TIME Bizarre

Did Apple Maps Just Find the Loch Ness Monster?

A mysterious image found on Apple Maps is "likely" evidence of the fabled Loch Ness monster in the Scottish Highlands, says a bunch of monster enthusiasts. Others note the picture resembles the wake of a boat

Apple is known for inventing the iPhone and revolutionizing personal technology, but now it is famous for solving one of the enduring mysteries of man’s encounters with the uncanny: it has found the Loch Ness monster.

Or so claim Loch Ness theorists, who point to a satellite image on Apple maps that shows a mysterious shape in the Scottish body of water where the famous monster is said to dwell, reports the Daily Mail.

The image appears to show a large ripple in the water, similar to the wake of a boat. But monster conspiracists see something else altogether. After a comprehensive analysis, enthusiasts at the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club have concluded that the figure is “likely” the fabled beast:

“It looks like a boat wake, but the boat is missing. You can see some boats moored at the shore, but there isn’t one here. We’ve shown it to boat experts and they don’t know what it is,” Club president Gary Campbell told the Mail. “Whatever this is, it is under the water and heading south, so unless there have been secret submarine trials going on in the loch, the size of the object would make it likely to be Nessie.”

The image was spotted by two people who noticed it at the end of last year on their phones, who said they were just perusing Apple maps when they found the mysterious image. The map image can only be seen on some iPads and iPhones and beamed by the Apple satellite map app.

So next time you’re on Apple maps, keep an eye out for the Yeti in your backyard.

[Daily Mail]

TIME viral

The Birth Of Instagram’s Latest Trend: Playing Cats Like Musical Instruments

If your air guitar was made out of… a feline

A group of friends in Philadelphia unintentionally became the creators of Instagram’s latest, bizarre hashtag meme: the #catband. And they all think it’s really, really weird that now hundreds of strangers have started playing their cats as if they were air guitars, air bongos, and even air bagpipes.

Julie Malone’s cat, Lilly, has become a staple in her friendship circle “because she’s fat and really nice and you can just do anything to her and she thinks it’s great,” the 25-year-old Anthropologie jewelry buyer told TIME. And so, when Malone’s boyfriend started playing music during dinner, she thought it would be a funny idea to play her cat like a ukelele — er… “Uke-Lilly”—and tag the obese feline’s adoring fans in an Instagram video.

Lilly’s unperturbed thumb licking made the video really shine.

Jack Hartman soon responded with a video of himself playing his screaming cat Dusty —”He’s so mean!” Malone said—like a bongo drum. “Let’s start a band,” he posted.

Then Kenny Kim started blowing his 20 lb cat Sketchie like a bagpipe, threw on the hashtag #catband so he and his friends could keep track of what was going on, and pretty soon a meme was born.

Dan Toffey, who manages Instagram’s #weeklyfluff feature and keeps up with emerging animal trends in the community told TIME he noticed the hashtag gaining traction over the past couple of weeks—with as many as a hundred in the last week, gaining in volume every day.

There are cat flutes:

Cat trumpets:

And even rabbit rebuttals:

Kim finds this all surreal. “All the original catbanders are definitely sitting back shaking their heads at what has become of it for sure,” he said. “The fact that there is a post on Knowyourmeme.com really legitimized it for us.”

Malone agrees. “I did it just for our dorky friends who like the cat,” she said. “If I knew that people from France and Russia were going to see it, I would have shot a more flattering video.”

Kim and his fiancée Hilary set up a #catband Tumblr, but he says maintaining the new entries has become a sort of part time job. “Cats, man.”

TIME Bizarre

The ‘Most Haunted Island’ on Earth Is Now Up for Auction

Poveglia: A Venice Lagoon Island of Sadness and Horror
VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 27: Beds and furniture remain in one of the dormitories in the psychiatric ward of the abandoned Hospital of Poveglia on August 27, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The island of Poveglia, with its ruined hospital and plague burial grounds, is said to be the most haunted location in the world. The area is located within a multi-million dollar piece of real estate but is deserted and off limits to the public. The dark and derelict forbidding shores are only minutes away from the glamour of the Venice Film Festival on the Lido. (Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images) Marco Secchi—Getty Images

American Horror Story: International Edition

For those who watched American Horror Story and thought, “Gee, it looks like Connie Britton is having a fantastic time, how can I recreate this living experience?”—you’re in luck. To pay off its public debt and appease the European Union’s budgeting guidelines, Italy is auctioning an island off of Venice that just happens to be considered one of the most haunted places on earth! Or as HuffPost puts it, “Like Hell, but in Italy.” Getting driven into madness by ghosts is so much more fun when you get to eat pasta while doing it!

Why should you be afraid of the deserted Venetian island of Poveglia?

For starters, it is deserted. Even though it’s beautiful and incredibly close to Venice, one of the most fannypack and Segway-tour-filled cities in the world. Literally 10 minutes from Saint Marco Square.

Poveglia’s sordid history serves asa good explanation for why no one wants to go there. The 17-acre island became a dumping ground for Europeans dying of the plague. And as the rumors have it, the ghosts of the plagued still haunt the island. Things took a turn for the lighter in 1922 when a hospital for the elderly—thought to be a cover for mental institution—was opened. Cue widely spread rumors of botched lobotomies and a doctor who threw himself to his death from a hospital tower. No doubt a side-effect of getting haunted by the patients he was maiming.

Other fun facts: there’s a local saying that goes “When an evil man dies, he wakes up in Poveglia,” there are rumors that the soil is made 50% out of human ash, and talk that an American TV host was possessed during a recent visit to the island.

Apart from that, though, we’re sure it will make a great spot for a destination getaway.

