Archive for August, 2010

A Dude Gets Sucked Into A Freaking Jet Engine And Survives (Video)

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Thanks to Weird Things reader Dan Wheeler for sending this in.

How A Dead Sorcerer Began The Concept Of Feasting For The Deceased

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010


The oldest known shaman died and was buried in a Northern Israeli cave. Everyone thought it would be a good idea to stuff their faces with food in her memory. Because of this, you ate a ham plate at your Uncle Barry’s wake.

Life is strange.

A study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Grosman and Natalie Munro, a zooarchaeologist at the University of Connecticut, reveals that the shaman’s burial feast was just one chapter in the intense ritual life of the Natufians, the first known people on Earth to give up nomadic living and settle in villages.

The other traditions? Carried the dead bodies along with the party supplies up the mountains to their elevated resting places. Who’s got two thumbs and is pretty psyched we dropped that one?

[Nat Geo]

Grandfather’s Family Ghost Story Leads To Horrific Mass Grave

Friday, August 27th, 2010

So your kindly grandfather makes it a point every Thanksgiving to spook the kids with a little ghost story. Back in 1832, he’d say whilst wiping the remains of cranberry sauce from his white button down, 57 Irish immigrant railroad workers were murdered and buried in a spooky old spot by the rail road tracks called Duffy’s Cut.

Fat on stuffing, everyone would shuffle home, wondering why grandfather kept telling that story on Thanksgiving instead of Halloween.

Timing aside, it turns out that story wasn’t so much as a spook tale meant to give the youngins nightmares as it was a grisly confession that he had proof of a few dozen murders. Now a pair of twin grandsons are spearheading a project to dig up the bodies and find the truth.

Oh grandpa…

There It Is! Letter Recovered After 400 Years Contains Secret Language

Friday, August 27th, 2010

_Lost_ Language Found on Back of 400-Year-Old Letter.jpg

A letter found in the ruins of a collapsed Spanish colonial church in Peru could be the key to a heretofore undiscovered language. Awesome.

“Even though [the letter] doesn’t tell us a whole lot, it does tell us about a language that is very different from anything we’ve ever known—and it suggests that there may be a lot more out there,” said project leader Jeffrey Quilter, an archaeologist at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

The letter was preserved because the caved in structure protected the relatively unharmed library and offices of the facility.

[Nat Geo]

Woman Caught Smuggling Drugged Tiger Cub In Luggage

Friday, August 27th, 2010


Stop me when you’ve heard this one. A Thai national is trying to smuggle a two-month old tiger cub to Iran, so she drugs the cute little buggers and tosses them into a carry on bag filled with stuffed tigers so as to throw off security.

And then she’s arrested.

You hadn’t heard it? Okay, well now you have.

[Nat Geo]

Mayans Might Have Created Artificial Lakes

Thursday, August 26th, 2010


Researchers have found that Mayans protected their drinking water by installing a layer of ceramic shards. Pretty crafty…

If so, that would be a minor sensation — merely due to the quantity of ceramics required. The aguadas in Uxul were each as large as ten Olympic-size pools. Maybe there used to be even more artificial lakes. After all, the precious commodity had to be enough to last a population of at least 2,000 through the 3-month dry season.

Mayans! What will they have thought of next!

Mysterious Unmanned Yacht Washes Ashore

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Who does the mysterious Yacht belong to? Authorities in the Redington Beacharea of Florida were left scratching their heads Wednesday when this unmanned craft arrived on the sand. The $1,000,000 craft was never registered after it was sold by the previous owner 2 years ago, leaving the police to wonder who the new owner might be and what might have happened to them.

Police hope that the owner will report the craft as missing… if he wasn’t lost at sea.

Nike Files Patent For Back To The Future Inspired Self-Lacing Shoes

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010


The dream is real! Marty McFly’s self-lacing shoes could become science fact as Nike filed a patent for the tech in 2009.

[Nice Kicks]

Thieving Packs Of Baboons Terrorize South African Community

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

BBC News - The criminal baboons terrorising South Africa.jpg

Cut off from nature! Fenced in by the sea! The only recourse? Rob the humans blind! This summer… they’re not monkeying around. They are South African Baboon Thieves!


