A jaw-dropping video from Mexico shows the moment when a humpback whale burst forth from beneath the surface of a bay and landed onto a boat of unsuspecting passengers. The wild incident reportedly occurred earlier this month off the coastal community of Topolobampo as a handful of small vessels were out on the water. Whatever serenity may have been experienced that day was no doubt shattered when one particular boat ventured too close to a juvenile whale and wound up causing the giant creature to go on the attack.
In the shocking footage of the encounter, the agitated aquatic animal can be seen suddenly breaching from the water and rising high up into the air before crashing down onto the boat as horrified witnesses scream out in terror. The beast’s proverbial pancaking of the vessel left its four unfortunate passengers needing to be hospitalized with two sustaining significant injuries. The boat itself was also badly damaged, though it surprisingly managed to stay afloat despite having been slammed by seven tons of ornery whale.
Multiple villages in India were pelted by mysterious metal balls that rained down from the sky in what is likely a case of space junk falling back down to Earth. According to a local media report, the odd incident unfolded over the course of two days last week and impacted at least seven neighboring communities across the Indian state of Gujarat. The rather sizeable spheres, which can be seen ‘showcased’ in the video above, weighed approximately 12 pounds each and measured around one-and-a-half feet in diameter.
While there were no injuries from the bizarre ‘rainfall,’ there was one unfortunate victim in the form of a lamb that just happened to be grazing in the wrong place at the wrong time. “There was a huge sound from the sky and blinding light,” recalled a witness to the creature’s demise, “I could not see anything but almost the next instant, there was a loud noise and I saw that a metal piece had fallen on a lamb. It was hot and killed the lamb instantly.” As one might imagine, the falling balls caused something of a stir in the various villages and left many residents understandably wondering about the origins of the weird spheres.
Fortunately, it would seem that the mystery surrounding the baffling balls may wind up being short-lived as authorities enlisted experts from the Indian government to examine the spheres and they determined that they were likely space junk. Specifically, it was noted that the objects were “made of high-density metal alloys” of the kind used in rocket launches. Narrowing down the nature of the balls even further, a scientist from the Indian space agency indicated that the spheres appear to have been fuel storage tanks. An astronomer who tracks space debris was even able to identify where, exactly, the objects likely originated, pointing to a Chinese rocket that was expected to reenter the atmosphere at around the time of the ‘rainfall.’
A motorist in Florida could not believe his eyes when he looked up during a morning drive and spotted what seemed to be some kind of portal in the sky that he suspects was a ‘gateway to heaven.’ The very strange sight was reportedly witnessed earlier this month by Tavaras Brinson as he was en route to his home in the community of Bradenton following an overnight shift at his construction job. The normally routine commute took a wondrous turn when, to his amazement, an incredibly bright light appeared to burst forth from the clouds in the dark predawn sky over his head and cast down a breathtaking illumination.
Captivated by the curious scene, Brinson promptly pulled over to the side of the road and captured the astounding aerial enigma on video with his cell phone. “It was like the gates of heaven were opening,” he later marveled, reflecting on what he saw that morning, “It was dark and then all of a sudden a bright hole opened up in the sky. I watched it open. It was amazing, I thought it was God coming back.” Lest one think Brinson was being hyperbolic, he left no doubt as to his miraculous interpretation of the event, musing that “I believe in God, and I do believe this was a religious experience. I’ve never seen anything like this, ever. I feel blessed.”
After he posted his video to social media, where it amassed over a million views, some skeptical observers offered a less profound explanation for what the motorist might have seen. They noted that at around the same time that the aerial anomaly appeared in the sky, SpaceX had launched a rocket approximately 150 miles away, as such, they argued that the illumination was likely caused by that event. However, Brinson dismissed this prosaic possibility for the peculiar sighting, declaring that “I’ve seen rocket launches before and they didn’t look like that. It was biblical.”
A tourist cruising the streets of Rome in a rented Maserati SUV took a wrong turn that has landed him in considerable legal trouble when he shockingly drove down the city’s famed Spanish Steps and badly damaged the legendary landmark. The jaw-dropping incident reportedly occurred last week as the unnamed Saudi national was visiting the Italian capital on vacation. While heading back to his hotel in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the man steered his SUV down the 18th-century marble monument and wound up getting the vehicle stuck on the iconic staircase, which has appeared in a myriad of movies and television shows.
Security camera footage from the mishap shows the man driving down the stairs, exiting the SUV, and expressing dismay at the unfathomable predicament. After an attempt to enlist a tow truck for help proved to be futile, the man eventually managed to escape the situation by turning the vehicle around and driving back up the steps, which no doubt caused additional damage to the landmark. Perhaps thinking that he could get away with the motorvehicle misadventure, the man eventually headed to the airport with the intention of going back home to Saudi Arabia, but police were waiting for him to return the rented SUV and subsequently arrested the tourist before he could leave the country.
