7 Memorable Corgis From Pop Culture

Holly, the Queen's corgi // YouTube
Holly, the Queen's corgi // YouTube

If you’re somehow still unaware of the cuddly cuteness that is the corgi, that’s about to change. The small herding dogs with the long bodies and adorably expressive faces have popped up everywhere, from TV shows to YouTube videos to Instagram. Take a look at some of pop culture's most memorable corgis.

1. HOLLY

Queen Elizabeth II, the current Queen of England, is a longtime lover of corgis. In 1933, her father, King George VI, brought his seven-year-old daughter Dookie, her first pup. Since then, the Queen has owned dozens of Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Dorgis (a mix between a Corgi and a Dachshund). She frequently walks them herself and has even overseen a corgi breeding program at Windsor Castle. Now 90 years old, the queen has loved and lost many of her corgis; sadly, Holly, who took starred in the 2012 London Olympics opening video, passed away in early October. Holly is buried at Balmoral Castle, the Royal Family's estate in Scotland.

2. RALPH

Born in the summer of 2013, Ralph lives in Northern California with his human family and George, their other corgi. With 238,000 Instagram followers, Ralph delights people around the world with his smiling face, joie de vivre, and overall cuteness. But Ralph’s Instagram is more than cute dog photos. Fans get to watch the story of a growing human family, as seen through a corgi’s eyes. Ralph goes through life with his mom and dad, their toddler son (a.k.a. Ralph’s broham), and their newborn baby girl. If you can’t get enough Ralph in your life, you can buy an annual wall calendar featuring him (and George) wearing bunny ears, colorful hats, and Santa caps.

3. MOLLY, "THE THING OF EVIL"

Author Stephen King's corgi Molly—who he jokingly (we think) calls "The Thing of Evil"—has become a star in her own right, thanks to King's Twitter and Facebook posts about her proclivity for stealing snacks and tearing up soccer balls. "The Thing of Evil" isn't King's first foray into corgi ownership; the author had a corgi named Marlowe in the '90s. He's even written a couple of corgis into his books, including Under the Dome's Horace.

4. EIN

YouTube

Ein, the corgi on the beloved anime Cowboy Bebop, was a main character on the Adult Swim TV show in the early 2000s. According to Cowboy Bebop lore, the crazy smart corgi is a data dog, a lab animal that was genetically engineered to have intelligence superpowers. Ein travels on a spaceship in the year 2071 with his human bounty hunter owners. Although he generally acts like a normal dog, Ein occasionally surprises his owners by showing off his computer hacking skills.

5. LOKI

Born in Oklahoma, Loki moved to Vancouver as a puppy to live with his owners, Tim and Viv. Whether he was walking on the beach, eating, or playing with his pet hamster, Loki racked up more than 800,000 Facebook fans and 700,000 Instagram followers thanks to his antics. He was also fond of costumes—some of his more memorable looks include Harry Potter (Loki Potter from Gryffincorg), Pikachu, and Sherlock Holmes (Sherloki Holmes). Earlier this year, Loki's fans were shocked and heartbroken to learn Loki had fallen ill. They banded together to raise more than $34,000 for his vet bills. Sadly, Loki passed away in September from kidney disease.

6. RUFUS

Although plenty of startups have a company dog or mascot, Rufus might be the most memorable. Born in 1994 in California, Rufus was Amazon.com’s original mascot. Owned by one of the e-commerce giant's first engineers, Rufus attended company meetings and chased tennis balls through the office. He died in 2009, but Rufus lives on in Amazon’s canine-friendly company culture. Amazon employees are free to bring their dogs to work, and Amazon's Instagram is full of photos of its furry fans (including the Rufus lookalike above). One of the company’s office buildings in Seattle is even named after the beloved pup.

7. SUTTER BROWN

Jerry Brown, the governor of California, lives and works alongside Sutter Brown, the first dog of California. Born in 2003, the Pembroke Welsh corgi lived with the governor’s sister until Brown adopted him after the 2010 election. With more than 18,000 Facebook fans, Sutter has appeared on cards to promote Brown’s tax proposals and even joins the governor in meetings at the state Capitol. Last year, Brown and his wife added to their corgi family when they adopted Colusa, a Pembroke Welsh corgi/border collie mix. In October, Sutter, 13, underwent emergency surgery to remove tumors in his intestines, lymph nodes, and liver. According to Sutter and Colusa's official Facebook page, Sutter is now convalescing at home—and feasting on his favorite foods, including cottage cheese and scrambled eggs.

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

12 Fascinating Facts About Elephants

Photo by David Heiling on Unsplash

Known for their strong family bonds and intelligence, elephants have fascinated humans across time and cultures. As the largest living land mammal, a male African bush elephant typically stands more than 10 feet tall and weighs an incredible 6.6 tons. Although poachers still kill approximately 100 African elephants every day, conservation groups are working to save elephant populations from extinction. Read on for a dozen things you might not know about elephants, from their long history as a political symbol to their legit firefighting skills.

1. Contrary to popular belief, elephants are not exactly scared of mice.

Baby elephant looks startled.
iStock.com/szaphotography

Cartoonists have long depicted the funny juxtaposition of a giant elephant terrified of a tiny mouse. Zoologists and elephant trainers have conducted experiments to test whether elephants are truly afraid of rodents, and it seems to be a myth. Mice themselves don't frighten elephants, but the pachyderms have poor vision and can get extremely startled when anything suddenly scurries by. Elephants are probably more afraid of a mouse's sudden movement than the mouse itself.

