Weird Universe Archive

January 2013

January 7, 2013

Tombstone for a Trout

Mrs. Keyte of Blockley, Gloucestershire had a pet trout that would eat worms from her hand. When it died in 1855, she erected a tombstone in its honor. That tombstone remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Blockley. And it's perhaps the only tombstone for a trout in the world. [National Geographic, 1917]



Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 07, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Obituaries, Pets, Fish, Monuments, Sightseeing, Nineteenth Century

Speciality Model Railroad Figures

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I never realized that you could decorate your model railroad layout with a variety of unconventional people.

Check out the whole assortment here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 07, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Stereotypes and Cliches, Toys, Trains

January 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, NOTW!!!

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Modest Chuck posted this little message at the end of his current column this week. I say, break out the champagne and cake!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 06, 2013 - Comments (8)
Category: Anniversary, Weird Studies and Guides, Chuck

Singing Sand

Apparently there are some beaches that sing. More specifically, the sand on these beaches makes a "singing, squeaking, whistling, or barking" sound when you walk across it or run your hand over it. From Wikipedia:

On some beaches around the world, dry sand will make a singing, squeaking, whistling, or barking sound if a person scuffs or shuffles their feet with sufficient force. The phenomenon is not completely understood scientifically, but it has been found that quartz sand will do this if the grains are very well-rounded and highly spherical. It is believed by some that the sand grains must be of similar size, so the sand must be well sorted by the actions of wind and waves, and that the grains should be close to spherical and have dust-, pollution-, and organic-matter-free surfaces. The "singing" sound is then believed to be produced by shear as each layer of sand grains slides over the layer beneath it. The similarity in size, the uniformity, and the cleanness mean that grains move up and down in unison over the layer of grains below them. Even small amounts of pollution on the sand grains reduces the friction enough to silence the sand.

The sand here in San Diego definitely doesn't sing, and all the pollution we get from Tijuana guarantees it'll never make a squeak! Lake Michigan has some of the most famous singing sand. Some videos below.



Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 06, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Nature, Natural Wonders

Weird Contact Lenses

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Find these two, and many more, for sale at this site.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 06, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Body Modifications, Costumes and Masks, Technology, Eyes and Vision

January 5, 2013

The Pasta Art of Vernon Spicer

Vernon Spicer was in his 60s when he began his career as an artist. One night he was woken by a dream, "I could see something that had a three-dimensional design, one that involved me using sticks to create.” His wife suggested the sticks were pieces of uncooked spaghetti. So he started using uncooked pasta to make paintings. As the Montgomery Advertiser puts it, "this man really knows how to use his noodle to utilize noodles."

If you decide to buy one of his paintings — I think the three below are his entire oeuvre — the price is $1800. He hasn't sold any yet, so you have a chance to be the first!

The pictures are from the Selma Alabama Photo Blog, which has higher-res versions posted. Though I suspect the pasta paintings, in real life, have a 3-D effect that the photos can't convey.





Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 05, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Food

Japanese Skull War Trophy

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[Click this text to enlarge.]

Original picture here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 05, 2013 - Comments (10)
Category: War, 1940s, Asia, Skulls, Bones and Skeletons, Love & Romance

January 4, 2013

The World’s Shortest Escalator

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 04, 2013 - Comments (9)
Category: Chindogu, Asia

Ozo

OZO from OZO Team on Vimeo.



This one deserves to be watched in fullscreen mode.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 04, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Cryptozoology, Family, Babies and Toddlers, Parents, Cartoons

Tsongsul, or Feces Wine

According to rocketnews24.com, there's a Korean drink called Tsongsul, which translates as "feces wine." It's made by mixing oven-baked feces (chicken, dog, or human) with distilled grain alcohol. Some medicinal herbs and cat bones are thrown in as well. Then the whole evil concoction is left to ferment for 3 to 4 months.


People drink this in the hope that it'll cure whatever illness they might have, not for fun. However, I can't find any sources that independently confirm there really is such a drink, but Korean sources are hard to check. So I'm going to take their word for it.

This wine might pair nicely with urine bread!

rocketnews also has a photo series of a bunch of women actually drinking this stuff.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 04, 2013 - Comments (16)
Category: Food, Excrement, Alcohol

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

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