X

Giant Honeybees Use Shimmering “Mexican Waves” to Repel Invaders

The giant honeybees of East Asia can build impressive open nests measuring a few meters across. The fact that they are always exposed makes them vulnerable to predators, particularly large wasps and hornets that love nothing more than invading hives and stealing grubs. Luckily, the bees have a secret weapon that is as visually mesmerizing as it is effective.

Called shimmering, the unique defensive strategy of giant honeybees involves large numbers of workers raising their rear-ends by ninety degrees and shaking them in unison, creating an effect similar to the well-known Mexican waves seen at stadiums across the world. How hundreds of bees are capable of communicating and producing this highly coordinated response to threats remains unknown, but after 15 years of studying the behavior in the wild, scientists are now convinced that shimmering is a defense mechanism.

Read More »

Professional Makeup Artist Uses Her Lips as a Canvas for Tiny, Detailed Artworks

We’ve featured some impressive body art on Oddity Central, like Luca Luce’s face-painted optical illusions or the colorful chest artworks of Georgina Ryland, but nothing quite like the detailed lip art of Ryan Kelly. The talented makeup artist paints tiny yet intricate portraits of celebrities and popular characters on her lips.

Looking at the kind of detail Ryan Kelly is able to produce on such a tiny and unusual canvas, it’s hard to believe that her lip art started out as a joke. Four years ago, Ryan and her husband were on the couch watching Katy Perry’s Superbowl halftime show, when their attention was caught by one of her dancers, who later went viral as “Left Shark”. He was fumbling through the choreography, but looked cool doing it, and they both found him hilarious. It was the makeup artist’s husband who suggested that she paint a shark on her lips and the fins on her fingers so she could puppet her very own Left Shark performance. She did just that and posted a photo of her facial makeover on social media. The response was overwhelmingly positive and inspired her to delve deeper into lip art.

Read More »

You Can Now Hire a Total Stranger to Argue on Your Behalf

If you’re not a confrontational person, having to argue with someone can be a daunting task. Luckily, Chinese online marketplace Taobao now offers people the chance to hire a “professional quarreler” to argue on their behalf.

There’s a good reason why Taobao is considered the world’s largest e-commerce platform. You can find virtually anything there, from popular products like smartphones to homework-writing robots and even bizarre services like hiring people to eat your favorite treats so you don’t have to. The latest addition to Taobao’s seemingly infinite list of goods and services is ‘quarreling by proxy’, which gives people the chance to hire strangers to argue or simply harass someone on their behalf, for a small fee.

Read More »

Crazy “Cockroach Challenge” Has People Taking Selfies with Roaches on Their Faces

We’ve seen some crazy internet challenges go viral in recent years, but this latest one takes the cake as the most disgusting of all. The Cockroach Challenge has people putting live cockroaches on their faces, taking a selfie and sharing it on social media.

It’s hard to say for sure how and when the Cockroach Challenge came to be, but according to several sources, the craziness began last month, when Alex Aung, a young man from Myanmar, posted a photo of himself with a large cockroach on his face to his Facebook account, captioning it “new challenge, Can you do this?”. The photo quickly went viral, and at the time of this writing, it has over 5,600 reactions and 18,000 shares. But most importantly, people in Myanmar, the Philippines and Indonesia started sharing their own selfies with creepy crawlies on their faces, and the Cockroach Challenge was born.

Read More »

The Controversial Sport of Dog Weight Pulling – A Strongman Competition for Canines

Dog weight pulling is an increasingly popular yet highly controversial sport in which dogs of various breeds compete against each other by pulling a trolley loaded with several tons of bricks or concrete blocks 15 feet in less than 60 seconds.

Dog weight pulling has been around for decades, but it has become increasingly controversial in recent years as more and more animal welfare activists started condemning the sport as animal cruelty. The fact that weight pulling is also a known training method for building stamina and making canines more powerful for dog fighting hasn’t exactly helped the reputation of the sport either. Still, dog weight pulling enthusiasts claim that even though some animals end up pulling several dozen times their own weight, the risk of injury is minimized by great conditioning and a genetic predisposition to pulling heavy loads. They also claim that the sport can be beneficial to dogs, as it gives them much needed exercise and strengthens the bond to their owners.

