a problem. The second revelation was that some of the biggest shopping destinations are conveniently situated directly on top of a few of the major MTR stations.

After a couple of online searches, I learned that the MTR corporation is also one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong – collecting major profit from constructing shopping centers, office spaces, and residential buildings on the land above their stations…a perfect example of the sharp business sense that is prevalent in Hong Kong.

So if you’re headed to Hong Kong – rest assured that you’ll be able to find your way around very easily. If you’re planning on staying for more than a week, or will return frequently for business, don’t forget to pick up an Octopus card – the RFID system that allows you to load money onto a smart card for payment in supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, at parking meters and even vending machines. It’s genius, and just one more reason why I find the MTR to be one of the best rapid transit systems in the world.

The rest of the week I’ll be covering Hong Kong’s various modes of transport. Stay tuned to find out what makes the taxis here unique, and which public transport you can throw a party on…