Archive for the 'creepy crawly' Category

‘Worms from hell’ discovered

Washington Post:

“This is telling us something brand new,” said Onstott, whose pioneering work in South Africa over the past decade has revolutionized the understanding of microbial life known generally as extremophiles, which live in places long believed to be uninhabitable.

“For a relatively complex creature like a nematode to penetrate that deep is simply remarkable,” he said.

An article introducing the subterranean nematodes, one of which was formally named Halicephalobus mephisto after the “Lord of the Underworld,” appears in Wednesday’s edition of the journal Nature. H. mephisto was found in water flowing from a borehole about one mile below the surface in the Beatrix gold mine.

What other monstrosities will we unearth that were meant to remain locked underground?

Mind-controlling fungi create zombie ants

National Geographic:

The fungus species can infect an ant, take over its brain, and then kill the insect once it moves to a location ideal for the fungi to grow and spread their spores.

All four known fungi species live in Brazil’s Atlantic rain forest, which is rapidly changing due to climate change and deforestation, said study leader David Hughes, an entomologist at Penn State University.

We’re so doomed. You know those changes are never good. Soon the fungi aren’t going to use ants, they’re coming for people!

Community posts reward for proof of monster

From The Republican Eagle newspaper in Minnesota:

LAKE CITY — Rumors surface every few years. Ever since the historical siting on April 28, 1871, there have been stories about a monster in Lake Pepin.

The Lake City Tourism Bureau has decided to try and find out the truth. The bureau is enlisting the public’s help by offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who can prove the existence of the creature living in Lake Pepin that is commonly referred to as “Pepie.”

The native Dakota people who lived along the Mississippi River were afraid to travel on Lake Pepin in birchbark canoes because of “large creatures” that would surface on the Lake and puncture the thin birchbark skin, according to tourism bureau spokesman Larry Nielson. They would only travel on the lake in the more stoutly made dugout canoes.

Ogof-yr-Esgyrn

In Wales, you can visit the Bone Cave, also known as Ogof-yr-Esgyrn.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBone Cave or Ogof-yr-Esgyrn is so called because 42 human skeletons have so far been discovered in its chamber.

It was this cave that first attracted cavers and archaeologists to the area.

Many of the bones date back to the Bronze Age over 3000 years ago.

Animal bones have also been found. The oldest bones are of red deer over 7000 years old.

It seems that bone cave has been a shelter or home for man during many different periods of time.

Items such as bone pins, pottery, coins, iron, bronze and silver rings have been found in the cave, as well as relics dated to the time when Roman Legions were stationed in the area.

French court blocks return of head

From Reuters:

A French court stepped in on Wednesday to block the return to New Zealand of the mummified head of a Maori warrior held in a provincial museum since the 19th century.

The mayor of Rouen offered to return the tattooed head last week, but the Culture Ministry contested the plan, taking the case to the city’s administrative court. The court upheld the ministry’s appeal.

The ministry is concerned that such offers by individual museums could threaten its control over artifacts from other civilizations, such as ancient Egypt or Peru.

It’s not just home prices that are scary

Sometimes it’s the home itself.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Every neighborhood has one. A house the kids are certain is haunted. Where I grew up, it was the monastery on top of the hill, only we didn’t realize at the time that it was a religious place. We just thought it was spooky.

People have always loved a good ghost story, especially when it comes to haunted houses. And there are untold numbers of places supposedly occupied by spooks and specters or that were the site of acts so heinous that houses themselves have become part of the folklore.

..But in the spirit of Halloween, here’s a look at some of the country’s spookiest haunts:

Winchester Mystery House ..One account has it that Sarah was told by a medium to build a house for herself and to never stop construction or she would die. Another account has it that she believed the only way she could repent for the thousands of people killed by her family’s rifles was to keep building. Either way, she built and then built some more, from 1884, when she purchased the house under construction, until her death 38 years later.The place started out as a six-bedroom house. But Sarah turned it into a eerie mansion with 40 bedrooms, 40 staircases, 47 fireplaces and 1,257 windows.

Grant-Humphreys MansionBuilt by Colorado’s third governor, James Grant, this Denver house at 770 Pennsylvania St. lays claim to five ghosts, including that of Albert Humphreys, a subsequent owner who died of a suspicious shooting accident on the third floor, according to HauntedHouse.com.

The others are said to be disrupted souls from the old cemetery that lies beneath what is now Cheesman Park. They’ve been flying about since 1873, when the cemetery was closed and the city hired an incompetent undertaker to move some graves. Showing little respect for the unearthed dead, he broke up bodies to fit them into small boxes, mixing up parts as he worked.

Whaley House...Few houses in San Diego are as historically important as this one, or as haunted. It made the list of the Travel Channel’s most haunted destinations. Every day, visitors from throughout the world tour the place in the city’s Old Town section, and numerous manifestations have been reported since the house reopened as a museum in 1960.

Reed House...This Asheville, N.C., house was built in 1892 by Samuel Reed. Although Reed was a lawyer for tycoon George Vanderbilt, his life was “full of loss,” according to the local paranormal society. Five of his children died young. Then his wife passed away, and he followed her into the great beyond six months later.

The house was abandoned for a time, and then was purchased in 1973 and turned into a bed and breakfast. Now, it is known as the Biltmore Village Inn, a place where the sound of heavy boots can sometimes be heard, or a spectral game of pool takes place. Bedroom doors open and close by themselves, and the lights sometimes go on and off for no reason.

Franklin Castle.There are ghosts aplenty at Cleveland’s Franklin Castle, which is known as Ohio’s most haunted house. And no wonder: Among other things, a pile of baby skeletons was discovered in a small room at the rear of the house, the victim of some inept doctor, according to Forgotten Ohio.com, and a group of Nazis was gunned down in a political dispute. Today, babies can still be heard crying, the German Socialists’ conversation continues.

AMNewYork highlights some grizzly real estate in Gotham, including one Starbucks that was once the scene of a famous mob hit.

Giant squid washes up on beach

Ancient crabs live in Roman ruins

From National Geographic:

A freshwater crab haunts the ruins of Trajan’s Forum in Rome late last month.

The Roman crabs—of the species Potamon fluviatile—were discovered in in 1997. Recent findings from an ongoing genetic study suggest the animals may have been around for more than a thousand years before the ancient complex was completed, around A.D. 112.

Researchers came to that conclusion after the discovery that the crabs’ genes are remarkably similar to those of Greek crabs.

Blood sucking moths in Finland

Well this bites. From Reuters:

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Global warming is bringing more warmer-climate creatures to Finland, including moths that feast on human blood, according to nature researchers.

Insect-watchers are spotting more and more calpe moths in the Nordic country, which used to be considered too cold for the insects from southeast Asia, Finnish nature magazine “Suomen Luonto” reported in its June edition.

Florida diver captures sea serpent

From Underwater Times:

West Palm Beach, Florida (May 2, 2007 15:55 EST) It’s not the Loch Ness Monster or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but a creature recently caught on tape by a Florida diver does have scientists scratching their heads.

Underwater videographer Jay Garbose has worked for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel in the past.

snip

Jay says when he first saw the giant worm like creature he thought it was a sea cucumber…then he realized how big it was.

The creature, which measured between seven and ten feet, has baffled scientists who have seen the video.

Scientists believe it may be a previously undescribed creature.

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