The hiring practices of Silicon Valley tech companies are famously rigorous, but Facebook must be the only one to test physical strength. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes high-profile prospective hires for a hike behind the company's Palo Alto headquarters.

The New York Times' Nick Bilton spoke to some of the engineers and designers whom Zuckerberg fancied enough to invite on a stroll "along the wooded area of Palo Alto that skirts Stanford University." He takes them to a scenic lookout where they gaze upon Palo Alto's splendor. Then they make out while "Total Eclipse of the Heart" plays softly on the Chevy stereo. Er, actually Zuckerberg gives them a history of Silicon Valley tech companies, finishing with the big pitch:

"He pointed to Facebook and said that it would eventually be bigger than all of the companies he had just mentioned," One person who went for a walk with Zuckerberg told the Times, "and that if I joined the company, I could be apart of it."

This is definitely indicative of a theme: Mark Zuckerberg has declared that he's only eating animals he kills with his own hands; plus, he's apparently traipsing around the woods, basking in the union of human technology and nature like a Silicon Valley's own Ralph Waldo Emerson. Could it be that the billionaire behind the most modern form of communication secretly yearns to be a 19th-century fur trapper?

[Image via Getty]