Read More »

Rare Condition Causes Teen’s Short Term Memory to Reset Every Day

A year and a half ago, Caitlin Little, a sophomore at Southeast Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, suffered a concussion during a cross-country practice which left her with a rare form of amnesia. All of her new memories are erased each night, so every morning she wakes up thinking it’s October 2017.

Caitlin’s case sounds a lot like the plot of hit romantic comedy 50 First Dates, in which Drew Barrymore’s character was involved in a serious car accident which left her unable to create new memories after that terrible event, causing her to wake up every morning thinking it was the day of of the accident. In 2004, when 50 First Dates Came Out, the amnesia Barrymore’s character was suffering from was nothing more than a fictional condition called ‘Goldberg’s Syndrome’, and one clinical neuropsychologist even wrote an article about it, claiming that it “bears no relation to any known neurological or psychiatric condition”.  However, several real-life cases of short-term memory resetting have been reported since then, and today that once fictional condition is a medically-recognized disorder known as anterograde amnesia.

Read More »

Filipino Town Bans Gossip in Bid to Stop Rumors from Spreading

Authorities in Binalonan, a small Filipino town about 200 kilometres north of Manila, have made gossiping illegal under a new local law aimed at preventing rumors from spreading within the community.

Trash talking someone in Binalonan could see offenders literally picking up trash under a new local law designed to make people take responsibility for the things they say. First-time gossipers risk a fine of 200 pesos ($3.8) and three hours of collecting garbage in the streets, while repeat offenders would have to pay up to $20 and put in eight hours of community service. The law isn’t very clear on what qualifies as gossip, but mayor Ramon Guico cited peddling rumours of residents’ relationships or financial situations as examples of punishable offences.

Read More »

Online Service Allows You to Hire Someone to Attend a Protest in Your Place

Ever wish you could attend a protest, but couldn’t do so because of location, timing or other constraints? Well, thanks to Wistand, an online platform that allows people to hire proxies to protest on their behalf anytime, anywhere, you can get involved and support the causes you care about.

Before you get too excited about the idea of proxy protesters, you should know that Wistand is currently only available in France, a country that has seen weekly “yellow vests” protests for nearly six months now. But while the idea for this online service may have been inspired by the Yellow Vests anti-government protesters, it is not affiliated with the movement in any way, and can be used for any type of protests. All you have to do is go on the Wistand website, start a “cause” or find one that you care about, and then donate a set fee that will go toward funding a “messenger”, a person to attend that protest on your behalf.

Read More »

Neck Stretching Causes 28-Year-Old Man to Suffer Major Stroke

Everyone feels the need to stretch their neck every once in a while, but in rare cases it can cause more than a satisfying pop. A 28-year-old Oklahoma man ended up in the hospital after tearing his vertebral artery by stretching his neck to alleviate neck soreness.

Josh Hader was working from his home in Guthrie, Oklahoma when he felt a familiar soreness in his neck and tried to alleviate as he had done many times before, by stretching his neck a bit. Only this time, as he used his hand to apply a bit more pressure, he heard a loud pop and instantly knew something was wrong. His left side went numb almost immediately, so he quickly checked to see if his face was drooping, one of the most common signs of a stroke. His face looked fine though, so he assumed he must have just pinched a nerve and went to get some ice packs. That’s when he noticed he couldn’t walk straight.

Read More »

World’s Most Depressing Sports Competition Has Coffins for Prizes

Copa Ataúdes or Coffin Cup, a yearly futsal tournament hosted by the Peruvian city of Juliaca, has been dubbed the world’s most depressing sports competition for offering coffins as prizes to the three best teams.

The Juliaca Coffin Cup is not your usual futsal tournament. It’s a competition between teams representing the twelve largest funeral houses in the  Puno Region of southeastern Peru, so it kind of makes sense that the main prizes be something representative of the funeral business. Still, fighting your heart out on the pitch for an expensive casket you have to share with five other teammates doesn’t exactly sound worthwhile. That didn’t stop the winning team from parading their $1,300 luxury coffin on their shoulders and singing “Olé, olé, campeon!” at the end of the final match, though.

Read More »

“Sleep Writer” Creates Bedtime Stories That Put Grown-Ups to Sleep

Chris Advansun is a Toronto-based sleep writer that creates his stories with one thing in mind – to make them interesting enough to get adults’ attention, but dull enough to put them to sleep.

