BY JAMES K. WHITE | JUNE 12, 2013
In January of 1981, three English spelunkers located and entered caverns previously known only to local tribesmen of the dense Northern Borneo jungle. The three explorers were amazed to discover the largest known single enclosed space in the world. The “room” measures 2,300 feet in length, 1,300 feet in width and more than 230 feet in height. Named the Sarawak Chamber (Sara must be some sort of local celebrity), it is estimated that the chamber could house at least 38 football fields, but likely never will.
For about 5,000 years, candles (made from animal fat, beeswax, etc.) were commonly used as an interior light source. Candles yield an enhancing glow that is considered by some people (women) to be romantic. Lighted candles are used by every major religion in ritual and/or symbolism.
After World War II, the island of Engebi (Western Pacific) was selected by the United States to be the site of nuclear bomb testing. Decades later, biologists warily visited the island to see whether all animal life had been destroyed by atomic blasts and residual radiation. All the birds and reptiles were gone as were most insects. Entomologists consider it probable that the few insect species present flew to the island after the bombings ceased. However, what the scientists found were several thriving colonies of healthy large rats enjoying longer than normal lifespans.
Not long ago, police in Germany stopped a ten year old boy just after midnight in a snowstorm as the lad pedaled his toy car along a highway. The youngster had on no coat and said he was going to see his grandmother who lived in Berlin (some 240 miles away) because he was “fed up” with the way he was treated at home. The police warmed up the shivering child, provided some hot cocoa, and took him back home where his parents had not realized that “der Junge” had even left their house.
Flemish artist Roelandt Savery is believed to be the only professional artist to paint a live dodo bird (became extinct in 1681). Apparently not one for great detail, he depicted the bird with two right legs. Several later artists copied Savery’s work so meticulously that numerous paintings erroneously portray dodos as possessing two right legs. Well, I recommend that you stay off of Engebi – and that you have a great week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.