ah finally something post worthy! Not sure if this made the news in america but.... here is the story of the ever elusive chinese grass mud horse! For those who are un-aware chinese is a tonal language. and a different rising or falling tone can take a word that sounds relatively the same but give it an entirely different meaning. These differences are also made clear by the use of the chinese characters. Its kind of like the english language where wear or there or their. different spelling and different context.
Anyways sometimes these subtle differences can go horribly awry. Such is the case with the gentle and majestic chinese grass mud horse. If you translate grass mud horse into chinese you literally get cao ni ma. Which is pronounced "cao ni ma" which using different rising or falling tones is how you say "FUCK YOUR MOTHER"
grass mud horse: 草泥马 Cao3 Ni2 Ma3
fuck your mother: 操你妈 Cao4 Ni3 Ma1
for more wonderful chinese expressions and the wonderment of the ancient chinese culture please check out this wonderful page over at chinasmack.com
Cao Ni Ma (Chinese: 草泥马), literally "Grass Mud Horse", was supposedly a species of alpaca. The name is derived from cào nǐ mā (Chinese: 肏你妈), which translates to "fuck your mother". Note that the comparison with the "animal" name is not an actual homophone, but rather the two terms have the same consonants and vowels with different tones, which are represented by different characters. According to the original article from Baidu Baike , they originate from an area known as "Ma Le Ge Bi" (Chinese: 马勒戈壁, English: Mahler Gobi) (resembles 妈了个屄, meaning "your mother's fucking vagina"), and some variants of the animal are known as 沃草泥马 (wò cǎo ní mǎ, resembling 我肏你妈, meaning I fuck your mother), which can only eat fertile grass (沃草 in Chinese), while other variants are known as 狂草泥马 (kuáng cǎo ní mǎ, 狂 meaning "violently" or "insanely"), which are dubbed as the "kings" of the Cao Ni Ma.
Within the vast desert of Mahler Gobi, the Grass Mud Horse are the dominant species, and thus the alternate name for the region which these animals inhabit is called 草泥马戈壁 (Pinyin: cǎo ní mǎ gē bì, Literally "Grass Mud Horse Gobi"). They are able to adapt to harsh conditions, and typically eat grass, as there is little water available in Mahler Gobi. Their greatest enemy are "river crabs" (Chinese: 河蟹, Pinyin: héxiè, resembles 和谐 héxié meaning "harmonious", referring to government censorship to create a "harmonious society", while noting that river crabs are depicted wearing three wristwatches, vaguely referring to the Three Represents, where 代表 "represent" and 戴表 "to wear a watch" are homophones), and are said to be frequently seen in combat against these crabs. Note that the initial image found in the original Baidu Baike article is a zebra, rather than an alpaca.