Another monolith found – this time in El Paso, Texas | Offbeat News

The latest in the series of monoliths found around the world has appeared in El Paso, Texas.

The structure appeared in a car park near The Substation, a food, shopping and entertainment complex on the west side in El Paso’s Upper Valley, local media said.

Video from a livestream posted on Twitter appeared to show the monolith emitting a hollow sound when struck, suggesting it was light in weight, or, as described in the video, “not sturdy at all”.

Soon after it was discovered, residents arrived to take it away in a truck, video of its removal being published on social media.

Since the first of the so-called monoliths came to light last month in the Utah desert, others have appeared on a hill in Romania, on top of a mountain in California, on the Isle of Wight and in Belgium.

Others have popped up in Spain, Germany and a gold one in Colombia since the first monolith was found in the US.

The Isle of Wight monolith. Pic: Tom Dunford

Several of them have disappeared a matter of days after they were found.

Like most of the others, the El Paso monolith was a shiny metal structure bearing a resemblance to the one that features in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The monolith has appeared in Romania. Pic: Ziar Piatra Neamt
The monolith has appeared in Romania. Pic: Ziar Piatra Neamt

The first monolith reported in Utah was originally spotted by state wildlife officials who were helping to count bighorn sheep from a Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter.

The 10-12 feet (3-3.6-metre) structure was discovered in the ground and tucked into a red rock cove, sparking speculation about how it had come to be there and attracting the attention of conspiracy theorists.

Metal monolith found in Utah. Pic: Utah Department of Public Safety
The first monolith was found in Utah. Pic: Utah Department of Public Safety

But days later, the Utah Bureau of Land Management said the structure had been removed.

A collective called The Most Famous Artist took credit for it and one in California, and is selling replicas for $45,000 (£34,000) each, US media has said.

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Volley’s Victoria Bitter sneakers spark fan frenzy after ultimate ‘Straya shoes went on sale

Aussie bogans, take a seat.

Volley has released what may be its most ‘Straya pair of shoes ever — combining its iconic high top sneakers with one of the country’s favourite beers.

In the ultimate bogan double-header, a new range of the shoes will be emblazoned with the Victoria Bitter logo and feature the signature of VB’s founder Thomas Aitken.

The idea started as an April Fool’s Day prank, when Volley teased the idea of VB sneakers as the “ultimate shoey”.

“This is no joke though…make it happen,” pleaded one fan.

Is this the most Aussie pair of shoes ever?
Camera IconIs this the most Aussie pair of shoes ever? Credit: Volley

Now, eight months later, Volleys have caved to fans’ demands, putting the first pairs of the $84.99 shoes up for sale.

VB’s marketing director Hayden Turner said the company was excited to give its drinkers a unique way to shoe their love of the beer.

“When we first saw Volley’s April Fool’s Day hoax, it sparked some thinking in our office. When we saw the popularity of the post, we felt this was a good opportunity to offer something different to our drinkers. We hope they love it as much as we do,” he said.

And it seems many have already snapped up the unique sneakers, which include a splash of VB green, after they went on sale early this morning.

The release of the shoes sparked a fan frenzy this morning.
Camera IconThe release of the shoes sparked a fan frenzy this morning. Credit: Volley Australia/Instagram

It took only hours for a sneaker and cooler bag combo to sell out on the Volley website and the release has sparked a huge reaction among Aussies desperate to get their hands on a pair.

“Size 8 women’s sold out,” one Instagram user declared this morning.

“This is the best thing I have seen come out of 2020. and…you did. Cannot WAIT to get these,” added another.

Volley, which started as a tennis shoe in 1939, has been worn by some of Australia’s biggest stars including model Miranda Kerr and Hollywood actors Chris and Liam Hemsworth.

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7 OFFBEAT YARNS: From flying sex toys to cane toad purses

1: The case of the flying dildo:

WHO knew that a story about a “flying cock” would garner 11,000 clicks in a day and go viral around the world?

