On April 25, 1977, the Japanese trawler Zuiyo Maru was working off the coast of New Zealand when its nets caught a foul-smelling, decomposing corpse that measured about 10 meters long and weighed two tons.
To avoid spoiling the fish catch, the captain decided to dump the carcass back into the ocean, but the crew first took some photos and measurements. The creature had a neck 1.5m long, four large, reddish fins, and a tail about 2m long. It lacked a dorsal fin. The story made a sensation in Japan, and the shipping company belatedly ordered all its boats back to relocate the dumped corpse, without success. Some scientists declared the creature to be a prehistoric plesiosaur; others thought it might have been an oversized basking shark. Fujiro Yasuda of Tokyo University said, "We can't find any known species of fish that correspond with the animal caught outside New Zealand. If it is a shark, it is a species unknown to science." We'll never know.
"Before the Rugby World Cup, Heineken announced that there would be specially marked bottles with an image of the Webb Ellis Trophy in gold," Rob Cooper of Papakura. "Lucky winners would get a trip for two to the RWC Final in Tokyo. Having bought about a box of 12 each week during the two months of the comp and found nothing but regular bottles marked with the various participating countries, but it was somewhat surprising to find THREE special bottles in one box of 12. How strange that they should only be surfacing now weeks after the event."
Did you know
1. A blue whale can eject up to 200 litres in one bowel movement.
2. It would take about 1.1 million mosquitoes to completely drain a human of blood.
3. As originally coined, a factoid is an incorrect fact that is repeated so often people think it is true. A factlet is actually a small fact.
4. When asked about reports that he used to run his wheelchair over the toes of people he didn't like, Stephen Hawking responded that it was "a malicious rumour" and that he'd "run over anyone who repeats it".