[June 23-29th, 2019] Singing seals, flushed fish, albino alligators, and the rest of the week’s weird news from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Seals Taught To Sing
Researchers at the University of St. Andrews have taught three seals—Zola, Janice, and Gandalf—to sing the opening bars of a number of songs. The seals were easily taught to make vocalizations—including music and human speech—in exchange for fish. The results produced seals that can sing the Star Wars theme and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
While it might be common practice to flush unwanted goldfish down the toilet, scientists warn that this practice can wreak havoc on the environment. Just this week, officials pulled a kitten-sized goldfish out of the Niagara River. Tens of millions of goldfish are estimated to have been flushed into the Great Lakes, where they can grow and destroy the habitats of native fish.
Albino Alligator Eggs
When we visited Wild Florida to have lunch with an alligator last year, we also met Blizzard and Snowflake, a pair of albino alligators that were one of the last viable breeding pairs known to exist. They seem to have finally produced a clutch of eggs, meaning there may be more white snow-white gators on the way.
Jersey Terrorized By Feral Chickens
People aren’t sure where the flock of angry chickens came from, but they’re waking up locals, tearing apart yards, blocking traffic, and chasing joggers. Officials have tried culling the chickens, but since the disappearance of foxes, the chickens have no natural predator to keep them in check.
Man Finds His Hockey Puck After 70 Years
Ray Ulvi is an 88-year-old cane maker living in Duluth, Minnesota. While foraging for new branches, he stumbled upon something he had lost 70-something years ago. Thinking it was a snuff can at first, he slowly realized the letters carved into the object were his own initials. It was a hockey puck he used as a kid about a block away!