The Bike-eating Tree
A bicycle lost over 50 years ago has been found -five feet off the ground, swallowed by a tree. Ninety-nine-year-old Helen Puz told the story of how she received a bicycle for her 8-year-old son in 1954. The boy was not particularly happy about riding a girl's bike, and one day told his mother the bike was lost. Forty years later, Puz read a a local newspaper account of a tree in the same woods her son used to roam that had grown up around a bicycle. Photographs of the bike had... READ ON
Ground Zero at the Maya Apocalypse
The town of Bugarach, France, was reported to be the safest place on earth for the Maya Apocalypse. The officials of the village of about 200 said they didn't want to be flooded with refugees, but it turns out they were overrun with journalists instead.
It took jet-lagged correspondents about five minutes after arriving in town to realise that their end-of-the-world report would look as bleak as a rural French village in winter. Which, by the way, is exactly what... READ ON
One of the ways we celebrate the end of the work week here at mental_floss is to round up the oddest news stories for The Weird Week in Review. Not every weird news story made it into the weekly column here, because I tend to skip those that are overly prurient or tragic, such as the Florida cannibal (read at your own risk), and stories that are not available in English. But of those strange news items that did, here are the top stories of 2012 that are worth another look, some of them with updated... READ ON
Congress Votes to Ban the Word ‘Lunatic’
Congress cannot agree on what to do to avoid the fiscal cliff, but the House of Representatives overwhelmingly agreed to ban the word "lunatic" from all federal legislation. The vote Wednesday was 398-1 in favor of the ban. One has to wonder why the word comes up in legislative bills at all. The bill follows others intended to stop the use of outdated terminology concerning the mentally ill. The one dissenting vote came from Texas congressman Louie Gohmert,... READ ON
Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't drift apart.