Archive for August, 2009

Doll’s Eyes Are The Weirdest Plant In The World

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Thanks to everyone for showing up to our Weirdest Thing In The World livestream including Brian Brushwood and Brett “Amtrekker” Rounsaville. Find out how Doll’s Eyes became our champion.

Part I

Part II

The Weirdest Thing In The World: Plants

Friday, August 28th, 2009

On today’s Weirdest Thing In The World chat we’re going to get down to the roots on the oddest things to ever sprout. Yes friends, today we find the Weirdest Plants In The World.


– No Cryptids
– Must include pictures

Email all submissions to JustinRobertYoung@Gmail. I’ll see you kids right here at the front page at 5:30 p.m. EST where we will hash out the ultimate champion.

The massive bloom you see on this post is Rafflesia arnoldii the biggest flower on earth. Should be easy to beat. Let’s get it.

Adventures In Bigfoot Country: Shot Glasses, Civil Rights & Burgers

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Brett “Amtrekker” Rounsaville is an adventurous man who recently completed a journey whereby he had to tackle 50 life goals before returning home. Read more at He is a special reporter for Weird Things.

After nearly two years wandering America as a homeless vagrant I’m no stranger to the weird. Like a supercolony of Argentine ants poised to take over the world it stretches from one coast to another lurking just beneath the surface. Sometimes you have to dig down a few inches but EarlyBird.jpgmake no mistake, weird is everywhere, it’s all part of the same colony and sometimes… it comes up for air.

Willow Creek, CA

Willow Creek is only one small town in the vast area of Northwestern California known by locals and those looking to cash in on poor innocent cryptids as “Bigfoot Country.” Despite the fact that the only memorable thing to come out of Bigfoot Country in the last several millennia is 953 frames of grainy, questionable Cine-Kodak footage there is no shortage of speculation about Bigfoot in the area.

I would even venture to say a trip into Bigfoot Country is more likely to end in a sad death at the hands of a Bigfoot memorabilia avalanche than in an actual Bigfoot sighting, yet speculation runs wild and no one is afraid to show you their own representation of Mr. Henderson’s dear friend. So what is it that makes Willow Creek so interesting? Is it the Bigfoot Motel, Bigfoot Bookstore, Bigfoot Rafting Co., Bigfoot Contractor Supply, Bigfoot Dollar Store or (no joke) Bigfoot Podiatry?

Well, yeah, actually, it kinda is…


BUT, in an effort to stay on topic, I want to talk about the Early Bird restaurant. In a world where everyone is out to make a buck off of cryptozoology’s finest creation only the Early Bird is willing to step up and tell it like it is. Sure, they sell a two-patty, foot shaped hamburger…but look at these wall paintings!P8120095-1.jpg

Do you see anyone else willing to admit that it was the Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) who INVENTED fire roasted bagels and goose-stepping. (Which, by the way, has some very interesting “missing link” implications for Germany.) And check out that coffee percolator. You think Harry over there just walked into Wal-Mart and picked that bad boy up? Don’t be ridiculous. These are obviously VERY advanced creatures we’re talking about here.

Once my eyes were opened wide by the hallowed halls of the Early Bird I began to see all of the other establishments for what they truly were! Bastions of hate who would stop at nothing to keep the Bigfeet down; spurning what they don’t understand and spreading their message of species-ial inferiority! All the while, the Early Bird stands tall, convention be damned, ever fighting to bring Bigfooted civil liberties to the forefront of society. Starting a conversation, starting a movement!


Those are some effing weird murals in an already effing weird town.

I bought a milkshake and headed toward Oregon.

I’m done.

Click AFTER THE JUMP for a look at some of the Willow Creek’s finest Bigfoot collectables from shot glasses to children’s puzzles…


Honey Pot Ant Is The Weirdest Thing In The Desert

Friday, August 21st, 2009

The Honey Pot Ant is the Weirdest Thing In The Desert according to our Weird Thing Tiny Chat this week. Here is a brief description by Wikipedia.

Many insects, notably honey bees and some wasps, collect and store liquid for use at a later date. However, these insects store their food within their nest or in combs. Honey ants are unique in using their own bodies as living storage, but they have more function than just storing food. Some store liquids, body fat, and water from insect prey brought to them by worker ants. They can later serve as a food source for their fellow ants when food is otherwise scarce. In certain places, they are eaten by people as sweets and are considered a delicacy.

These ants can live anywhere in the nest, but in the wild, they are found deep underground, literally imprisoned by their huge abdomens, swollen to the size of grapes. They are so valued in times of little food and water that occasionally raiders from other colonies, knowing of these living storehouses, will attempt to steal these ants because of their high nutritional value and water content. These ants are also known to change colors. Some common colors are green, red, orange, yellow, and blue.

Thanks to everyone who helped out this week! Next week’s contest will be to find the Weirdest Plant In The World. Email nominations to JustinRobertYoungATGmail!

