Strangest Creatures on the Planet

Nature can produce some incredibly complex creatures. These creatures can defy the human imagination and are often unique to the species of animals that we know of today. While not all of these may be big and scary, we are going to talk about the top 10 fantastically strange animals in the world.

Most of us have heard of the octopus, but how many of us have heard of the “Blanket Octopus”? This sea-based creature is awkward to say the least and contains three hearts, a parrot-like beak, and venomous saliva. It also has the ability to change color on a whim so that it can adapt to its surroundings. A lot of people refer to their tentacles as “intelligent arms” as they don’t necessarily need the brain to perform specific actions like catching prey. All in all, this is a very strange animal that is rarely seen and resides in the depths of the ocean.

The blanket octopus is #9 on this list – and a personal favorite. Click the link above and wander through one editor’s choices.

Where do you want your ashes to go?

Want to be cremated, but worry that your ashes will just end up sitting in some boring urn?

Fear not! Have a look at these 10 bizarre places that ashes have gone.

1. Into a comic book

When longtime Marvel Comics editor Mark Gruenwald died in 1996, he left an interesting final wish: he wanted to have his ashes mixed into the ink used in one of Marvel’s titles. The company obliged by reprinting a 1985 collection of the Gruenwald-penned Squadron Supreme with the specially prepared ink in 1997. Gruenwald’s widow, Catherine, wrote in the book’s foreword, “He has truly become one with the story.”

2. Into fireworks

Writer Hunter S. Thompson literally went out with a bang. Thompson’s appropriately gonzo 2005 memorial service featured a fireworks show in which each boom and crack dispersed some of the writer’s ashes. Johnny Depp underwrote the fireworks display at a cost of $2 million.

3. Into a Pringles can

The name Fredric Baur may not ring any bells, but you know his most famous creation. In 1966 Baur invented the Pringles can so Procter & Gamble could ship its new chips without using bags.

Baur was so proud of the achievement that he told his children he wanted to be buried in the iconic can. When he died in 2008 at 89, they honored his wishes by placing his ashes in a Pringles can before burying them…

It’s a great list. Though I probably wouldn’t consider this last one:

10. Up Keith Richards’ nose?

In 2007 music mag NME asked Rolling Stones guitarist to name the strangest thing he’d ever snorted. The reporter was probably expecting an odd answer given Richards’ legendary proclivity for partying, but Richards’ response was a jaw-dropper.

Richards told the magazine, “The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow.”

Har!

Building a bicycle that’ll roll worse

A Chinese man has successfully patented his new invention – a bicycle with odd-sided wheels.

Guan Baihua, 50, a retired military officer in Qingdao, spent 18 months developing his unique bike.

The front wheel is a five-sided pentagon while the back wheel is a triangle, reports the Bandao City Daily.

Guan says the bike is mainly for fun but says riders could use it to lose weight as it takes more effort to pedal.

Don’t laugh. It might turn out to be more marketable than the Segway.

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Related (because I say so) Link:
Segway. From the very first, the Segway looked like something that was going to wind up in the garage, covered with cobwebs, getting in the way of getting out the lawnmower every two weeks.

What makes world leaders think George Bush loves nut pastries, reads poetry and plays the harp?

This week, as it is required to do by law, the US state department published a list of all the presents given by foreigners in 2007 to President George Bush. It was an enormous list, running to hundreds of items, and remarkable also for the consistently unappealing nature of the gifts. I can honestly say that I didn’t covet any of them…

You would think, for example, that before deciding to give Bush a £150 box of Charbonnel et Walker chocolates, Gordon Brown would have borne in mind that the American secret service requires the destruction of all food gifts to the president. However, Brown was not alone in this idiocy. The prime minister of Qatar gave Bush a large tin of “chocolates, fruits and cookies” worth £650, and the Iraqi president gave an “assortment of nut pastries”, but these, too, in the words of the state department, were “handled pursuant to secret service policy” (ie destroyed). The same sad fate befell the £3 worth of “live shamrocks” given to Bush by the then Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, on St Patrick’s Day.

Bush would have been allowed to keep another of Brown’s gifts – a “green, beige and red plaid lambswool blanket” – because it is worth so little; but it has ended up all the same in a government warehouse, as has a present from Tony Blair (a Wedgwood bowl inscribed with the words “Am I not a man and a brother?”, the slogan of the 19th-century British anti-slavery movement). If it is difficult to imagine what either British prime minister intended with these gifts, it is even harder to guess what was in the mind of Vladimir Putin when he gave Bush a book of “English Sonnets, 16th to 19th century”, which he obviously would never read, and utterly mystifying why the president of Vietnam gave him an electric harp, which he most definitely would never play.

I clearly still have a great deal to learn about the workings of international diplomacy.

The harp sounds pretty cool to me. Though I’d prefer a non-electrified version for certain. I always played acoustic strings.

Lobsters saved from boiling pot

Two of Scotland’s most unusually coloured lobsters have become a huge visitor attraction.

The colourful crustaceans, one a vivid orange and the other electric blue, would normally have ended up on a dinner plate in an upmarket restaurant.

But their bizarre colours have saved them from the boiling pot because the fishermen who caught them off the coast of Fife thought they were so unusual.

The lobsters now share a rock pool at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry.

In my youth, subsistence fishing on the New England coast, we’d catch an odd fish every now and then. I hope none were sports like these – because we ate every one.