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Some of the best mimics are not only entertainers (Michael Winslow from the Police Academy films could imitate literally thousands of different noises), but are also found in nature. While talking parrots are pretty fascinating, nature is filled with many other peculiar mimics that use their incredible abilities to avoid predators.

From the disgraced PR man who mocked a reporter to the creepy synthetic mouth that imitates human speech, check out these ten bizarre tales of mimicry.

1

The man who mimicked a news reporter seconds after leaving court

Sky News said it best when they captioned a bizarre video of former PR guru Max Clifford on their YouTube channel: “During his trial, Max Clifford couldn’t resist the lure of the media.”

The video shows Clifford walking out of the Southwark Crown Court in London and mimicking a reporter, Tom Parmenter, behind his back.

In May 2014, 71-year-old Clifford was found guilty of sex crimes against four women. After leaving court, he seemed to take his 11 counts of indecent assault a little too lightly—by strangely imitating Parmenter’s hand movements and mannerisms.

Clifford assaulted the women and girls between 1977 and 1984. (One of his victims was only 15 at the time.)

Regardless of his mocking gestures, he was otherwise silent when he was found guilty of indecent assault. He also refused to apologize to his victims as he posed for pictures outside of court.
(Source | Photo)

2

The bird that mimicked its former owners’ argument

In February 2015, reports of a Moluccan cockatoo imitating its former owners hit the Internet.

The bird, named Peaches, was previously owned by a couple going through a divorce. She imitates them arguing, and dramatically moves her head as if pointing aggressively at another person, ruffled feathers and all.

“We had Peaches for several days when one afternoon she began ranting and raving as if blessing (scolding) someone out,” Don Sigmon, Peaches’ new owner, said.

His wife, Elaine Sigmon, agrees. “My husband was sitting in the chair near her perch, and she began to point her head toward him, just like someone pointing their finger while arguing. We’re not sure what she is saying, but she is really giving her opinion.”

Peaches goes on these rants “once or twice a day.” Don and Elaine find them “hilarious.”

(Source | Photo)

3

The octopus that can mimic over a dozen different species

The mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) was discovered in 1998 in the waters off Sulawesi, Indonesia. Its habitat consists of shallow, open, sandy plains with minimal reef and coral cover. Unfortunately, this leaves the tiny octopus vulnerable to predators.

Despite its vulnerability, Mystique from the X-Men has nothing on this octopus! This master of camouflage can change color to disguise itself into the reefs surrounding it. It can also imitate many different species of underwater life by shapeshifting. This unique octopus can impersonate a diverse range of species—at least 13 have been recorded so far—including lionfish, sea snakes, jellyfish, and sea anemones.

Most of the impersonated species are poisonous, giving the mimic octopus protection from predators, but it is also known to imitate members of the opposite sex in crabs, luring them in before feasting on them.
(Source | Photo)

4

The Argentine president’s bizarre tweet that mocked a Chinese accent

In February 2015, the Twitterverse exploded when Argentine President Cristina Fernandez posted an offensive tweet after her meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on a state visit to China to raise investment in the recession-hit South American economy.

Following the meeting, Fernandez sent a tweet to her over 3.5 million followers in Spanish that roughly translates as: “Did they only come for lice and petloleum?” Apparently, Fernandez mimicked a Chinese accent by switching “r’s” with “l’s.” Seconds later, she apologized, saying, “Sorry, the levels of ridiculousness and absurdity are so high they can only be digested with humor.” However, the tweet was already out there, and damage was done.

Angry Twitterers responded immediately. Among them was @FaundezLafarga, who wrote: “Cristina Fernandez’s lack of tact and respect is incredible. She goes to China looking for (economic) agreements and she makes fun of their accents.”

A Weibo (a Twitter-like platform) user wrote: “It’s Japanese and Koreans who are unable to differentiate between L and R, not the Chinese.”

Fernandez’s term ends in October 2015. Let’s hope that tweet is the last of her phonetic faux pas. (Source | Photo)

5

The man who can mimic a bark so well, he can even fool dogs

A Finnish dog magician (yes, there is such a thing), Jose Ahonen, made a career out of confusing and confounding canines by performing slight of hand magic tricks on them.

In addition to his mutt magic, Ahonen decided to conduct a behavioral experiment on his furry friends. He asked comedian and voice actor Rudi Rok to bark at several dogs. The man can mimic a dog’s bark so well, it seems like he can hold a conversation with them!

The hilarious result of Rok & Ahonen’s barking experiment is equivalent to “Dueling Banjos” in the dog world. Watch below!

