The man depicted above is Dr. Bernard Wheatley who, after the deaths of his family, chucked a flourishing career to live as a hermit on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Read a long and fascinating article about him here.
In 1957 Dr. Bernard Wheatley - an African American physician from the Virgin Islands - made a pilgrimage to Kalalau Valley. Distraught after the death of his wife and son in a car accident, he kept questioning the meaning of life and other ontological problems until the answers finally came. In a remarkable religious conversion-like revelation he realized that life is eternal. He abandoned his medical practice, sold all his worldly possessions and sought a quiet, secluded place where he could earnestly seek truth without distraction. He arrived on the remote Island of Kauai and after seeing Kalalau from a ridge-top lookout in Kokee, he knew that he had found his home.... He passed on December 3, 1991 at the age of 72. His ashes were spread in Kalalau.
Howard Hughes's folly "The Spruce Goose" is of course famous for the tiny bit of actual airtime it enjoyed before being permanently docked. But who knew it had gotten to travel--in segments--down the nation's roads beforehand?
Read about its trip here.
Just when you thought it was safe to visit your trash can... The Coconut Crab is so named because it can crack open coconuts in its giant claws. Also known as the Robber Crab for its scavenging nature, it has adapted so well to living on land that it actually drowns in water. This site
has some great information and images, and of course Wikipedia
I'm eager to read The Old Leather Man
when it appears in October from Wesleyan University Press. It sounds like prime historical weirdo material.
"In 1883, wearing a sixty-pound suit sewn from leather boot-tops, a wanderer known only as the Leather Man began to walk a 365 mile loop between the Connecticut and Hudson Rivers that he would complete every 34 days, for almost six years. His circuit took him through at least 41 towns in southwestern Connecticut and southeastern New York, sleeping in caves, accepting food from townspeople, and speaking only in grunts and gestures along the way. What remains of the mysterious Leather Man today are the news clippings and photographs taken by the first-hand witnesses of this captivating individual. The Old Leather Man
gathers the best of the early newspaper accounts of the Leather Man, and includes maps of his route, historic photographs of his shelters, the houses he was known to stop at along his way, and of the Leather Man himself. This history tracks the footsteps of the Leather Man and unravels the myths surrounding the man who made Connecticut’s caves his home."