Wild pig with striking blue fat

This strange story is making the Internet rounds thanks to sharing sites like Imgur and Reddit. A pig shot on California farm has blue fat deposits in its entire body. The startling strange blue color is not normal and is only in the fat.

Exactly what caused a wild pig harvested in Morgan Hill to turn bright blue on the inside remains a mystery, but two state experts have a consistent and convincing theory.

Source: Blue pig shot at Morgan Hill ranch – Morgan Hill Times: News

A spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said experts have “occasionally” seen previous cases of wild pigs exhibiting a similar discoloration of their insides. In those cases, it was determined the affected animals had likely consumed chemicals that contained a blue dye.

“Pigs eat pesticides and rodenticides, and it stains the fat of the pig,” said Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan. “We recommend not eating the animal, and you should try to dispose of it so it doesn’t get back into the environment.”

Some dye is fat soluble. That means, within days of consuming blue food, it discolors the fat. I could find no indication that the mouth of the animal was discolored by the dye or that blue feces were found.

pig-with-blue-fat

Outdoor Hub notes that a wildlife official said that blue fat in pigs is seen occasionally in California, often a result of the animals eating ground squirrel bait that has this blue dye. But why the pig didn’t die from the poison is not clear. A reddit commentator linked to a pic of another blue pig.

Ugandans were publicly warned against eating blue pork back in 2002. The cause does not seem to have been found but it does sound similar. (Xinhuanet 2002-05-12 via ResearchGate)

It would be best if the people with the carcass have it tested to determine what the cause was since pesticides lying around consumed by other animals (pigs eat EVERYTHING) is not a good situation to have.

Some mystery mongering sites will make this into an alien or conspiracy thing (noting that the animal “has no blood!”). It’s not. Let’s stick to the science here.

Snopes has discussed it since the photo has gained such interest. Whatever the ultimate cause is, no one is saying the meat should be consumed but destroyed.

  5 comments for “Wild pig with striking blue fat

  1. Mark Riegel
    September 13, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    I do not like blue eggs and ham;
    I will not eat them, Sam-I-Am.

    (I’m so very sorry. Just couldn’t stop myself.) (And it’s no doubt already been said elsewhere.)

  2. Russian Skeptic
    September 21, 2015 at 3:14 PM

    This mystery seems too much like Photoshop. Is any chemical sufficient to dye fat in a live pig so bright? I doubt it.

  3. Monica
    September 24, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    Well said Mark. Hehe. .

  4. matt parfitt
    October 30, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    Blue staining bolete mushrooms.

  5. October 30, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Reference please.

Comments are closed.