This Week

[January 27-February 2, 2019] Temperatures in the Midwest drop so low that the train tracks catch fire, a sinkhole reveals a robbery plot, and The Office saves a life in this week’s weird news from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Train Tracks On Fire

As temperatures in the Midwest dropped into the negative fifties—a temperature colder than Antarctica—cities across the region have had to take unique precautions against the cold. One of them involves lighting train tracks on fire. Different railroad companies do this different ways. Some have gas-fed heaters along the rails, but others are simply dousing the iron rails with kerosene and lighting them! The flames help keep the metal from contracting too much in the cold.

Sinkhole Bank Robbery

Sinkholes are a fairly common occurrence in Florida, but when one opened up this past week in Pembroke Pines, the FBI was called in. The sinkhole revealed a tunnel dug in what investigators explain was part of a plot to rob a nearby bank. Apparently, the would-be robbers had been working on the tunnel for some time, before it caused a pothole in the road above to collapse.

No Talent To Spare

Ten-year-old Kai Struthers is one of the youngest people ever to play a perfect game of bowling. Revered now as a bowling prodigy, he’s been in leagues since he was four. His coach says the boy seems like any other ten-year-old…until he has a bowling ball in his hand. In the alley, he’s a calm and collected bowling champion!

Frozen Methane

Lennart Pagel, a photographer visiting Canada in the throes of this week’s polar vortex, posted a video of a lake he found filled with methane bubbles frozen in place. The methane bubbles are released by decaying plant matter at the lake’s bottom. The lake seems to have frozen so quickly that it trapped the rising bubbles in place, creating this unique natural display.

The Office Saves A Life

What was written as a short joke on an episode of The Office has now resulted in one man saving a life. In the season five episode, Micheal Scott’s staff is instructed to perform CPR to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. Cross Scott (no relation) remembered this when he encountered a driver without a pulse, and successfully got her breathing again!