Re: headless horseman

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Sun Jan 07 2001 - 11:24:06 MST

At 04:46 AM 01/07/2001 +0100, Anders Sandberg wrote:
>Spike Jones <> writes:
> >
> > Would the decapitated heart continue to beat? Would
> > the digestive system continue to digest? spike
>I think it is doable.

If you could leave the brain stem with the body, it might even be able to
take care of itself, long as you poured food & water down its throat.
Here's a story about a chicken who lived for 18 months without a head,
complete with photographs.



  So how was Mike able to survive? Scientists examined him and determined
that Mr. Olsen had not done a very good job at chopping Mike's head
off. Most of the head was actually removed, but one ear remained intact.
The slice actually missed the jugular vein and a clot prevented him from
bleeding to death. Apparently, most of a chicken's reflex actions are
located in the brain stem, which was also largely untouched. Mike was also
examined by the officers of several humane societies and was declared to
have been free from suffering.

Through his open esophagus, Mike was fed a mixture of ground up grain and
water with your typical eyedropper. Little bits of gravel were dropped down
his throat to help his gizzard grind up the food.

One serious problem that Mike commonly experienced was that he would start
to choke on his own mucus. The Olsens came up with the simple solution of
using a syringe to suck the mucus out. But, one day tragedy struck. Mike
was traveling back home to Fruita and was roosting with the Olsens in their
Phoenix motel room. They heard Mike choking in the middle of the night and
quickly realized that they had left the syringe at the sideshow the day
before. Miracle Mike was no more.

The exact date of Mike's belated departure from this world was never
recorded. Years later, it was estimated, based on Lloyd's information,
that Miracle Mike died in March of 1947. Eighteen months living without a
head could be considered a world's record. Yet, Lloyd didn't want to admit
that he had accidentally killed the bird, so he claimed that he had sold
the bird off. This little white lie is the reason that many of the stories
printed about Mike claimed that he was still touring the country as late as

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