Rayfish Footwear is a unique company claiming to hail from Thailand that allows you to choose your own unique pattern for shoes by using a genetically modified stingray as the source for your custom, one-of-a-kind design. You pick the pattern you want, they genetically modify a ray and raise it until it is large enough to harvest for the skin to create leather. Pricing of a pair these currently ranges from $14,800 to $16,200, depending on your shoe size and the complexity of the desired pattern but the company was targeting production capacity to drive the overall cost down to around $1,800 a pair.
Before we get to riled up and up in arms about this, just think about all the other things we raise — either genetically modified or not in captivity to serve a purpose — such as cows, fish, chicken, oysters, etc. Now take into account the science needed to make this happen and you just might start wondering, “Is this EVEN possible?!?!”
Now throw in a couple of videos that recently appeared on YouTube and the plot thickens. First out is a jittery, night-vision, prison break video of an activist group breaking into the facility to rescue nearly 200 genetically modified rays and then release them in the wild. If this is real, the activists are pretty stupid and are doing more damage than good. Just think about the lionfish invasion in Florida and you can see where this behavior can go wrong.
Next, cue up a very polished video response from the CEO of Rayfish Footwear admonishing the bandits not just for breaking in to the facility but for the release of these genetically modified creatures into the wild. A ray that is not native to the area with no known predators, plus some funky coloration and striping and you can see the mess this could create.
We are not here to choose sides of this debate but are just merely wondering if this is some crazy, yet innovative, genetic enterprise gone wrong or some elaborate hoax? Below are the two videos, take a look and let us know what you think? Fact or faked? You decide.