Exploding sheep

From Academic Kids

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An exploding sheep in the computer game Revenge of the Mutant Camels.

An exploding sheep is a meme, commonly found in American and British computer games, although its genesis lay in the wider sphere of popular culture.

One early depiction of this theme was in Godmonster of Indian Flats, a 1973 science fiction movie made by Fredric Hobbs. It featured a mutated sheep as the titular monster, which grew larger throughout the movie, until exploding in the climactic scene.

The earliest well-known reference to exploding sheep in popular culture was made by Johnny Carson, in the role of psychic Carnac the Magnificent, on The Tonight Show, where Carnac predicted "Sis boom bah" and opened the sealed envelope to read, "The sound of a sheep exploding" (a video of the skit (http://www.johnnycarson.com/carson/entertainment/whats_showing/feature/carnac/index.jsp?id=27)).

A more recent source for the exploding-sheep meme is the 1987 cult film Bad Taste, directed by Peter Jackson, who later directed The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The movie features a scene in which a sheep explodes after being hit with an errant RPG. Jackson's work is well-known in science fiction and fantasy fandom, a subculture which intersects heavily with gaming fans.

In 1998, the second volume of Jon Hasting's comic book Smith Brown Jones: Alien Accountant posited that sheep who explode are actually vampiric sheep who do not understand their transformation and therefore do not know that they should avoid sunlight. The plot of the 1999 science fiction novel Before and After by Matthew Thomas features exploding sheep in such significance that the book's cover features a sheep and the tagline "A novel featuring exploding sheep, Nostradamus, and the end of the world".

Computer games featuring exploding sheep do so either as a primary element of gameplay, or as a diversion or Easter egg. The former case occurs most commonly in games which already have a large comedic element, while the latter tends to occur in games featuring a serious tone.

The following Western computer games feature exploding sheep:

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Exploding Sheep font

There is also a screensaver, Sheep vs Gravity 1.08 (http://www.russhorton.com/sheep.html), which features exploding sheep and a font named Exploding Sheep (pictured at right). Both are available as freeware. That the Exploding Sheep typeface does not signify exploding sheep except in name suggests that the meme has established itself in the software subculture beyond computer games.

There was a London based rock band named Exploding Sheep (http://www.minicat.force9.co.uk/es/) which formed in 1997 and broke up in 2001.

There are two separate companies named Exploding Sheep Productions; a British one which organizes conventions and an American one which produces engineering models.

Template:Exploding animals

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