A mechanical rice picker was an agricultural device used on Earth for harvesting rice, or so James T. Kirk claimed to an early 20th century police officer in an attempt to explain Spock's oddly shaped ears.

In Kirk's improvisation, he told the police officer who caught Spock and him stealing clothes that the "obviously Chinese" Spock got his head stuck in such a device as a child. A local missionary had to use his plastic surgery skills to save Spock's life, with the unfortunate side effect of adding points to the patient's ears. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

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