At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


Alice, the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle

In the picture above you see a scene from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland  in which Alice (and the Gryphon) meet the Mock Turtle.  Where did Carroll get the idea of the Mock Turtle.  There is a clue in the song the Mock Turtle sings

Beautiful soup so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen.

Mock Turtle Soup was a concoction served up in England in Victorian times.  It was not, however, made from a turtle.  It was an imitation made from a calf's head or hooves.  Sometimes even a bovine fetus was used.  As you can see from the illustration, the Mock Turtle boasts both a calf's head and hooves.  The reason for the invention of this disgusting olio was that it was cheaper than proper turtle soup.  How anyone was ever persuaded to ingest this revolting provender I cannot imagine.  Perhaps Carroll didn't think much of it either.  However, the Mock Turtle in song calls it

Soup of the evening, beautiful, beautiful soup.

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