Know what has “Oh Crap” written all over it? Ostrich racing. For proof, you've got to check out today's video.
Yep, totally bad idea. Can you imagine being on the back of a bird that's taller than an NBA player and can run up to 43 miles per hour, yet it has a brain the size of a Skittle? No thanks. I like how the one Ostrich just loses it completely and starts spinning around in circles.
As unappetizing as it may seem, ostrich racing is for real. It's fairly popular in modern-day South Africa and sporadically crops up elsewhere on the globe. Chandler, Arizona hosts an annual Ostrich Festival, which features ostrich races, and races also take place in Virginia City in Nevada, Canterbury Park in Minnesota, Prairie Meadows in Iowa, and Ellis Park in Kentucky.
The first thing to know is that riding an ostrich is nothing like riding a horse. But a quick side-by-side comparison, horse vs. ostrich, will show you why they are different.
Look into a horse’s eyes. You might see affection, indifference, loathing, fear–whatever it is, you’ll see something. You’ll sense that somewhere behind those eyes there’s a functioning brain, making decisions that might occasionally be described as rational.
Look into a ostrich’s eyes, and you’ll be able to check your hairdo. That’s about it. Gram for gram I don’t think ostriches’ brains are that much smaller than horses’, but ostriches clearly have a lot less neurons firing.
Look at the horse’s neck. Nice and sturdy, with all that handy mane to grab.
Look at the ostrich’s neck. If you have any doubts about its flimsiness, give it a little push. The neck will coil away from you like a large and hairy snake. Nothing to hang onto there.
Look at the horse’s legs. Four of ‘em. One on each corner. Kind of comforting, really.
Ostrich, two legs. Not as good.
In fact, riding an ostrich is remarkably like riding a pencil-necked two-hundred-and-fifty pound chicken.
Wow, that sure makes me want to go ride an ostrich. Not.
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