World’s Strangest

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The Birth of Kermit

Before The Muppet Show, before Sesame Street, there was Sam and Friends, a 1955 series of local TV sketches created by a college student named Jim Henson. Despite getting top billing, the star of “Sam and Friends” was not jug-eared Sam, whose round nose and bald head suggested Popeye. No, the show’s heart was an olive-drab, [...]

This Is A Steam-Propelled Tricycle

The photo was taken in 1888 in front of the Smithsonian Institution’s “Castle” on the Mall.  The driver is Lucius D. Copeland, who invented the device (30 mile range, 10 mph).  His passenger is Frances “Fannie” Benjamin Johnston, later to become one of Washington’s most famous photographers. The steam-powered tricycle was much more practical than its [...]

The Fantastic World Of Jim Henson

There’s a fuzzy new exhibit coming to a museum near you that showcases the works of puppet messiah Jim Henson. The Fantastic Voyage is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and showcases some of Henson’s most beloved and well known characters, like Bert and Ernie, Kermit, and Rowlf the piano playing dog, so you can see [...]

Indonesians Dancers Make a Winning Picture

Photojournalist Prakash Hatvalne of Bhopal, India took this shot that won the Grand Prize in the 8th annual Smithsonian Photo Contest. You can see the winners in all the different categories, and find out how you can enter the 9th annual contest at Smithsonian. Link

Gray Whales Survived Ice Ages By Changing Their Diet

Researchers at UC Berkeley and Smithsonian Institution paleontologists have collaborated on a study of gray whales and how they survived so many global climate changes. The result-gray whales varied their diets and adapted to a wider range of food sources in order to survive. This study shows that whales may adapt quite easily to whatever [...]

Anteater Picks a Name for Her Baby

(Photo link) The Smithsonian National Zoo didn’t think it was right to name a baby anteater without input from his mom, so they gave her a choice. They attached names to three flowerpots with different tasty treats underneath – mango (Fausto), grapefruit (Demetrio) and hard-boiled egg (Pablo). You can see where her heart… er, stomach, ended [...]

Hardcore Museum Ads

The ad above was created by Jenny Burrows and Matt Kappler for their art portfolios. Originally, the logo at the bottom belonged to The Smithsonian. But once Jenny and Matt’s work started getting attention online, the Smithsonian folks decided they weren’t crazy about the free publicity and asked the artists to take down the ads [...]

The Number of the Day: 1,200

In 2001, famed chef and television host Julia Child donated her entire kitchen to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The kitchen, which played host to three of Child’s television programs, contained more than 1,200 items, which were inventoried, packed into containers and shipped to the Smithsonian for reassembly. Related Fact: Child’s famous book Mastering [...]

The First Snowflake Photograph

We’ve seen some amazing photographs of snowflakes taken by microscope cameras. Did you know the first photograph of a single snowflake dates back to 1885? Wilson A. Bentley adapted a microscope to a bellows camera and worked for years before his first successful snowflake photograph. In 1903, he sent 500 prints of his snowflakes to the [...]

Soapman: Corpse Turned Completely Into Soap

Photo: Dave Hunt / Smithsonian Institution We don’t usually post such a gruesome image on Neatorama, but bear with me. The story behind the corpse shown above is quite very intriguing. When the corpse above was discovered in 1875 during the digging of a train depot foundation in Philadelphia, it has turned into soap (that’s why it’s [...]