Archive for June, 2010

New Fossils Confirm The Most Badass Whale To Ever Live

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010


Peruvian researchers have pieced together the remains of what could have been the ultimate whale killing machine. Introducing Leviathan melvillei…

A team of researchers recovered 75% of the animal’s skull, complete with large fragments of both jaws and several teeth. On the basis of its skull length of 3 metres, they estimate that Leviathan was probably 13.5–17.5 metres long, within the range of extant adult male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus).

Its largest teeth, however, are more than 36 centimetres long — nearly 10 centimetres longer than the largest recorded Physeter tooth.

Modern sperm whales lack functional teeth in their upper jaw and feed by suction, diving deep to hunt squid. Conversely, Leviathan had massive teeth in both its upper and lower jaws, and a skull that supported large jaw muscles. It may have hunted like raptorial killer whales, which use their teeth to tear off flesh.

Hard. Core.


A Look At Florida’s Skunkape Research HQ

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

According to the YouTube information this is an excerpt from a Florida PBS documentary, Escape to Dreamland: The Story of the Tamiami Trail.

Thanks to Weird Things correspondent Mary for sending this in.

English Schoolboy Builds Spider-Man Machine

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

13-year-old Hibiki Kono has finally done what most of us have dreamed of since we were teenagers: Built a machine that simulates the most famous power of Marvel Comics’s Spider-Man.

The machine, constructed over 5 months, uses vacuum cleaners to hold wanna-be webheads to any surface, although Kono admits his mom won’t let him use it inside lest he damage the walls. Hopefully the machine will allow him to shed his VERY nerdy demeanor like the spider bite did for Peter Parker. That might be a bit far-fetched though.

What would you do with a Spider-Man machine? Let us know in the comments!

Die Hard 5: Insurance Fraudier [Weirdest Murders]

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Murders ever committed.

I’m going to be honest here folks, today’s story not only feels like a strong early contender for the number one spot in this week’s Weird Off…but may also retroactively take away Wenseslao Moguel’s title from the Weirdest Survival Stories Weird Off of two weeks ago. (Is it just me or was that an awful lot of ‘W’ words for one sentence?)

Michael Malloy was once known as the most durable man in history…of course, he was also once known as the town drunk, a hopeless alcoholic and a strong candidate to drink himself to death. So naturally, five friends took it upon themselves to take out a series of life insurance policies that would pay out the exorbitant sum of $3500 in the event of Malloy’s accidental death. (I should mention this all happened in 1933, so that’s almost $60,000 in real money.)

Since no one likes to stake their financial gains on chance, these five guys decided nature might need a little helping hand and started referring to themselves as the Murder Trust. It all started out innocent enough (Relatively speaking. Don’t get me wrong, they were trying to kill some homeless drunk for pecuniary gain.) with one of the Murder Trust offering Malloy an unlimited tab at a speakeasy in an effort to speed up the whole drinking himself to death process.

Apparently that just wasn’t getting the job done…so they started switching out alcohol for antifreeze.

Didn’t work.



Horse liniment?


Rat poison?!

Thanks to an iron stomach (and no taste buds?), he just kept coming back for more.

In an effort to up their game the Murder Trust started feeding him methanol soaked oysters and spoiled sardine sandwiches mixed with poison. (That’s the one that gets me. I’ve had sardines out of a can before and they almost put me down for the count…and those weren’t even arsenic flavored.)

Bottom-line: When all that did was give Malloy a shinier winter coat (I have no reason to believe that’s true.) things got serious.

One night when temperatures dropped to below zero the five really-wish-we-could-be-murderers fed our hero drinks until he passed out, dumped him in the nearest snow bank, took off his shirt and dumped five gallons of water on his chest. And finally, FINALLY, after Malloy died a miserable, frozen death, they were able to collect their ill-gotten gains.

Just kidding. He showed up at the bar the next day looking for a drink.

Eventually they settled on a more direct approach and just ran him over with a taxi. Once they set out to collect their ill-gotten gains however, they found it was difficult to prove his death without the body. Luckily, it mysteriously showed up at the bar three weeks later…asking for a drink. It seems they at least managed to hospitalize Malloy for almost a month on that attempt. Way to make progress, murderers!

Okay, for reals this time, they finally did, really for real, no take backs, kill him on their next attempt by sticking a gas hose in his mouth after he passed out drunk one night and successfully collected the policy…only to get busted by police because they couldn’t stop telling their friends the crazy story after a few drinks.

Final score: Michael Malloy 10; Murder Trust 1

Weird enough? What do you think? Was the Murder Trust doing it all wrong or was Michael Malloy really the toughest hobo who ever lived?

