I Can Has Cheezburger?

Wacky-Looking Animals From Olden Biblical Art

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    Working animal

    Starting out at the very beginning of the bible, one common subject of drawings is Adam naming all the animals. And well, there's a lot to unpack here. Adam is way bigger than all of the animals including the horse and the lion, he's giving them what can only be described as a death glare, and the lion has bird talons. Animals sure were different back then.

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  • 2
    Plant

    For comparison, here's another painting of the same scene. This one is a lot more colorful and detailed. But…all the animals have human faces, and they all look really angry? And the bugs are giant? Also…there's a unicorn? The more we look at this picture, the more there is to be confused about.

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    Horse - The Entry into Jerusalem, 1305, Giotto Di Bondone.

    …And here we see one of the famed biblical donkeys for whom the feast is named! Or half of one, anyway. Serious, where are its hind legs? How is Jesus riding only the front half of it? More importantly…why does it have a look on its face that says "I'm farting right now"?

  • 4
    Textile

    We can't honestly say we know exactly what's going on here, but we know it's biblical because the man has that halo thing around his head. Maybe Noah and the flood? Someone should probably let Noah know that fish are the one animal he DOESN'T need to save from the water. The fish sure looks scared to be dangled above the water and the other animals look like they're just holding their breath waiting for Noah to throw it back in!

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  • 5
    Requiem shark

    There's a lot of pretty amazing renderings of the whale from Jonah and the Whale, but there's something about this one that's just supremely hilarious. The whale looks like it smoked too much and doesn't know what's going on. Jonah's trying to reason with someone inside that mini-castle like "hey man, can you please just help me out here?" Amazing.

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    Wood - Ha
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    Textile
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    Temple - Book of Hours (Use of Rouen): fol. 13r, The Four Evangelists, Master of the Geneva Latini, c. 1470. (Cleveland Museum of Art)
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    Cartoon
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    Branch - "Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of a Great Tree", from a Postil made in Freiburg c.1393
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  • 11
    Picture frame
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    Textile - NOETOVG LAIOVG ACTRIBOTONICE

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About the Author

Ruth F. is an academic and a millennial in every sense of the word. When she isn't toppling industries, she can be found drinking coffee, skating, or giving relationship advice to anyone who even hints at needing it.

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