Anya's Worst Nightmare
December 25, 2010 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Japan's Okunoshima Island once produced chemical weapons. After 1945, the facilities where shut down but the buildings remained and the island became famous for something else: Being home to hundreds and hundreds of rabbits. ((via)
posted by The Whelk (28 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Today, there are some 300 rabbits living on the island."
"It is believed that rabbits were first taken to the island in 1971..."


So the rabbits have been breeding like what, exactly?
posted by forallmankind at 6:43 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


So the rabbits have been breeding like what, exactly?

Your mother?

Anyway, I have a friend who breeds rabbits but not to sell as pets- oh no- for food. To be honest I don't really mind it, I've eaten things like chicken feet and enjoyed it so the idea of eating rabbits doesn't bother me too much. However, whenever I see a rabbit or see a story about rabbits all I can think about is a rabbit between a pair of hamburger buns, versus squeeing with joy.
Sorry.
posted by lauratheexplorer at 6:54 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


> So the rabbits have been breeding like what, exactly?

They have been breeding like high caloric intake mammals in a confined space with limited food supplies. Bunnies, not so much.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:56 PM on December 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hope that someday all the US underground nuclear missile silos, decommissioned, will be home to millions of bats, who will fly out of them every evening in awesome, swirling black clouds.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 PM on December 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


So the rabbits have been breeding like what, exactly?

Like chemically sterilized rabbits?
posted by 445supermag at 6:59 PM on December 25, 2010


Burhanistan: "They have been breeding like high caloric intake mammals in a confined space with limited food supplies. Bunnies, not so much."

Spot on. The interesting thing is that, outside birds of prey & occasional human visitor, they're probably the apex organism on the island. Which suggests lots of unfilled ecological niches above and below them, and considerable environmental pressure to adapt to fill those niches.

Let's revisit this in 30,000 years and see what they've begun to evolve into
posted by Pinback at 7:10 PM on December 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


rarely do I agree with the comments on a news article but

I…um….i wanna go to magic bunny island.
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 PM on December 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


Like chemically sterilized rabbits?

I'm willing to help airdrop boxes of tiny rabbit-sized condoms if you're willing to stick around and teach them to use them.

They need to release some predators.

"It is believed that wolves were first taken to the island in 2010, after an elementary school in Takehara found it difficult to keep the animals at school."
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:29 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


see what they've begun to evolve into

The comic timing in that scene is fabulous. I watch it frequently. Eric Idle and Cleese are standouts, of course, but everyone except Gilliam is really great.
posted by maxwelton at 7:47 PM on December 25, 2010


*gets out the big stew pot*
posted by gomichild at 7:54 PM on December 25, 2010


Japan? Deadly chemicals? Small animals? Mysterious island?

I don't like where this is going.
posted by PlusDistance at 8:09 PM on December 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, when the Zombie Apocalypse hit, I know where I'm moving to. I'll bring along a lot of different sauces.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 8:14 PM on December 25, 2010


Wikipedia says that the rabbits were there originally as laboratory animals and set free after the place was shut down by school children who worked there as the animal caretakers.

But I'm sort of confused by the idea of school children working at a poison gas factory.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:18 PM on December 25, 2010


But I'm sort of confused by the idea of school children working at a poison gas factory.

Their small hands make them really useful for polishing the interior of shell casings for maximum dispersal.

But, whatever. ZOMG, bunnies!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:22 PM on December 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I also want to go to magic bunny island.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:38 PM on December 25, 2010


whenever I see a rabbit or see a story about rabbits all I can think about is a rabbit between a pair of hamburger buns

...all its little bunny friends watching, their little bunny mouths agape in horror. "She's eating Thumper! Laura, how could you?"

*sniff*
posted by ryanrs at 8:47 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's like a miniature Australia. See, now the next thing you do is to introduce myxomatosis.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:05 PM on December 25, 2010


all I can think about is a rabbit between a pair of hamburger buns, versus squeeing with joy.

On the "squeeing" tip, apparently rabbits making the most horrible, soul-rending sounds when they're killed. Someone I know said it put him off ever eating them again. (Not sure what the m.o. was.)
posted by kenko at 10:09 PM on December 25, 2010


And they hiss like cats when they're fighting. Or maybe that's just the males, I dunno.

This post is a bit like the University of Victoria situation, except with less human involvement.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:25 PM on December 25, 2010


Yeah, there are few things worse than the rabbit death scream. Especially if said rabbit is your pet and has been run down by a neighbors dog.

Have the bunnies stopped screaming, Clarice?
posted by elsietheeel at 10:35 PM on December 25, 2010


Imagine a boot stamping on a squeeky toy—forever. Plenty of uncoordinated flailing and kicking, too.
posted by ryanrs at 10:45 PM on December 25, 2010


I hope that someday all the US underground nuclear missile silos, decommissioned, will be home to millions of bats, who will fly out of them every evening in awesome, swirling black clouds

Well now. I know know what imagery will come forth whenever they get around to making a post-apocalyptic Castlevania game.
posted by yeloson at 11:16 PM on December 25, 2010


+1 for title, you win three (3) internets
posted by NoraReed at 12:37 AM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want to go to there.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:56 AM on December 26, 2010


I love that someplace so awful is now overrun with adorableness. Bunnies!
posted by Georgina at 2:52 AM on December 26, 2010


The island is close to where I live, and I finally went about six months ago.  I can assure everyone - the rabbits are fine (and very well fed!)  The remnants of the island's past are on display - gas storage tanks and kudzu-covered buildings, along with the two-room museum telling of its past.  

But the girlfriend and I went for the rabbits.  You take a 15-minute ferry, get off the boat, and a few brave rabbits will greet you - sniffing around to see what veggies you've got.  Others will dart your way once you flash some cabbage or a carrot.  It's a nice walk around the island - we spent the day there before running to get the last ferry home.  There's a resort hotel there too - a small golf course, some sad tennis courts, and the such - but we didn't stay.  The other daring thing is jumping the barriers of the factory to sneak some pics.  All in all, it was a good day.  We're planning on going back this spring with more veggies.
posted by serf4luv at 3:33 AM on December 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


"flash some cabbage" is my new favorite phrase.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:27 AM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I envision a big yellow raincoat thrown open. And a bunch of startled bunnies reacting with a mixture of greed and horror.
posted by Twang at 10:28 AM on December 27, 2010


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