Podcast: Destroyer of Worlds

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

weird things podcast SM

Find out which of the three used to wear a Spider-Man costume under his clothes and which ones just wore ladies underwear. Listen to them describe their plans to capture a sea beast, fight alligators and find proof of Son of Hogzilla. Also, it becomes painfully obvious that when Justin, Brian and Andrew are a dying alien civilization’s last chance for survival, it’s better to die screaming in the night then hope to see another tomorrow.

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes
Podcast RSS feed
Episode archive
Download url:


Demon Cat!

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Proof Of The Wildmen Who Fought Griffins For Gold

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

skitched-20100629-113525.jpgRussian legends tell of a breed of homonids who were excellent herders, tough as (the yet to be invented) nails and most importantly made a sport of fighting Griffins for caches of gold.

It now appears that we have biological proof of these legendary wild men.

Siberia’s Denisova cave held the pinky bone of an unknown early human species, a genetics team reported in March. The Naturejournal study, led by Johannes Krause of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, offered no answer for what happened to this “archaic” human species, more than one million years old and living near their human and Neanderthal cousins as recently as 30,000 years ago.

But at least one scholar has an intriguing answer: “The discovery of material evidence of a distinct hominin (human) lineage in Central Asia as recently as 30,000 years ago does not come as a surprise to those who have looked at the historical and anecdotal evidence of ‘wild people’ inhabiting the region,” wrote folklorist Michael Heaney of the United Kingdom’s Bodleian Library Oxford, in a letter to The Times of London.

So it’s just a matter of finding some Griffin bones. But now that we have a pinky bone of a wild man, we just have to look for the foot he buried in the winged lion’s butt.

[USA Today]

Mutant Baby Counts In Base 12

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

This baby was recently born in California with 6 perfectly functional fingers and toes on each hand and foot, respectively.  The condition, known as polydactylism, is not uncommon. What is unique about this case is that the baby’s extra fingers and toes are all proportional and work perfectly. One thing is for sure, you don’t want to play this kid in Mortal Kombat.

And while we are talking about mutations, do the muttonchops on the Doctor in this video count as a mutation? Like Wolverine needed another power…

The Man Who Wasn’t Murdered…Until He Was [Weirdest Murders]

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville is bringing us the Weirdest Murders ever committed.

It was my favorite American author (well, maybe my second favorite) who once said, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Which would be a PERFECT analog to today’s story if just a couple hours after Samuel Clemens uttered one of his most famous phrases…he dropped dead.

In a startling display of topicality, hitherto unseen in this column, just two short days ago José Sergio Vega was murdered in his red Cadillac by an unknown gunman somewhere in Northwest Mexico.

“Pfft. Getting shot is not exactly ‘weird’, Brett.”

I hear what you’re saying, Mr. Disembodied Voice, and, I assure you, I whole-heartedly agree. However, maybe you just need to sit tight and listen to the rest of the story instead of being so damn argumentative and judgmental.

Here’s the weird part: Just a few short hours before “El Shaka” (That’s Vega’s rad musical nom de er…music) was shot dead he was giving an interview expressly to dismiss the rumors that he had been shot dead! (I can neither confirm whether he used the phrase, “Las noticias de mi muerte eran una exageración.”)

Apparently El Shaka is well known around the Mexican Country Music circuit (according to my Mexican Music sources, that’s a real thing) for performing “narcocorridos,” which are songs mostly about the amazing feats of Mexican drug traffickers. Not unlike a 50cent ditty but with less being shot in the face and more running drugs hidden in the headrest of a ’92 Civic across the border (I guess…).

The problem there is that seven such performers have been killed by rival traffickers (miffed by the power ballads extolling their competitors virtues) in the last three years. El Shaka’s lawyer however, seems to think he was being targeted for his sweet ride…

Regardless, kind of makes you want to stop going around telling people you’re not dead, right?

So, how excited are you for a week of weird murders? Got any you think need to make it into the final five? Most importantly, why do drug traffickers have so many songs about them that there’s actually a name for their style of music and I can’t get you guys to write one tiny little theme song about me?!

Shape Shifting Matter No Longer Just A Beautiful Dream

Monday, June 28th, 2010


Sick of using all sorts of different shapes of things only for the purpose they were initially designed for? Step right up to the bold new future named programmable matter!

To make them self-folding, computer scientist Daniela Rus at MIT and her colleagues embedded strips just 100 microns thick – as wide as a human hair – made of a “shape-memory” nickel-titanium alloy that changes shape when heated or cooled. They also included flexible, stretchable copper-laminated plastic mesh ribbons on the sheets that served as wires.

