A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.
Somboon Tuakrua from northern Thailand's Phayao province claims he found a six-legged female frog almost a year ago on his doorstep, and since then he has been winning in games of chance when he bets on the number 6 – while Somboon thinks the frog is lucky, scientists say the two extra legs are due to a parasitic flatworm that infects the bodies of tadpoles. If he really thought it was lucky, he’d kiss it and make a fortune touring with his four-legged princess.
European researchers discovered that the saliva of wax moth larvae is capable of breaking down polyethylene, the most common type of plastic, and this could one day be applied on an industrial scale to degrade plastic waste. “Moth Spit” is a great name for a band and a terrible job if you’re the person holding the tiny cup and waiting on the moth.
Another ‘time travel’ painting is making the Internet rounds – the 162-year-old “The Expected One” by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller’s shows a woman walking through a scenic landscape towards a man holding a pink flower, and many people believe the woman is in the classic modern pose of looking down at a smartphone … most non-believers think she’s reading a prayerbook. If so many people think it’s a smartphone in 1860, perhaps we all should be looking in a prayerbook.
A man posted a TikTok video of what he claims is a Bigfoot boneyard – an enormous mound of elk carcasses and bones in Utah that looks like it could be the trash pile behind and all-you-can-eat Bigfoot buffet … most viewers think it is more likely a stack of roadkill picked up by local road crews who don’t have the time of the resources to dispose of them in an incinerator. Bigfoot would like more information, including Google Map coordinates.
Crew members onboard the recent launch of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft "Endurance" used a stuffed Albert Einstein doll attached to a tether as their designated "zero-g indicator" to let them know when they escaped Earth’s gravity and proved Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Einstein would have been one of the few people whose hair actually looked better in zero gravity.
A recent poll by YouGov found that 34% of Americans believe UFOs are most likely alien ships or life forms, while only 32% think they have a scientific explanation; 66% think aliens will be more technologically advanced than humans; 44% believe they will "come in peace"; and more Americans believe in aliens than in Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, and Chupacabras. In a related story, a majority of aliens and Bigfoot say they don’t believe in polls.
CNN reports that as many as three dozen current and former CIA officers believe that a CIA task force investigating the cause of the mysterious “Havana Syndrome” illness affecting CIA officers and American diplomats for over six years has been “soft-pedaling” and not doing enough to solve the problem and find the source which continues to give agents dizziness and extreme headaches. Let’s hope it is solved before electric bikes take over and no one knows what “soft-pedaling” means.
If you’re looking for a job that will allow you to pursue your search for the Loch Ness monster, the Loch Ness Lodge and Nessieland visitor attraction in Drumnadrochit on the shore of the loch is for sale for the incredibly low, low price of $2.5 million (£2.25 million) – the package includes the hotel built in 1740, a bar and restaurant, a souvenir gift shop, Nessie’s cave exhibition and other exhibits which explain the history of Loch Ness and its monster. If you think Nessie is a log, there’s also 10 acres of woodlands to find a piece of it.
NASA's Perseverance rover currently crawling across Mars picked up its 13th rock and soil sample to send back to Earth on a future mission and NASA touted this as “lucky rock core #13!” that could be leaving the Red Planet as soon as 2033. “Hold my red beer and my Twitter offer and watch this,” said Elon Musk.
Proving Loch Ness is not the only home to monsters in Scotland, a bird watcher turned away from the woods when he heard splashing in Loch Long and captured some photographs of a large aquatic creature that appeared to have dark skin, a long thin body, a big tail and was covered in seaweed – some who viewed the photo think it was a porpoise, a seal or a large turtle. He’ll know it’s real if a Scottish lawyer gets a call from Nessie about suing for identity theft.
A mysterious crop circle appeared recently in a wheat field in Ipuaçu in the western part of the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil – a country not known for crop circle sightings but locals say this is the fifth one in the area since 2008, and a local scientist thinks he sees marks left by tractors. In Brazil, do you remove crop circles with a mower or a wax job?
The Australian company Tarmac Linemarking is painting roads with photoluminescence lines that absorb light during the day and emit it in low-light conditions, making the road markings very visible at night in areas with no streetlights – the biggest problem is that the glow-in-the-dark lines makes drivers think they’re inside the classic sci-fi movie TRON. If they're old enough to remember TRON, maybe theyr'e too old to be driving anymore.
Astronomers using the Hubble telescope to look beyond the Milky Way have found that the Magellanic system of dwarf galaxies are protected by a unique invisible shield of hot overloaded gas which allows them to form new stars without being destroyed. This is the first time an article uses the term “hot overloaded gas” without preceding it with “My opponent is full of …”.
In perhaps the scariest video of the week, a designer mounted an industrial robotic arm to a wall, put a machete in its hand, and wired it to a living philodendron plant – the plant’s electrical noises were then translated to signals which controlled the arm and waved the machete menacingly. Time for a sequel to “Little Shop of Horrors”?
A 40-foot Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as Shen, discovered in Montana in 2020 where it once roamed during the Cretaceous Period around 68-66 million years ago, is going up for auction in November and could sell for up to $25 million because it has been reassembled in an accurate pose “epitomizing the T. rex's infamous ferocity.” Whoever did that sounds like just the person to help with your Halloween costume.
A YouTube video from a lake in Canada that was supposed to be a training guide for how to make S’mores while camping turned eerie when what appears to be a man walking in the background who mysteriously fades out and disappears – the YouTuber blames the lake, which has been the site of other paranormal activity such as mysterious balls of light and similar disappearing people. Talk about shocking … who knew there were still people who don’t know how to make S’mores?
The U-111, the last World War I-era German U-boat submarine to be discovered in U.S. waters, was sunk off the coast of Virginia in 1922 by the U.S. Navy and never seen again … until recently when it was found by maritime historian, shipwreck researcher and technical wreck diver Erik Petkovic in waters only 400 feet deep – its location is being kept secret to protect it from looters. Not to mention World War I re-enactors.
Archeologists in Bulgaria exploring beneath the floor of an ancient Roman fortress found a square, box-like container made from thick, reddish ceramic plates that they believe is an ancient version of an icebox or refrigerator which was used to store perishable food by putting ice or snow on the bottom and keeping the lid tightly closed. Some things never change – they found a bag labeled “Hands off – this is Mario’s lunch.”
From the “Duh!” file comes a study by cybersecurity researchers which found that, despite growing concerns about hackers stealing personal information, the most often used password among Australians is ‘123456’, followed by ‘password’ and then ‘lizottes’ – the name of a popular restaurant in Newcastle. The last one is used by people who think hackers will be distracted by the thought of Lizotte’s fabulous Sezchuan Pepper Squid.
Professional astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy captured a stunning image of a one-million-miles-long coronal mass ejection of plasma spewing from the surface of the Sun as a result of a minor solar storm – the CME was fortunately pointed away from Earth, which made it a good photo while posing no danger to us. This could be the perfect image for an ad for hemorrhoid cream.