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Category: Places
The Fraser Island Crocodile
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 25, 2011
The Telegraph recently listed the beach on Queensland's Fraser Island as among the most dangerous in the world. The reasons: sharks, jellyfish, strong rip currents, deadly spiders, the odd saltwater crocodile, and dingoes. But people around Fraser Island disagree. They don't dispute the presence of the sharks, jellyfish, rip currents, spiders, and dingoes. (Though they don't think dingoes are dangerous). But they do insist there are no crocodiles there, except for one — which is fake. One of the locals owns a fake, but realistic-looking crocodile that he sometimes puts on the beach. Back in 2006 this crocodile made headlines in the Fraser Coast Chronicle when it scared some…
Categories: Animals, Places Comments (4)
Disney World Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 04, 2011
Time magazine offers a list of the Top 5 Disney World Urban Legends: Walt Disney built a special suite for himself in Cinderella's castle at the Magic Kingdom. (Apparently this wasn't true while Disney was alive, though there is a suite there now in which special visitors can stay.)Cinderella's castle can be disassembled or made to sink into the ground to protect it from natural disasters such as hurricanes. In the case of a death at a Disney park, no one can be declared dead until their body leaves the park itself.There's a whole other park beneath the Magic Kingdom. (No, but there are utility corridors beneath it.)Disney's body was cryogenically frozen and is kept beneath the Pirates…
Categories: Places, Urban Legends Comments (10)
A fork in the road, literally
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 06, 2009
A few days ago a fork appeared in the middle of a Pasadena road. It's located, appropriately, at a fork in the road, where Pasadena and St. John avenues divide. From the Pasadena Star News: It turns out the fork is an elaborate - and expensive - birthday prank in honor of the 75th birthday of Bob Stane, founder of the Ice House comedy club, who now owns the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena... The wooden fork, is "expertly carved and painted," to look like metal, Stane said. "It's anchored in…
Categories: Art, Places, Pranks Comments (6)
Argleton, Lancashire: the town that doesn’t exist
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 03, 2009
From the BBC: Argleton appears on Google Maps as a small town furnished with amenities, but it does not actually exist, apart from a field and a few trees. Some people have described the place, nestled between Aughton and Ormskirk, as a "phantom town" that only ever appears on the online search engine. Google said: "While [most information] is correct there are... errors." Roy Bayfield from nearby Edge Hill University became so intrigued by the description that he decided to walk there. He was greeted by a gate, a field and cluster of trees but…
Categories: Places Comments (3)
Give Grand Marais the Bird
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 10, 2009
A fake seagull perched on a billboard outside the town of Grand Marais, Minnesota recently went missing. Residents suspect it was stolen, and they want it back. So the town has organized a "give us the bird" campaign, in which they're offering a free vacation in Grand Marais in return for information leading to the safe return of the seagull. The best story wins. A strict adherence to the truth, in this case, would seem to be irrelevant. [upi.com]
Loch Ness as one of the 7 Wonders of Nature
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 16, 2009
Loch Ness is a finalist in a campaign to name the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Other finalists include the Amazon River, the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, and Mount Kilimanjaro. Loch Ness is very scenic and geologically very interesting, but Willie Cameron of Loch Ness Marketing thinks that the Loch should have a leg-up on the competition because, "None of the other nominees has a legacy we know as the Loch Ness Monster. Whatever it is, it is unexplainable and that is unique." By that reasoning, shouldn't the North Pole also be a contender, since it's the home of Santa Claus? [Highland News]
Categories: Cryptozoology, Places Comments (11)
Pranksters move Loch Ness signs
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 26, 2009
Pranksters in Inverness have made it even more difficult to find Nessie by moving the road signs for Loch Ness so that they point in the wrong direction. The leading suspects are concert-goers attending the RockNess music festival. But here's the part of the article I found interesting. One resident "likened the alterations to World War II, when the authorities removed signs to prevent German soldiers from navigating their way round the country if they invaded." I didn't know that had been done during WWII. I can't imagine that a lack of road signs would have significantly slowed down a German invasion. [Press and Journal]
Categories: Places, Pranks Comments (12)
Looking for Urquhart Castle
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 29, 2009
