Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick Post

I have been crazy busy, and only able to blog sporadically the last few days. I hope you all will forgive me.

Things should calm down soon though, hopefully by the weekend, so here's a quick fact until then. In ancient Egypt killing a cat (even accidently) was a crime punishable by death. Cats found this to be fair judgement.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Asian Giant Salamander

Asian giant salamanders are aquatic amphibians found in brooks and ponds in China and Japan. They are the largest living amphibians known today. 

The Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus), reaches up to 1.44 metres (4.7 ft). The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) can reach a length of 1.8 metres (5.9 ft).

I think it would be cool to own one, if only for the fact you could say "Summon the giant salamander!" if someone displeases you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mary Toft

Mary Toft was a young woman in the town of Godalming, located in the south of England. In 1726 she attracted the attention of medical doctors when she insisted she gave birth to rabbits.

A skeptic man-midwife, John Howard, went to investigate. To his amazement, he delivered three rabbits in as many days. The King sent his own physicians, who witnessed the phenomenon. 

Mary was then transported to London.  She went into labour several times, but under constant supervision did not birth any more rabbits. When she was to be surgically examined to determine where the rabbits were coming from, she confessed that she had been putting them there herself when no one was looking. 

Which is disgusting. wtf was wrong with that lady, seriously?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Hase (German for "hare"), often called Pink Rabbit, is a massive, pink, stuffed rabbit on the side of Colletto Fava (a 5,000 feet high hill in the northern Piedmont region of Italy.) It was made by members of the Viennese art group Gelitin in 2005. The final piece is 200 feet (about 60 meters) in length and 20 feet (6 meters) high on its sides. The group not only expect people to observe the art work, but also for hikers to climb it and relax on the top. The work is expected to last until 2025.

Is it just me, or does it look like it's screaming? 

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Bloop

The Bloop is the name given to an ultra-low frequency and extremely powerful underwater sound detected several times by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1997. The source of the sound remains unknown.

According to the NOAA description, it "rises rapidly in frequency over about one minute and was of sufficient amplitude to be heard on multiple sensors, at a range of over 5,000 km." The NOAA's Dr. Christopher Fox does not believe its origin is man-made, such as a submarine or bomb, or familiar geological events such as volcanoes or earthquakes. While the audio profile of the Bloop does resemble that of a living creature, the source is a mystery both because it is different from known sounds and because it was several times louder than the loudest known animal, the blue whale.

Strangely, the Bloop originated from the southern Pacific Ocean, which is the claimed location of R’lyeh, linking the sound to the sleeping Cthulhu, from the works of H.P. Lovecraft. But that's probably completely unrelated.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

And Another Quick Post

Exhausted and lazy today, so just another weird fact.   
The embryos of sand tiger sharks are cannibalistic. They fight and eat their siblings while in the mother's womb. Only the strongest is born.

Like Highlander. But with sharks.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Collyer brothers

Homer and Langley Collyer were compulsive hoarders during the 1940s. For decades, neighborhood rumors swirled around the rarely seen, unemployed men and their home at 2078 Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan, where they obsessively collected newspapers, books, furniture, musical instruments, and many other items They even set up booby-traps in corridors and doorways to protect against intruders. 

After an anonymous tip called that there was a dead body in the Collyer house, and much initial difficulty getting in, the police found Homer Collyer dead and Langley no where to be found. About two weeks later, after removing nearly 100 tons of garbage from the house, workers found Langley Collyer’s partialy decomposed body just 10 feet away from where they had found his brother. Langley had been crawling through their newspaper tunnel to bring food to his paralyzed brother when one of his own booby traps fell down and crushed him. Homer, blind and paralyzed, starved to death several days later.

brb, I have to obsessively clean my house now. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Quick Post

Sorry for no new posts recently, I was out of town on vacation. I meant to put up a short post explaining my absence before I left, but I'm a serial procrastinator...

I'll get an actual post up in a day or two, after I've caught up on the blogs I am following, and my real life stuff. For now here's a quick fact. According to almost every 'Weird Facts' list on the internet, roughly 100 people die from choking on ballpoint pens every year. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dog Suicide Bridge

Overtoun Bridge, near Dumbarton in west Scotland, has become famous for the number of unexplained instances in which dogs have apparently committed suicide by leaping off of it. It has been the scene of at least fifty, unexplained, dog deaths.

The incidents were first recorded around the 1950's or 1960's when it was noticed that dogs - usually the long-nosed variety like Collies - would suddenly and unexpectedly leap off the bridge and fall fifty feet to their deaths.  In some cases, however, the dogs would survive, recuperate, and then leap off the bridge again

A rational explanation for the "dog suicides" could be the mink population that resides under the bridge in the brush.  Veterinarians and animal experts have pointed out that a dog, overly excited at the smell of the minks and unable to see over the sides of the bridge, might leap over the side on impulse not realizing that they are on a bridge at all. 

Or they were extremely depressed; the misplacement of their buried bones could have had more serious ramifications than anyone thought.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Dyatlov Pass Incident

photo taken by soviet authorities at the abandoned camp
The Dyatlov Pass Incident is the creepy and true mystery of nine experienced Russian cross-country skiers, led by Igor Dyatlov, in 1959.

All that is known is during the night all nine suddenly fled their tent, cutting it open from the inside, and raced out into the sub-zero temps without coats or boots, most in their underwear, some even barefoot or with a single sock or boot. They ran downhill toward a wooded area some 1.5 kilometers away. Most died of hypothermia; though the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. Oh, and there were traces of radiation on their clothing.

Don't get too creeped out though. You can find many excellent, and logical theories online (just google it, if you are interested) but one I just do not buy is paradoxical undressing, or shedding your clothes when suffering from hypothermia. They built a fire in the woods, and as they died, the survivors took clothing from the dead, which isn't exactly 'paradoxical undressing' behavior.

