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Deadliest Catch: Schoolboys in Finland Reel in Hand Grenade

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  • Now that’s a catch you wish would’ve gotten away

Here’s a big fish story to top anything your grandpa has told you: my catch was so dangerous that the army had to get involved.

Yeah, right. What could you possibly fish up that warranted military intervention?

Try a hand grenade. That is exactly what two schoolboys in southern Finland managed to pull up on July 2.

Schoolyard chums Lari Tammivuori and Viljami Juutilainen, both 11, were magnet fishing by the lake Vesijärvi in the city of Lahti. Despite the word ‘fishing’, magnet fishing doesn’t aim to catch fish but scrap metal and other objects with a strong magnet attached to a rope or a string.

“We have this kind of a magnetic fishing rod that we use to bring up scrap metal. Usually we catch stuff like bottle caps and nails,” Juutilainen told the Finnish public broadcasting company YLE.

This time, though, the boys caught more than they had bargained for. When they pulled the magnet up, they noticed that it had stuck to a fairly big, rusted and mud-covered lump.

“I didn’t immediately know it was a grenade,” said Juutilainen. “We picked it up with our hands and brought it to the shore. Once we realized what it was, we didn’t touch it again.”

Old rusted explosive round buried in dirt

Watch Out, It Might Blow!

Being the responsible young men that they are, the boys immediately called Juutilainen’s mother Maarit. She was skeptical, thinking that the whole thing was just the children’s imagination running wild, but she decided to go see what the hubbub was about anyway.

She became a lot less dismissive once she saw the object with her own eyes.

“It looked very old and was rusted through, but I thought it might actually be a grenade,” Maarit Juutilainen said. “Viljami’s aunt is a police, so I sent her a couple of photos of it.”

Confirmation of the potential danger came quickly. “She sent clear instructions to stay well away from the grenade and wait for the police,” said Juutilainen.

The police arrived at the scene around 1 pm. They soon confirmed that the object was indeed a hand grenade and cordoned off the area “between the Lahti harbor and a small dirt road by lake Pikku Vesijärvi”, according to a police tweet.

Then, the police contacted the Finnish Defense Forces for aid in disposing of the grenade. A group of high explosives experts arrived at the scene and began considering how to defuse and remove the device.

Two hours later, the police announced that the boys’ catch had been removed and the area was again open to the public. They thanked the FDF for their assistance and wished the two young fishermen better luck in the future.

According to pioneer officer Pasi Suvitie from the Finnish Army’s Armored Brigade, the grenade was taken away in a special explosives transportation trailer and will be later detonated in a controlled environment.

Mrs. Juutilainen said she is slightly concerned but doesn’t plan to stop the kids from continuing their hobby in the future.

“I’m a little terrified of what else they might find. But I think we’ll let the boys keep fishing up junk from the lake,” she chuckled.

There’s More of These Things?

According to Suvitie, several similar explosives are found in Finnish waterways each year, but usually not this close to the shore.

Although the army has not commented on whether the grenade was live or a dud, Suvitie said that it could have a caused “a dangerous situation”. That’s Finnish authority lingo for “it could’ve blown up”.

The officer further estimated that the grenade dates back to the 1940s. In other words, it was most likely a World War 2-era relic.

Finding old military equipment and unexploded ordnance is not that uncommon in Finland. During WW2 the country had two conflicts with Soviet Russia and another one with Nazi Germany, and remains of equipment from all three armies can be found particularly in the old battlefields along Finland’s eastern border and in the northern region of Lapland.

After the war, some circles in the Finnish military also began a secret project known as the Weapons Cache Case to stockpile military arms in case of potential Soviet occupation. As the operation was illegal, no official records of the caches were kept and some of them have remained hidden – and thus discoverable by civilians – to this day.

In certain parts of Finland old ordnance is discovered on a weekly basis.

For example, in 2014 a young child in the city of Hämeenlinna found a still active explosive round from a WW2-era anti-aircraft cannon. An investigation by the army revealed that the round’s timing mechanism was jammed but still functional and that it could have exploded at any moment.

In 2013, a Soviet incendiary bomb – probably a war memento picked up by a less-than-careful one-time resident – was discovered in the attic of an apartment block in Lappeenranta.

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Odd

Bringing Sexy Back: Birdsong Gets Sultrier Due to Coronavirus

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  • You might not be crazy – the pigeons cooing in the backyard actually do sound more attractive

The COVID-19 pandemic is still going strong, with rates of new infections indicating that we might be heading towards a new spike. And with very well thought out responses from authorities – such as Florida lifting all coronavirus restrictions – it seems that the virus will not be going anywhere any time soon.

But at least the ‘Rona has opened up a treasure trove of scientific opportunities. Some of the discoveries we’ve previously covered include the psychology of toilet paper hoarding and that refusing to wear a face mask might mean you’re a sociopath.

It’s not just humans that scientists have turned their curious eye on, though. Just this week we wrote about the Finnish dogs trained to sniff out coronavirus infections.

Speaking of animals, have you noticed that the birds have sounded a lot sexier than usual lately? If you have, then first of all, that’s a bit weird. But second, you’re actually correct.

