[March 29–April 4, 2021] Supermoon makes moves, wild rabbits digging up history, and smart shopping ravens—all round-up in this week’s weird news from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Celestial Force Frees Ever Given Ever More
Global economists are over the moon after Sunday’s supermoon helped free a giant shipping container from a week-long blockage in Egypt’s Suez Canal, allowing hundreds of ships to resume their journey.
The Ever Given caused quite the ruckus amongst the global trading industry last Tuesday when the 400-meter-long vessel became stuck horizontally across the bustling Canal, delaying over 400 other ships from reaching their destinations as scheduled.
Engineers worked around the clock using tugboats and dredgers to dig the ship out of its position to little avail until the “Worm Moon” took matters into its own orbit, creating a spring tide that raised the water levels 18 inches above normal by Monday morning, thus easing the dislodging process.
The gravity of the situation was finally alleviated that afternoon when the ship was declared refloated.
Though the Ever Given may have been released, it left several economic challenges in its wake. According to data from Lloyd’s List, the incident held up $9.6 billion for every day the ships were delayed, as they carried vital fuel and cargo from all over the world.
While the moon helped pull the ship out of gridlock, another strong elemental interference could be partially to blame for the jam, as winds reached up to 40 knots the day it got stuck. An investigation is underway to determine whether technical or human errors contributed to the global headache.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) March 29, 2021
Wild Rabbits Hop Though Welsh History
Welsh archaeologists have been presented with the ultimate Easter basket after wild rabbits hopped their way into history, digging up ancient artifacts on Skokholm Island.
The island’s wardens, Richard Brown and Giselle Eagle, found the bunnies’ first unburied treasure, a 9,000-year-old Stone Age tool, while walking around near a rabbit warren. They immediately contacted archaeologist Toby Driver with a photo, who then brought Andrew David, a prehistoric stone tool expert, who confirmed the artifact’s significance. A few days later, the wardens stumbled upon a 3,750-year-old piece of pottery.
Lucky finds from rabbit hole re-write prehistory of our Wildlife Trust Skokholm Island! ?
— WildlifeTrustSWWales ??? (@WTSWW) March 25, 2021
Similar artifacts have been uncovered on the U.K.’s mainland before, but this is the first hard evidence that Mesolithic people made their way to the island.
Located about 2 miles off the coast of southwest Wales, the island is also known as “Dream Island” due to its scenic beauty and thriving wildlife, which includes tens of thousands of seabirds.
Though little is known about the prehistoric islanders, the researcher rabbits have long been a part of Skokholm Island’s historical tapestry, descending from a fluffle from long ago when Skokholm Island acted as a rabbit farm for 200 years.
NASA’s Ingenuity Nods to Wright Brothers’ First Flight
NASA’s latest mission to Mars has been full of historical moments, so it’s only fitting that they also brought a piece of history along for the ride—a swatch of fabric from the Wright brothers’ first airplane!
In just a few weeks, the tiny piece of aeronautical history will take flight yet again, only this time it’s going to fly a little bit higher.
Known as the Flyer, the postage-stamp-sized swatch, strapped beneath a solar panel, will be soaring over Mars via Helicopter Ingenuity as soon as April 8th.
The swatch’s inclusion is a nod to how far aerial mobility has come since the Wright brothers’ plane became the first powered flight on Earth in 1903.
“We are hoping that Ingenuity also allows us to expand and open up aerial mobility on Mars,” said Ingenuity chief engineer Bob Balaram.
Ravens Steal Groceries in Bulk
They may travel in murders, but a few ravens in Alaska have been accused of a different kind of crime—swooping from the skies to steal groceries in a Costco parking lot.
One of the smartest breeds of birds in the world, ravens are no fools when it comes to getting their grub on—even if that means they have to steal it from unsuspecting shoppers, like Matt Lewallen.
Lewallen had just walked out of an Anchorage Costco and was putting his groceries in his car when two ravens swooped out of nowhere, snagging a short rib from his cart.
“They know what they’re doing; it’s not their first time,” said Lewallen, and perhaps he was onto something.
Other Anchorage residents have posted their own sightings on social media, claiming these “calculating” creatures are pros at getting what they want from the carts of innocent shoppers.
The Costco ravens get a bang for their beaks, stealing entire steaks, mini-melons, and more.
According to former wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott, hundreds of ravens flock to Alaska in the winter and scout for meals before flying out in the spring.
“For years, decades, they’ve watched people in parking lots of grocery stores with all this food,” said Sinnott.
It may not be wise to try to outsmart a raven, so perhaps the Costco shoppers should read up on how to befriend their local murders.
Mafia Fugitive Captured After Trading Trafficking for Tortellini Tutorials
After seven years of searching, law enforcement finally caught up with Italian mafia fugitive Marc Feren Claude Biart on Wednesday, having tracked him to the Dominican Republic after discovering his cooking show on YouTube.
Biart, 53, has evaded capture from Interpol, Central Criminal Police Directorate, and police forces across 10 different countries since he was convicted of drug trafficking for an organized crime organization called ‘Ndrangheta in 2014.
Like a delicious meal, all good things must come to an end, and, ultimately, it was Biart’s zest for his native cuisine and craving for YouTube stardom that came back to bite him.
Police were tipped off to a cooking show featuring a host who didn’t show his face but did show his tattooed body giving tutorials on cooking authentic Italian food. It didn’t take long for police to figure out who the mystery chef was, based on these unique identifiers.
Biart was a long way from Italy when he was arrested at a tourist resort in Boca Chica, a municipality outside of Santo Domingo.
Authorities reported that Biart had been laying low in the Dominican Republic for over five years after a stint in Costa Rica.
We can all rest easy knowing the streets are safe from Biart and his saucy secrets.
?Arrested in the Dominican Republic and extradited to Italy: #Ndrangheta fugitive Marc Feren Claude Biart, wanted on drug trafficking charges since 2014, lands in Italy to face justice.
— INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) March 30, 2021
By Meghan Yani, contributor for Ripleys.com