Oddorama

March 7, 2008

The World’s Largest Natural Mirror

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Imagine a nearly perfect mirror surface spread across the Earth stretching out miles in every direction. Sounds like something right out of Alice’s Wonderland but Salar de Uyuni is very very real. When covered with a thin sheet of water, this 4,000+ square-mile salt flat creates a stunning reflection of everything above it.

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Over 40,000 years ago this part of Bolivia was a prehistoric lake. Today, the area is home to a smattering of flamingos, some tourist hotels (including a salt hotel) and and an estimated 10 billion tons of salt. Just imagine getting lost in this surrealistic environment! More below and at Neatorama, Sarifb and Fogonazos

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February 25, 2008

The World’s Weirdest Engineering Disaster

Didn’t anyone ever tell you that salt mines, shallow lakes and deep-earth drills shouldn’t mix? What started as a seemingly minor miscalculation resulted in a billion-gallon flood, unbelievable property damage and the upheaval of an entire ecosystem. Amazingly, this catastrophe cost no lives though it remains one of history’s most devastating engineering disasters.

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On a fateful day in 1980 a group of oil drillers were working in a shallow lake in Louisiana probing for oil. A miscalculation sent their drill straight into a large salt mine shaft below the lake’s surface. The hole started at just over a foot in diameter but rapidly widened as the water from the lake above washed away the salt around it. What started out quite simply ended in disaster that no one could have predicted.

oil-rig-disaster.jpgWorkers above on the oil platform recognized something was wrong and ‘jumped ship’ before the entire platform disappeared below their feet in a growing whirlpool – all in what was supposed to be a shallow lake! Meanwhile, in the salt mines below, workers made their way through flooded tunnels and all managed to (in some cases narrowly) make it out alive. Despite all of the chaos, no one died above or below ground.

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Before it was through, the surface whirlpool managed to suck down islands, barge docks, barges, trees, trucks, an entire parking lock and 3.5 billion gallons of water. The flow of water normally leading from the lake into Vermilion Bay was reversed as the lake refilled itself, and also created the largest waterfall in Louisiana history (over 150 feet) as water poured back into the lake. In the process, what started as a ten-foot-deep freshwater lake became a thousand-foot-deep saltwater lake!

More Sources: 1, 2, 3

January 28, 2008

10 of the Strangest Animal Stories of 2008 (So Far!)

Filed under: Viral Videos — Tags: , , , , , — Odds n Ends @ 10:39 pm

Why is it that strange animal stories always seem to hit at once like a pack of rabid buffalo? It has only been a month and there are already a number of incredibly bizarre animal-related news stories to kick of 2008. It’s like a zodiac year on steroids.

A swarm of 150,000,000 crabs invades an island in Northwestern Australia to mate. Each female crab lays around 100,000 eggs in the sand. They hatch at around the same time, so there might be as many as 75 trillion crabs on that island at once!

Pet Deer Runs Amok: Witnesses eating lunch Sunday at TJ’s Deli in Winston-Salem were startled when they said a woman walking a pet deer on a leash lost control of the animal, causing it to break through a window and run amok through the restaurant’s dining room.

Steaks on the Lamb: They’re searching the woods in the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township for an Angus steer that bolted after it was delivered to a meat-packing business this morning. Authorities say a gate on a holding pen was inadvertently left open, allowing the more than 1,000-pound animal to escape.

Man Dies in Crocodile Orgy: Amorous crocodiles are causing so much havoc to a Papua New Guinean coastal community that authorities have ordered a cull. Police on the northern PNG island of Manus asked licensed firearm holders to form a hunting party after mating crocodiles killed one man last week.

Lizard Blood Used as Cure for Aids: Desperate people living with the HIV/Aids virus in Yumbe district, northwestern Uganda, have resorted to an ominous therapy – that of injecting themselves with blood drawn from an uncommon type of lizard.

Man Shoves Hand in Shark’s Mouth: A fisherman who survived a shark attack aboard a fishing boat off Queensland said his skipper put his hand down the shark’s throat to free his mangled leg.

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Is the Nevada Humane Society Being Racially Insensitive? The Nevada Humane Society is doing a promotion surrounding the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday called “Black Is Beautiful” where black dogs and cats are offered for adoption at a reduced rate.

California Mourns Death of Crooked Necked Giraffe: Gemina the

December 19, 2007

Hollow Earth May Be the Weirdest Theory of the World

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So wait, what? The Earth … hollow? Yes, it’s an insane theory, and yes it is as fictitious as the fairy tales that gave rise to it, yet at the same time it can’t be directly disproved. Why? Because we have never actually dug more than about 15 miles below the surface of the Earth, so there is no 100% direct evidence the Earth is solid through an through! Does this mean Hollow Earth Theories could hold true? Sure, and Santa might actually drop by 6 billion houses a year on a sled pulled by a glorified pack of deer.

What may be most amazing about Hollow Earth theories is the fact that some people believe them even today. One self-identified scientist and explorer is currently trying to raise two million dollars to mount a mission where no man has ever gone before: through a polar ice cap and into a supposed ‘Inner Earth’ with its own oceans, continents and of course its own sun. What is strangest about his video presentation on the subject (above) is the deadpan, candid and intelligent-sounding way in which he presents his arguments.

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Shocking as it may seem that some people still believe the world to be empty at its core this idea is unsurprisingly nothing new. Early theorists held that there were a series of concentric spheres within the Earth while more recent models have posited a viable interior space or even that we occupy the center rather than the interior surface of sphere with everything else in orbits within this sphere.

December 14, 2007

Bad, Better and Best of YouTubed Choreography

There are a lot of hilariously bad videos on YouTube, some bizarre but good ones and some that are downright amazing. This set of videos progresses from one end of the spectrum to the other with no stops in between so hold onto your hats because this is going to be ugly to begin with but don’t worry you’ll love the last one!

One has to wonder if these guys dance this badly just to be funny.

Some work clearly went into this crazy light-sabering.

Wow … now that puts even Jackie Chan to shame!

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