Hell hath no fury like animal rights advocates led astray on the Internet, and the now-infamous Bonsai Kittens led to exactly that. So, what are Bonsai Kittens, you might ask? The once-viral meme depicts kittens forced into jars in order to “grow” via the instructions of the ancient “Bonsai Kitticulture” techniques. A super-creepy and upsetting website by the name of Bonsai Kittens not only detailed such techniques, but also offered testimonials, useful tips for beginners, and a disturbing photo gallery.
Wait, what? Were Bonsai Kittens real? The answer is a resounding no, but given the reaction the website garnered, they may as well have been. Nothing like a fake viral image joke gone terribly wrong to raise hell from all corners of the Internet. It was eventually debunked as a sick hoax foisted by a group of MIT grad students, but not before it culminated in an FBI investigation and received a heated denouncing from the U.S. Humane Society. Here’s a list taking a look at some key Bonsai Kitten meme facts, and an attempt to understand how and why the joke became such a controversial topic.
The Bonsai Kitticulture Technique Advocates And Instructs How To "Grow" A Kitten In The Vessel Of Your ChoicePhoto: Bonsai Kittens
The Website Even Lists Suggested And Necessary Tools
Watch The Hate Mail Roll In: The Site Is Designed So Users Can See The "Best" Emails The Admin Has Received
The Site Was Eventually Linked To MIT Servers
The FBI Served MIT With A Grand Jury SubpoenaPhoto: Federal Bureau of Investigation / Wikimedia Commons
Even After Bonsai Kittens Were Officially Declared A Hoax, People Continued To FLIP Out