Not that I think it was aliens; it was probably just a radioactive yeti.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick post

Just a quick kinda-not-real post.

Because of unexpected house guests, I have been absent from the internet for about a week. Right now, I am catching up on everything I might have missed from the blogs I am following, and then probably have a real post up in the next day or two.

Anyway, so this isn't a completely useless post, here's a weird fact for anyone looking for a new phobia; there's way more chickens than humans on Earth. They could wipe us out, if they ever got smart.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Murder Castle

Dr. Henry H. Holmes was the first recorded American serial-killer, at least in the modern sense of the term. He confessed to have murdered 27 people in Chicago during the time of the World’s Fair of 1893, but the body count is speculated to be much higher.

He designed and built a hotel specifically to torture and kill his victims. The building featured trap doors, hidden staircases, secret passages, a crematorium, rooms without windows, chutes that led into the basement and a staircase that opened out over a steep drop to an alley. Some of his victims were meticulously dissected and the remains sold to medical universities.

Holmes feared some psycho might dissect him. After he was caught and sentenced, his final request was to be buried in concrete.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Clever Fox

This happened earlier this year, but it's still a cool story to share with anyone who may not have heard it.

A man in Belarus had the tables turned on him when the fox he was hunting shot him in the leg.

The hunter had approached the wounded fox to kill it with the butt of his rifle. During a brief struggle, the fox managed to pull the trigger with his paw, then escape.

Obviously, a case of self-defense.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls, or 'La Isla de la Munecas', is a bizarre tourist attraction in Mexico. There you can literally find hundreds of freakishly decaying dolls hanging from tree branches. 

It all started when a recluse, Don Julián Santana Barrera, became obsessed after finding a doll in the water close to where a young girl had recently drowned. He spent the rest of his life collecting them, believing they kept the girl's spirit company. 

I think I can sum up the entire island nicely: 'wtf?'

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Blood Countess

McFarlane's Monsters series 3: Elizabeth Bathory
Elizabeth Báthory has appeared in numerous films, books, music and video games. If you somehow haven't heard of her, here's the rundown on history's most prolific female serial killer.

In Hungary, during the 1500s and early 1600s, she allegedly tortured and killed more than 600 women. According to testimony, she was accused of:
  • severe beatings over extended periods of time, often leading to death
  • burning or mutilation of hands, sometimes also of faces and genitalia
  • biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other bodily parts
  • freezing to death
  • surgery on victims, often fatal
  • starving of victims
  • sexual abuse
Her real claim to fame were the later accounts that she had bathed in the blood of slaughtered virgins to retain her beauty and youth. (Not recommended by dermatologists, btw.)

However, her guilt is debated. Some believe she was just the victim of religious persecution and a political conspiracy. But, guilty or innocent, Elizabeth Báthory has gone down in history as a sadistic murderess.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Elephant Executions

Looks fake to me
Two of the most famous elephant executions are Topsy and Mary, both circus elephants.

Topsy was considered too much of a threat after killing three men in separate incidents (including a drunk trainer trying to feed her a lit cigarette); She was electrocuted in 1903. Thomas Edison filmed the event, and it's become quite popular.

Interestingly enough, Topsy was going to be hanged, but it was deemed cruel and inhumane. That apparently didn't occur to the residents of Erwin, Tennessee in 1916.  A crowd of about 2,500 attended the public hanging of Mighty Mary, who had recently killed an inexperienced trainer. It took an industrial crane to lift the five ton elephant, pictured on the right.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Booth and Lincoln Coincidence

The Booth brothers; John Wilkes, Junius, and Edwin
President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, but by strange coincidence Booth saved Lincoln's life. Or, more accurately, Edwin Booth saved Robert Todd Lincoln.

When Abraham's son was falling between a moving train and the platform, John Wilkes' brother pulled him back on to platform. This happened a few months before the assassination took place.

Another odd coincidence is Robert Todd Lincoln's proximity to presidential assassinations. After his father's, he was eyewitness to Garfield's, and present at McKinley's. He later refused presidential invitations, saying "No, I'm not going, and they'd better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present." And no one was ever shot around him again.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Corpse Queen

The Coronation
Inês de Castro was crowned queen of Portugal about two years after her death.

During the 1300s the King was unhappy with his son, Dom Pedro, and Inês's affair, so he had Inês executed.

But when Dom Pedro was later crowned King of Portugal, he claimed he had wedded Inês before her death, and that she was the lawful queen.

According to legend he exhumed her body, put her on the throne, and forced the entire court to swear their allegiance by kissing her hand. Apparently people did. I think I would have just moved away from Portugal.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Zombie Ants

Stalk growing from dead ant's head
Zombie ants are walking the Earth. Actually, they have been for millions of years.

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a fungus that infects ants, hijacks the body, and uses it to find an ideal spot to spread spores. The parasite fungus can infect and kill off entire colonies of ant.

Ants have adapted though. When they see a friend behaving strangely or staggering, they avoid an ant zombie apocalypse by carrying the infected one away from the colony.

Pretty wicked, huh?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Raining Blood

Spiders falling from the sky in Salta Province, Argentina 2007
No, I'm not talking about Slayer. Blood rain is a rare phenomenon where it looks like blood is falling from the sky.

And that's not all. Throughout history all kinds of crazy things have rained down from the sky. Fish, frogs, jellyfish, spiders, blood, guts...the list goes on.

Probably one of the most disturbing accounts (IMO) is the Kentucky Meat Shower that took place in 1876. When meat started falling from the sky, two locals tasted  it. The morons gentlemen decided it tasted like mutton or venison. 

So, picture it. You're sitting outside when meat starts falling all around you. Do you eat it? Comment and let me know!