That’s exactly what happened when Ocean Shores woman Felicity Durham put a post on social media about an unusual object which struck and damaged her car in November of 2018.

“On my way home to Ocean Shores from Brunz yesterday, my car was struck, breaking my headlight cover, by what I thought was a cockatoo,” Miss Durham posted on the Byron Bay Community Board Facebook page.

“So naturally, I turned around at the Rajah Rd roundabout to see if it was. But what I found in fact was a ‘King Cock’, not a cockatoo!”

Despite her pun, Miss Durham said she was surprised when what she really thought had been a bird, turned out to be an empty box, with the description of a dildo sex toy.

“I thought it was really weird, so I picked up the box but there was nothing in it,” the 33-year-old said.

“It was the most hilarious thing ever.

“I was just a bit shocked by the cock.

“The box has got skin that you can move, with a little hologram picture so when you move the box it shows you how it works, it’s hyper-realistic with a lube bottle and cleaner … it had all the bells and whistles.”

This unusual story was picked up by media around Australia and the world.

2. Wanted. Sword swallowing kit:

ZACHARY Abercrombie was keen to carry on the family tradition of sword swallowing but he had a bit of a problem.

The Brisbane man had to train himself using tyre levers and screw drivers as the swords that his grandfather and uncle used were sold to a pawn shop in Lismore.

In 2017 he contacted The Northern Star offering $500 to get them back.

“You learn sword swallowing with extreme caution and great difficulty,” he said.

“The trick is to overcome the physical gag reflex and I’ve had lots and lots and lots of practice.”

Zachary Abercrombie is a sword swallower.

Mr Abercrombie shared his search in the hope of being able to track down the swords that were sold to Paddy’s Pawnshop in 1985.

The items listed include a wooden suitcase containing three swords – a 1916 Lee Enfield rifle bayonet, a ceremonial Mason’s sword and a chrome sheath with three sheet metal swords inside.

We don’t know if he ever got them back, but would love to hear.

3: Good for nothing cane toads:

CANE toads are an invasive species in Australia, and there have been many programs put into place in an effort to eradicate the pest. However a Cairns company we wrote about in 2019 came up with an ingenious, and slightly nauseating, solution.

Marino Leather had been making genuine cane toad leather coin purses, created by humanely freezing the toad before tanning them.

The Leather Shop in Kyogle received a shipment and then store co-owner Mario Sanchez said the product had gone viral online.

The Leather Shop was offering the vegetable-tanned cane toad coin pouches for $25, and there were a number of different types, including pouches with front legs and those without, as well as coloured varieties.

4: Yowies are a thing on the Northern Rivers:

IT’S been years since The Northern Star reported on a local yowie sighting.

But in 2018 we wrote about the Australian Yowie Research report, which stated that one of the creatures had been spotted near Nimbin.

The beast in question frightened a woman on March 5 in Uki (Mt Jerusalem National Park) at around 7pm.

Yowie hunter Dean Harrison from Australian Yowie Research has been hunting the widely-thought mythical creatures for more than 20 years, and said he has had many encounters with the creatures of the night ever since.

Dean Harrison and a sketch of a yowie seen in the Gold Coast hinterland.

Dean Harrison and a sketch of a yowie seen in the Gold Coast hinterland.

He has collated an impressive database of written and audio witness accounts, news articles, images and physical evidence including footprints.

5: Messages do come in bottles:

WHEN Evans Head man Aaron Campbell and a mate were combing Airforce Beach in 2018 picking up bottles, they were surprised to find one containing a message.

“It was barnacle-encrusted and as I grabbed hold of it to throw in the ute, I held it up to the sun and saw there were letters in it,” he said.

“I managed to get the letters out of the bottle with chopsticks.

“It was only sealed with the screw top on the bottle, so it was lucky no water got into it.”

The letters were written by Brodie and Matisse, who normally live in Southern NSW but happened to be on a cruise just off from the Sunshine Coast.

“Hello, if you are reading this, you got my message,” one of the letters read.