2. Wild elephants could have populated the U.S., but abraham Lincoln nixed the idea.

A mother and baby elephant taking a walk.
iStock.com/saha_avijan

In 1861, President Lincoln received gifts, including elephant tusks and a handmade sword, from Siam's King Somdetch Phra Paramendr Maha Mongkut. The king of present-day Thailand also made an interesting offer: Mongkut proposed that Siam would send pairs of male and female elephants to the U.S. to breed in the forests. Americans could then tame the wild elephants and put them to work for the economic benefit of the country. William Seward, Lincoln's secretary of state, replied to Mongkut in 1862, graciously declining his offer. He told the king that since the U.S. already used steam power to efficiently transport goods within the country, elephants simply wouldn't be practical.

3. Trunk-sucking is the elephant equivalent of thumb-sucking.

Baby elephant sucking its trunk.
iStock.com/bucky_za

When baby elephants want to comfort themselves, they instinctively start sucking their trunks. Trunk-sucking is also a way that a baby elephant can learn how to use her trunk (which contains between 40,000 and 50,000 muscles). Although most elephants, like human babies, grow out of sucking behavior, some adult elephants also suck their trunks when they feel anxious.

4. Elephants have been the symbol of the Republican Party since 1874.

Elephant symbol for the Republican party.
iStock.com/Niyazz

Although elephants had been occasionally used as a symbol for Republicans during the Civil War, cartoonist Thomas Nast, who drew an elephant in an 1874 issue of Harper's Weekly, gets the credit for linking the animal with the political party. In later cartoons, Nast continued to draw an elephant to portray the Republican Party, and other cartoonists adopted it, establishing the animal as the GOP symbol.

5. Barnum & Bailey once trained elephants to play baseball.

U.S. stamp with a circus elephant on it.
iStock.com/Valerie Loiseleux

Baseball is America's pastime, so why not teach elephants how to play the game? In 1912, thanks to the work of Barnum & Bailey's elephant trainer, Harry L. Mooney, the intelligent animals played their first ballgame. Although playing baseball was just one of many tricks that circus elephants learned, Barnum & Bailey capitalized on the concept of elephant baseball by using the image on posters to sell tickets for shows.

6. Some elephants have been convicted of murder.

Elephant foot in chains.
iStock.com/Pentium2

Although elephants are typically viewed as gentle giants, they are capable of attacking and killing humans. Male elephants undergo musth, a hormonal change that makes them temporarily produce tons of testosterone, resulting in aggression. But even female elephants can kill. In 1916, a town in Tennessee charged an elephant named Big Mary with first-degree murder for killing her handler. Big Mary, who worked for the Sparks Circus, attacked her handler, possibly after he struck her with a bullhook as she was trying to eat a watermelon rind. Big Mary was convicted and sentenced to execution. Some 2500 residents of the town gathered to watch Big Mary's dramatic hanging, which featured a 100-ton crane and a chain that broke under her weight.

7. Elephants grieve death.

Elephants mourning the death of a baby elephant.
iStock.com/brittak

Although we can't know exactly what elephants feel and how they process death, they seem to show signs that they experience grief when a member of their family (or another elephant) dies. When they see a dead elephant, they may vocalize, use their trunks to "hug" the dead animal, or stay with the carcass for hours. Some elephants have also tried to bury the dead body by covering it in leaves and soil.

8. Trained elephants fight fires in Indonesia.

Elephant with water spewing out of its trunk.
Ishara S.KODIKARA, AFP/GettyImages

You probably won't see an elephant riding on a fire truck anytime soon, but elephants in Indonesia are a vital part of fighting fires. In 2015, East Sumatra was plagued with multiple fires over a period of several months, so 23 trained elephants from a conservation center went to work. Carrying water pumps and hoses, the elephants helped patrol the land and made sure that new fires weren't ignited.

9. If you're in Zambia, you might see some elephants strolling through your hotel lobby.

An elephant walks into the lobby of the Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia.
An elephant walks into the lobby of the Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia.
Lars Plougmann, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Some guests at Mfuwe Lodge in the African country of Zambia get an unusual animal sighting before they even leave the lobby. Each year between October and December, families of elephants walk through the lodge's reception area to eat wild mango from a tree in the courtyard. The elephants' giant size and seeming indifference to their hotel lobby surroundings make for quite a striking sight.

10. In 2015, scientists recorded elephants yawning for the first time.

An elephant's open mouth.
iStock.com/filrom

Although scientists speculated that elephants probably yawn, scientists from the University of California, Davis captured the first video of an elephant yawning. If you enjoy watching sleepy animals stretching and yawning, this is for you. Warning: extreme cuteness ahead.

11. Elephants starred in YouTube's first-ever video.

Man taking a photo of an elephant on his phone.
iStock.com/iudmylaSupynska

On April 23, 2005, Jawed Karim made internet history when he uploaded the first video to a certain nascent video-sharing website. Karim, one of YouTube's founders, posted an 18-second scene of himself standing in front of elephants at a zoo. In the video, he speaks about how cool the elephants' long trunks are. As of August 2019, the video has more than 74 million views.

12. Elephants love to snack on old Christmas trees.

Two elephants snacking on pine trees.
VADIM KRAMER, AFP/Getty Images

Zookeepers at Tierpark Berlin, a zoo in Germany, feed unsold Christmas trees to their elephants in early January. The trees are certified pesticide-free, and the elephants seem to enjoy their special snack. Berlin isn't the only place where elephants eat Christmas trees, though. Zoos in Prague also treat their elephants to the tasty conifers.