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!
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!
Remember when we were kids playing on the swing set and we’d try to swing so high that we’d fly over the top bar and come down the other side? No, I never made it either. But in Estonia, they’ve taken a childhood dream and made it an extreme sport.
It’s called kiiking. Using a special swing with steel arms instead of chains, the kiiker stands on the swing and pumps back and forth until he or she gets enough momentum to make a full 360-degree turn. The best kiikers can go around several times. The longer the shaft of the swing, the harder it is, and according to the “Guinness Book of World Records,” the record for kiiking is with a 7.02-meter (23-foot) swing used by Andrus Aasamäe of Estonia on August 21, 2004.
Kiiking has taken off in the Baltic states and in Scandinavia. Here we show a video of the Estonian army taking a little time off from defending the nation to practice kiiking.
Here’s a fun little silent film from way back in 1908 called “The Electric Hotel.” At that time technological progress was all the rage, new inventions seemed to pop up every day and electricity was just becoming commonplace. In this film we see how the hotels of the future will look. The amazing invention of electricity will shine your shoes, undress your wife and unpack your luggage. It all works great until a drunk hotel employee messes with the switches and chaos ensues.
This film was the work of Segundo de Chomón, a Spanish director who at that time was working in France. He was an early innovator in special effects and color film and many of his films feature hapless tourists getting into trouble.
For modern hotels that actually exist, be sure to check out our Gadling hotel articles.
Spring has sprung, crops are growing, and it’s time once again for everyone’s favorite landscape art – crop circles!
The year is already starting off well with some lovely examples in England, Italy and other countries. Numbers will increase in the summer as crops grow and provide a better palette. Crop Circle Connector keeps a running tally so you can see what’s up in the world of cereology, the study of, well, you know.
Now before anyone starts filling the comments section with wild-eyed tales of UFOs and Earth energies, let me rain on your parade by saying that crop circles were debunked a long time ago. The Circlemakers group has taken credit for many of them and they have even posted a beginner’s guide to making crop circles. There are also plenty of how-to videos, like this one commissioned by a British tabloid. It will show you, step-by-step, how to annoy farmers and entrance crystal-clutching New Agers.
This video was made way back in 2001, yet still there are superstitious dupes paranormal investigators who insist that while many are faked, some crop circles “cannot be explained.” As I noted in an earlier post, that’s like saying that while we have documentation for the construction of most medieval cathedrals, there are no blueprints or payrolls for other cathedrals and therefore they must have been made by aliens.
But who cares? Crop circles are beautiful and fun. It raises awareness of the natural landscape. Even better, the crops can still be harvested. No wheat was harmed in the making of this video. Now get out there and start circling!