Perhaps "hypnosis" might be too strong of a word, but there is a way to scare a chicken into a hypnotic state. If you happen to have a chicken, there are only a few steps you need to take to "hypnotize" it.
You can put a chicken in a trance-like state by following these steps:
- Find a chicken (of course).
- Find a flat surface like a sidewalk.
- Lay the chicken down on the ground.
- Draw a straight line from the chicken's beak, moving away from its head - chalk is probably the best thing to use.
At this point, the chicken should be in a trance-like stupor, and it should stay there for about 30 seconds. All it takes is a bump or a loud noise to "wake" it out of its daze.
But why does this happen in the first place? The truth is that it's a little bit cruel. It's a phenomenon called tonic immobility, and it means that the chicken is so scared that it can't move. It's been used by farmers for hundreds of years, but not just for the fun of it.
Other animals are susceptible to the same mental state, but it's most common in domesticated birds. For instance, studies have shown that rabbits and lizards can get into the same type of catatonic state.
Some scientists even speculate that a similar, albeit more complex, mental state can occur in humans that have gone through traumatic events - manifesting through certain types of PTSD. In other words, we might be a whole lot smarter than chickens, but our response to extreme fear might not be all that different.