[March 10-16th, 2019] An ephemeral lake in the hottest place on Earth, beer for Lent, and a trick to outsmart art thieves in this week’s weird news from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Death Valley Lake
Death Valley is one of the most extreme places in America. Natural surface temperatures can reach over 200 degrees Fahrenheit and the desert has gone years without rain in the past. Seemingly out of nowhere, however, a ten-mile-long lake has appeared in its basin. The unusual conditions were caused by a freak-rainstorm that passed through the valley. Though it dropped just 0.87 inches of rainfall, the dry desert is completely unaccustomed to absorbing water, creating a huge pop-up lake.
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Just Pay the Two (Hundred) Dollars!
A Mississippi lawmaker is testing the limits of common sense in his state. After requesting a document from the State Department of Public Safety, the agency declined his request. In apparent retribution, the Ethics Commission issued them a $200 fine, which, according to The Clarion-Ledger, has since spent $18,000 in legal fees fighting the $200 fine.
Beer For Lent
As we move into Lent, and people all over the world look for vices to cut out of their lives for 40 days, many will consider giving up alcohol. Del Hall of Ohio, however, is giving up food in favor of only drinking beer. He plans to go the entire period on a diet of what he calls “liquid bread.” Just days in, he’s already lost 15 pounds and doesn’t plan to give up yet.
Art Thieves Duped By Fake
The Crucifixion painted by Brueghel the Younger in the 17th century is worth an estimated $3.4 million. Housed in a local church in the small town of Ligura in north-west Italy, thieves broke into its display case with a hammer and absconded with the painting… or so they thought. After a day of public mourning for the loss, police announced they had replaced the original with a fake a month ago when they got wind of the robbery. Churchgoers apparently noticed the change but kept quiet to ensure the sting went off without a hitch.
In The Mouth of A Whale
Photographing Bryde’s whales off the coast of South Africa, Rainer Schimpf found himself firmly locked in the jaws of a whale. Swimming in a bait ball—a swirling group of small fish—Schimpf was completely surprised when things suddenly went dark. He could feel pressure around his abdomen and knew he was in trouble. At the mercy of the 15-ton whale and without SCUBA equipment, he held his breath and hoped for the best. Fortunately, the gentle giant let him go after just a few seconds, leaving Schimpf with the story of a lifetime.