Sunday, 10 July 2011

Factipedia: Rhinoceros

The Rhinoceros, briefly classified as a unicorn due to a complex filing error in taxonomy in 1994 (granting it "mythical" status in the IUCN Red List and leading to the myriad of Rhinoceros defence systems in place across the world, and also (thanks to a by-law written into the Epsom rulebooks after a horse with an unusual growth wanted to compete in the 1922 derby and had to be waved through as a unicorn) leading to "African Dreams" winning the Derby before goring a fellow contestant and being disqualified) is one of the most famous species in the world, particularly the White Rhino, regularly papped out and about in southern Africa, usually grazing on grass, or, occasionally, trying to rub the cake from inside his skin. The Rhinoceros was invented as a cruel practical joke by Pliny the Elder, who wanted to trick his son. The joke backfired, and the 84-tonne prototype went feral on the streets of Rome (Several carvings illustrate this, with one such depiction showing a skulking horn round a corner, and the caption "Rhinoceros Urbus?!") before fleeing to southern Africa via Turkey (Constantinople is veritably littered with illustrations of the "Beast of Rome"). It bred, as rhinoceroses continue to do to this day to the bemusement of the scientific community, by asexual cell division. Recent skeletons show that it was originally 412 feet tall, but that decreased over time as food scarcity increased due to overpopulation. The modern rhinoceros, whilst not as big as its impressive forebears, still holds itself at a majestic 6 feet. The rhinoceros skin is considered harder than diamond and is used to make armour-plating for tanks, whilst its bones are all made from pure graphite. Popular culture depicts rhinoceroses as being hunted for their horns, but in reality, this is a myth. They are actually hunted and killed because they contain 4 gallons of printer ink inside each animal, and thus are the world's leading source of printer ink, contributing over 99% of the world's printer ink supply. The remainder is made up of expensive substitutes, and the small amount that elephants contain. the rhinoceros spittle is, on average, 2 on the pH scale, but has been recorded as low as -1.6, and has been known dissolve rock. Rhinoceroses are also notoriously long-lived, with some being as old as 157 years old, whereupon, to the constant bafflement of science, they die instantly. No-one has ever seen a rhinoceros less than 4 months old, even whilst watching the parent figure divide, and so they are considered "Provisionally invisible" by science, and are said to form the basis of ninjas.

I am allowed to edit Wikipedia. This is a situation that cannot continue if Wikipedia is to consider itself/be considered by others as a valid source of information for important work. I stress, not all of the above facts are true.

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