Don't throw that mango pit away! It could be a trendy pet
If you want a pet that doesn't scratch the furniture or require costly veterinary care, consider the trendy "mango dog," or manggou (芒狗).
This "pet' is made from a dried mango pit that's fluffed up to look like a little dog – or even a cat or turtle.
On the lifestyle sharing platform Xiaohongshu, posts about mango dogs exceed 5,300 in number.
"For me, a mango dog is a healing thing that can relieve stress," said 37-year-old Qiu Mier.
Qiu told Shanghai Daily that many young people today don't have the time or money to care for a living pet.
"And when you have something else to do, you can just put it aside," she said.
Qiu said she first noticed mango dogs online and was curious enough to want to make one.
"I liked raising small animals like hamsters, frogs and fish, and I do have a pet cat," she said. "But the mango dog brings a different kind of fun. You can comb it, give it a makeover, dye it and style it. Or you can give it a bath and then dry it."
A Xiaohongshu user with the online name "Little Crocodile's Claybook" posted videos showing how to make mango pit dogs – and cats. Her tutorial garnered 27,000 "likes."
"When I was young, I used mango pits to make door mats," she said. "I was surprised to see an online post from someone who called mango pits 'mango dogs.' Then I came up with the idea of turning the pits into dogs."
Mango dogs on Xiaohongshu have different looks. Some are colored and trimmed into the shapes of cats, dogs, hamsters or turtles. In other cases, the pits are used to make accessories like hair clips or ornaments.
"Mangoes are easy to buy, but you have to preserve some fruit fluff around the pits," said "Little Crocodile's Claybook."
Xiaohongshu has many text and video instructions showing people how to proceed. According to these guides, it's better to choose Taiwan mangoes, which are in smaller size.
When eating the mango, one should not bite away all the flesh. The pits with fruit strands that are left should be carefully cleaned with running water. After applying some conditioner, one needs to use hairdryer to dry the pit while combing it.
This curious new hobby has raised some pointed discussion online. While some netizens praise it as a novel way to decrease the amount of wet waste, others dismiss it as idle folly.
"They must have too little to do and too much time to kill," taunted one netizen.
Some even accuse mango pit aficionados of being "mentally ill."
"It's none of their business," Qiu said. "Many young people are stressed and creating a mango dog can be a kind of spiritual lift. As long as it doesn't become an addiction, I don't see the harm."