Archive for February, 2011

Five Creepiest Masks In All Of History

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Masks. Sure we’ve seen them used by serial killers and surgeons for years, but what are the absolute five creepiest of human history? Let’s find out.

Tibetan Ritual Mask pictures from nepal photos on webshots

Tibetan Ritual Mask: In a culture big on rituals in general, masks play a huge rule. We couldn’t find the exact purpose of this bad boy but we’re going to guess it’s the ritual of waking your child up in the middle of the night and scaring them until they finally learn that doing the dishes means washing and drying.

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Hannya Mask: A Japanese creation. This is said to represent a jealous female demon in Noh theater. We are particularly fond of it because the demon looks kind of confused. Like someone threw a surprise party for it and then lead it over to a cake box. But then when they opened the lid the sheet cake was covered in live bugs.

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Anglo Saxon Ship-Burial Helmet: This very rare find (only four have been recovered intact) isn’t particularly creepy but it does look like an advanced robot grew a mustache. We are also shocked this hasn’t been co-opted by Kanye West. Yet.

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Kifwebe: Members of the Kifwebe society in what is now known as Zaire had a reputation for supernatural power, which was represented in this mask. It’s said that the features of the face are representations of where the Kifwebe get their powers, for example:

The eye slits are said to the “holes of termites” and “the swelling of sorcerers;” the chin represents the snout of a crocodile; the long, pointed mouth resembles the beak of a bird, also the “flame of a sorcerer;”

Does anyone want to bet me that Charlie Sheen uses the term “flame of a sorcerer” sometime in the next two weeks?

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Plague Doctor Beak Mask: During the plague, so many folks needed medical attention that these total creepers became a welcome site. The entire, fun ensemble came equipped with a creepy robe and even creepier poking stick for “examinations.”

The bird beak had a functional purpose of holding scents like mint and vinegar so the wearer didn’t have to sniff death all day and was protected from miasmatic air.

Bad news was, the dudes who normally suited up as plague doctors were either folks who could not hack it in normal medical practice or recent students just beginning their careers. Either way, it didn’t look good for the patient. Then again, not much did, since they had the plague and all.

How P.T. Barnum Ripped Off Another Man’s Giant And Got Away With It

Monday, February 28th, 2011

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They are represented in myth, legend and even religion for centuries, but what happened to our fascination for giants? While other cryptids bask in our attention, the lumbering behemoths haven’t had a spot in the cultural sunshine in decades.

But yet, there was a time in this country when folks would flock from miles around to get a glimpse of proof this curious creatures existed. Even if the evidence was completely manufactured.

In the 19th century, facsimiles of giants and petrified humans captured the public imagination at sideshows. The most famous of these fakes was the Cardiff Giant, a 10-foot-long, 3,000 pound block of gypsum that was sculpted to look like a fossilized man and was exhibited in upstate New York in late 1869. The Cardiff Giant was the brainchild of tobacconist George Hull, who was inspired by the Nephilim of the Book of Genesis to create his oversized hoax.

The Cardiff Giant was so popular it was blatantly copied and recreated by the Patron Saint of this very site P.T. Barnum. Hull was so incensed by ripoff and attempted to sue Barnum. However, he ran into legal issues when he realized he’d have to vouch for the authenticity of his giant to claim damages.


Nation Of Islam Confirms Existence Of UFOs

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

The Nation Of Islam has announced that among the topics discussed during this year’s Saviours’ Day Convention in Chicago will be a panel discussing proof of alien visitation and why global sightings are on the rise.

Flying saucers have long been a part of the official NOI doctrine, including founder Elijah Muhammad’s reports of a hovering object known as the “Mother Plane.” Current leader Minister Louis Farrakhan last year described a visitation by a floating object known as “The Wheel.”

During last year’s Saviours’ Day speech, Farrakhan for the first time in years discussed in detail a vision he had in Mexico in 1985 involving an object he calls “the wheel.” Using charts, photos and drawings, he spent almost four hours describing how he was invited aboard and heard Elijah Muhammad speak to him. Farrakhan says that experience led him to inklings about future events.

Farrakhan, 77, has said the wheel, with its great capacity for destruction, contains the “wisdom to purify the planet,” but has harmed no one so far. He also claimed there have been governmental attempts to cover-up proof of the wheel, which he says many call UFOs.

No word yet from Farrakhan if “The Wheel” in the sky keeps on turning, although he presumably knows where he will be tomorrow.


Podcast: Dr. Vellasic’s Pickle Jar Of Doom

Friday, February 25th, 2011

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The gang debuts the brand new Podcastr webapp for listening to the show. Brian debates the thought process of Ronald Reagan as he confesses his alien invasion fears to Mikhail Gorbachev. Adventure scientists Dr. Herb Vellasic and Viederman try to crack the case of the frog plague. Andrew, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords in the wake of Watson pwning the Jeopardy! champions.

Try out the brand new PODCASTR player, featuring wireless syncing between desktop browsers and iOS devices, by clicking on the image:

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Philip Kaufman’s “The Right Stuff” (1983)


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Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”


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Peter F. Hamilton “Judas Unchained”

Sponsored by:


The Chibi Project

Expired Meat

And Now: Bogdan The Magnetic Boy

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

I don’t think there is anything I can add to this…


Neutron Star Displays “Weird Physics”

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The Weird Things staff loves all kinds of science, but we hold a special place in our heart for “weird science”, which is exactly what astronomers from the University of Alberta are saying is going on inside the neutron star Cassiopeia A. Astronomer Craig Heinke’s team has found that this neutron star contains a core of superfluid, a friction-less liquid that could seemingly defy the laws of gravity. The astronomers started researching the star after a sudden temperature drop and they determined that the temperature drop was due to the fact that its core transformed into a superfluid and is venting heat in the process.