Authorities say that the destructive detour caused two of the steps to become fractured and they will now need to be restored by experts. For his part, the man has apologized and taken full responsibility for the incident, though his attorney insists that the wrong turn was due to his GPS instructing him to head in that direction. Regardless of whether the man’s drive down the stairs was truly in error or actually the result of an ill-advised joyride, he could face considerable consequences for his actions as he has been charged with ‘aggravated damage to cultural heritage and monuments,’ which carries a possible prison sentence and a hefty fine.
In 2017, bike sharing took off in China, with dozens of bike-share companies quickly flooding city streets with millions of brightly colored rental bicycles. However, the rapid growth vastly outpaced immediate demand and overwhelmed Chinese cities, where infrastructure and regulations were not prepared to handle a sudden flood of millions of shared bicycles. Riders would park bikes anywhere, or just abandon them, resulting in bicycles piling up and blocking already-crowded streets and pathways. As cities impounded derelict bikes by the thousands, they moved quickly to cap growth and regulate the industry. Vast piles of impounded, abandoned, and broken bicycles have become a familiar sight in many big cities. As some of the companies who jumped in too big and too early have begun to fold, their huge surplus of bicycles can be found collecting dust in vast vacant lots. Bike sharing remains very popular in China, and will likely continue to grow, just probably at a more sustainable rate. Meanwhile, we are left with these images of speculation gone wild—the piles of debris left behind after the bubble bursts.
A worker rides a shared bicycle past a huge pile of unused shared bikes in a vacant lot in Xiamen, Fujian province, China, on December 13, 2017.
Shared bikes stored and piled in Shanghai on February 1, 2018.
A worker untangles a rope amid piled-up bicycles in a lot in Xiamen, Fujian province, China, on December 13, 2017.
A parking lot is seen packed with tens of thousands of shared bikes belonging to the Chinese bike-sharing firm Bluegogo in Beijing’s Chaoyang District on March 5, 2018. Bluegogo, once China’s third-largest bike-rental service, ceased operations last November having run out of money, leaving tens of thousands of its bicycles in limbo. Bluegogo was recently acquired by Didi, another bike-share company, which says it plans to replace some of the older Bluegogo bikes with its own.
Thousands of illegally parked share bikes are temporary detained in a sports field in Hefei, Anhui, China, on August 17, 2017.
Bicycles from various bike-sharing services sit in a lot in an urban village in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on September 7, 2017.
A man walks past piles of share bikes outside a repair shop in Beijing on April 13, 2017.
Shared bicycles block a pathway in Jiuxianqiao, Chaoyang district, Beijing, on July 14, 2017.
Bicycles of various bike-sharing services completely fill a large lot in Shanghai, China, on November 23, 2017.
A community in England is on edge following sightings of a proverbial ‘clown gang’ that has been roaming the streets in a van blasting eerie music from a loudspeaker atop the vehicle. According to a local media report, the haunting harlequins were first spotted last Friday evening when an unnamed resident of Laindon was walking home at around two in the morning. What should have been a peaceful late night stroll turned rather terrifying when he realized that he was being trailed by a van full of clowns. Making the experience all the more unnerving for the unfortunate walker, he said, was that “they also had a massive speaker on top of the van which was playing creepy music.”
As one might imagine, the man was deeply disturbed by being in the crosshairs of the clowns and he fled the scene in fright. Later sharing the story on social media, he warned his fellow residents about the harlequins in their midst and mused that “it worries me that this is happening in my area, as it is scary, creepy and weird.” Chillingly, his account of the creepy music emanating from the van was echoed by another individual who reported that she had also heard the clowns’ creepy chords late at night and that her kids were terrified by the troubling tunes. “My children now want to move as they are scared,” she lamented, “I just don’t know what to do.”
It would seem those concerns are shared by other residents as several other people chimed in on social media to say that they had also encountered the clowns or heard their haunting music. For now, the strange sightings seem confined to the online rumor mill as one local authority asked about the situation indicated that “I hadn’t been contacted personally by residents about this yet, but it does sound really concerning.” Noting that “playing really loud, scary music” would be something for the police to investigate, he promised to investigate the situation and get to the bottom of the clown mystery unfolding in the community.
QAnon is a movement started on social media made up of conspiracy theorists who believe the wildest things. They are hardcore supporters of Donald Trump. And Trump said he doesn’t know much about them, “but they like me”. For Trump no matter how looney any group is, if they like him, he likes them.
