The Scary Tale of the Undead McDonald's Happy Meal

Surely by now you've heard about the bizarre results of the McDonald's Happy Meal experiment that hit the web this week.

If you haven't, here's the story in a nutshell: New York-based artist Sally Davies bought a Happy Meal back in April, brought it home, but didn't eat it.

Instead she put it up on her shelf, took pictures of it every week, and posted up the results on Flickr.



The pictures are rather boring. Nothing much seems to be happening from week-to-week. But that's exactly what people are finding disturbing about it. NOTHING IS HAPPENING TO THE BURGER AND FRIES. It is allegedly showing no signs of spoilage, decomposition, or mold growth.

Cut to six months later, and the Happy Meal is looking like it has, eerily unchanged, suggesting an unnatural resistance to rotting and now taking on the undead-like qualities of Edward Cullen from Twilight.

Davies observed that it has become rock hard and ceased to have any smell after the first 24 hours. She told The Daily Mail the food feels “plastic to the touch and has an acrylic sheen to it.”

And Davies' burger isn't even the first to exhibit the behavior. In fact, she did this experiment to prove to a friend that the same thing happened (or didn't happen) to one bought by Karen Hanrahan, who purchased hers in 1996, which to this day, has reportedly not shown any signs of wear.

This, of course, has proved an annoyance to the McDonald's corporation. Its PR people are on defensive duty.

A McDonald's spokeswoman e-mailed Yahoo's blog The Upshot saying the experiment is “completely unsubstantiated” and defended the chain's burger as “cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else — no preservatives, no fillers.”

The spokeswoman even cited a Dr. Michael Doyle, Director, Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, who said, “From a scientific perspective, I can safely say that the way McDonald's hamburgers are freshly processed, no hamburger would look like this after one year unless it was tampered with or held frozen.”

Heck, even Morgan Spurlock saw some decay when he did the same kind of experiment for his SuperSize Me documentary (another Ronald McDonald PR nightmare). Though his fries seemed fine, the burger was claimed by nature and its spores after 10 weeks.

Of course, all of this recalls another web oldie but goodie: THE STINKY MEAT PROJECT! Now that's good decomposition!

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