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Synthetic Rhino Horn / Tiger Wang

Save endangered species from the stupid
  [vote for,

I can't be the first one to have thought of this right?

Stupid people are big fans of elixirs made out of the parts of endangered animals. Anything can be synthesized, so why not synthesize rhino horn or tiger junk and sell it to stupid people so they'll leave the real animals alone?

I'm usually against fake products taking advantage of morons, but in this case it's for the greater good.

I post this knowing full well somebody has to have thought of this before no?

doctorremulac3, Apr 04 2012

Rhinos... http://apnews.myway...0404/D9TU21IG0.html
[doctorremulac3, Apr 04 2012]

...tigers... http://blogs.landfo...chingtcm/economics/
[doctorremulac3, Apr 04 2012]

...bears. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bile_bear
Don't click this one if you've got a weak stomach. [doctorremulac3, Apr 04 2012]

BBC: Rhino horn raiders steal replicas from Tring museum http://www.bbc.co.u...ucks-herts-14693144
Stupid thieves. [hippo, Apr 04 2012]

Chinese_20medicine_20scam //I can't be the first one to have thought of this right?// Right. [spidermother, Apr 05 2012]

In the oven http://www.snopes.c...ino-horn-developed/
[notexactly, Mar 27 2017]


       ...before no?
Is this BC or AD?
xandram, Apr 04 2012

       Just want to clarify, this would not be fake, it would be government certified actual synthesized endangered animal part. You'd appeal to the morons small sliver of intellect that understands that we really can synthesize anything these days.   

       Hell, maybe even throw in a little Viagra to make it actually do something.
doctorremulac3, Apr 04 2012

       How strange, I was thinking of way to give bears fake gall bladders about 4 hours ago. It all means nothing.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 04 2012

       I'm not so sure about the "anything can be synthesized" part. Can you back that up?
normzone, Apr 04 2012

       I too question the assertion that _anything_ can be synthesized; that smacks of Star Trek tech to me. However, if the components and ratios of a substance can be determined via mass spec, shirley there's a good chance it can be recreated in powdered form?   

       My bun has already been thrown, but I must add my compliments for this 'bake. Anything that benefits the sacred rhinoceros deserves the full gratitude of the masses.
Alterother, Apr 04 2012

       rhinos and tigers and bears... oh my.
RayfordSteele, Apr 04 2012

       Sure, everything in the universe is made of of some combination of elements from the periodic chart. Rhino horn is probably just keratin, or collagen or some kind of protein thing that could easily be duplicated. The problem you get into is that chemists usually work trying to synthesize "active ingredients". So what do you tell the chemist when you want to synthesize something that has no active ingredients? It's almost more of a problem of semantics than chemistry.   

       That being said, throw rhino horn into a mass spectrometer as suggested, find out what's in it and throw those ingredients into a display bottle with a picture of a muscular guy surrounded by hot women and call it "Rhino Horn Essence Boner Juice". Then have an official government label (because if the government say is, it must be true) that says "Contains the government certified exact same ingredients as rhino horn." The stupid get to spend their money on something stupid and no rhinos get killed. Besides, who's going to return it and say "I've still got a small wiener, this must not be pure rhino horn! I want my money back!"   

       You know, reading that BBC piece makes me think they should just load the market with actual fake molded rhino horns to glut the market and lower the price down to where it's not worth killing real rhinos. We can put a man on the moon, we can make rhino horns that will fool people stupid enough to trade in rhino horns. (And yes, I claim credit for the term "actual fake")
doctorremulac3, Apr 04 2012

       The horn of the Holy Rhinoceros is indeed mostly keratin, with a few simple carbon chains and a smattering of magical unobtainium, which gives the sacred beast his almighty powers.
Alterother, Apr 04 2012

       1) Saturate the market with fake rhino horn.
2) Create an inexpensive rhino horm test kit.
3) Sell the test kit at or below cost to corner the market on test kits.
4) Start modifying the chemistry of the test kit so it will test positive for your "actual fake" rhino horns.
5) After a while, modify the chemistry again so it will test positive for freshly harvested rhino horn as well as the "actual fakes", but will test negative on real rhino horn that has been detatched from the rhino for more than a week or two.
6) Get some false media attention about made up instances of violence among rhino harvesting poachers and dealers who are stealing real rhino horns from their associates and replacing them with fakes.
7) This seed of doubt along with the updated test kits will cause actual problems amoung poachers and dealers, reducing their effectiveness and profitability.
8) Corner the market on rhino horns with "actual fake" rhino horns sold at a premium price due to the upheaval in the normal supply chain.
9) Collect lots of money.
10) Build a very large secure compond for protection in preparation for the time when people finally catch on.
scad mientist, Apr 04 2012

