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Strange news archive: January-February 2006

Cueva del Fantasma
Explorers discover huge cave and new poison frogs
(Feb 22, 2006)

A cave so huge helicopters can fly into it has just been discovered deep in the hills of a South American jungle paradise. Actually, "Cueva del Fantasma" – Spanish for "Cave of the Ghost" – is so vast that two helicopters can comfortably fly into it and land next to a towering waterfall. It was found in the slopes of Aprada tepui in southern Venezuela, one of the most inaccessible and unexplored regions of the world. The area, known as the Venezuelan Guayana, is one of the most biologically rich, geologically ancient and unspoiled parts of the world.

Read more. Source:

Japan tries to save giant radish
(Feb 9, 2006)

A giant radish is making the Japanese evening news headlines after it was rushed into intensive care in an agricultural research centre. The daikon radish, a staple ingredient in Japan, became an unlikely object of public admiration when it started growing through a pavement last year. The resilient radish was then attacked last year by a mysterious assailant. The local town council has since been trying to re-grow the radish from its severed top.

Read more. Source: BBC

Herman the rabbit
Herman could be 'biggest bunny'
(Feb 7, 2006)

A man has been showing off his gigantic rabbit named Herman. The mighty bunny weighs a massive 7.7kg, and his ears are a lengthy 21cm – almost as long as most pet rabbits are tall. And he is almost 1m tall. The German Giant is even big for his breed, which usually tip the scales at around 6kg.

Read more. Source: BBC

paw prints
Print 'proof' of big cat presence
(Feb 3, 2006)

Police believe they have the first conclusive proof a big cat, dubbed the "Beast of Balbirnie", could be on the loose in Fife. There have been numerous reports of big cats in the Kingdom in recent years. Now officers have had a plaster cast of a paw print verified by experts who believe it is of an 18-month-old exotic large cat. Image shows Balbirnie cast (top), captive puma (right), dog (bottom), leopard (left).

Read more. Source: BBC

Malaysian forest
Johor to mount hunt for 'bigfoot'
(Jan 27, 2006)

The government of the Malaysian state of Johor says it is to organise an attempt to track down a legendary ape man reputed to roam its jungles. After a spate of sightings, Johor's chief minister says he will launch an official search for the beast, dubbed Malaysia's Big Foot by local media. Malaysians have a long-standing love affair with anything big. The obsessions resulted in record-breaking buildings, bridges, even piles of food. Now they have gone crazy for Big Foot, known in local legend as Hantu Jarang Gigi - ghosts with widely spaced teeth.

Read more. Source: BBC

Whale 'vomit' sparks cash bonanza
(Jan 24, 2006)

An Australian couple who picked up an odd-looking fatty lump from a quiet beach are in line for a cash windfall. Leon Wright and his wife took home a 14.75kg lump of ambergris, found in the innards of Sperm whales and used in perfumes after it has been vomited up. Sought after because of its rarity, ambergris can float on the ocean for years before washing ashore. Worth up to $20 a gram, Mr Wright's find on a South Australian beach could net his family US$295,000 (165,300).

Read more. Source: BBC

James Bonds DB5
James Bond car sold for over 1m
(Jan 22, 2006)

An Aston Martin car driven by James Bond in Goldfinger and Thunderball has been sold in auction for more than 1m. The legendary 1965 DB5 model, complete with a host of high-tech gadgets, went under the hammer in Phoenix, Arizona. Driven by Sean Connery, the car boasts built-in Browning machine guns, tyre slashers, an oil slick ejector and a retractable rear bullet-proof screen.

Read more. Source: BBC

new species of harvestman
California home to 27 new species
(Jan 19, 2006)

Twenty-seven previously unknown species of spiders, centipedes, scorpion-like creatures and other animals have been discovered in the dark, damp caves beneath two national parks in the Sierra Nevada, biologists say. "Not only are these animals new to science, but they're adapted to very specific environments – some of them, to a single room in one cave," said Joel Despain, a cave specialist who helped explore 30 of the 238 known caves in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Source: Associated Press

shark in Sydney aquarium
How best to fight off a shark?
(Jan 19, 2006)

An Australian diver has narrowly survived a shark attack by fighting it with his speargun – the latest in a long line of shark-related incidents. So what is the best way to take on a shark and win? Bernie Williams, a 46-year-old Australian scuba-diver, fought off repeated attacks by an 11ft (3.5m) shark by hitting it on the nose with his speargun.

Read more. Source: BBC

William Shatner
Actor Shatner sells kidney stone
(Jan 18, 2006)

Star Trek actor William Shatner has sold his kidney stone for $25,000 (14,000) to an online casino, to raise money for a housing charity. The 74-year-old actor agreed on Monday to sell the stone to "This takes organ donors to a new height, to a new low, maybe. How much is a piece of me worth?" said Shatner. The money will go to Habitat for Humanity. US TV show Boston Legal, in which Shatner stars, raised $20,000 (11,317) for the charity last year.

Read more. Source: BBC

controversial footprints
'Footprints' debate to run and run
(Jan 18, 2006)

It was a sensational discovery - human footprints said to be 40,000 years old, preserved by volcanic ash in an abandoned quarry in Mexico. The announcement, in July last year, created a flurry of excitement, but was then promptly dismissed by a second team of researchers who re-dated the rocks at 1.3 million years old, impossibly ancient to bear human traces. The original claim has not gone away, however.

Read more. Source: BBC

What can't you send through the post?
(Jan 18, 2006)

Two students who sent a hamster through the post as a drunken prank have been fined and banned from owning animals. So what else can't you put in a parcel? The hamster found in a postbox is now named First Class. And he's lucky to be alive. If he hadn't gnawed through the envelope and been spotted by the postman, he might have died in the sorting machine.

Read more. Source: BBC


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