Smoke Vulture Brains?

Need to win a wager? Just smoke some vulture brains.

That’s what South African gamblers have been doing to have visions of the future, whether they need to win the lotto, ace an exam or make decisions on how to develop a business. Now, with the World Cup in South Africa, this practice of consuming vulture brains seems to be garnering world wide attention as demand for vulture brain increases with all the bets being placed on the World Cup matches.

According to South African traditional medicine, muti, one can receive premonitions from smoking dried vulture brains. The ground bits of the birds’ brains are mixed with tobacco and then smoked to help the user predict future outcomes of life’s events. Apparently this stems from the fact that vultures fly high in the sky and have excellent vision, which helps them see clearly across great distances.  Supposedly, this optical attribute extends to seeing into the future as humans ingest the smoke of the vulture gray matter.

Upon first hearing this I simply thought, “How weird is that?” Then, as I learned how the most of the vulture species in South Africa are endangered, my tone changed to, “How messed up is that?” Hunters are trapping and poisoning the birds at a pace that could wipe out several species. A single poisoned carcass set out as a lure for vultures could draw in scores of these birds and they could all drop dead from this same source of poison. Unfortunately, poison used on the vultures can harm people who consume the vulture via vapors. Other parts of Africa, both East and West, have traditional beliefs that hold the vulture brains as a key to unlocking the future and vultures across the continent are dwindling in numbers. Of course, other factors such as power lines and lack of prey have lead to lower numbers of vultures in the region, too.

Obviously our fellow man can kick the vulture brain habit. It’s not  like it’s addictive. Then again, the gamblers who use it are likely wager fiends. Maybe they can develop a patch or gum for this sort of thing. Heck, I’m sure some fool can come up with an infomercial for “vulture essence”  and package it with a neat delivery method, like Head On: “Apply directly to the forehead.” Obviously it wouldn’t be real vulture. Maybe it should be called I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vulture! I’m sure that would work.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. If everyone who smoked dried vulture brains became clairvoyant, wouldn’t South Africa be overcome with the nouveau riche with fat stacks of cash won from bets, lotto jackpots and excessive business profits?

8 thoughts on “Smoke Vulture Brains?

  1. That’s plain weird how in this day and age people still believe in such superstitious mumbo jumbo although saying that I often eat some budgie brains to predict what my test results at the hospital will be, hehehe. Anyhoo cool blog my friend.


    1. Seems like there’s always a business tied to superstitions and there’s a group of people that need these beliefs to hold strong over time. It makes me wonder how long it took for mankind to profit of the superstitious beliefs of others.

      Thanks for the accolade and checking out the blog.


    1. Don’t know, but a vulture’s acute vision and high flying allow them to see great distances. I bet (sans vulture brains) that someone, at some point, said, “Vultures can see so well and far, they can see into the future.”


  2. Someone had to be the first to think of this, someone else had to be the one to say “yeah, that’s a good idea”.

    There are some vultures in my area though. Hmmm…revenue stream.


  3. South Africa just gets curiouser and curiouser. Last night I finally found out what that impossible screeching noise was at the world cup games. Individual horns that people never stop blasting. And now this vulture brain bit…Having seen vultures in action in East Africa, man, I wouldn’t touch those babies for anything…


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