Super Mario Brothers 3: What the Hell is a Tanooki?

Ah, the rare Tanooki suit in Super Mario Bros. 3. It allowed you to fly like the raccoon suit, but it looked cooler and also had that stone statue ability that no one ever used. The question is, what is a tanooki? The common misconception (by drunkards and jackasses alike) is that it’s a bear suit.  Sure, that makes a lot of sense, except that there’s clearly a raccoon tail on the back. That is one badass pet.

What the hell IS a tanooki?
In fact, tanooki, or as it’s actually spelled outside of the Super Mario World, tanuki, is the common name for a Japanese raccoon dog.

Why can Mario turn into a statue when he is in a tanooki suit?

According to Wikipedia, “the legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absent-minded. Statues of tanuki can be found outside many Japanese temples and restaurants, especially noodle shops. These statues often wear big, turtle-shell hats and carry bottles of sake in one hand, and a promissory note or empty purse in the other hand. Tanuki statues always have large bellies. The statues also usually show humorously large testicles, typically hanging down to the floor or ground, although this feature is sometimes omitted in contemporary sculpture.”

Hey now you know! Anything else?

Do you liked creamed corn?
More than you will ever know.

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