TIME Bizarre

Missing Toddler Found Playing With Stuffed Animals Inside the Claw Machine at a Bowling Alley

Not sure how he got there

A missing toddler was found inside the claw machine, playing with the stuffed animals, at a bowling alley in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Associated Press reports.

At the same time that a 24-year-old woman called 911 looking for her missing 3-year-old son around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, the bowling alley employees called the police to report an unattended boy had found his way into the game. KUSA-TV reports the vending machine company arrived on scene to extract the toddler from the machine — though it’s unclear if it was by the claw or not. The boy reportedly did not sustain any injuries.

How the toddler ended up inside the claw machine has yet to be determined. Toy Story fans, maybe the toddler just thought he was Buzz Lightyear?

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TIME Bizarre

China’s New Panda Hotel Is as Creepy as It Is Cute

The Panda Inn comes with a panda-themed Titanic room because, hey, why not

Rarely do you hear someone say, “You know what the world has too much of? Pandas.”

Not only would that statement be categorically false—in 2004, there were only 1,600 giant pandas left in the wild!—but even if there was an overabundance, who would complain? Pandas are adorable! Until now…

Welcome to China’s Panda Inn, a panda-themed hotel set to open next month that not only boasts panda decor but a very involved panda-costumed staff that will do everything from keep you company during tea time to playing the Jack to your Rose in the hotel’s Titanic-themed room.

There’s a Sailor Moon-themed room as well:

A panda toy on a bed in a room of a panda-themed hotel AFP/Getty Images

The Inn is located at the foot of Emei Mountain and isn’t far from panda reserves:CHINA-LIFESTYLE-PANDA-HOTEL

A person wearing a panda suit introducing the rooms in a panda-themed hotel at the foot of Emei Mountain in Emeishan, southwest China’s Sichuan province. AFP/Getty Images

How could no one think of this completely non-terrifying idea sooner?

(h/t: Thrillist)

TIME Bizarre

Here’s a Half-Naked Man Wearing 100 Pounds of Bees Like a Coat

That's more than 460,000 bees

The Internet is buzzing about a Chinese beekeeper named She Ping, who decided to see what it would be like to wear a coat of more than 460,000 bees, weighing nearly 100-pounds, during a 40-minute stunt in Chongqing, southwest China. Incense and cigarettes appear to have been used to keep the bees away from his face. He felt “hot, suffocating and nervous”, he told the Chongqing Evening Post, according to The Guardian.

AFP / Getty Images
AFP / Getty Images
AFP / Getty Images
AFP / Getty Images


TIME Bizarre

A Guy Named God Is Suing Equifax for Not Recognizing His Name

Getty Images

The alternative to a lawsuit was smiting, so this is actually a very tempered response

God can’t get any respect these days.

A Brooklyn man named God Gazarov, named after his grandfather, is suing a credit-reporting agency for falsely reporting that he has no financial history since its system would not recognize his first name. “It’s extremely frustrating,” Gazarov told the New York Post, explaining that he spent two years corresponding with Equifax employees to fix the glitch that prevented him from buying a car last year. (One customer service rep reportedly went so far as to blasphemously suggest the 26-year-old change his name to make it easier on the Equifax system.)

“The customer has requested a name change which we are now making,” Equifax, which luckily hasn’t been smote, told TIME in an email statement.


TIME Bizarre

Woman Walks Man on Leash in Worst (Best?) Commute Ever

Viral marketing stunt or BDSM game?

Photos of a woman walking a man on a leash in London’s Farringdon neighborhood around 8:30 a.m. is going viral. He’s in business attire, dress shirt and suit pants. There’s video on The Independent‘s website here. We’ll update if we learn what it’s promoting, but right now we’re guessing it’s either a stunt or a BDSM game.


TIME Bizarre

Cue the Sad Violins: Only 50 People Showed Up to This Music Festival

Crying baby
Getty Images

The lesson? Always sell booze

Ever wonder what would happen if you threw a music festival and no one came? An Australian festival just found out.

Top of the Hill Festival was a well-meaning, community-oriented, all-ages music festival located in Swan Hill, a town located some 350kms north of Melbourne, which has close to 10,000 residents. Fewer than 50 of them came to the festival on Saturday.

When it became clear that the festival was not attracting attendees, organizers slashed to just $10 from 6.30pm onwards in the hopes of getting more people through the gate at the Riverside Park festival site in time for a headlining set by Australian band Audemia. The price cutting effort didn’t work and the festival closed. “The acts on the day were great and the people who supported us and came on the day were fantastic,” festival organizer Brad Morpeth told The Guardian. “We just didn’t have the right combination for Swan Hill.”

Festival organizers are conducting a survey on their Facebook page looking to the community for answers as to what went wrong. So far, high ticket prices, a line up without any major musical acts and a lack of alcohol at the event seem to be the culprits.

Regardless of there being no one there, I’m very proud of how our setup came together,” organizers said on the festival’s Facebook page. “We haven’t dismissed a 2015 event, but we have just got to go back to the drawing board.”

[via The Guardian]

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TIME Bizarre

To Have And To Hold (Your Nose)

Hands of bride and groom
Getty Images

A sewage treatment plant near Seattle is advertising as a wedding venue. For a rental fee of $2,000 for eight hours, you get a full catering kitchen, audio and video equipment, dance floor, parking, and uncomfortable proximity to raw waste

A sewage treatment plant near Seattle wants couples to say “I do” next to large volumes of human waste.

The Bridgewater Wastewater Treatment Center is advertising itself as the perfect place to tie the knot on Facebook. It boasts a full catering kitchen, audio and video equipment, a dance floor and plenty of parking. The venue costs $2,000 to rent for eight hours, according to KIRO TV.

True, the nuptials would take place just steps away from where raw sewage is being processed, according to Susan Tallarico, the director of the Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center. But one couple has already booked the site.


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