How Local Merchants Kept The Jersey Devil Alive

Friday, August 21st, 2009

skitched-20090821-085319.jpgFollowing a horrified statewide fascination with the Jersey Devil that peaked in 1909 with a week of non-stop sightings, general panic and even a statement from the Philadelphia Zoo theorizing that the devil was actually a kangaroo fitted with artificial wings, reports of the monster died down and New Jersey’s focus turned to the lawless, bandit-bred Pineys and, of course, World War I. The devil was sighted on and off throughout the 1920s and ‘30s without much regularity and certainly without the mass hysteria that had followed prior encounters.

As years passed, sightings began to dwindle; the legend itself seemed to be quietly nestling down into the annals of folklore, allowing a new generation of anthropomorphized paranoia, from biggie-sized irradiated wildlife to probe-happy telepathic saucer men, to terrify the nation. Eventually, in 1957, an unidentifiable animal carcass was discovered in a burned out section of the Pine Barrens by the Department of Conservation. The charred, mostly skeletal remains were declared to be those of the Jersey Devil, and slowly word spread that the monster was deceased.

In 1960, however, a story that had manifested out of fear, persisted out of the Piney’s cunning and quieted in the wake of modernity and the resultant demystification of America’s wilderness, was suddenly resurrected out of local pride. Recognizing that a bankable hallmark of New Jersey culture had flat-lined in the national consciousness, a group of merchants in Camden, NJ, offered a $10,000 reward for the devil’s capture and promised to construct a paddock for the creature to scream and clop and fly around in. Though the reward was never claimed, stories of the creature persisted, and by the end of 1990s, film, television, hockey and toys had all tipped their hats to the devil.

Even as the 20th century dragged its belly across New Jersey, leaving new highways and the virulent culs de sac of suburban sprawl in its wake, the Pine Barrens remained largely untouched. In 1978, they were declared the country’s first National Preserve and remain under the protection of the Federal government, as do the secrets they contain. With the forest intact and the story of the Jersey Devil laced into the byzantine braid of history, the immortality often ascribed to the creature has been made a reality, turning an agent of death into an icon of tradition through the inadvertent alchemy of fiction.

The Weirdest Thing In The World: Desert Creatures

Friday, August 21st, 2009

On today’s Weirdest Thing In The World chat we’re going to hunt us down the oddest thing in the arid, barren, sandy pitches of this earth. Yes friends, today we find the Weirdest Thing In The Desert.


– No Cryptids
– Must include pictures
– Must live PRIMARILY in the desert

Email all submissions to JustinRobertYoung@Gmail. I’ll see you kids in the Weird Things TinyChat room at 5:30 p.m. EST where we will hash out the ultimate champion.

The spike-headed fellow you see above is a Desert Horned Lizard. He will serve as the baseline in this week’s competition. Keep hydrated.

Alice In Wonderland Syndrom Is The Weirdest Disease In The World

Friday, August 14th, 2009


A syndrome of distorted space, time and body image. The patient with the Alice in Wonderland syndrome has a feeling that their entire body or parts of it have been altered in shape and size. The syndrome is usually associated with visual hallucinations. The majority of patients with the syndrome have a family history of migraine headache or have overt migraine themselves.

The syndrome was first described in 1955 by the English psychiatrist John Todd (1914-1987). Todd named it, of course, for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Perhaps not coincidentally, Lewis Carroll suffered from severe migraine. Also known as a Lilliputian hallucination.

Thanks to everyone who helped out with the chat today! See you next week!

Weirdest Thing In The World: Diseases

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Time to get your shots in order, we are delving into the weirdest diseases in the world on this week’s edition of WTitW.

Here are the rules:

– The disease has to be medically verified.
– The visual the better.
– This is NOT a contest for the grossest disease ever, so therefore we are disqualifying all flesh eating bacteria and the like.

Email all submissions to JustinRobertYoung@Gmail. I’ll see you kids in the Weird Things TinyChat room at 5:30 p.m. EST where we will hash out the ultimate champion.

Your baseline is hypertrichosis or as it’s more commonly known, Werewolf Disease. Mainly because they’re the only people on the planet who would scoff at the beards I grow. Let’s get down with the sickness.

Love Bugs: Reaper, X-Files Tackle The Weirdest Evil Insect Episodes In TV History

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

In this column, we look at two pop-cultural interpretations of ubiquitous Weird legends as portrayed by two narrative television programs… like how That ‘70s Show’s Donna and CSI: Miami’s Horatio Crane were both created by their respective networks in order to fulfill SAG-regulated ginger nut quotas. But with monsters. Enjoy.

Reaper, Episode 1×03, “All Mine”
X-Files, Episode 9×05, “Lord of the Flies”

Fleas provide a wily vector for the bubonic plague and wipe out a third of the world’s population.

Killer bees buzz up against America’s borders, causing a prolonged nationwide freakout.

