Tag Archives: weird

The Glow-worm Caves of Waitomo

In New Zealand there is an underground river that draws tourists in, not for the river itself, and certainly not to eat their souls. Though I’m sure the river enjoys chomping on the occasional human sacrifice. Probably. Maybe. Okay, probably not, but it makes for a good story.

Anyway, the draw here is not the underground river, or the network of caves that river travels through. Both are impressive, but this place has something even more awe inspiring. They aren’t called the glow-worm caves for nothing.  The image below shows the “glow-worms” that illuminate the cavern ceiling.

Image credit: whereonearth.net

Image credit: whereonearth.net

Glow-worms is in quotes above because the “glow-worms” that give this cave its name are anything but. The truth is pretty messed up. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The “glow-worms” are actually fly larvae and the glow is caused by excretory organs. They produce a thread that catches flies and other insect for these little cannibals to feast on. And in what may be the most disturbing twist: the hungrier these little beasties are, the brighter the glow.

That being the case, if you ever visit you may want to pray for a dim glow lest you be eaten by the locals.


Destination Weirdsville: Poland’s Crooked Forest

A collection of highly unusual trees–roughly 400 in total–has taken up residence in a tiny corner of western Poland, near Gryfino. I use the phrase “taken up residence” because the trees appear to have been planted around 1930. These trees are quite unique and are surrounded by a larger forest of perfectly normal trees.

What makes these trees so unique? Well, how about I just show you rather than tell you?

crookedforestgryfinopoland2

Nobody seems to know why all of these trees are bent, or how it was done, but the fact that they’re all bent in the same direction (northward) lends to the idea that it was almost certainly some sort of human intervention that caused the trees to bend. The general consensus is that they were bent on purpose for use in furniture or boat making, but other slightly more bizarre suggestions to their origins have also been suggested: everything from the standard aliens to gravity anomalies.

Give me your strangest ideas as to how and why this crooked forest might exist. You don’t have to believe it. I just want to hear some interesting explanations.


Destinatio​n Weirdsvill​e: A Lesson in Head Shrinking

photo credit: eschipul via photopin cc

photo credit: eschipul via photopin cc

Today, I’m going to teach you how to do some head shrinking. Not that psychiatry mumbo jumbo… actual head shrinking. The kind the Shuar used to do in Ecuador: a fascinating people by the way.

Step one:  Cut the victim’s head off. It would be extremely difficult to shrink a head still attached to a body.

Step Two: Slice the skin from the base of the neck to the crown. Remove the skull. Use it as a serving dish for Halloween candy if you like, just be sure to clean it first.

Step Three: With that pesky skull out of the way, it’s time to dip the skin in vegetable extract to dye it a sickening blue-black color and preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

Step Four: After you wear it as a mask to scare your loved ones, stitch up the cut you made to remove the skull. Also sew the lips shut, but don’t do it all willy nilly. The pattern seems to have some significance, though I have no idea what that might be.

Step Five: Call in sick for a few days. This next part will take some time. Fill the cavity with hot sand or pebbles. Constantly turn and reposition the head to ensure that it dries uniformly. When the hot sand cools, replace it with more of the good and hot stuff.

Step Six: Celebrate your new fist sized head with a ceremonial victory dance. Try not to spike the head at the end. No need to damage all that hard work.

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a shrunken head, but you’re probably going to jail for murder… or possibly doing freaky things to a corpse that died of natural causes. Either way, say goodbye to your shrunken head. You’ll probably never see it again.


Destination Weirdsville: A teahouse in China

This post will be about a certain teahouse in China. Yes, you read the right: a teahouse in China. You’re probably asking yourself, “What’s so weird about a teahouse in China?”

Nothing. Nothing is weird about a teahouse in China.

“Well is it haunted or something?” you might be asking.

Nope, it isn’t. What makes this particular teahouse peculiar is not the teahouse itself but the journey one must undertake to get to the teahouse.

It all starts at the “heavenly stairs” located at the base of Mt. Huashan. This is a steep staircase carved into the mountain side. There are so many stairs that a few villages even exist alongside them, and believe it or not, the stairs are one of the easier parts of the trek.

Once you make it well beyond the point where you’ve stopped counting those endless stairs feel free to take a breather on a gondola ride across the giant chasm to another peak.

