Normal Is Overrated

These past few days the sun has completely come out, and everything looks so much nicer. It’s a nice break from all the gloomy, freezing rain we’ve been having. London has this age-old reputation of being the capital of fog from the Industrial Revolution days, but it’s probably safe to say that Vancouver’s achieved international recognition as the city of rain. Hopefully, this change of weather is the beginning of spring for real.

As a Vancouverite, I’m proud of our rain!

Speaking of the unusual, let’s talk about bizarre things that happen in this mundane world of ours. The following events are very much real, and its strange nature makes for excellent stories to pass around. In fiction, authors create what they can imagine; in reality, sometimes things that are beyond common knowledge and imagination happen.

  1. Sand Theft
    It may sound like a joke, or something kids do in school playgrounds but this is a serious crime. In July 2008, Trelawny’s Coral Springs (Jamaica) had a stretch of beach 400 metres wide (about 500 truckloads of real beach). Somehow, someway, the sand thieves managed to steal most of the sand there without raising anybody’s alarms. There were plans to establish a resort complex there, but that was, of course, put on hiatus. Logically speaking it’s impossible to not notice such a big operation, so the police suspected the thieves had help from high places.
    You might be thinking, “what would anybody do with so much sand?” There are TWO possible answers: rival resorts (because beaches can be artificial), and construction material. In Jamaica, there’s a tradition of building your house yourself and sand is a major material. There’s never enough so black market sand is a thing there. Illegal sand mining, exclusive deals, the works.
    The case was never solved.

    Not very cool, especially if it’s a natural beach.

  2. A Strange Case of Abduction
    Urban areas may be better policed than rural villages, but more people always means more trouble. Crimes could happen just like that so it’s wise to be careful of your surroundings, which is what 19-year-old Tara Calico learned all those years ago. On September 28, 1988, Tara left her home in Belen, New Mexico for a bicycle ride. Considering how the temperature during the day remains in the 20s even in late September, it’s a cost-efficient way to feel the wind in your hair. However, she disappeared after biking on Highway 47. Her mother sometimes rode with her, and she thought they were being followed. She told her to consider carrying mace, but she was confident because it was her usual route. The police found little, they had a choice but to wait for clues.

    Disappearances are still a thing, it’s not limited to alien abductions.

    On June 15, 1989, a woman found a Polaroid photo (the kind that comes out instantly) in a parking spot of a convenience store in Port St. Joe, Florida. The photo showed a teenage girl that was most likely Tara and a young boy gagged and bound in the back of a van. Coincidentally, there was a white van parked in the spot the photo was found. The boy was revealed to be Michael Henley, who had disappeared the year before on a New Mexico camping trip. Could somebody be running a human trafficking ring in New Mexico? But as far as the police were concerned, these two were the only disappearances involved and the boy’s remains were found shortly afterwards in the same area. As if to taunt the authorities, two more photos were found in the months following the first one.
    Considering what happened to Michael, she’s most likely dead. The police just haven’t found her corpse yet. But is that true?

    Even the mother can’t be 100% sure that this is a picture of her.

    As of now, the case is still open and there’s a $20,000 reward for critical information leading to her location and conviction of the perpetrators.

  3. Blood Falls
    If you’re expecting a gushing torrent of blood, sorry to disappoint you. But the sight of a glacier dripping blood like a nosebleed is still a sight to see. It spills out very slowly and it occasionally stops, but that only makes it look more like a flesh wound.

    The resemblance is uncanny, it even thins out like blood.

    Located in East Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys, this waterfall has been staining Taylor glacier for a long time. At least since 1911, when explorers first found it. It’s the result of the glacier moving into the neighbourhood and covering a body of water, rich in microbes. The microbes may be stuck in an environment that barely has any oxygen, very high in salt and iron (thus the colour), and completely sealed off from the outside world but it continues to find a way. They evolve there independently from the rest of the world for a long time before the water found a way out through a crack. Another example of how persistent life can be.
    If you want to see this wonder for yourself, you’ll have to travel either by helicopter or by cruise. The first of which is achievable via a short flight from the nearby McMurdo Station (U.S.) or Scott Base (New Zealand), and the most likely way you can get to either of those Antarctic research stations is by getting a job there. The more achievable option is to take a cruise that goes by there from the Ross Sea.

    Yeah, there’s no way I’m getting there.

    Blood Falls would be a great natural wonder to write an SCP about. It constantly looks like it’s bleeding out so it’s easy to turn it into a story of a creature that IS bleeding out constantly. If it happens, please leave the link below!

Now that’s a holiday!

“Normal” is a term born from the human perspective, and it is useful as a basis of comparison. But none of us has the whole picture, so your peace will be disturbed. It could be something good like a wedding proposal, or it could be something horrible like a false positive for breast cancer. Which is why it’s important to have an open mind and keep a keen eye out. This world is full of wonders, so be brave and have fun!

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