A brand-new study published in the journal Science has found out that male birds are singing to a different tune. It’s all thanks to lower noise levels as people have been isolating themselves from society.

White-crowned sparrows in the San Francisco Bay area are now able to sing more softly and still be heard, the researchers have found. This has allowed them to expand their vocal range and sing songs that are much more likely to get lady birds (not the bugs) in the mood.

Hey Little Mama, Lemme SCREAM IN YOUR EAR

In case you haven’t been to San Francisco, it’s usually pretty loud in the city. There’s a lot of traffic and yelling and other kinds of sounds that we the people like to emit.

Imagine then being a little birdie boy in the city, trying to find a hot chick to woo. You sing and sing until you’re hoarse, but no one listens.

That’s because no one can hear you.

“When the city was loud, [the sparrows] were singing really loudly,” the new study’s lead author Elizabeth Derryberry, a behavioral ecologist from the University of Tennesee, summarized to ScienceAlert.

Surely you’ve noticed a similar effect yourself when at a particularly loud bar or party. It’s hard to whisper sweet nothings into someone’s ear when the music’s so loud you have to scream bloody murder so they can hear you in the first place.

“Birds holding breeding territories in areas with higher noise levels sing higher amplitude songs, a common response to noise known as the Lombard effect,” the researchers state in the study.

“This improves signal efficacy by increasing communication distance, but it can come at a cost. Males that sing at higher minimum frequency often have lower vocal performance, which here is the ability to produce rapid trills at wide frequency bandwidths.”

To put that in plain terms, the birds have to sing so loudly that they’re unable to perform the voice tricks that get girl birds all hot and bothered. Basically, they’re expecting Tom Jones but are getting George Fisher.

Think what you will about their respective styles of music, but it’s pretty clear why Tom is a sex symbol and George… Isn’t.

“Jimmy’s singing ‘What’s New Pussycat’, and Bob’s doing ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ again… Ugh, I should’ve just stayed home tonight.”

Those Sexy, Sexy Birds

But now, with COVID-19 forcing everybody to stay home, San Fran has quieted down. So much, in fact, that noise levels in the city are lower than what they’ve been in decades.

Traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge has crashed to something we haven’t seen since 1954, the study states. Considering how many more cars there are around now than there were 70 years ago, that’s pretty astounding.

Even in the city, the ambient volume has fallen by 50% ever since the stay-at-home orders came into effect. The sparrows noticed that their surroundings had gotten quieter, too, and started singing differently.

Derryberry says that the male birds are now singing much more quietly, and are able to hit much lower notes than before. And what girl bird could resist the deep crooning voice of an avian Barry White?

“Their songs also sounded better. They sounded sexier,” says Derryberry. “They were better competitors, and they sounded like better mates to females.”

The study notes that the volume of the sparrows’ song fell by as much as a third. Despite this, their tweeting carried over twice the distance as before the coronavirus.

According to the researchers, these results are consistent with reports from people saying that birdsong has become more audible over the summer.

“A doubling [in the birds’ communication distance] would allow people to hear birds at twice the previous distance, or effectively four times more birds than usual,” the study reads.

So what’s the takeaway from all this? Derryberry says that the results show just how quickly birds adapt to environmental changes, and that curbing noise pollution could have positive effects on biodiversity.

Maybe we can also infer that ladies prefer a steamy ballad to brutal death metal. But that’d probably depend on the lady in question.

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Men Create Literal Man Cave Under Grand Central

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  • An electrician, carpenter, and wireman filled a secret storeroom with a futon couch, flatscreen tv, fridge, and microwave.

I’ve worked some unpleasant jobs before. Boring, endless jobs where I’d think, I’d give anything to get out of here. Even for a few hours to escape the interminable boredom of hourly employment. Three MTA workers actually did something with those feelings, converting a storeroom beneath Grand Central Station into a “man-cave.” The room, which looks pretty nice in the Associated Press story, has a flat-screen tv, refrigerator, microwave, and futon couch. 

Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash

Literally a Man-Cave

Allegedly, a carpenter, an electrician (both foremen), and a wireman would hang out in the room, drinking, eating snacks, and partying. The Inspector General for the MTA, Carolyn Pokorny, got a tip about the room’s existence, leading to an investigation. If they ruined what they had because they couldn’t keep it off Instagram, I’m going to be so disappointed. 

Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash

Without the tip, it seems like the MTA would have never discovered them. The room was through a locked door for the exclusive use of the MTA Locksmiths. Then, they put a sign on the interior door saying “Foreman’s Office” (clever). It seems only the three men had keys for the man cave. 

 

The MTA suspended all three men without pay pending the investigation. These aren’t master criminals–they left receipts for things they ordered for the room with their names on it just lying around, including a pull-up bar and cot. According to a Gothamist post, the TV linked to the electrician’s phone. 

They Almost Got Away With It

Photo by S. on Unsplash

The carpenter and electrician closed ranks fast, claiming someone stole their devices. The wireman admitted the guilt of all three. Thanks to the carpenter (I assume), there were wooden cabinets in the room, hiding most contraband. It sounds like the MTA at least has a sense of humor about the discovery. 

