Archive for the ‘Animal’ Category

Deer Afflicted with ‘Gnarly Buck’

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Ola Enbagen of Gothenburg, Sweden casually went out to grab his morning paper from the post office box. As a bonus he got to see a cute little deer grazing quietly.

Only there was something different about this deer.

“He was looking straight at me and I just thought, “Damn, he looks strange.”

What caught Enbagen’s attention was the weird cactus-like growth on the deer’s head. A moment later the deer leaped over a hedge and disappeared.

“But when I was having breakfast he returned, so I took some pictures and filmed him through the window,” said Enbagen.

Enbagen’s little deer friend was suffering from something called ‘cactus buck’ or better still “gnarly cactus”.

Gnarly cactus is a condition which causes the animal’s antlers to continue growing until they cover its eyes. Normally, a hormonal impulse stirs the bucks to rub the velvet off its antlers every year, and eventually shed them.

When a hormonal imbalance disturbs the shedding of the animal’s antlers, each growing cycle produces more velvet and antler material on top of the previous year’s until they eventually grow over the deer’s eyes, resembling a cactus.

An animal with this condition will have very small or completely undescended testicles. Animals with this condition are not expected to live for a long time. Once the antlers grow over his eyes, the animal will be unable to fend for itself.

Enbagen said deer visit his garden frequently but never one that looked like this.

[The Local – Sweden]

A Vibrant, Beautiful Death for a Deadly Sea Creature

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

While it sounds like the last half of a Harry Potter book title, the Fire Urchin isn’t quite as fun.

Fire Urchins, which are found off the coast of Maui, Hawaii, get their name not from their typically blazing colorations but from the fantastically painful sting that comes from messing with one of these things. Not only are its red and white hair-like spikes venomous but at the base of each one of those tiny harpoons are small pincers containing even more poison just waiting to latch on to whatever prey wanders too close.

What’s fascinating about the above photo (looking directly down onto the urchin from above) and makes it really weird is that nature photographer David Fleetham caught, for the first time, one of these urchins in its final moments.

Looking at the center of the photo, you’ll see what looks like a bag of balls from a Chuck E. Cheese ball-pit…only not it’s quite as fun…

That sack is actually its entire insides being expelled through its mouth.

SO cute…right?

[New Scientist]

Psychic Pig Now King of the Sports Prediction Barnyard

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Not to be outdone by Germany’s cross-eyed possum, Slovakia’s two-headed turtle and the infamous Paul the Octopus, the city of Kiev is adding a pig to the psychic barnyard.

Hoping to cash in on the excitement these animals illicit from fans, this Ukranian pig will be carted out every day at four o’ clock to make its prediction about which team will be win the European championship matches leading up to the World Cup.

What’s more fascinating about whether or not the pig will accurately predict the upcoming matches, is the statement from Kiev’s city government:

“A unique oracle hog, a real Ukranian pig and a psychic which knows the mysteries of football.”

No. pressure on the pig, right?

Think again… smell that? It’s the smell of failure and delicious bacon.

[The Leader Board]

One Mile Offshore – Deer Board Boat, Avoid Drowning

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

This awesome wildlife rescue happened back in October, 2010 in Taku Inlet near Juneau, Alaska. Alaska Quest Charters was crossing the inlet when four deer approached the boat about a mile offshore.  The struggling animals were brought aboard where they recuperated. When they reached the opposite shore, three of the deer took off into the forest. The fourth had to be rolled off with a wheelbarrow, but after a couple hours was able to take off as well.

“About a mile offshore, Sharon, a birder, spotted something odd in the water coming towards the boat through her binoculars.  What she first thought were sea lions or shorebirds turned out to be four young Sitka black-tailed deer (a subspecies of mule deer).

Even though Sitka deer are known for their swimming ability and often cross large bodies of water between islands, these four where in obvious distress in the frigid water and whipping winds that had stirred up two to three foot swells in the inlet.  The biggest sign of that distress was the fact that the deer actually swam towards the boat and tried to board it, their fear of drowning overpowering their fear of people.

Unable to propel themselves out of the water in their exhaustion, they had to be hauled out onto the deck, where they collapsed.  There, the hypothermic deer slowly but calmly recovered.”

[Animal Planet]

Insane Hockey Goalie Explains the Universe, Lethal Chinese Hunting Restrictions

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

HBO’s suburb hockey documentary series 24/7 debuted last night. It will cover the behind the scenes action of the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers in the lead up to their outdoor game on New Year’s Day.