“If you could put some of this superfluid in a jar it would flow up the walls of the container and over the edge,” said Heinke.


Goblin-Built Castle For Sale

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

In Scotland, 321 acres and the ruins of Yester Castle have hit the market for offers over £450,000. The ruins date back to before 1267 and the only remaining structure is the subterranean Goblin Ha’ or Hobgoblin Ha’ (Goblin Hall). According to legend, the castle was built by Sir Hugo de Giffard, a wizard and necromancer. Old Hugo decided to build a castle and made a pact with the devil in exchange for an army of hobgoblins who helped build it.

[East Lothian Courier via Ghost Theory]

Haunted Painting: The Anguished Man

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

 mce_src=Over at Phantoms and Monsters an interesting and fun tale about a haunted painting has been posted. According to the story, the painting, entitled The Anguished Man, has been in the family for more than 25 years. It was kept in the attic until recently and the artist apparently committed suicide after making this painting. Oh – and the oil paint was mixed using the artists own blood.

There are reports of strange noises, dark figures, and fitful sleep. You can watch the entire video series with more detailed information here, including when the so-called former skeptic owner decides to ramp things up by moving the painting into his bedroom. If nothing else, it is a fantastic tale.

[Phantoms and Monsters]

The Must-Listen, Super Goofy 1979 Czech Ballad Of Swampthing

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Before Alan Moore’s 1987 retelling of the story, came 1979’s Czech ballad of The Swamp Thing. From what we can gather, this meme has been around for a little while but it’s new to us and hopefully a few of you guys.

Thanks to Weird Things reader @Bizmar on Twitter for throwing this our way.

Torn-Out Tongue, Shattered Skull Peppers 1950’s Radioactive Russian Mystery

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

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A few friends go hiking in the Russian wilderness on an early February night in 1959. The Ural Mountain area is desolate, but not unmanageable for these nine veteran hikers.

On a larger scale, the Soviet Union continues to ascend in global power. Cuba is weeks away from succumbing to Communist revolution. Secrecy and corruption in all levels of government continue to run unchecked in an Iron Curtain system which it’s own citizens don’t dare question and the rest of the world fears.

Those nine hikers were found dead. Two of them had fractured skulls. Many of them were in various states of undress. One of them had her tongue ripped out of her mouth. All of their clothes had trace levels of radiation.

Their tent was ripped open. From the inside.

What were they trying to get away from? Were they running from something? Or someone? Did top secret chemical weapons testing cause them to go psychotic? Did a group of indigenous people brutally, torture and murder the friends?

Why was the subsequent investigation sealed under high level secrecy for decades?

The intervening 52 years haven’t provided hard answers, but there are plenty of theories ranging from UFOs to high-tech military testing.

The snow swept scenery is now called Dyatlov Pass in memory of Igor Dyatlov, the leader of those who died under such odd circumstances. Read about them AFTER THE JUMP… (more…)

England’s Answer To The Loch Ness Monster

Friday, February 18th, 2011

While kayaking on Lake Windermer in the UK, Tom Pickles snapped a photograph with his cell phone of what it being referred to as the “English Loch Ness Monster”.

Mr Pickles said he saw an animal the size of three cars speed past him on the lake and watched it for about 20 seconds.

“Its skin was like a seal’s but it’s shape was completely abnormal – it’s not like any animal I’ve ever seen before.”

The creature is known by local residents as “Bownessie” and this is the eighth reported sighting  in the last five years.
[The Telegraph]

Don’t Be A Victim! Know Your Crypto Creatures Before Calling The Media

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

14,000-Year-Old Skull Drinking Cups Unearthed

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Archaeologists working in Gough’s Cave in Somerset, UK have unearthed three human skulls used as cups, and at 14,700-years-old they are some of the oldest known examples in the world. Much care went into their construction:

“The cut-marks and dents show how the heads were scrupulously cleaned of any soft tissues shortly after death,” says Silvio Bello from London’s Natural History Museum. Later, the face bones and the base of the skull would have been removed, before the cranial vaults were meticulously shaped into cups by retouching broken edges. “All in all,” says Bello, “it was a very painstaking process given the tools available.”

[New Scientist]

Local News Investigates Chemtrails

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

CBS Atlanta has recently launched an investigation into whether the government is poisoning you with airplanes.  I am not going to spoil the answer for you; you are going to have to watch yourself. Tough questions indeed.

[io9 via The Occultist]

2012 Russian Doomsday Capsule

Monday, February 14th, 2011

A Russian military engineer, Evgeny Ubiyko, is building an $80,000 Doomsday Capsule designed to survive the 2012 apocalypse, as understood from folklore, television and movies. Ubiyko is building his capsule on an abandoned battery farm just outside Moscow.

“The capsule is hermetic, it’s got four layers of insulation. It can float, roll down hills, and land upside down – without being damaged,” Evgeny explains.

“It cannot be destroyed by tremors, or lava, or magnetic storms. This is where the shower will be, and the air purification systems. It can house up to four people for 40 days and costs $80,000.”

I want to reiterate this last point: the inventor claims that this capsule is impervious to LAVA.  That is something that I would like to see in action. Hey, fun fact – if the world doesn’t actually end, Evgeny says the capsules can be used as saunas or industrial fridges.  He strongly recommends that the government order several thousand immediately.


Creature Washes Up On Long Island

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

A strange corpse washed up recently on Long Island and a number of pictures were submitted to Phantoms and Monsters. What kind of animal do you think this is?

[Phantoms and Monsters]