(Source | Photo)

6

The elephant that can mimic a human voice

Let’s turn the tables. How about an animal that can mimic a human voice? In November 2012, it was reported that a 22-year-old male elephant, Koshik, had learned to speak Korean words by keeping his trunk in his mouth.

Koshik’s vocabulary consists of five Korean words—annyong (hello), anja (sit down), aniya(no), nuo (lie down), and choah (good).

Researchers have found that Koshik imitates human speech by matching his pitch and timbre with that of his trainers’ voices. Angela Stoeger, a professor at the University of Vienna, said, “The elephant is capable of matching both pitch and timbre patterns. He accurately imitates human formants as well as the voice pitch of his trainers. This is remarkable, considering the huge size, the long vocal tract, and other anatomical differences between an elephant and a human.”

While there is no evidence showing that Koshik understands the words he speaks, and nobody is even sure how he started to mimic humans in the first place, one thing is for sure—this elephant knows more Korean than this writer does!
(Source | Photo)

7

The men who scar themselves to look like crocodiles in a coming of age ritual

For male members of the Chambri tribe living along the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, there is an ancient initiation tradition that turns boys not into men, but into crocodiles. The tribe practices crocodile scarification, a ritual for boys entering manhood during which their skin is cut and scarred to represent the scales of a crocodile.

The ceremony surrounding this tradition requires a youth to be cut on his back, chest and buttocks to mimic the coarse skin of a crocodile. It is thought that this reptilian divinity consumes a boy during the bloody process and leaves a man in his place.

Before physical scars are given to the youthful tribe members, they are at first subjected to mental humiliation in a ritual that can take weeks. Boys are referred to as women and regarded that way to toughen them up for the scarification process.

The only way the boys are allowed to numb the pain is by munching on a plant with healing qualities. They then stretch out in front of a fire so smoke can blow into the deep nicks while clay and tree oil is rubbed on the lesions to help them maintain their raised scale shape. When the ritual is complete, a celebration takes place where the boys don headdresses and jewelry.

Sometimes this excruciating process ends in death. Now, THAT’S dedication! (Source | Photo)

8

The Japanese toy that can mimic a pet’s emotions

The block-shaped Rocobo mimics your four-legged friends by flapping its ears and twitching its tiny legs when it gets excited. It is sensitive to different sounds—if you place the virtual creature on your nightstand beside your alarm clock, the sound of the alarm will jar you both awake in the morning. If you don’t feel like waking your Rocobo with sound, you can always awaken it from its slumber by pressing a button on the top of its square head.

If you treat your Rocobo nicely, it will sing a song to you. How’s that for electronic loyalty?

Released in 2008, the Rocobo came in six color and pattern combinations. The toy quickly proved popular but is now listed as “currently unavailable” on Amazon. Perhaps a new wave of interactive pets is on the horizon? (Source | Photo)

9

The 5-year-old boy that can perfectly mimic Bruce Lee’s moves

A video featuring a five-year-old Japanese boy named Ryusei mimicking Bruce Lee’s every move from his 1972 classic film Game of Death went viral on YouTube and blew minds worldwide.

Ryusei not only replicates every move of Lee’s martial arts style to perfection, but he also wears the legend’s iconic yellow and black tracksuit from the film. Ryusei even shows that he is extremely well versed in the use of nunchaku—the martial arts weapon that consists of two sticks that are connected by either a short rope or chain.

File under: “bad ass.”

(Source | Photo)

10

The synthetic mouth that can mimic human speech

Engineers and scientists at Kagawa University in Japan have been working on an interesting and extremely creepy device—a synthetic mouth, tongue and windpipe that can physically produce human speech. The sounds emitted from the “mouth” are not produced by prerecorded files but are made the old fashioned way—by air and synthetic body parts.

The robotic mouth makes sounds similar to the way humans do. Air is forced through tubes in its throat and sound is produced in a synthetic mouth, tongue, and nasal cavity. A metal box underneath the tube is the compressor, representing the lungs. It pushes air through the plastic tubes and out through the mouth, which uses robotics to move the “lips” into the same shapes we use to speak.

There’s even a tongue inside to add to the mouth’s overall creepiness, and there is a bulge that replicates the human nasal cavity, which also has a part to play in the way our voices work.

Development on these synthetic mouths started a few years ago. Currently, it is not known if this technology has reached the sex toy industry. (Oh, come on! You know that thought has crossed your mind while reading this!)
(Source | Photo)

BONUS: DUDE DOES CRAZY ANIMAL SOUNDS!

10 Bizarre Cases Of Mimicry

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