This Week

[August 25-31st, 2019] An explosion of gold in space, a man boxes a bear, and the rest of the week’s weird news from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Gold Explosion

While a supernova is the powerful explosion of a star, a kilonova is the result of two neutron stars colliding. These massive explosions rock the universe, ejecting huge amounts of gold and platinum into the cosmos. Scientists have confirmed that a kilonova has occurred in a nearby galaxy, but warn there’s not much point in trying to recover the precious metals. Not only are they far away, but the remnants are also believed to have collapsed into a black hole.


Elderly Couple Fights Off Bears

In a reverse Goldilocks scenario, an elderly couple in Pine, Colorado, had their home invaded by a mother bear and her cub. 71-year-old Jon Johnson encountered the mother bear eating a loaf of bread in his kitchen when the bear took a swipe at him. The two began a back and forth hitting each other, leaving Johnson with cuts on his stomach and face. George Field—his wife—rushed downstairs, clocking the bear with a baseball bat, sending the bears fleeing.


Paddleboarding From San Francisco To Hawaii

Antonio de la Rosa just spent two months adrift in the Pacific Ocean, paddling his way to Hawaii. The 50-year-old endurance athlete left San Francisco on June 9, 2019, on a paddleboard. Using the wind, currents, and his arms, he crossed 2,500 miles of open ocean. His board was equipped with solar panels and a small cabin. During the journey, he lost 10 pounds and only complained that he didn’t get enough sleep.

Hard Hat Service

The priests of Notre-Dame donned new helmets for the first mass conducted in the cathedral since a fire broke out and destroyed much of the centuries-old Gothic structure in April. With scaffolding dotting its walls, parishioners were finally able to attend service, though they—and the priests—were all required to wear hard hats for safety.


Slide With Jesus

While churchgoers flocked to the limited reopening of Notre-Dame, the officials at Norwich Cathedral have a different plan for attracting attendees. They’ve installed a 55-foot spiraling slide in the 900-year-old building. Church leaders and the choir got the first rides down the lighted, brightly painted tower. Services remain the same, but the church hopes that people will get a new perspective on the cathedral’s many ornate architectural features.

norwich cathedral slide

Courtesy Norwich Cathedral / Bill Smith