Weird Universe


The Origin of Crash Test Dummies

Not the musical group.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Apr 05, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Death, Motor Vehicles, PSA's, Puppets and Automatons, 1960's

The Certainty of a Future Life In Mars

Did you know that when you die, your soul goes to a new life on Mars?

You can read all about it right here.


Here's what happens when the new soul first arrives.


Here's a little scholarly perspective.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Mar 24, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Death, Religion, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Space Travel, 1900's

Frozen Guru

Authorities recently declared that Indian guru Ashutosh Maharaj died of a heart attack. But his followers refuse to believe he's dead. Instead, they insist that he's merely in a state of "samadhi", which is the "highest plane of meditation."

So they've decided to freeze him, to help preserve him until he decides to wake up. They considered embalming him, but Swami Vishalanand (a spokesman for the group) said, "somebody told us that his chances of revival were less if we did it."

Actually, I'm guessing his chances of revival are about the same whatever they do. [BBC News]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Mar 14, 2014 | Comments (11)
Category: Death

Monkey Hangers

"Monkey hanger" is a term by which Hartlepudlians are often known. According to local folklore, the term originates from an incident in which a monkey was hanged in Hartlepool, England. During the Napoleonic Wars, a French ship of the type chasse marée was wrecked off the coast of Hartlepool. The only survivor was a monkey, allegedly wearing a French uniform to provide amusement for the crew. On finding the monkey, some locals decided to hold an impromptu trial on the beach; since the monkey was unable to answer their questions, and many locals were unaware of what a Frenchman might look like,[citation needed] they concluded that the monkey was in fact a French sailor. Being found guilty, the animal was duly sentenced to death and hanged on the beach. The vertical part of the ship's mast he was hanged from is still visible on the beach between the Pilot pier and the Heugh.

More here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Mar 10, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Death, Eighteenth Century

The Ore Knob Mine Murders & The Nashville Flame


That's the Nashville Flame his own damn self up there.

More photos here.

Original article here.



Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Feb 15, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers, Death, Drugs, 1980's

A better rattrap

The July 14, 1952 issue of Life had a photo feature about a contest sponsored by the city of Hammond, Ind., in which schoolchildren were asked to design a better rattrap. The challenge apparently released the inner sadist in some of the kids.

Arnold Knopf's trap: a weight falls, releasing a crossbow which shoots an arrow into the rat's back.

Jim Olsen's contribution: after the rat trips a trigger, a weight falls, jerking a noose tight around the rat's neck.

Steve Miller and Ed Cox designed a rat guillotine that included a basket to catch the rat's head.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Feb 11, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Death, Inventions, Pests, Plagues and Infestations, 1950's


From what I can gather, Necropants are an ancient Icelandic (magical) method of obtaining money. Because perhaps if you're wearing these things people will pay you to keep your distance.

Here's the instructions for how to make them (from the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft):

If you want to make your own necropants (literally; nábrók) you have to get permission from a living man to use his skin after his dead.
After he has been buried you must dig up his body and flay the skin of the corpse in one piece from the waist down. As soon as you step into the pants they will stick to your own skin. A coin must be stolen from a poor widow and placed in the scrotum along with the magical sign, nábrókarstafur, written on a piece of paper. Consequently the coin will draw money into the scrotum so it will never be empty, as long as the original coin is not removed. To ensure salvation the owner has to convince someone else to overtake the pants and step into each leg as soon as he gets out of it. The necropants will thus keep the money-gathering nature for generations.

[via Notes From a Funeral Director]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Feb 07, 2014 | Comments (10)
Category: Death, Fashion

Feather Death Crowns

A bit of Appalachian folklore:

Back when feather pillows were the norm in Appalachian households, it was not uncommon to find a hardened mass of feathers whose quills had turned inward and locked together forming a disc, or crown, in the pillow of the gravely ill, or recently deceased. Finding such an artifact in the pillow of someone ill was a sure sign that the person would die within the next three days, but it was a comforting symbol when found in the pillow of the recently deceased. Finding a crown in a person's pillow meant that the person has gone to Heaven. [Source: Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State]

People collect these things. The Museum of Appalachia in Tennessee has the largest collection. also has a whole bunch of pictures of them.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Jan 26, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Death, Superstition

Grave Warmer

If you've ever wondered how they bury people when the ground is frozen solid, this is how. Or they jack-hammer the earth for hours. But this is the preferred method. More info here.

I guess in the old days they would store the body in a shed and wait until the ground thawed. That works also.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jan 17, 2014 | Comments (12)
Category: Death

Yorkshire Funeral Biscuits

"The custom of distributing to the mourners at a funeral specially prepared biscuits in wrappers sealed with black wax, was formerly widely prevalent in Great Britain... The practice may be an altered survival of ceremonial cannibalism when the flesh of dead kinsmen was eaten by the mourners."

This may also explain why the British love their tea and biscuits!

[via Pitt Rivers Museum]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jan 15, 2014 | Comments (10)
Category: Death
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.