39-year-old Advansun is a screenplay writer who sort of just got into sleep writing and fell in love with it. He just adores the challenge of balancing his grown-up bedtime stories in such a way that they gently pull the listener away from the thoughts that usually keep them up at night and then gently allow them to drift off to sleep. He has to stay away from anything attention-gripping to keep the listeners from becoming too involved in the story, but also make it interesting enough to keep them listening. For Advansun success means never reaching the end of his stories.

Read More »

Man Claims Cheap Dog Deworming Medicine Cured His Terminal Cancer

An Oklahoma man who was once diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer and told hat he only had three months live claims he is now tumor-free thanks to a $5 deworming drug usually meant for dogs.

Joe Tippens was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer in 2016. Despite undergoing treatment for the disease, by January of 2017, the cancer had spread to other organs, including his stomach, neck, pancreas and even his bones. The cancer was everywhere and doctors advised him to go home and say his goodbyes because he only had three months to live. When small-cell cancer spreads as wide as it had in his case, the chances of survival are around one percent. Tippens thought he was going to die, and with nothing left to lose, he was willing to try anything in hopes of a miracle, even a dog dewormer called fenbendazole.

The desperate cancer sufferer stumbled upon the bizarre treatment while browsing a forum of his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. The post that caught his eye read “If you have cancer or know someone who does, give me a shout”. Joe had already signed up for an experimental treatment that doctors said wouldn’t save him but might extend his life expectancy from three months to a year, enough to at least meet his grandson. But he decided that contacting that forum poster couldn’t hurt either. To his surprise, that person was a veterinarian who had a very interesting story to tell.

Read More »

Indian Army Claims to Have Found Yeti Footprints

The Indian Army is being mocked after recently tweeting that one of its mountaineering teams spotted mysterious footprints of the mythical Yeti in an isolated mountainous area between Nepal and Tibet.

“For the first time, an #IndianArmy Mountaineering Expedition Team has sited Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast ‘Yeti’ measuring 32×15 inches close to Makalu Base Camp on 09 April 2019,” the official Twitter account of the Indian Army tweeted a couple of days ago. “This elusive snowman has only been sighted at Makalu-Barun National Park in the past.” Humans have been searching for proof of Yeti’s existence for centuries, but so far it’s all been debunked by science. So why is the Indian Army tweeting about Yeti, and more importantly, why does its tweet imply that it actually exists?

Read More »

Brazilian Tattoo Artists Specializes in Tattoos That Look Like Stitched Patches

Looking at the stitched patch tattoos of Eduardo “Duda” Lozano, it’s hard to believe that he only pioneered the new style three months ago. Photos of his amazing creations have been doing the rounds online ever since and he’s already been invited to tattoo conventions all over the world.

The Sao Paolo-based artist has been doing tattoos since 2002, but he only recently got the idea for the stitched patch style, as a throwback to his days working as a logo designer for caps and embroidered shirts. Three months ago, he created a Garfield patch tattoo design as an experiment, and that very same day improved on the new style with a tattoo of Courage the Cowardly Dog. After posting the photos on his Instagram and receiving positive feedback from his fans and other tattoo artists, Lozano realized he was on to something special and decided to focus on stitched patch tattoos going forward. He is now recognized as the pioneer of the style.

Read More »

Chinese Boot Camp Turns Boys into “Alpha Males” to Fight Rise of K-Pop Culture

K-pop culture has been gaining popularity across the globe, but in China it is considered a decadent trend that threatens to destroy the nation’s future. To combat this menace, a former schoolteacher has founded the Real Man Training Club, a children’s boot camp that promises to turn boys into alpha males.

The Beijing-based Real Man Training Club offers members a variety of activities meant to boost their masculinity, such as American football, wrestling and boxing, as well as character-building treks through deserts and mountains. Founder Tang Haiyan leads the boys in chest beating and slogan shouting to build up their confidence, and makes them wear headbands with the words ‘Real Man’. Even their shirts and tracksuits feature English phrases like ‘Anything is Possible’ or ‘Power Leader’. All this is meant to develop the boys’ macho character to fit Tang’s perception of manliness, and make them immune to the taint of K-pop culture.

Read More »