Back to the convention:
The deadly Capitol siege was fueled by far-out conspiracy theorists, including Ashli Babbitt, a QAnon supporter fatally shot by police as she tried to breach a barricaded doorway. Meanwhile, federal investigators are still looking into the belief system of Anthony Quinn Warner, who made statements about a conspiracy of lizard people taking over the planet before the explosion that damaged 41 buildings and injured three people in Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas Day.
Many are scratching their heads. Why are people embracing such bizarre ideas?
The notion of shape-shifting, blood-sucking reptilian humanoids invading Earth to
control the human race sounds like a cheesy sci-fi plot. But it’s actually a very old trope with disturbing links to anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic hostilities dating to the 19th century.
Bonkers? Sure. Harmless? Definitely not.
Law enforcement sources say Warner’s writings indicate his interest in a number of conspiracy theories — including the lizard people takeover. He may even have had a pastime of hunting such aliens in the park. Before the blast, Warner sent packages to friends filled with material expounding on his bizarre worldview. They included a letter that began “Hey Dude, You will never believe what I found in the park.”
The world-ruled-by-lizard-people fantasy shot to prominence in recent years in part through the ramblings of David Icke, a popular British sports reporter-turned-conspiracy theorist known for his eccentric ideas.
Icke would have you believe that a race of reptilian beings not only invaded Earth, but that it also created a genetically modified lizard-human hybrid race called the “Babylonian Brotherhood,” which, he maintains, is busy plotting a worldwide fascist state. This sinister cabal of global reptilian elites boasts a membership list including former President Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Mick Jagger.
Mick getting medical attention in the Nevada desert after a very long jog.
This nonsense is espoused by a variety of internet conspiracy-mongers, including far-right, Trump-loving QAnon adherents, one of whom was accused in 2019 of murdering his own brother because he thought he was a lizard. As many as 12 million Americans believed in this lizard people conspiracy in a 2013 Public Policy Polling survey. It’s safe to assume the number is higher today.
A QAnon lizard person at the Treasure Island casino.
A spooky-looking red pillar of light appeared in the night sky over Houston earlier this week and caused a brief sensation before the source of the strange glow was seemingly identified. The odd incident reportedly unfolded on Wednesday at around 8:30 in the evening when several people living in the eastern part of the city noticed something rather out of the ordinary on the horizon. Local TV stations were soon flooded with calls about the puzzling scene with one outlet indicating that they were “inundated with videos and photos” of the peculiar red pillar of light. As one can expect in this day and age, social media was rife with all manner of theories for what might be behind the weirdness, though thankfully it didn’t take too long for the mystery to be solved.
Often the proverbial first line of defense when it comes to possible UFO events, local meteorologists appear to have put the pieces of the puzzle together and while the anomaly was not alien in nature, how it came about is fairly fantastic. The source of the illumination was found to likely be flaring that was occurring at a Houston refinery at the same time as the mass sighting. The light appeared in the clouds hovering over a different part of the city because it was being reflected onto tiny ice crystals in the sky which gave it the elongated pillar-like appearance.
Charges for Russian after stunts atop Toronto skyscraper
An “urban explorer” has been charged after he was seen in an online video leaping and doing somersaults atop a downtown Toronto skyscraper.
In a video posted to YouTube, Russian stuntman Oleg Cricket can be seen leaping, sliding and rolling on the ledge of a skyscraper. In another shot, he appears to be jumping between beams, with the CN Tower as his backdrop. In one of the final shots, Cricket is shown doing a handstand on a ledge, high above city streets.
Police arrested Cricket on Nov. 12, 2021. He has been charged with breaking and entering and mischief, Toronto police say.
Cricket is well-known for his vertigo-inducing acrobatic feats atop skyscrapers in various cities. He records his stunts and puts them on YouTube and other social media channels, where his followers number in the hundreds of thousands.
Another man who was allegedly with Cricket is facing the same charges.
Concrete military bunkers are a ubiquitous sight in Albania, with an average of 5.7 bunkers for every square kilometre (14.7 per square mile). The bunkers (Albanian: bunkerët) were built during the Stalinist and anti-revisionist government of Enver Hoxha from the 1960s to the 1980s; by 1983 a total of 173,371 bunkers had been constructed around the country.
Hoxha’s program of “bunkerization” (bunkerizimi) resulted in the construction of bunkers in every corner of the then People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, ranging from mountain passes to city streets. They were never used for their intended purpose during the years that Hoxha governed. The cost of constructing them was a drain on Albania’s resources, diverting them away from more pressing needs, such as dealing with the country’s housing shortage and poor roads.
The bunkers were abandoned following the dissolution of the communist government in 1992. A few were used in the Albanian insurrection of 1997 and the Kosovo War of 1999. Most are now derelict, though some have been reused for a variety of purposes including residential accommodation, cafés, storehouses, and shelters for animals or the homeless.
