The Disappearance of the Amber Room

The Amber Room Replica
Public Domain Photo Courtesy of jeanyfan

The Amber Room was an 11-foot square Baroque style room made of amber and worth $142 million dollars by today's standards. It was given to Peter the Great by Prussia in 1716 and remained in Russia for more than 200 years. It was altered by the Catherine the Great, but all accounts make it clear that she only made the room more magnificent. She also moved it from the Winter Palace, where it was originally housed, to Tsarskoye Selo, from whence it was stolen in 1941 by Nazi Germany.

The delicate room was packed into 27 crates and hauled out of Russia, most of it never to return. It was taken to Konigsberg, Germany and allegedly stored there. The official story from Germany is that the major bombings of the city in 1945 destroyed the Amber Room. However, there is a twist.

One of the men who moved the crates wound up with some of the room in his possession. In 1997, a mosaic and a chest from the room were found with his family in Bremen, Germany. No one is quite sure if the man stole the items when he was moving the room or if he managed to obtain them after the room was supposed to have been destroyed. The mystery remains.

A Bizarre Thought: The Hindu Milk Miracle, Heat and Stench

The Hindu Milk Miracle was a craze that took place on September 21, 1995. One man noticed that his offering of milk disappeared when he held it up to a statue of Ganesha. As the day wore on, it was found that Hindu statues all over the Eastern Hemisphere were displaying similar behavior when followers held up glasses, spoons and even buckets of milk. The "miracle" has been repeatedly debunked, even when it was occurring, but that did not stop insane amounts of milk from being purchased for statues from India to the UK.

So, the event in itself is not very bizarre. Religious "miracles" are known to cause hysteria. Nonetheless, while reading about it, I had a slightly bizarre thought. Tens of thousands of pints of milk were fed into these statues, some in very hot locations. What happened in the days that followed? It seems to me like there would have been a terrible smell coming from these statues. In a way, I found that humorous. I am actually very curious to know what became of it. I know that if I dumped milk all over something in my back yard and let it bake in the sun, I would not be worshipping the object the next day.


Lithopedions are bizarre, yet horrifying and sad results of fetuses dying in the womb. When a mother is carrying a dead fetus that she does not abort, miscarry or birth, it can calcify inside of her if it is too big for the body to reabsorb. It is a way that the human body can protect itself, as the dead fetus can cause infection. The resulting calcification leaves something akin to a stone fetus inside the mother. These sad remnants of a failed pregnancy are called lithopedions.

In most countries where medical care is readily available, lithopedions are unheard of. Dead fetuses are not left inside mothers and mothers are typically aware that they are pregnant. However, in places where many women do not have access to medical treatment, women may carry "stone babies" and not know it. Even if a woman does know she was pregnant and has a noticeable bulge, she can still carry it for decades without a problem, though there can be complications. Some women have even had healthy pregnancies after a lithopedion has formed. Without an ultrasound, there is no way of knowing that the womb is shared with a dead fetus and the dead fetus is not birthed with the live one.

Lithopedions are a thankfully rare occurrence, judging by known cases, though there are surely some that were never discovered. There has been an average of less than one known case per year for 400 years. A similar condition is fetus papyraceus, which occurs in multiples pregnancies when one of the fetuses flattens and mummifies. Lithopedions too can occur during multiples pregnancies. This condition is completely avoidable and reversible with proper medical treatment.

Bizarre Reactions to Horrible Situations: The Zombie Idiocy

There is currently a lot of buzz online about supposed "zombie attacks." Of course, something as bizarre as that would not escape scrutiny at That is Bizarre. However, there are no zombie attacks and yet, there is still a post here about them. You might wonder why and I am about to tell you. It is because there is something far more bizarre going on. It is called mass hysteria. Well, it is not really hysteria in the "run for your lives" way. It is hysteria in the "holy crap, facebook, twitter, my blog and wherever else I can post on the internet, there are zombies and I'm going to be prepared" kind of way. So, we are going to take a moment here to laugh at the bizarreness of technological age human nature and mourn the loss of seriousness in the face of serious situations.

Sadly, this bizarre sweep of reports regarding alleged zombie attacks is based on true, horrific stories. Without getting into too much detail, let us just say that a few people have been partially eaten, some of them dead at the time of the dining, some of them still alive. I know, it is absolutely horrible. Then, there is a man who harmed himself and put on a very gory display for responding officers. All of these saddening events took place relatively close together time wise, but were spread out around the globe. Zombie fanatics got creeped out by the seeming similarities between these events (of which they are very few worth noting) and took to social networks ranting about purchasing weapons and preparing for the apocalypse. Way to react, human race. (Insert virtual facepalm)

Now, to the bottom of things. There are no zombie attacks occurring right now. The sad truth is that these things happen much more than they should and they are not happening more often than usual. Furthermore, it was one sensational story that caused people to start linking all of the other stories. There are no links apart from human suffering and that has been around for a long time. So has the bizarre habit of making something bad worse with ignorance. Let us just hope people do not start seeing zombies where there are none anywhere other than the internet.