Regular readers know we have always been manatee-friendly here at The Beat. These peaceful, lovable behemoths of the seas may lack cutes, but they make up for it in sheer can-do spirit as earth’s most unlikely sea mammals. Although thought of as an ocean-going beast, manatees actually favor drifting tranquilly through the brackish estuaries along the Florida coast, often resulting in that merriest of cries, “Honey, there’s a manatee in the sewage outlet!”
It comes as no surprise, then, that Conan O’Brien has leapt on the manatee bandwagon, with a recurring gag now turning into a web phenomenon:
On the Dec. 4 show, the manatee appeared in a skit about college mascots as the “FSU Webcam Manatee.” As it ended, O’Brien ad libbed a reference to “HornyManatee.com” – and thus a website was born.
The next evening, O’Brien informed his audience that after the previous night’s show, he was contacted by NBC Standards and told the network would have to buy the rights to the then-fictional site. NBC purchased rights to the domain for $159 for 10 years.
The quickly formed site includes “Manatee on Manatee” action, as well as pictures of a “Manateen” and a “Voyeur Manatee.” It’s all a harmless spoof of Internet pornography, and O’Brien claims it has received over three million hits.
He’s encouraged fans to submit their Horny Manatee creations to conanhornymanatee.com – and has been flooded with responses of graphic novels, paintings and photos of people in manatee costumes.
We would dearly love to see these sex manatee graphic novels, but in the meantime, here is the website, doubtless already a haven for furries who like water sports.
For those of you who require actual cuteness in your animal totems, here are baby pandas. Take that, Warren Ellis.
[Panda link via MK Reed]