Stories of the Strange
Posted by M. Cherise Perez on Feb 19, 2006 - 9:35:00 PM
Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell, wherefore art thou Tinkerbell?
ORLANDO, FL – A visit to the happiest place on earth on Tuesday sent a 70-year-old grandfather to the hospital with serious injuries. The man was enjoying an excursion through the Walt Disney Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando with his wife and his granddaughter when disaster abruptly struck at 6:40 pm.
When the leisurely sightseeing led to the Peter Pan ride, things took a turn for the worse for the hapless trio. According to the Local 6 News Station, the man took a dive as he was boarding the ride. Another one of the ride’s moving cars pinned him before he was able to flee. The ride was shut down but no malfunction was detected.
Homicide investigators from the local sheriff’s office arrived on scene, fully fearing that the injuries would prove fatal. However, after being flown to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, the man’s condition improved markedly, and he is now on the road to recovery.
One Whale’s Vomit is Another Man’s Treasure
SOUTH AUSTRALIA – If you’re thinking of hunting for some treasure on the beach, leave your metal detectors at home and bring some protective gloves instead – bile excrement secreted from a giant sperm whale’s abdomen will fetch you up to $20 a gram on the free market.
The excretion, known as ambergris, is extremely rare, and valued as an additive in perfumes, flavorings, and medications.
The Wrights, an Australian couple, were walking along Streaky Bay, a South Australian beach, when they discovered the odd, waxy lump sitting in the sand. At first they ignored the strange mass, but curiosity got the better of them and they consulted a local marine ecologist to identify the thing.
Banned in the US due to endangered species restrictions, ambergris is soft and stinky at first expulsion, but years of floating in the sun and salt smooth and harden the bile, leaving behind a musky, sweet aroma (and the occasional giant squid beak).
The chunk that the Wrights happened on has an estimated value of $295,000 USD, making ambergris well worth the nickname, “floating gold.”
CYBERSPACE – The record-holding giant rubber band ball of Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not Fame is facing a broadband-ready challenger backed by the immense social network of MySpace.
The record was set in Delaware on October 22, 2003, by John Bain, for a 3,120 pound rubber band ball. The challenger, allegedly born on November 1, 2005, currently weighs in at close to 400 pounds. The elastic menace is pursuing the record with a vengeance, smashing anything that comes in its way (literally).