Sunday, September 23, 2018
Events

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

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.

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