Back-Scatter Scanners Coming To A Street Near You

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

If you thought staying away from airports would keep you safe from the new full-body scanners that were recently deployed think again. As this video shows back-scatter enabled vans are already rolling out.

According to Forbes:

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents

Due to this recent development, now may be the perfect time to invest in lead underwear.

Real Life Eye Of Sauron Revealed!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Okay, it’s really the most detailed picture of a sun spot ever taken. Still…

[Pop Sci]

Amateurs Inform Air Force Secret Space Plane Changed Orbit

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010


Is the secret X-37B space plane going rogue? Or is this part of the plan for the Air Force’s mystery vessel?

Either way, amateur sky watchers found the reusable space plane had boosted itself into a different orbit last week. This might be because it will now come into contact with a few Air Force Satellite Control Network facilities it would not have otherwise. Or because someone got bored. Since the military is disclosing any details, we have no way of knowing.

No landing date for the X-37B has been set.


Canadian Sewer Workers Happen Upon Gigantic Dinosaur Tooth

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010


A work crew in Edmonton found a huge dinosaur bone while working in a sewer tunnel. What’s amazing is not necessarily the discovery, but the cavalier attitude held by the museum official the crew turned the fossil over to.

Museum officials say finding dinosaur bones in Canada’s Alberta province is a relatively common occurrence.

“I can go out on a hike on a Sunday and find a dinosaur bone. But it’s really a question of how significant the find is,” said Leanna Mohan, the museum’s marketing coordinator.

Okay Indiana Jones, calm down. Let’s not go crapping all over the coolest thing to happen these guys since Larry slipped face first into a pile of human waste because he was trying to reenact a CFL touchdown dance.

Besides, what if it’s weirder than that? Ever seen that movie Relic? What if that monster ate a real dinosaur in the sewer.

It’s early.


Barophobia [Weirdest Phobias]

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Phobias ever…um…phobed?

Let’s start things out right this week. What’s the most sane thing in life to fear?

(This is the part where you’re supposed to say “nature.”)

That’s right! Nature. Floods, volcanoes, tornados, lightening, pumas…it’s a never-ending list of unpredictable danger. And what’s the one thing more terrifying than unpredictable danger?

(You’re supposed to say, “PREDICTABLE DANGER!”)

That’s right!!! Staring into Certain Death’s empty eye sockets is WAY scarier than huddling up in the house during a storm, not quite sure whether it will turn into a hurricane or pass you by.

So, following this logic, the single most terrifying thing on the planet must be both natural and predictable. Which is why they have a word for it.


Also known as an irrational fear of…bum bum buuuummm, gravity.

Caused by a traumatic event the afflicted somehow linked to gravity (i.e. falling from a height or being trapped on an unmanned space station with a human hating AI for a prolonged period of time), it results in anxieties as mild as nausea and as crippling as an overwhelming fear of disaster when confronted with  thoughts of, well, gravity.

Weird, right? What are your favorite irrational fears? Have any of your own?

The Strange History Of Pre-UFO Sentient Fireballs

Monday, August 23rd, 2010


How did folks describe UFO phenomenon before we had the science fiction constructs to fill in the blanks of interstellar travelers from deep space? Probably a lot like 12-year-old George Campbell of Sherman, Texas in 1898.

“Last night papa and I were riding along the ‘Eighty-foot Road’, about two and a half miles [4km] north of town, when all at once everything got very bright. We saw a great ball of fire coming down toward the ground. It got within about three feet [90cm] of the ground and seemed to rest for a while and then it went back up until it got clear out of sight. There was a buzzing sound all the time.”

George described the ball as 10 feet wide and not emitting any heat.

[Fortean Times]

Helium Set To Fly Away Within 30 Years

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Forget peak oil, peak helium is set to upset children’s parties and squeaky voices by 2015.

Due to legislation passed in 1996, the United States reserves of helium must be sold off within the next five years, which has led to the lifting gas being criminally under-priced. According to Nobel laureate Robert Richardson:

The Earth is 4.7 billion years old and it has taken that long to accumulate our helium reserves, which we will dissipate in about 100 years. One generation does not have the right to determine availability for ever.

Unless we find another hidden reserve of the stuff, expect highly-flammable hydrogen balloons to replace helium once it runs out.

[New Zealand Hearld]