From the end of World War II to his death in April 1985, Enver Hoxha pursued a style of politics informed by hardline Stalinism as well as elements of Maoism. He broke with the Soviet Union after Nikita Khrushchev embarked on his reformist Khrushchev Thaw, withdrew Albania from the Warsaw Pact in 1968 in protest of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, and broke with China after U.S. President Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China.
His regime was also hostile towards the country’s immediate neighbours. Albania did not end its state of war with Greece, left over from the Second World War, until as late as 1987 – two years after Hoxha’s death – due to suspicions about Greek territorial ambitions in southern Albania as well as Greece’s status as a NATO member state.
Hoxha was virulently hostile towards the government of Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia, accusing Tito’s government of maintaining “an anti-Marxist and chauvinistic attitude towards our Party, our State, and our people”. He asserted that Tito intended to take over Albania and make it into the seventh republic of Yugoslavia, and castigated the Yugoslav government’s treatment of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, claiming that “Yugoslav leaders are pursuing a policy of extermination there.”
Albania still maintained some links with the outside world at this time, trading with neutral countries such as Austria and Sweden, and establishing links across the Adriatic Sea with its former invader Italy. However, a modest relaxation of domestic controls was curtailed by Hoxha in 1973 with a renewed wave of repression and purges directed against individuals, the young and the military, whom he feared might threaten his hold on the country. A new constitution was introduced in 1976 that increased the Labor Party’s control of the country, limited private property, and forbade foreign loans. The country sank into a decade of isolation and economic stagnation, virtually cut off from the outside world.
Starting in 1967 and continuing until 1986, the Albanian government carried out a policy of “bunkerisation” that saw the construction of hundreds of thousands of bunkers across the country. They were built in every possible location, ranging from “beaches and mountains, in vineyards and pastures, in villages and towns, even on the manicured lawns of Albania’s best hotel”. Hoxha envisaged Albania fighting a two-front war against an attack mounted by Yugoslavia, NATO or the Warsaw Pact involving a simultaneous incursion by up to eleven enemy airborne divisions. As he put it, “If we slackened our vigilance even for a moment or toned down our struggle against our enemies in the least, they would strike immediately like the snake that bites you and injects its poison before you are aware of it.”
The bunkerisation programme was a massive drain on Albania’s weak economy. The construction of prefabricated bunkers alone cost an estimated two percent of net material product, and in total the bunkers cost more than twice as much as the Maginot Line in France, consuming three times as much concrete. The programme diverted resources away from other forms of development, such as roads and residential buildings. On average, they are said to have each cost the equivalent of a two-room apartment and the resources used to build them could easily have resolved Albania’s chronic shortage of housing. According to Josif Zagali, building twenty smaller bunkers cost as much as constructing a kilometre of road. It also had a human cost; 70–100 people a year died constructing the bunkers. In addition, the bunkers occupied and obstructed a significant area of arable land.
A line of bunkers in Dhërmi, Himara The bunkerisation of the country had effects that went beyond their ubiquitous physical impact on the landscape. The bunkers were presented by the Party as both a symbol and a practical means of preventing Albania’s subjugation by foreign powers, but some viewed them as a concrete expression of Hoxha’s policy of isolationism – keeping the outside world at bay. Some Albanians saw them as an oppressive symbol of intimidation and control.
Albanian author Ismail Kadare used the bunkers in his 1996 novel The Pyramid to symbolise the Hoxha regime’s brutality and control, while Çashku has characterised the bunkers as “a symbol of totalitarianism” because of the “isolation psychology” that they represented. It has been argued that the bunkerisation programme was a form of “patterned large-scale construction” that “has a disciplinary potential as a means of familiarising a population with a given order of rule”. The regime’s xenophobia had the effect of creating a siege mentality and a sense of constant emergency.
There have been various suggestions for what to do with them: ideas have included pizza ovens, solar heaters, beehives, mushroom farms, projection rooms for drive-in cinemas, beach huts, flower planters, youth hostels, and kiosks. Some Albanians have taken to using the bunkers for more romantic purposes. In a country where until recently cars were in short supply, they were popular places for lovers to have sex; as travel writer Tony Wheeler puts it, “Albanian virginity is lost in a Hoxha bunker as often as American virginity was once lost in the back seats of cars.”
In November 2014, a “five star” nuclear shelter built near Tirana for Hoxha was opened as a tourist attraction and art exhibition. The large bunker contains a museum with exhibits from World War II and the Hoxhaist period.
Albania’s bunkers have become a national symbol. Pencil holders and ashtrays in the shape of bunkers have become one of the country’s most popular tourist souvenirs. One such line of bunker souvenirs was promoted with a message to buyers: “Greetings to the land of the bunkers. We assumed that you could not afford to buy a big one.”