July Weird News Roundup

By on July 31, 2014

Last July there were so many weird things to share that I threw together a roundup of the weirdest to gather it all in one place. Either I am more motivated in July, or this month just happens to be the weirdest of the year.

In any case, here is a roundup of the weirdest news, media and other madness from July, 2014:

Australia’s Underground Mining Town

Opal miners in Australia live in an underground town to avoid the extreme heat
Australia’s underground opal-mining town Coober Pedy. 1,500 homes connected by a network of tunnels exist beneath the desert to avoid temperatures up to 125 °F / 51 °C above ground.

Article: The Town that Went Underground

Embalmed Corpse Models Wedding Dresses in Mexico

embalmed-corpse-wedding-dress
An preserved corpse models wedding dresses in the window of a bridal shop in Chihuahua, Mexico. Nothing weird about that. In 1930 the unusual mannequin, known as La Pascualita, appeared in the window of the La Popular shop. Legend says the daughter of the shops proprietor had died tragically on the day of her wedding from a black widow spider bite. Locals began to notice similarities between the dead daughter and the new model, suspecting she had been embalmed and placed in the window.

While it has been denied, only two employees are allowed to dress La Pascualita, and it is done in secrecy. Whether it is a corpse or an intricately detailed mannequin, she is now revered as a saint. People leave candles in front of the window, offer prayers, and seek love advice.

Article: Visit the Bridal Shop Where an Embalmed Corpse Models the Dresses

Visiting the Door to Hell

The Darvaza Crater, a fiery pit in Turkmenistan known as the Door to Hell
In Turkmenistan there is a massive, gas-filled hole in the ground called the Darvaza Crater. A drilling mishap created it more than 4 decades ago, and it has been burning ever since. No wonder it earned the Door to Hell. But what’s even crazier is recently a man by the name of George Kourounis and his team descended into fiery pit and lived to do a National Geographic Q&A about it.

Article: The First-Ever Expedition to Turkmenistan’s “Door to Hell”

Searching for the Franklin Expedition

The preserved body of John Hartnell, a crew member on the doomed Franklin expedition
In 1845, two ships on an expedition to explore the Arctic mysteriously vanished. Over the last 160 years, clues gathered from Inuit stories, autopsies of bodies found preserved in the permafrost, and examination of the items they were buried with have helped piece together the mystery of the doomed Franklin Expedition. The evidence seemingly points to what may have been a desperate, violent end for the 129 crew members, driven by lead poisoning-fueled madness and cannibalism.

Now, the biggest search party yet is being deployed in hopes of finally finding the Royal Navy ships HMS Erebus and Terror.

Article: Biggest Search Party Yet for Franklin’s Lost Ships

Al Capone’s Cell in the Eastern State Penitentiary

Al Capone's luxurious jail cell in Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary
Al Capone’s finely furnished cell in Philadelphia’s historic Eastern State Penitentiary. During his 8-month stay in 1929 for possession of illegal weapons, Capone believed he was being tormented by the ghost of James Clark, a victim of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago.

Article: Philadelphia, Birthplace of the American Weird

Topless PETA Protest at Cannibal’s Trial

Model Anita de Bauch protests topless for PETA at cannibalism trial
This month model Anita De Bauch protested topless for PETA in front of the Canterbury crown court where attempted cannibal Dale Bolinger was being tried. Bolinger was standing trial on charges of plotting to meet, behead and then eat a 14 year-old girl. PETA says “flesh is flesh” and that “all body parts look the same when wrapped in supermarket cellophane.”

That may be true, but I’ve never seen a cheeseburger with parts like this….

Article: Flesh is Flesh: All Animals Have the Same Parts

Indiana’s Grave in the Road

The grave of Nancy Kerlin Barnett rests in the middle of a road in rural Indiana
Considered one of the most haunted places in Indiana, County Road 400 was built around the last remaining grave of a 200-year-old cemetery. According to her wishes, Nancy Kerlin Barnett was buried in her favorite spot in 1831. The cemetery soon grew around her grave, where it remained until developers began relocating the dead decades later to build a road. Nancy’s grandson, Daniel G. Doty, kept the construction crew at bay with his gun until the county relented. Rather than disturb the grave, they split the rural two-lane road around it.

Article: See the Grave that Scared Workers so Much, They Paved Around It

Wife-Carrying World Championship

Wife-Carrying World Championship
The 19th annual world championship wife-carrying even was held over 4th of July weekend. Contestants from around the world gathered in Finland to carry their wives through the 278-yard obstacle course, competing to win cash prizes and their wife’s weight in beer.

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