In the mid-1960s, when I was in elementary school, I had a subscription to HUMPTY DUMPTY MAGAZINE. A very weird comic strip therein was titled "Twinkle, The Star That Came Down From Heaven." (Seen above, drawn by Jerry Smath, and courtesy of the Flickr stream of Glen Mullaly.) Even as a kid, I knew it was strange. A living, sentient star who manifested on Earth in a bipolar costume and kept his face-equipped iconic star head? And did he come from the celestial heaven or the Christian Heaven? Far out!
Little did I know until recently that "Twink" had earlier adventures in the 1940s, in the pages of CALLING ALL KIDS, that were even more bizarre in their fashion. Unfortunately, no information remains about the writer and/or artist who was crazed enough to invent Twinkle.
Oysters will grow on almost any surface, including false teeth, if that's what happens to be available. The tooth-growing oyster shown above was found in the Chesapeake Bay in 1898, and sent to the Smithsonian where they were put on display and became quite a popular attraction. But soon a paternity battle erupted around them. From The Strand magazine, 1903:
A man from Iowa claimed the teeth, saying that he had lost them, under not wholly peculiar circumstances, from a steamer passing that way. The object was too great a curiosity to be parted with, and the difficulty of the authorities in deciding whether or not to surrender the teeth was solved by a later claim for the teeth from a Philadelphia woman, and by a third claim from someone who saw the oyster on exhibition.
Half a century later, in 1954, yet another guy insisted the teeth were his, but in this case the Smithsonian was able to definitively rule out his claim since the guy hadn't even been born yet when the teeth were found. I'm guessing the Smithsonian probably still has this famous oyster hidden away somewhere in its archives.
The Marsh Mongoose (Atilax paludinosus), also known as the African Water Mongoose, has an unusual method of catching its favorite food (birds). It makes its butt look like a piece of ripe fruit, which tempts birds over to investigate — and fall right into its trap. Jonathan Kingdon, author of East African Mammals, explains:
The marsh mongoose has been widely credited by local people with employing a very bizarre subterfuge to catch birds. The story would seem quite outlandish were there not corroborative evidence for the behaviour pattern, even if not for its alleged purpose. My captive female occasionally would sun-bathe lying on her back, in which position her pale pink anal area assumed a quite startling prominence against the surrounding fringe of dark fur. This display is claimed to induce birds (including the locals' chickens), to approach and peck at the anus, whereupon the mongoose seizes the bird.
When approached by a threating presence, the mongoose makes a low growl, which may be reinforced by sudden explosive barking growls in a deeper tone. When the mongoose is cornered or distressed, it ejects jets of foul brown fluid from its anal sacs.
Goes to show that you really can't compete with Nature for weirdness.