This is where it gets interesting. The faint of heart should probably just turn around and go home if they’ve managed to make it this far. You’re destination is at the top of this peak, but this is the path you must follow:

Yes, those are wooden planks attached to the face of a cliff and chains to hold on to as you go. My question is what happens if someone is coming down while you’re going up? How do you manage to pass each other? Does one of you have to backtrack or do you risk falling and a few moments of awkwardness hugging a stranger against a wall. This is actually probably one of the easier parts of the trek. Next up are some toe holes carved into the wall.

Afterwards you’ve got a few more stairs to climb and you will have arrived at your destination for a cup of tea before making the return trip down the mountain. I wonder how much their tea costs…

Personally, I’d go for the journey. The tea at the top would just be a bonus.

So, who’s up for a cup?


Destination Weirdsville: Weird American Laws – Exhibit A

All across this great nation of ours, there are laws out that were created long ago that stood the test of time even though they should have gone the way of the dinosaurs. In this three part series I’m going to inform you of one strange law from each of the fifty states. I advise you to live by these laws and treat them as gospel. Your knowledge of the obscure may result in you not going to jail or being fined. You’re welcome, friend.

Note: These laws may or may not actually exist. They were obtained from the all mighty interwebs and have not been checked for validity. They are presented here for entertainment purposes only.

Alabama

Picture yourself in Lee County. It’s a beautiful Wednesday evening and the sun has just dropped below the horizon. Out of nowhere, you get a hankering for some peanuts. Sorry, you’re out of luck. In Lee County, it is illegal to sell peanuts on Wednesday after sundown. Hope you have a stash at home or you aren’t getting any.

Alaska

Ah, the majestic Alaska. If you happen to find yourself riding in an airplane and your traveling companion is a moose, don’t you dare push that bad boy out the door until the plane comes to a complete stop. It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.

Arizona

Shoplifters beware! If you steal soap, you may just end up being the cleanest theif in the state. In Mohave County, a decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up.

Arkansas

Screw you, mother nature! Your laws don’t apply here. The Arkansas River can rise no higher than to the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.

California

Have you ever found yourself riding shotgun in a car and you look over to see that there is no driver? You better damn well hope that ghost behind the wheel doesn’t accelerate beyond 60 miles per hour. No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.

Colorado

I know the urge is strong to destroy buildings when you come across a catapult. Trust me, I’ve been there. But if you find yourself in Aspen Colorado, it’d be wise to let that urge fall to the wayside. In Aspen, catapults may not be fired at buildings.

Connecticut

I don’t often eat pickles, but when I do, they damn well better be official. In order for a pickle to officially be considered a pickle, it must bounce. Hope your floors are clean.

Delaware

Let it be known that all hoochies in in Lewes, Delaware shall wear only baggy, saggy pants! It is illegal to wear pants that are “firm fitting” around the waist.

Florida

Say you’re riding your elephant down the street (because who doesn’t have a pet elephant, right?) and you decide to stop for a bite to eat and the only available parking is metered. You better have some change in those deep pockets of yours to feed that meter. If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.

Georgia

Don’t you just hate it when stupid laws prohibit you from carrying ice cream cones in your back pocket? Then you better stay away from Georgia on Sundays! No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday.

Hawaii

What’s that? You love the ocean? Why not move to Hawaii? It’s surrounded by ocean on all sides! But, you don’t like boats? Better just stick with a visit rather than moving there then. All residents may be fined as a result of not owning a boat.

Idaho

Ladies in Idaho, I apologize that your man never buys you chocolates, but he does have a good reason. It is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds. I know you’d like a fifty pound box of chocolate, but he just can’t afford that.

Illinois

I always try to keep a single dollar bill in my wallet for this very reason. Never know when I’ll be traveling through Illinois. You may be arrested for vagrancy if you do not have at least one dollar bill on your person.

Indiana

Indiana laughs at the laws of mathematics, spits in their face really. In Indiana, the value of Pi is 3. That’s right, just 3.

Iowa

Do you live in Iowa? Do you fancy growing some facial hair? Please be advised that your “game” with the ladies with drop significantly. There will be no hanky-panky in public. Any man with a moustache may never kiss a woman in public.

Kansas

Kansas is not good with word problems. My evidence? This paradoxical law: If two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed.

Kentucky

Who doesn’t love making a buck sell blue ducklings? I sure do. Just be sure to have at least seven ducklings on hand if you want to try out this get rich quick scheme in Kentucky. One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.

That’s all for now, folks. Have I missed your home state? Don’t worry! I’ll be back later with a completely new set of screwed up laws from seventeen different states.