But the real star of the show, and buzz of today’s sports blogosphere, is Ilya Bryzgalov. The loopy Flyers net minder got his Sagan on and decided to explain the universe. Wide eyed, fascinated and peppered with English-as-a-second-language idiosyncrasies, it’s a pretty awesome way to spend 40 seconds.

He later went on to describe the penalties for killing a tiger in China. Namely: the death penalty. Which is hilarious. And coincidently, also 100% true.

24/7: The Road To The Winter Classic airs Wednesdays on HBO.

[Pro Hockey Talk]

Lizard Plays Video Game, Crushes It

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011


World’s Smallest Frogs Found

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

If you were on the hunt for the world’s smallest frogs, you better get to New Guinea.

Field work by researcher Fred Kraus from Bishop Museum, Honolulu has found the world’s smallest frogs in southeastern New Guinea. This also makes them the world’s smallest tetrapods (non-fish vertebrates).

Some of them were only 8-9 mm in length. Researchers further described them as “aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww how cute are you little Mr. Frog!”

[Science Daily]

Squirrel Pulls Fire Alarm, Avoids Fine

Friday, December 9th, 2011

A squirrel has been busted for sneakily setting off a fire alarm after footage was reviewed by school officials.  The squirrel had been living in the cafeteria, but after this little stunt it was captured and kicked out.

“The squirrel was eventually trapped and let go.

“It’s really hard to fine a squirrel, so he got a stern lecture and was released outside,” Henson joked.”

[My Fox Tampa Bay]

Giant Albino Snail Found

Monday, December 5th, 2011

A rare find, the Powder of snails. A giant white, albino snail has been located in New Zealand’s Kahurangi National Park.

“Our group had seen three or four snails already that morning as it had rained and they’d come out in the wet conditions.

“Then I saw the white snail and went ‘wow’. We were excited to see it, knowing how extraordinary it was.”

These carnivorous beasts are usually found munching on earthworms and slugs. The snail has now been written into the new Hobbit film. Not really. But it should.


Zoo Proves Love Between Sheep, Deer By Posting Mating Photos On Blog

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Chinese message boards have lit flame with a romantic controversy filled with taboo, lust and well-lit viewing areas. A sheep and deer have fallen in love at the Yunnan Zoo. When first reported, many reacted skeptically, believing the report to be a cutesy ploy to draw attention to the tourist attraction.

But doubters were proven dead wrong when zoo officials posted the above photo on their weblog. The indisputable evidence shows the hot couple in flagrante delicto.

Thanks to Weird Things writer Ryan for passing this along.


$500 Bounty Offered For Photo Of Allegedly Extinct Snake

Thursday, December 1st, 2011


Catch the rainbow and you could be $500 richer.

The South Florida rainbow snake has been categorized as extinct since last month, but The Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson and the Center for Snake Conservation in Louisville, Colo. is now offering a cash bounty for proof it exists.

The SoFla subspecies was last identified in 1952. But since then we had like first gen iPhones that ran on EDGE speeds, so how could anyone be expected to get another photo?

Young says they do not want people going out of their way to catch a snake: “If you see one, it’s likely to be basking on the riverbank while eating an eel or having just finished one.” Eels are the snake’s primary diet. “Take a photo of it. We don’t have to have an actual snake.”

Fisheating Creek in Glades County, FL is a short one hour, 56 minute ride from Weird Things HQ. So… we’ll see you later.

[Scientific American]

Ravens Use Hand Gestures To Communicate

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

In a first for wild animals (not named primates) researchers have concluded that raven utilize gestures with their wings and beaks to communicate to other ravens. This includes pointing at items.

This is different than domesticated animals like dogs using gestures since the raven behavior is occurring naturally without intervention.

[Live Science]

And Now, The Best Song About An Axolotl You’ll Ever Hear

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

If you are unfamiliar, please refer to this Wikipedia page. La la la la.

[Rather Good via Improbable Research]

DARPA Wants To Build A Robotic Ostrich That Runs 50 MPH

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Robot Ostrich. Yes.

[Improbable Research]

Man Claims Hooker Transformed Into Donkey

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


A Zimbabwe man arrested on bestiality charge initiated a very curious defense for his heinous crime. He claimed the donkey he was busted getting frisky with was in fact a hooker who magically transformed overnight.

‘I had hired a prostitute and paid $20 for the service at Down Town nightclub and I don’t know how she then became a donkey… but I am seriously in love.’

The magistrates have ordered the man get a psychiatric evaluation. Although maybe this works like the prince/frog thing and you have to kiss the donkey so it turns into the glorious hooker you once met.


Is This The Biggest Snake In The World?

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Wrangled by a man in overalls, friends with people in devil costumes, ladies and gentleman: Medusa, the world’s largest snake.