       You had me at #1, but I especially like the addition of #9.
doctorremulac3, Apr 04 2012

       //everything in the universe is made of of some combination of elements from the periodic chart. Rhino horn is probably just keratin, or collagen or...//   

       Microstructure, dammit.
mouseposture, Apr 04 2012

       //I can't be the first one to have thought of this right?//   

       Spot on. I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of rhino-horn-powder and tiger todger are fake already.   

       What most people don't realize, though, is that most of the (allegedly small) population of rhinos are themselves fake.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 04 2012

       You know, I had thought about that. (The fake tiger todger, not the fake rhinos) Why on earth would somebody go through all the trouble and expense of procuring real rhino horn when I guarantee I can whip up a reasonable analog with material that probably costs pennies a pound? Do people know the difference? It's not like drugs where you either get high or don't. Any effect on the libido, sexual performance or manhood size is placebo effect anyway. I also doubt people have test kits.   

       You can't go to a slaughter house, get all the bull wieners and grind them up to sell as tiger dong tea? No, we're actually going to go to Africa and risk getting shot by park rangers (who will kill you over there) or arrested at the airport to bring in the real stuff.   

       Clearly there's something I'm missing about this industry.
doctorremulac3, Apr 04 2012

       //Clearly there's something I'm missing about this industry.//   

       There is. It's moved on a lot in the last couple of decades. Low sodium rhino horn, low cholesterol tiger willy, probiotic river dolphin... the market demands more these days.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 04 2012

       I have a simpler solution to the rhino/elephant/tiger poaching problem:   

       Step 1: anyone caught poaching endangered or protected animals will be shot in the head with a .45.   

       Step 2: there is no Step 2.   

       Were I in the position, I would do it myself. I mean that. I'm not boasting.
Alterother, Apr 04 2012

       //Step 2// reload.
FlyingToaster, Apr 04 2012

       //Anyone caught poaching endangered or protected animals will be shot in the head with a .45. //   

       Cue "Quite right too. Casseroling brings out the flavour so much better." joke.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 04 2012

       //Sure, everything in the universe is made of of some combination of elements from the periodic chart.// As it happens, nearly everything in the universe is _not_ made up of elements at all. Obvious examples are light and black holes, but there are many more, and collectively they outmass ordinary atomic matter.
spidermother, Apr 05 2012

       Rhino stem cells? If there's that much money in this, and there probably is, then set up a cloned rhino bits institute, part of the proceeds go to rhino conservation.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 05 2012

       // As it happens, nearly everything in the universe is _not_ made up of elements at all. //   

       The universe's primary constituent by volume is nothing, which definitely promotes your assertion.   

       // part of the proceeds go to rhino conservation //   

       Good, we're running low on ammo.
Alterother, Apr 05 2012

       Not everything is a thing. To be a "thing" people would have to commonly refer to it as such.   

       You never hear: Q- "What is light?" A-"It's that thing that comes out of a lightbulb when you turn it on."   

       Light would be more accurately referred to as "stuff".
doctorremulac3, Apr 05 2012

       //Not everything is a thing// You are hoist with your own petard. I would suggest that 'everything' is not the same as 'every thing'. By your own admission, 'everything' comprises things and non-things, including, presumably, stuff.
spidermother, Apr 05 2012

       // As it happens, nearly everything in the universe is _not_ made up of elements at all. Obvious examples are light and black holes // Luckily we have yet to discover black holes inside a rhino horn, and the light is easy enough to replace once it leaks out, so in this case I think me might be okay making the synthesized rhino horn out of just elements.
scad mientist, Apr 05 2012

       //Anyone caught poaching endangered or protected animals will be shot in the head with a .45. //

Which was almost precisely the method adopted by Richard Leakey when he was Director of Wildlife in Kenya. Poachers (defined as being "anyone in a wildlife reserve who isn't a warden") were shot, without warning. ("Almost" because I think a .303 was used.)

