Make us your home page
Instagram

Can you come up with a name for this two-headed calf?

Among the St Petersburg History Museum artifacts is this two-headed calf. It was born in Safety Harbor in 1925 with two heads and six legs. The museum is holding a naming contest and the winner will be announced at the Nov. 3 Two-Headed Calf Fest. DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times

Among the St Petersburg History Museum artifacts is this two-headed calf. It was born in Safety Harbor in 1925 with two heads and six legs. The museum is holding a naming contest and the winner will be announced at the Nov. 3 Two-Headed Calf Fest. DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times

The freaky two-headed calf born in Safety Harbor in the 1920s has long been a popular oddity at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, where its stuffed carcass has been on display.

But it has never had a name.

Deuce? Maybe famous twins, like Ashley and Mary-Kate? Ronde and Tiki?

On Nov. 3, the museum is holding a Two-Headed Calf Fest where attendees will vote for a name, earning the winner a weekend at the downtown Courtyard Marriott, as well as a free shuttle and gift certificates to five local breweries.

"We are hoping someone will come up with a name that really represents St. Petersburg, because let's face it, there's some weird stuff in this town," said Rui Farias, executive director of the museum since 2014.

The festival will embrace the weirdness with live music and food trucks, and, in keeping with the oddities theme, real mermaids and alligators, carnival side shows, a costume contest, craft beer and museum admission.

But the star of the festival has been nameless for 92 years.

Double Burger?

The baby beast was born in Safety Harbor in 1925 with two heads, six legs and two tails. It survived six weeks and was then stuffed by a taxidermist and donated to the museum. It has long been one of the more popular artifacts at the 95-year-old museum, which also houses a 3,000-year-old mummy left behind in 1922 by a boat captain who couldn't afford the local port fees. The mummy was accepted as payment.

Farias said past museum directors have questioned the random assortment of odd artifacts at the museum, but the two-headed calf remains one of its most popular items.

"We can't get rid of it, it's too iconic," Farias said. "It's part of weird St. Pete."

If you have a clever name for the calf, e-mail your entry to [email protected] by Oct. 30. A panel will choose two finalists and they will win free tickets to the museum's Two-Headed Calf Fest, where the calf's name will be announced.

St. Petersburg is among an elite circle of museums with a two-headed calf on display. The Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum in Gatlinburg, Tenn., has a full body taxidermy of a two-headed calf, as does the Yellowstone County Museum in Billings, Mont.

The cause, scientists say, is a rare condition called polycephaly, which is believed to occur when an embryo begins to split into twins but stops so that the twins remain attached.

So.... Polly?

ODDITIES: 25 fantastically kitcshy roadside attractions in Tampa Bay

HISTORY: Did local Indian mounds save Tampa Bay from Irma's worst? Some say yes

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

If you go

Two-Headed Calf Fest: 6-10 p.m. Nov. 3 with live music, food trucks and oddities such as real mermaids, alligators, carnival side shows and a costume contest. $30 in advance, $40 day. Includes museum admission. 335 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 894-1052. spmoh.com. To enter the calf naming contest, e-mail your entry to [email protected] by Oct. 30.

Can you come up with a name for this two-headed calf? 10/06/17 [Last modified: Friday, October 6, 2017 12:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. From the food editor: Five things I'm enjoying in the food world right now

    Cooking

    Sometimes your notebook is scribbled with little thoughts here and there, things you come across in the food world and want to share but aren't sure how or when. Well, folks, I need to get some of this off my chest. Here is a somewhat random collection of culinary things I am really enjoying right now:

    Espresso Sea Salt Cookie Sandwiches with a cooked buttercream frosting, from St. Petersburg home bakery Wandering Whisk Bakeshop. Photo by Jennifer Jacobs.
  2. Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins: Yacht rock paradise at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Music & Concerts

    Frosty wine coolers and a misty sunset sea breeze. White linen pants and a tilted captain's hat. Coconut milk and an awful lot of rum.

    Kenny Loggins performs during Little Kids Rock Benefit 2016 at Capitale on October 5, 2016 in New York City.
  3. New podcast: Songs for an '80s Halloween playlist

    Blogs

    It has to start with Thriller, right? No spooky song playlist from the '80s omits the Michael Jackson classic. Well, our list doesn't. (Though we do give Thriller its due.) Instead, this week's podcast aims for picking some more unusual tunes. (Okay, and a few obvious ones too.) 

  4. We asked Neil deGrasse Tyson to rate 'space things' like 'Star Wars' vs. 'Star Trek'

    Events

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is making a habit out of visiting Tampa.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 19. [Patrick Eccelsine/FOX]
  5. With new sponsor, tradition of Rattlesnake Festival continues in San Antonio

    Events

    SAN ANTONIO — About this time last year, everyone was preparing to bid adieu to a long-held tradition that was famous for giving some the creepy crawlers.

    The annual Rattlesnake Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday at San Antonio City Park.