Ayam Cemani chickens are as black as your soul, through and through.
They’re a breed of Indonesian chicken found in Indonesia. They have all-black everything, right down to their beaks and bones. The chickens have lustrous black feathers which reflect purple and green shiny light. They’re beautiful and a bit creepy, it’s no wonder the Java locals believe they’re enchanted.
According to legend, the black chickens’ blood has magical properties. Apparently, you can use it to cure bad luck and a range of physical illness. The Java believe that the chickens with black blood are at the height of magical poultry and will pay upwards of a thousand dollars for one. These black-blooded birds, of course, don’t exist. Scam artists will dye the hemoglobin-rich red blood black with things like squid ink or charcoal.
The average Ayam Cemani in Indonesia will only cost between $30 and $75, while in America you’re looking at a $200 price tag for your finely feathered friend. In the early days, before America had a steady supply of the birds, you could pay as much as $2,500 for one.