I need a pit of horrible creatures to feed people to...what species should I use?

I’m embarking on a political career in the near future, so I need some zoological advice for my palace architect. Namely, what kind of human-devouring animals should I stock the trapdoor pits with?

The criteria are: A) They have to be capable of skeletonizing a human body—within an hour or two, if possible, though anything under a work week will do, while B) Leaving said skeleton as intact as possible, for use in assembling garden decorations, and C) The creatures’ habitat has to be something that can reasonably be built under the floor of a non-dedicated building (a half-million gallon salt water tank, for instance, wouldn’t be “reasonable”).

I think this barely counts as a GQ, kinda. So…any thoughts?

Canis familiaris jackrusselianus.

Pigs. The bonus is that you can make bacon afterwards.

Assuming they can be adequately contained and entertained when you’re not killing people, maybe a large colony of one of those tropical species of ‘army ants’?

In Soviet Russia, Bacon eat You!

I would have said pigs too, just on the basis of Deadwood and Snatch. However, the OP wants the skeletons intact. It’s my understanding (again, based on the super scientific basis of Brick Top’s monologue in Snatch) that pigs chew through human bones “like butter.”

If the OP wants skeletons intact AND skeletonization within hours, I think piranhas are your only bet. Good luck cleaning that fish tank.

Rats. Hundreds and hundreds of big, voracious rats.

Would a pit of Necrotizing fasciitis do the job - it would’t be much to look at to be sure…?

More than made up for by the smell, I expect.

Museums and taxidermists use dermestid beetles to prepare their skeletons. They’ll take a fresh corpse and give you nice clean bones in a few weeks, faster if you’ve got a big hungry colony. Of course, they won’t be able to kill your prisoners, so you’ll have to do that yourself before chucking the prisoners in the pit. Or just make it a really deep pit…

Do I get bonus points for linking to a place that can actually stock your pit of doom?

Barbarella had it right.

Parakeets, lots of parakeets. Clip the wing feathers so they can’t fly out of the pit. Should be a nice slow death.

The first batch of humans become canibals for subsequent batches.

Skeletons don’t stay intact if the eater is big enough to disturb the bones. The meat & such is what holds the bones together.

If you use dog-sized or bigger critters, they’re gonna scatter the bones all over the pit, even if we assume they can’t eat any of them. Even rats will disturb all the small bones and some of the big bones.

I think about a jillion of those beetles are the solution. The victims get some nice psychological torture down there chest deep in the seething bugs they know will eat them once they die of thirst / starvation. Or they could try to stay alive a bit longer by eating the bugs.

But you’ll need to design the floor as a raisable grate with holes small enough for the bugs to drop through. After a few victims have been cleaned, just raise the floor a few feet leaving most of the bugs to fall through. Retrieve the skeletons that are finished enough, then lower the strainer back into the bugs to get back to work. You’ll lose a few bugs each time, but they’re fast reproducers & have plenty of food.

Are they polite enough to wait until you’re dead to start eating you? If you’re standing naked, waist deep in the critters, and assuming they are happy enough to eat freshly-dead things, aren’t they going to start eating you straight away, bringing about your death in the process?


Well, I guess my plan involving tentacles is out then…

There was the urban myth of the ratel, aka honey badger, that was going around Iraq eating people.

I was going to suggest a sarlaac, but I’m guessing a thousand years of digestion is a bit much to ask.

As for requirement C, I’d guess a juvenile might fit in a swimming pool sized sand box. They might even digest faster too!

Save some for the gators and you can have some lovely shoes and clothes.

I don’t know. I haven’t seen or used these beetles often, but they don’t seem particularly ferocious. They’re more like carpet beetles that happen to have a knack for nibbling flesh from bones. In moderate quantities, I’d guess that they’d be easy enough for the victim to brush off. A waist-deep layer might work, but they might be too stressed out to efficiently strip meat from bones in a situation like this.

I think this calls for some experiments… If the OP has some funding (and, er, experimental subjects) I’d be happy to submit a research proposal…