If you visit Loch Ness, you probably won't see Nessie, but you will see a lot of confused tourists, thanks to confusing road signs that local businesses have been putting up. For instance, many tourists who are looking for Urquhart Castle wind up in the Loch Ness Monster Visitor Centre because of a large road sign for "Glen Urquhart Castle" that points toward the Visitor Centre. The word "Glen" is in tiny, small letters, and most people probably wouldn't realize that Glen Urquhart Castle is different than Urquhart Castle. Urquhart Castle is a real castle (and definitely worth seeing). Glen Urquhart Castle is just a wooden…
Categories: Places Comments (2)
Mystery Stones Explained
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 17, 2009
The mystery of why someone has been leaving white stones with cryptic black markings on them around Orleans, Massachusetts has been solved. The creator of the stones sent an explanatory letter to the local paper: The writer said the backward “R” and an “R” separated by three slashes on one line and an “X” book ended by two vertical lines underneath means “Remember 9-11.” He (most believe the writer is a male) said he came up with the design about two years ago “When I became disheartened from our straying from our Afghanistan objective of going…
Categories: Art, Hate Crimes/Terror, Places Comments (11)
Too Many Fake Soldiers
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 16, 2009
German politicians are upset by all the fake soldiers hanging around the Brandenburg Gate. The fake soldiers are there trying to make a buck from the tourists, who want their picture taken with someone in a Cold War-era uniform. But the politicians are worried that the Brandenburg gate is deteriorating into a miniature Disneyland and may go the route of Checkpoint Charlie which has become "a tacky tourist trap unworthy of its historical significance." I was in Berlin just a few months ago, and I can definitely confirm that appraisal of Checkpoint Charlie. [Spiegel]
Categories: Military, Places Comments (2)
Agloe, New York
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 26, 2009
A case of a fake that became real. In this case, a fictitious town that, for a while, achieved actual existence. The town of Agloe, New York was a "copyright trap" placed on Esso Maps during the 1930s. (That is, it was a nonexistent town whose purpose was to reveal if rival mapmakers were blindly copying the information on Esso maps.) The name was a scramble of the initials of Otto G. Lindberg (the company founder) and his assistant Ernest Alpers. They located the town at a dirt-road intersection north of Roscoe, NY. So when the town of Agloe later appeared on a Rand…
Categories: Places Comments (20)
Can you see Half Dome from the Central Valley?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 23, 2009
This may be of interest only to Californians, but so be it... On February 18 the Patterson Irrigator posted a picture that appeared to show the Half Dome in Yosemite, visible from Patterson. (It's a little hard to see, but if you look closely it's there.) The thing is, Patterson is in the Central Valley, about 100 miles from Yosemite. So the photo met with a very skeptical reaction. A lot of people simply refused to believe that Half Dome could be seen from that far away. There was discussion of it on the yosemite blog, and on…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (19)
Dildo Boulevard
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 09, 2009
First there was Shoe Corner (the place in New Jersey where shoes kept mysteriously getting dumped); next there was Pantyhose Corner in Massachusetts. Now we have Dildo Boulevard. That's the name that's been given to the street in Darwin, Australia where 30 sex toys were inexplicably found lying in the road. Where did they come from? Nobody knows: One theory is that it is an elaborate - and expensive - practical joke. Another school of thought is that they fell off the back of a delivery truck. Some said the sex toys could have been inside somebody's…
Categories: Places, Sex/Romance Comments (4)
Scottish Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 15, 2008
Dani Garavelli, writing for Scotsman.com, examines the psychology of urban legends. The article doesn't offer any new insights into urban legends. There's the standard observation: urban legends "hold a mirror up to our culture, giving us an often unflattering reflection of our preoccupations and prejudices." But what I found interesting is that the article listed some urban legends specific to Scotland: For several days, [north-east Scotland] was gripped by a rumour that pop star and convicted paedophile Gary Glitter – who was recently deported from Vietnam – was staying at the Findhorn Foundation, a new age spiritual community. Suddenly, Glitter was being spotted across the North-east, from the Asda cafe in Elgin, where he was said…
Categories: Places, Urban Legends Comments (9)
Fake Taj Mahal
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 15, 2008
A film director in Bangladesh has announced plans to build an exact replica of the Taj Mahal. He's going to use the same marble and stone as the original, but to save time he's using machinery (rather than thousands of peasant workers) to construct it. His reason for building it: "Everyone dreams about seeing the Taj Mahal but very few Bangladeshis can make the trip because it's too expensive for them." All of this has upset officials in India who have threatened to sue for copyright infringement because "You can't just go and copy historical monuments." Personally, I think I'd find the fake Taj Mahal more…
Categories: Places Comments (6)
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