Stories of the Strange
Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell, wherefore art thou Tinkerbell?
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).
Didn’t believe me? Visit the rubber band ball on MySpace and be its friend!*You can send in your favorite expendable items in exchange for a video featuring the senseless demolition of your object by the rubber band ball.
Just be aware that certain items don’t take kindly to a rubber band ball smashing.
*For all the print readers - the URL to the MySpace Profile is http://www.myspace.com/rubberbandballrecord.
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