World’s Strangest

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11 Not-So-Famous People We Lost in 2012

It’s been a solemn year for the deaths of famous and significant people – and as always, many died who were less famous, but should be saluted nonetheless for their contributions to the world. Here are 11 of the lesser-known greats who passed this year. 1. Murray Lender: Bagel Tycoon Lender’s Bagels Historical Images Murray Lender, son of [...]

Home for Christmas: 9 Flattops at Norfolk

The US Navy’s base at Norfolk, Virginia is the largest in the world. It can berth a vast number of ships. On 20 December, the station was packed with five aircraft carriers and four amphibious assault ships: Five aircraft carriers, four big-deck amphibious assault ships, a full cast of “small boy” surface warships, along with nuclear [...]

National Geographic’s New Phenomena

National Geographic has opened a new science blog section of their extensive website called Phenomena, with four blogs by science writers you probably already know. Not Exactly Rocket Science by Ed Yong, formerly of Discover magazine. Here’s his welcome post. Laelaps by Brian Switek, formerly of ScienceBlogs. Here’s his first Phenomena post. The Loom by Carl Zimmer, [...]

10 Fake Photos Of Hurricane Sandy

Frankenstorm Sandy has passed over the New York City area on her slow, destructive path north, leaving behind a trail of wreckageand mayhem from North Carolina up to at least Connecticut. The biggest mess, though, is in New York City: The streets and subway tunnels are filled with water, power lines and power stations have erupted [...]

You’re Never Too Old for Halloween

When a picture of a 91-year-old man in a Halloween costume went viral this week, I was asked if other senior citizens dressed up in Halloween costumes. Of course they do, and why are you asking me, anyway? Redditor Kristin_Ols23 posted this photograph of her 91-year-old grandfather. His costume for this Halloween is the Mayor of [...]

Kryptos: The CIA Cipher Hiding in Plain Sight

Kryptos photo via Wikimedia Commons Kryptos is an encrypted sculpture installed at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It’s a set of huge copper plates with enciphered text carved into them — for example, one segment reads TWTQSJQSSEKZZWATJKLUDIAWINFBNYP, though it looks a lot nicer in context. Although the sculpture was installed in 1990, it took until 1999 [...]

Monster Gator

Killed just outside of Lafayette, Louisiana in 2003, Believe It or Not! 10 dog collars and one dog harness were found inside the stomach of this massive 12 foot alligator. Alligators are slow growers and this monster may have been over 40 [...]

The Weird Nicknames of 8 Spy Agency Headquarters

Because being a secret agent isn’t cool enough, spymasters tend to build elaborate headquarters buildings with really great nicknames. Here are a few headquarters known for their vodka martinis, Aston Martins, and Walther pistols. 1. Legoland The British Secret Intelligence Service (also called MI6, but more famously known as James Bond’s employer) was only officially acknowledged as [...]

12 Proposed U.S. States That Didn’t Make the Cut

The road to 50 states was littered with wannabes who couldn’t wait to declare themselves—but never quite got to full statehood. Here are 12 states that could have been. 1. Franklin Wikimedia Commons After the Revolutionary War, it became common for states to gift their westernmost lands to the newly-founded (but broke) American government to repackage and sell [...]

Vintage Photos of Old-School Celebs in Drag

This isn’t a collection of Bosom Buddies stills obehind-the-scenes shots from all-male Broadway shows. Whether taken on Halloween or just another Tuesday, these are photos of notable cultural figures in crossdress. Check out Virginia Woolf and friends decked out as convincing Abyssinian dignitaries, F. Scott Fitzgerald in his pretties, and Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall [...]