Of all the strange worlds contained within the internet, the high-price Cheeto market developing on eBay may be the weirdest yet.
There is a long history of food coming to represent real-life objects or people in some way, from celebrities to religious figures. Thanks to the internet, there is now a whole market for trading these oddly shaped snacks, but some may not realize how thriving it really is.
On eBay, users do their best to collect a high price for their snack food treasures. Naturally, crunchy Cheetos and Flamin' Hot Cheetos make for a worthy medium for these kinds of fares. The airy, randomly-created snacks may come out in a variety of shapes, from bulky to slim and from bulbous to elongated. In addition, their cheese dust coating adds depth and articulation to their edges, defining certain lines and obscuring others.
The result is a kind of interpretive art form, with eBay sellers squinting to decipher recognizable shapes and faces in their Cheetos. Online, the asking prices for these cheesy scupltures can range into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
It is hard to say if the sellers are really getting what they're asking for these Cheetos, but judging by the sheer volume of them for sale, it must be working for someone. Two years ago, one well-known case of a high-priced Cheeto went viral, when an eBay user paid $99,900 for a Cheeto resembling Harambe the gorilla. That sale was a viral story within a viral story, but just behind it lay the whole wide world of secondhand Cheetos, waiting to be discovered.
Here is a look at some of the unique Cheetos on sale on eBay now.
A Virginia merchant has started the bidding at almost $200 on a Flamin' Hot Cheeto with two possible interpretations. Standing on its edge, the snack resembles a flaming torch, while on its side, it looks more like "a dragon."
The seller has a 100 percent positive rating on eBay, so they do not seem to be pulling any tricks with the ad. Still, with over a week left on the bidding, the price could get contentious.
On eBay seller is asking $100 for a Cheeto that they claim resembles Mufasa and/or Simba from Disney's The Lion King -- the original animated version. The Cheeto has a few jutting ridges and a hole in one end, but it is a bit of a leap to say that it resembles the iconic lions too closely.
"VERY RARE!" the ad reads. "One of a kind. Condition is new... Cheeto was not altered in any way."
It's A Bird
This Cheeto does bear a pretty striking resemblance to a small bird on the end of a thick branch, if both were covered in in cheese dust. The seller is requesting at least $99.99 for the fragile snack, but gives no hint as to whether it was rendered somehow or found in this condition.
The cheese dust itself makes this Cheeto a work of art, with a triangular gap on one end resembling an open alligator's mouth, according to the seller. Again, they promise that this Cheeto was not altered in any way, and the starting price is an even $100.
One seller is striking out for their first attempt on eBay with a Cheeto that they say resembles Pope Francis himself. The cheese snack has a tall, peaked end, not unlike the pope's iconic hat, and they even argue that a mark on one side resembles a crucifix medallion.
'Call of Duty'
Video game fans may see the resemblance between this bent Cheeto and the Legendary Ray Gun from Call of Duty. Whether or not they want to apy $850 for it is another question, but they have until next week to decide.
One of the most puzzling Cheeto ads on eBay right now is a piece that looks a bit like a small humanoid figure with a massive head. The seller argues that the "rare and unsual" Cheeto resembles and alien -- although this is hard to verify, as no alien sighting has ever been officially confirmed.
The seller has started the bidding a $599, although they will part with the Cheeto for $949 without a bidding war. They are an experienced eBay user as well, with over 340 transactions and a 100 percent positive feedback rating. Still, there are no bids yet on the alien Cheeto.
Finally, another odd Cheeto with three branching limbs is going for $899, with the seller claiming it resembles Godzilla. The condition is listed as new, although it is worth noting that this is the only ad on this list where a person holds the Cheeto in their hand, disrupting the delicate cheese dust. There are six days left to bid on the Godzilla Cheeto, so perhaps the price will come down a bit.