As to the idea, I suspect that a price premium would develop for non-synthesized product, just as one has for organic vegetables.
angel, Apr 05 2012

       There is a problem with the allure of the exotic which makes rhino horn more expensive. This kind of thing is a major problem for me as people perceive the exotic as more worthwhile than remedies which allegedly do the same thing. In a sense, there is such a thing as fake rhino horn, in two botanical forms: false unicorn root and true unicorn root: one is "genuine fake" rhino horn and the other "fake fake" rhino horn. As it happens, for the first time ever someone made an enquiry yesterday about false unicorn root, and on doing the maths i realised i couldn't justify selling if for under four gross quid a half-litre so it ain't gonna happen.   

       One thing which would definitely be an interesting approach here would be to manufacture products which are therapeutic, popular or nutritious but not veggie, such as chondroitin, from vegetable sources, particularly certain fatty acids.   

       Historically it was common for parts of mythical animals to pop up here and there like religious relics, including of course the alicorn (narwhal tusk passed off as a unicorn horn) but also gryphon claws (antelope horns i think). A few of these have hung over in linguistic terms, such as the two unicorn roots and of course dragon's blood. They are in fact very annoying because they carry a kudos which is undeserved and distorts their value. However,that presumably means they sometimes have a stronger placebo effect.
nineteenthly, Apr 05 2012

       Also a good idea would be fake shark fin for making shark fin soup out of.
hippo, Apr 05 2012

       Maybe ask whoever it is that owns the mock turtle farm if they have any ideas of branching out?
not_morrison_rm, Apr 05 2012

       I'm not sure but it seems quite likely than shark fin soup would be high in chondroitin but that was probably partly what you meant, [hippo].
nineteenthly, Apr 05 2012

       Well quite - imagine a vast, industrial cod-processing factory which takes cod and produces fishfingers. The head and bones of the cod could be converted into fertilizer but there's probably more profit for the factory in grinding up the bones, mixing them with a binding agent and manufacturing millions of fake shark fins.
hippo, Apr 05 2012

       // Which was almost precisely the method adopted by Richard Leakey //   

       Yes, and though I was a teenager at the time, my burgeoning obsession with rhinoceroses made me a huge fan of his policy. Unfortunately, he was driven out only four years later.
Alterother, Apr 05 2012

       I wonder what's responsible for the flavour of a particular meat. I've heard it suggested that it's to do with the specific combination of fat and muscle fibres, but i'd imagine proportions of compounds would be important. Presumbly red meat is saltier and higher in haemoglobin than white and maybe has more myoglobin, or the combination of triglycerides influences the taste. Probably should just Google, shouldn't I?
nineteenthly, Apr 05 2012

       Despite there being another idea up there for fake Chinese herbal stuff, I'll leave this up because it's for chemically identical, government certified rhino/tiger parts as opposed to scam rhino/tiger parts.   

       Not leaving it up because it's such an earth shattering great idea but because some of the annos are too interesting to just erase.   

       I think Jutta will probably grant some latitude on this one.
doctorremulac3, Apr 05 2012

       //chemically identical, government certified rhino/tiger parts as opposed to scam rhino/tiger parts// There are so many levels of wrongth there.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 05 2012

       //chemically identical, government certified// Sounds like the system for government certification of generic drugs.
mouseposture, Apr 05 2012

       //government certified//   

       Having most of the people in the government certified, while doing nothing for the rhinos, would certainly be a step forward for humanity.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 06 2012

       certified civil servant organs ?
FlyingToaster, Apr 06 2012

       //I think Jutta will probably grant some latitude on this one.//   

       Perhaps, since it's to protect endangered species, Jutta would let us GM a tiger to spout a rhino horn, a shark fin, and bear's gall bladder. (I'd add elephant tusks to the mix, but that would be crazy.)
ldischler, Apr 06 2012

       The tusks would be the easiest bit! They already have teeth and are related to sabretooths and walruses, so they seem to have a tendency already. The gall is also very probably straightforward and may already be almost identical to ursine gall. Shark fins are the most distant, but why not use a tiger shark? You could start a rumour about the claspers.
nineteenthly, Apr 06 2012


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