 

 “Many a New Yorker has fantasized about kicking back with a cold beer in a prime piece of Manhattan Real Estate–especially one this close to public transportation,” the IG said in a statement, “But few would have the chutzpah to commandeer a secret room beneath Grand Central Terminal and make it their very own man-cave.”

 

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Australian Lingerie Ad Sparks Satanic Panic 2.0

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  • Hell must be running on a deficit if a two-bit skeleton onesie is the best they can afford.

Remember the 80s? What a great decade, with neon windbreakers, New Wave music, yuppies, late-stage Cold War… What a time to be alive.

And then there was also the Satanic Panic. You know, the mass hysteria about how supposedly everything from roleplaying games to heavy metal music and actual real-world social issues was some kind of a global conspiracy to turn the entire world to worshipping the Lord of the Pit?

Haha, what a silly thing to think! The people in the 80s sure had some wild imaginations. I sure am glad all that’s over.

Okay, fine. You know how these kinds of intros work. It’s not over at all.

This time it seems Old Nick is trying to get his sulfur-reeking claws on our souls through lingerie advertisements. At least that’s what people seem to think on social media, and when have they ever been wrong?

The vessel for Satan’s devilish plot is a new ad published by Australian lingerie firm Honey Birdette. But the arm of the Devil is long, and the company also operates some stores in California.

An underwear company seems like a fitting conduit for temptation. Why else would Honey Birdette produce such sinful attire if not to lead good people down the path into sins of the flesh?

In theory, Satan seems to be on the right track. But can the final product pull through?

A Sight for Sinful Eyes

The advertisement that’s set righteous souls aflame with divine fury is a video promoting Honey Birdette’s new bondage-inspired collection – aptly titled The 666 Club.

The firm uploaded the video on their Instagram page. Just so you know, it’s fairly saucy for an ad, as are the other related pictures. You might want to grab the Bible or some holy water or something to safeguard your eternal soul.

The red-tinted video opens up with an ominous line: “Don’t forgive them, Father, for they do know what they do.” Alright, that’s pretty clever.

Next, a pretty model starts wandering through a night club, which we can probably assume to be the titular 666 Club. She is clad in an ever-changing variety of undergarments from the company’s new line.

Apparently abyssal magic allows you to change clothes in the blink of an eye.

Underlining the tempting power of these bras and panties, the club is filled with writhing, smooching couples of all orientations. But they’re clearly in awe of the Satanic might of the main model, since none of them dares lay a hand on her.

And so she continues her journey through the club untouched until the Prince of Darkness himself appears to feel her up! No, it’s not Ozzy, just some dude painted red with a corny villain ‘stache and goatee.

The cartoon devil is quickly replaced by a bunch of people in equally cheap skeleton onesies. I think I’ve seen these things for sale at the Dollar Store for $1.99 around Halloween.

And then the ad’s over. Can you feel the forces of Hell grabbing hold of you already?

Me neither.

Empowering Satan

But some people sure did, since the video’s comment section is riddled with crusaders denouncing this blatantly Devil-worshipping sin fest.

“Thought it was just me. But all these Satan comments make me realize I’m not crazy for feeling a little [meh emoji] about this,” wrote username jsattt.

Yeah, we wouldn’t be so sure about that.

D_amatus007 saw the video as nothing more than yet another sign of our world slowly slipping down into the depths of Hell. “Not surprised everything you see in the video is satanic. It’s the new way and what many seek and are fighting for as we sit here,” they commented.

Others who have shopped with Honey Birdette before have been put off by the ad. Lingerie that covers barely anything is fine, but a devilish figure that looks like he could be an elementary school student’s home-made Halloween decoration?

How dare they!

“You guys just lost a very loyal customer you Satan worshippers! Disgraceful!” wrote username ezcali.

“WTF anti-Christian much? Unfollow. Not buying your brand now!!!” yelled mstessascott.

Still some thought the video was directly channeling power to the Devil. Or something like that.

“Little bit s**tty empowering Satan like that,” thought loius_meyer.

But, in the name of fairness, others had more reasonable criticisms for the ad. Sprinkled in the comments are people who are just straight-up not that excited about what they’re seeing.

“I’m gud luv, enjoy. So disappointed in the plain designs,” said username natvanel.

Poor Effort, Devil

Now, we here at Oddee don’t claim to be experts on all things Satanic or anything like that. And by no means do we want to disrespect anyone’s deeply held beliefs when it comes to what’s good for your soul.

But really, a guy in red bodypaint and a cartoon goatee? Some dudes in cheap skeleton bodysuits? At the end of October there’ll be a Halloween party on every block that will get more sacrilegious than this.

You’d imagine an organized group of Satan worshipping masterminds would be a bit more sinister. If this is the best Hell’s demonic legions can cook up, they’d better step up their game. The most sinful thing about this video is the costume department’s budget.

Is this really what’s supposed to tempt us into damnation? Not today, Satan.

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