It’s always good to learn a new word every day, and today’s word is fatberg. A fatberg is exactly what it sounds like–a giant mass of fat. In this case, a giant mound of fat blocking up one of the world’s largest sewer systems. So what does a fatberg look like? Watch this video to find out, but don’t blame me if you can’t ever bring yourself to eat a kebab again.
The fatberg in question was discovered in Kingston, southwest London. A congealed slab of oil, fat, food and other trash such as cleaning wipes, the 15-ton monstrosity was the size of a double-decker bus and had reduced the main sewer line to only 5 percent capacity, preventing locals from flushing their toilets.
They should be grateful. Thames Water officials say if they hadn’t caught it in time, the toilets would have started backing up and raw sewage would have spewed out, a bit like that barbershop scene in the remake of The Blob.
The brave workers at Thames Water have slain the fatberg with high-pressure hoses, but more fatbergs may be lying in wait to attack innocent toilet sitters. Now’s your chance to help. Many cities offer sewer tours. Brighton has one, as do Paris and Vienna. The closest thing you can get in London is tracing the underground Fleet River, which was used as a sewer for much of its history.
What the world really needs are overnight sewer camping tours where each person is equipped with a high-powered hose. Brave adventure travelers could venture forth into the Stygian darkness, ready to do battle with malevolent fatbergs. Forget glamping, you overpaid bank executives, and give something back to society for a change. Go hunting fatbergs!
A graveyard containing the remains of four vampires has been excavated by a team of archaeologists in Poland, Polskie Radio reports.
The archaeologists were excavating ahead of the construction of a new road in Gliwice, southern Poland, when they discovered four skeletons with their skulls placed between their legs. This was a common folk practice in the region to keep the dead from walking the earth. The four individuals were buried without any objects, making them difficult to date, but the archaeologists believe they’re from the early modern era. The last burial recorded of this kind in Poland was in 1914, when the corpse of a suspected vampire was dug up, its head cut off and placed between its legs.
The team is awaiting radiocarbon dates to know precisely when the individuals were buried.
Last year, vampires were dug up in Bulgaria and later put on display at a local museum. In keeping with Bulgarian folk practice, the corpses had been pinned to the ground with large iron stakes. Hopefully Poland will put on its own vampire exhibition. In the meantime, vampire fans can visit Dracula’s Castle in Romania, the Vampire Museum in Paris and Highgate Cemetery in London, scene of a wave of vampire sightings in the 1970s.
There may be a Bigfoot crawling around the underbrush of Texas. According to the breathless narrator in this video, these two photos were taken by Lupe Mendoza, who spotted a strange creature when it spooked a herd of cattle. Apparently some gutted hogs were found nearby, so Bigfoot may have been feeding.
No doubt this new footage has led many cryptozoologists (people who investigate supposedly mythical beasts) to beat the bushes of Texas looking for more of these critters. If you try your luck, you might want to review the Bureau of Land Management’s guide to finding Bigfoot.
The narrator might have said more than he knew when he compared the images to a man in a Ghillie suit, used by hunters and snipers. Check out the US Marine Corps photo image below for a comparison.
So what do you think these images show? Take our poll and tell us!
Paul Marshallsea, 62, became an Internet sensation when he pulled the 2-meter-long dusky shark away from swimmers. Unfortunately for him, fame came at a price.
Marshallsea has been fired from his job as a project coordinator at the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club in Wales. In a letter quoted by the BBC, the club trustees said that although he was on sick leave during the incident he had apparently been healthy enough to wrestle a shark. The hint being, of course, that he was faking his illness.
Marshallsea objects that he wasn’t on sick leave for a physical ailment, but for work-related stress.
In a statement on their website, the club states that he was dismissed for a “variety of issues” unrelated to his holiday in Australia.
It’s a case of he-said, they-said and it’s difficult to see who’s right since the club is refusing to make any further statement to the press. You think they could have cut the guy some slack, though. If he can wrestle sharks, he can probably handle a bunch of Welsh kids.
[Photo courtesy SeaWorld, Queensland. The shark-wrestling incident did not involve a SeaWorld shark]
Are you a woman planning a trip to Paris? Well, now you can pack a pair of pants without fear of running afoul of the law. The BBC reports that it is now legal for women to wear pants in the City of Love.
The city government has finally struck a law off the books dating back to 1800 that required women to get police permission before “dressing like a man.” Around the turn of the past century, concessions were made to ladies riding horses or bicycles but in general, fairer sex had to stick to skirts.
The law, of course, has not been enforced in many years. It isn’t the only odd law on the books. Every state and city has a few antiquated regulations that the local government doesn’t remember existing, let alone trying to enforce. There are a bazillion websites on the Internet listing weird laws.
Many of these are apocryphal, however. One I heard while living in Arizona stated that it’s illegal to wear suspenders in Nogales. The law supposedly dates back to Prohibition. Nogales, being a border town, was full of gringos heading south of the border to get drunk. It still is. Back in Prohibition days, the story goes, some tried to smuggle bottles back over the border into the U.S. and wore suspenders to keep their pants from falling down from the extra weight. The bullshit-cleaning website Snopes actually checked and found that no such law ever existed.
For every old weird law that gets eliminated, a new one crops up. Live Science has a great list of weird state laws that took effect at the beginning of 2013. In Oregon, for example, it’s now illegal for employers to post job openings if they won’t consider hiring someone who is unemployed. Perverts will be disappointed to learn that it is now illegal to have sex with a corpse in Illinois. It used to be that if you got caught with a cadaver the worst you could be charged with was criminal damage to property.
Um… since when are corpses considered property? Whose property?