The Festering Erpaflerp Trading Card

The Festering Erpaflerp

The Festering Erpaflerp

Unlike many modern plagues, the Festering Erpaflerp was not produced by genetic engineering, although there is a small yet devoted body of conspiracy theorists who would dispute that claim.

Most scientists think that the Erpaflerp evolved naturally from snot and vomit on the floor of the New York City subway system. Others point to the creature’s smell as evidence that the Erpaflerp had to have originated in the juices at the bottom of a dumpster. And not just any dumpster. A dumpster in July. When the garbage men were out on strike. And all the rats died from eating poison and got all bloated and maggoty. And then the heat killed all the maggots, and they rotted too.

At any rate, the problem is that the Erpaflerp reproduces via spores that end up germinating on old food inside refrigerators. Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to find a month-old container of Chinese food or casserole at the back of a fridge without opening it up and seeing an Erpaflerp festering away.

Fun Fact:

The most robust specimens of Festering Erpaflerp ever discovered were found in a Tupperware container of what had been tuna salad by college freshman Seth McGurk when he was cleaning out his dorm room fridge at the end of the school year. Seth’s mother had sent the tuna salad with Seth when he left for college that past August, but Seth put it in his refrigerator in his new dorm room and forgot about it.

After the two week Christmas break, during which the power to the refrigerator was off, Seth’s dorm room began to smell unholy, but the source of odor remained unknown until after finals in the spring. As Seth later told EPA investigators, “I just thought it was my roommate Jared. He lets his shoes get wet all the time, and his feet smell like ass. Sorry you had to shut down campus and call in the bomb squad. My bad.”


The egg salad you forgot about because you stuck it behind the pickles and condiments.

More Improbable Creatures:

This trading card is part of a series titled “Uncle Joe’s Field Guide to Improbable Creatures” by Jethro Sleestak. View more Improbable Creatures.