“We have been cruising on P & O.

“We have had the best trip ever.”

There was an email address to which Aaron promptly sent a message and Brodie and Matisse’s mum Sally replied.

“Brodie and Matisse were so excited to hear someone had found their message,” she wrote.

6: Ghost story part one:

A SHADOW man, a ghost cat and apparitions of a strange woman on a cemetery hill are regular encounters for the Northern Rivers Paranormal Investigators.

The public ghost hunting group investigates “haunted” locations in the region, detecting and documenting “spirit” activity with specialised equipment.

Based in Lismore, NRPI’s core members then were Madelein and Robert Fox, their son Luke and daughter-in-law Rachel.

After years of encounters with “spirits” and feeling “too afraid” to share her stories, Mrs Fox said she created NRPI for others to connect, share their experiences and investigate “activity” in a non-judgemental environment.

7: Ghost story part two:

HAUNTED houses can be fun on Halloween, but what about real haunted places?

Two years ago we produced a list of the eight most haunted places in our region.

This was collected using The Northern Star archives and local folklore.

The Shaws Bay Hotel ghost. Photo Contributed Facebook

The Shaws Bay Hotel ghost. Photo Contributed Facebook

The eight most haunted places on the Northern Rivers are:

Fenwick House Ballina, Shaws Bay Hotel, Ballina Manor, Casino Courthouse, Old Lions Park, Lismore, Tulloona House, Goonellabah; Byron lighthouse; glowing cross North Lismore Cemetery

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Police pick up a penguin from village street in Nottinghamshire after farmyard escape | Offbeat News

A friendly penguin was spotted “plodding” up a Nottinghamshire village street in the early hours of the morning.

Police officers came across the distinctive bird last weekend as they were on patrol in Strelley, west of Nottingham.

Revealing details of the unusual encounter for the first time on Sunday, Nottinghamshire Police said the “friendly” Humboldt penguin was spotted taking a stroll and subsequently questioned by officers.

They said they “quickly moved to question him on what he was doing walking in the middle of the road”.

Police spotted the penguin while on patrol in Strelley, Nottinghamshire

The cheeky chappie had escaped from a farm enclosure about a mile away, police said, and officers decided to nickname him “Po-Po”.

PC Gareth Philp said: “We see some very interesting things while out on patrol, but a penguin walking up the middle of the road has to be one of the more bizarre findings we have come across.

“We nicknamed him Po-Po.

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“He posed for some pictures with us and he was very friendly with our officers while we made contact with his owner.

“He was then safely returned home.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Gordon Fenwick added: “Our officers are trained to deal with a variety of incidents with complex demands and it is great that we quickly reunited the penguin with their owner.”

Officers named the penguin Po-Po
Officers named the penguin Po-Po

According to DEFRA, you can only keep a wild bird if it was taken legally, meaning under licence or if it was taken from the wild and has been kept as it is unfit to be released back into the wild.

You do not need to have a licence to keep a wild bird, but you can be prosecuted and may have to pay an unlimited fine if you cannot prove the bird was taken legally.

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Flamingos enjoy quieter roads and cleaner air in Mumbai | Offbeat News

As Mumbai’s humans are told to stay at home, the flamingos are taking over the city.

Millions of the city’s human residents are at home to limit the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 235,000 people worldwide.

But tens of thousands of flamingos have arrived to turn the lakes and wetlands pink.

Flamingos are among the migratory birds that come to southern and western India’s coastal regions after their breeding cycle of mating.

But it is rare to see them arrive in such numbers.

Clearer skies, quieter streets and cleaner air are thought to have made the usually polluted city more attractive to bird life.

The environmental changes brought on by so many countries being in lockdown have seen a number of photos showing animals roaming streets.

Ducks have been seen wandering along the roads of central Paris, deer in urban Japan, pumas in Chile, peacocks in Dubai, cows sitting on beaches in Corsica, and mountain goats in the Welsh town of Llandudno.

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