All kinds of weird bugs terrify Willie Scott and Indiana Jones almost dies.

Spread out across every continent and driven by a simplistic nervous system that puppeteers their segmented bodies towards only the most primal satisfactions, insects have alternately fascinated and terrified humans since the first time some blundering caveman saw a beehive and went all My Girl on it. Their ubiquity and instinctual persistence postures them as an ever-moving imagined boundary between nature and civilization that, for every two steps it’s forced back by poisons and zappers, advances one step forward into kitchens and bedrooms. Insects have proved such an enduring fixture of human experience that they’ve infested language itself, swarming the vernacular with a bevy of bug-related clichés, euphemisms and metaphors, ranging from “the birds and the bees” to “mad as a hornet” to “patience, young grasshopper.” It’s no surprise, then, that these perceived pests, and the swarm of associations they evoke, occupy their own cavernous burrow in the pantheon of pop culture, eating their way into the very foundation of American narrative.

Even beyond their aforementioned presence in spoken rhetoric, insects’ universality and relative biological simplicity allow them to play the cipher for a variety of basic human circumstances, relationships and emotions. For instance, both the episodes examined in today’s column employ bugs in exploring different dimensions of love, from the ardor and stewardship that shape and fortify it, to the gnawing jealousy and guilt that can hollow it out from the inside. One episode uses the fundamental disgust that bugs can instill to channel the gross desperation and jealousy that the jilting wake of lust- gone-awry can inflict, while the other, in a failed attempt to portray a good kid gone bad in the name of both love and a genetic disease, ends up utilizing the simple, beautiful biology of insects as a microscope through which to examine the exact point of impact in a collision between feelings and actions.


A Brief History Of America’s Favorite Lake Based Monster Champ

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Weird Things Culture Researcher Matt Finaly takes a weekly look into the social, political and cultural climates of a populace at the time it was affected by a legendary paranormal, extraterrestrial or cryptid phenomenon. It appears on Tuesdays…


A lake isn’t a lake without a lake monster. Or, so it would seem. With more than 250 serpentine leviathans of varying size and ferocity trolling the dark reefs and hidden inlets of lakes worldwide, these arcane monstrosities are to inland bodies of standing water what Zagat ratings are to classy restaurants, providing immediate validation by way of an instantly identifiable symbol – a dark, long-necked silhouette asserting a mysterious vigilance in the dying warmth of deep orange light squeezed from a setting sun.

Sometimes more mascots than monsters, these aquatic behemoths are often as much unwitting chamber of commerce employees as they are enduring Untitled.jpgmysteries of cryptozoology. While Nessie, the stalwart cover girl of lake monster commercialization, may be the most ubiquitous of these creatures, North America has its own heavy-weight lacusine cryptid, with an equally cloying nickname – Champ.

For a supposed Mezozoic-era reptile hidden deep within the black, icy craw of Lake Champlain, Champ has become a surprisingly active community member in the various cities and towns that hug the shores surrounding the 125-mile-long body of water. His solemn reptilian visage adorns a variety of commercial signage, his wooden doppelganger smiles confidently from the courthouse lawn in Port Henry, New York, and his mere existence is lauded via fly balls and grounders by the Vermont Lake Monsters, Vermont’s only minor league baseball affiliate. Since the first reported sighting in the early 1870s, everyone from research scientists to P.T. Barnum have felt the scaly allure of this North American legend. As the world amasses an ever-growing role call of lake monsters to shout from dockside tea-shirt stands and minor league baseball stadiums, it seems appropriate to take one such monster, America’s own Champ, and look at the lake, legends and lives that, in just the right light and from enough of a distance, almost look like a giant, aquatic serpent posed stoically against the horizon.


The Weirdest Thing In The World: Haunted Structures

Friday, August 7th, 2009

We’re going a little different this week for our Weirdest Thing in the World hunt and demanding that you send us the oddest haunted structures on the planet. Houses, saloons, trailer parks, they’re all fair game.

The rules are:

– You must have a picture or official illustration.
– Make sure you include a brief background on why it’s so odd.

Your baseline above is the Loveland Castle, as discussed in this week’s monster column by Matt Finley. This ornate structure was constructed by a wealthy Ohio magnate who imported countless artifacts from Europe to decorate his new home. Locals believed that many served as vessels for evil spirits who continue to haunt the countryside.

Email all submissions to JustinRobertYoung@Gmail. I’ll see you kids in the Weird Things TinyChat room at 5:30 p.m. EST where we will hash out the ultimate champion.

Head Of A Fox, Wings Of A Bat: The Weirdest Thing In The Sky

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

The Indian Flying Fox Bat has the largest recorded wingspan in the world, sometimes stretching up to two meters. It was selected as the Weirdest Thing In The Sky during our Tinychat competition last week. Stay tuned for this week’s category.

Thanks to everyone for playing!

Click AFTER THE JUMP for a video of it eating some fruit at the Singapore zoo.