When electricity running through the coppery ribbons was applied to heat the shape memory alloy strips to 70 degrees C (158 degrees F) or more, they went from flat to bent, causing the entire sheet to fold with them. In the end, the 32-tile sheets the researchers devised could fold into origami boats and airplanes.

This means a whole toolbox could be replaced by one single anamorphic shape shifting tool. Like Mystique, but with a phillips AND flat heads.


Want To Be Taken More Serious? Get Heavier, Harder

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Our primate brains seem to equate seriousness with touching heavier or harder objects. For example, a resume on thick stock will be taken more serious than something printed off on fax paper.

Think I’m kidding? Would someone with a business card made of stainless steel, weighing 8 lbs. be joking?

[National Geographic]

World’s First Functioning Crazy-o-meter [Weirdest Inventions]

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Inventions ever conceived.

I think we established that you can always count on Japanese folk and the military to come up with some off the wall inventions but let it be known here and now and for the rest of time that there is only one place to go for a truly weird invention. The apex of oddball, the zenith of zany, the pinnacle of peculiar…the culmination of crazy, the…nadir of normal (I’m running out of steam here gang. I hope that was enough for you. OH, WAIT! One more…), the summit of strange; I’m speaking, of course, of Scientology.

It’s now more commonly know as the E-meter but the Hubbard Electrometer was originally used by L. Ron Hubbard in 1968 for a (*ahem*) scientific experiment with the intention of discerning whether or not tomatoes experience pain.

Crazy? Probably.

Ahead of his time? Definitely.

Maybe if we had listened to L. Ron when he told us he had proven that tomatoes effectively scream in pain when they’re sliced then we wouldn’t have run into that huge Killer Tomato problem we had just ten years later when they finally rose against their transgressors.

Woe is man’s hubris when confronted with the threat of mutant tomatoes with a taste for human blood.

Also, it’s worth noting that the Hubbard Electrometer is basically just a device that measures electrical resistance but with the not-to-be-trifled-with addition of an unproven assertion.

I could be wrong, but it feels like the Hubbard Electrometer is just one step off from me gluing macaroni to the side of a toaster oven and declaring that it can sort ghosts by height. (Hmm…I might be on to something there. Yeah…the Rounsaville Ghosterganizer, coming to a Target near you.)

That’s the last of them gang. What do you think? Who’s going to top the heap in this week’s Weird Off? Will it be:

1. The Solar Powered Bra

2. Military Vuvuzelas

3. Baby’s First Ball Gag

4. The Scan Toaster

5. The Hubbard Electrometer

What order would you put these weirdest of weird inventions in?

In other news: Our pushy and megalomaniacal editor here at, Mr. Justin Robert Young, has insisted that next week’s Weirdest Topic needs to be both topical and summer related…so he’s suggest Weirdest Murders of All Time. Get pumped, people.

Germans Forcing Octopus To Make Psychic Sports Predictions! [WeirdThingsTV]

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Dismissed Study Alleging Proof Of Martian Life On Earth Finds New Support

Friday, June 25th, 2010


In 1996 a team of NASA scientists published a study saying the they’d found signs of life on a Martian meteorite that crashed to Earth in 1984. They were summarily dismissed by many.

14 years later, as science has caught up, their findings don’t seem so far fetched.

Could we have proof of life on the Red Planet right here?

[Pop Sci]

Crazy German Zoo Forces Shockingly Accurate Sports Predictions From Octopus

Friday, June 25th, 2010

From his aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany an octopus named Paul has predicted a win for the home team over England this weekend in Knockout Round World Cup play. Paul has been forced to predict national soccer matches regularly and so far he is perfect through group play, predicting victory over Australia and Ghana as well as a loss against Serbia.

Paul makes his predictions by removing a muscle from one of two bins marked with the team flags. He offered no further comment on the increasingly active play of England’s Wayne Rooney or if the void left by Michael Ballack in the German midfield will wear on the team as the tournament stretches longer. Instead, he creepily moved his tentacles before hiding behind a rock while a tourist tried to take his picture.

What’s most disturbing, this zoo is a hothouse for animal-devined sports prediction. The staff forces many of their animals including hippos and monkeys to make predictions for each match. So far, Paul has been the most accurate.

[Fox News]

Jam Out To The Searing Sounds Of The Sun

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Scientists at The University of Sheffield have captured the sounds of the exterior layer of the sun known as the solar cornea. If you ever wanted to know what hell might sound and look like this is the video for you.

You can get a clearer look at what’s making the sound here, and check out the full press release for more information.