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Not-quite-famous (but still great) last words

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Sure, a lot of us are familiar with the last words of Douglas Fairbanks ("I've never felt better") and Oscar Wilde ("Either that wallpaper goes, or I do"), but the plain fact of the matter is that everybody, save those who never spoke during their lifetimes, had last words, and just because they're obscure doesn't mean they're not awesome. So if you've already checked out our new musical about last words and feel a hankerin' for more, read on!

18th century newspaperman Andrew Bradford's last words may well be those of any devoted mental_floss writer: "Oh Lord, forgive the errata!"

One of the most memorably poetic partings belongs to Russian diarist Marie Bashkirtseff, who died from tuberculosis at the tragically young age of 25. Addressing the candle by her bedside, she said "We shall go out together."

This one very nearly made it into our last words film, but was cut for time at the last moment. (Also, the deathbed scenes were starting to pile up, and something had to go.) Gloomy Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen (d. 1906) had suffered a stroke and was confined to his bed. When he overheard his nurse remarking to his visitor that he appeared to be on the mend, he quipped "On the contrary!"

Among our favorites are the last words of Karl Marx, who simultaneously departed this mortal coil with fantastic last words, and undermined the whole enterprise of honoring last words: on his deathbed, Marx's housekeeper urged him to tell her his last words, so that she might record them for posterity. He replied: "Go on, get out. Last words are for fools who haven't said enough."

According to Kool Aid-loving Ken Kesey, who was present at his deathbed, Allen Ginsberg's lighthearted last words were "Toodle-oo!"

In 1959, Lou Costello (of Abbot and ... fame), had just finished a malt shoppe treat. He said "That was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted." We're guessing it wasn't of the fat-free persuasion, as he died of a heart attack soon thereafter.

For those of you who spend too much time thinking about this sort of thing (guilty!), consider the last words of guru Meher Baba, who died in 1969 but spoke his last words in 1924 right before taking a 44-year vow of silence: "Don't worry, be happy."

Eeyore's last words couldn't have been glummer: when the first gallows-rope broke as Russian revolutionary Ryumin Bestuzhev was being executed in 1826, he said "Nothing succeeds with me. Even here I meet with disappointment." (Don't feel so bad, Ryumin. If it weren't for disappointments, we wouldn't have any appointments. Hey hey!)

In 1959, Carl Switzer -- better known as The Little Rascals' Alfalfa -- yelled "I want that that 50 bucks you owe me, and I want it now!" and was subsequently killed in a bar fight.

As the assassinated president William McKinley was dying in his bed, his wife plead with him not to go. "We are all going," he responded.

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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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