Bizarre Swarms of Jellyfish: Danger or Natural Cycle?

The Earth's oceans have an abundance of jellyfish. However, it appears that they are becoming even more abundant. In the past 10 or so years, fishermen, scientists and even nuclear power plant workers have been noticing dense blooms of jellyfish that can number in the billions. Some species also seem to be venturing further from their natural waters. This is adding up to several dangers and there is no consensus regarding the potential consequences of these blooms.

Large jellyfish blooms can hinder or even destroy certain industries. In 2007, it was impossible to fish Irish salmon, as jellyfish were actively attacking the cages that were meant for the fish. Fishing has been a problem in other areas of the world thanks to this as well. Because the blooms are capable of clogging the inlets leading into nuclear power plants, which are necessary to their proper functioning, they have closed several power plants in various countries.

Researchers, laymen and scientists have posited several possible explanations for the increase in jellyfish populations. As usual, global warming is one possible explanation. Overfishing creatures like turtles that eat the same food as jellyfish could also be the problem as jellyfish move to fill in the gap in the food chain. Jellyfish are more resilient to unbalanced water than some food fish, which is another possible explanation or one of a few reasons.

While it seems that this could lead to a problem and possibly a jellyfish filled ocean such as has not been seen in millions of years, some experts think it is no problem at all. The populations of jellyfish, like many other things, ebbs and flows. The population may correct itself, as competing species are replenished, normal temperatures return, predators move in to take advantage of the abundance, etc. It is either that or we'll be swimming in tentacles.

Bizarre Entertainment: A Real Mummy Becomes Carnival Fodder

Oh, the scares we subject ourselves to. We will walk through a "haunted house" at an amusement park almost hoping that we will be sent into fits of fear or at least get to see a hysterical person run screaming or crying out of the realistically innocent building. Really what we are afraid of are mere facsimiles of the things we dread. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, mummies -- they are all just fakes for our sick amusement. Or are they? Alright, I will spare the theatrics. They typically are, but just once that I know of, the mummy in an amusement park house was real.

In December of 1976, a film crew was at the Nu-Pike Amusement Park in Long Beach, California when a member of the crew moved one of the pesky spooks out of the way. When he did, the mummy's dry, old arm snapped off and I imagine a puff of skin dust filled the air and only when the epidermal exhalation of death cleared did the man notice that there was a bone in the arm. Not a pig bone. Not a sheep bone. It was not even a really good fake bone. It was a freaking man's freaking arm bone.

It turns out that the sick and twisted carnies of old school Nu-Pike thought it would be cool to rip a dude off and steal the mummy he had been parading around for profit. It was the body of Elmer McCurdy, who was shot and killed in 1911. The funeral home did not find an owner for the body so put it on display and sold views for a nickel. Five years later, the creepy carnies claimed to be related to the deceased and the previous "owner" was forced to give up the corpse. The new "owners" continued to use it for profit until it wound up in the fun house where I presume countless people touched it, not realizing it was a dude who died decades earlier. Bizarre? You might say that.

The BC Feet Mystery

The so-called "BC feet mystery" began around 2007, when a man's foot was discovered still wearing a sock and sneaker. The rest of the body was nowhere to be found. Other discoveries were made around the Salish Sea in Canada and Washington State amounting to a few more than a dozen with the bulk coming from Canada. Obviously, the discovery was more than a bit disturbing and people quickly came up with morbid explanations.

The two most popular explanations for the feet that have turned up in British Columbia and Washington are murders and the 2004 tsunami. The feet have obviously come from bodies that decomposed, coming loose naturally at the ankle or the knee. It has been suggested that the feet turn up and not the bodies because the sneakers help make them buoyant. It would take a heck of a lot for a foot to travel all the way across the ocean, though. It is presumably not impossible, given that trash has a way of making its way around the world on currents, but it is unlikely.

Investigators took to trying to identify the feet as they appeared. Four of the feet were matched into two pairs. That eliminates the idea that a serial killer is leaving a single foot of each of his or her victims to taunt locals and authorities. The more likely answer is equally as sad. In 2011, one of the pairs was linked to a woman who was known to have jumped off the Pattullo Bridge in Westminster. Her feet obviously floated along the river and reached the shore. Another of the identified feet belonged to a man who was known to be depressed. Does this mean that is what happened with all of the feet? No, but it is a start.

Nearby, there is a river -- the Fraser River -- that goes out to the Salish Sea. Over that river are numerous bridges and many suicides occur in the area every year. Some experts believe that this is the most likely source of the mysterious feet.