Weird Universe

Geography and Maps

West End, New Jersey

West End, New Jersey has a minor claim to fame as the birthplace of Dorothy Parker. It used to be its own village, but now I think it's just a suburb of Long Branch. But what makes it unusual is its name. It's surrounded on three sides by Long Branch, and on the other side it faces the Atlantic Ocean. So what exactly is it on the west end of?

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Feb 28, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Geography and Maps, Weird Names

Welcome to Cumback

[From Life Magazine, Mar 31, 1958]

Of all the towns in America, why did they choose to feature Cumback in their ad? Or was 1958 a more innocent, pre-internet era when the term 'cumback' didn't have the same connotations (see Urban Dictionary) that it does today ?
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Oct 02, 2012 | Comments (9)
Category: Geography and Maps, Weird Names, Advertising, 1950's

Fuller’s Dymaxion Map


Thanks to Robb of Warren for reminding us of this odd map. I took the image out of Comments, where it was too big, and resized it for display here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Oct 16, 2011 | Comments (2)
Category: Geography and Maps, Reader Recommendation

Turnabout Map of the Americas


Suddenly I feel dizzy....
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Oct 16, 2011 | Comments (2)
Category: Geography and Maps, 1980's

Latitude Zero

This campy spectacular was long unavailable in the USA. I watched it last night and can report that it is full of prime-grade weirdness. If you have ever wanted to see Caesar Romero transplant a woman's brain into the body of a winged lion, now is your chance!

Earth’s High and Lows Graph

This will give you an interesting perspective on the "Deep Horizon" well. When compared with the highest part of the atmosphere and the deepest sea trench, it is an amazingly deep well. Thanks to "Our Amazing Planet" for some great work. Sorry for the size!!


I like the graphic for other reasons. Who knew sharks could swim so deep?
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Fri Jun 25, 2010 | Comments (5)
Category: Geography and Maps

Atlas Obscura


Something tells me the average WU-vie could spend all day exploring this site of strange places.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jun 06, 2010 | Comments (5)
Category: Geography and Maps

Weird Signpost

Where in the USA can you find this signpost? No fair Googling! Take a guess, then look after the jump.

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Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu May 20, 2010 | Comments (10)
Category: Geography and Maps, Regionalism, Signage

Visit the Strange

Looking for an unusual vacation spot? Then you might consider one of eight strange destinations as listed in this article on the Matador Network. There's Mount Thor (pictured), in Nunavut, Canada which has the highest (4101ft) vertical drop, if you're into rock climbing... or falling, as the case may be. Or you can swing by the Principality of Sealand which is nothing more than several gun platforms in the English Channel that were abandoned by the British after World War II. It was declared an independent nation in 1967 and has its own currency and can issue passports and visas. Sealand is also for sale, if you ever dreamt of owning your own country, and let's face it, all of us here at WU have had that dream I'm sure. But no matter where you might want to go in the world, this list could be a great starting point.
Posted By: Nethie | Date: Sat Dec 19, 2009 | Comments (2)
Category: Geography and Maps, Nature, Travel, World

A Little Light Weirdness - 5

They say news travels fast, but in the speed stakes it can’t hold a candle to dumb. Circling the blogosphere like an angry Superman is news that security guard Jason Cooke has managed to sight the Loch Ness monster on Google Earth. The object, which Cooke claims exactly matches the descriptions of Nessie, is clearly visible as a quadrupedal, long-necked plesiosaur-like creature, and in no way could be the wake behind a boat or anything mundane like that. This latest find comes as a relief to many cryptozoologists, who had expressed concerns that the dearth of recent sightings might mean Nessie had fallen victim to Global Warming (Telegraph).

Or perhaps this is simply proof that Scottish universities have got the jump on their transatlantic counterparts? In a move nearly, but not quite, totally unlike Jurassic Park, Professor Hans Larsson of McGill University in Montreal has announced that he hopes to de-evolve chickens back into their dinosaur ancestors. Larsson stressed that he is not aiming to recreate whole dinosaurs at this time, but by switching on or off certain genes in chick embryos he hopes to induce atavistic dinosaur anatomy in the full grown animals (AFP).

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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.