Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Catacombs of Paris

Since the 12th century, Paris has been full of the ancient dead. Long before our modern burial practices, it was widely accepted that the poor and lesser-wealthy were to be buried in massive gravesites, similar to a garbage heap or a landfill. Saint Innocents Cemetery, an infamous gravesite in Paris, would dig up a large hole, fill it with bodies, and then cover it all up with dirt. It negated the need of coffins and ceremonies, and it made for a quick, easy, and relatively efficient process.

That is, until the land became overburdened with decomposing human flesh, which eventually leaked into the well water underneath the gravesite.

Ancient dead

The Catacombs of Paris are lined with the bones of the ancient dead.

Sometime during the 17th century, Saint Innocents Cemetery was deemed insanitary and unfit for Parisian life. The church that owned Saint Innocents Cemetery, however, did not cease burying the dead there. It made them too much money. Instead, they found ways to expedite the decomposition process of human skin, so all they had to do was bury the bones. Even after the government decreed limitations on cemetery burials, Saint Innocents Cemetery continued their massive burial operation, with no signs of slowing.

In 1777, Police Lieutenant General Alexandre Lenoir was overseeing the consolidation of various abandoned stone quarries around Paris. It was he who first thought up the idea of using the underground tunnels connecting the stone quarries as gravesites. In 1786, the Parisian government began a massive exhumation and transportation process for all of Paris dead, which were to be reburied and laid to rest in the underground tunnels.

Ancient dead

Underneath Paris, the dead reign.

Upon entering the Catacombs, you are greeted by a descending spiral stone stairwell, which leaves you surrounded by silence and darkness. After passing through a long, twisting tunnel of stone, you are met by a sculpture created long before the tunnels were turned into catacombs. Continuing along the path, you are dumped out in front of a stone portal. The portal has an inscription carved on it: Arrte, c’est ici l’empire de la Mort. In English, it says, Stop, this is the empire of Death.

Living Babies Born To Dead Mothers: Creepy, But Not Rare

Whether you’re here for Halloween costumes or strange news, we have you covered.

Since the posting of our last article, some of our community members scoured the Internet for information relating to the baby born eighty-four days after its mothers death. While the story itself is absolutely astonishing and blows every part of my mind, the dedication of our readers is what truly impresses me.

One of our readers found this article, which goes more into detail as to who the mother was and what her age was at the time of death. Apparently, the mother was a 21-year-old woman, which seems much too early for one to suffer from a seizure. To quote Vonnegut, So it goes. Life comes and life recedes.

Now, the important factor here is, the woman was not officially dead as in, she was not a corpse, stiff as a board, cold and lifeless. She was clinically brain dead, so her mind was incapable of performing basic functions, like breathing and blood circulation. With the assistance of medical equipment, however, the doctors were able to perform these functions for her. This action saved the child and allowed it to live, and I am so happy to be living in an age of modern medicine.

The concept of a dead mother giving birth is still extremely creepy, yet not as rare as one may think.

Here’s a story about Jayne Soliman, a champion ice skater, giving birth to a child two days after Jayne’s death.

Here’s a story about a woman giving birth after passing away from a brain hemorrhage.

To be quite fair, the creepiness of these stories is shed away with the understanding that life is springing forth from death. Whether you find it creepy or heartwarming, it really depends on your outlook on life. Are you going to dwell over the passing of life, or will you look toward the future with the onset of new life?

Its sort of the glass-is-half-full situation.

But, I am sincerely impressed with our community of readers. All of you pulled together and found some incredible stories about the previous post. What started as a strange 1988 Guinness World Record has now become an interesting flow of stories.

Anyway, enough about dead mothers and living babies, lets look toward the weekend and enjoy ourselves.

Take care!

Baby Born 84 Days After Mothers Death

Last night, while lying in bed and thinking about my Halloween articles, I was reading through the 1988 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records. While I was happily flipping the pages and feeling slightly ashamed over my lack of any records, I stumbled upon the craziest world record I have ever seen.

A woman, who had suffered a seizure and was pronounced clinically-dead, gave birth to a child 84 days after she died. As in, a corpse gave birth to a living child.

Dead Baby Mama!

This is the torn, scanned page of my 1988 Guinness Book of World Records.

I’ll give you a moment to think that one over. Done? All right, lets take a look at exactly what this means.

I looked up the definition of clinically-dead and the definition does nothing to explain this phenomena. According to Wikipedia, Clinical death is the medical term for cessation of blood circulation and breathing, the two necessary criteria to sustain life.

Listen: Necessary criteria to sustain life. If blood circulation and breathing are the two basic functions needed to sustain life more basic than food and water then how did this corpse give birth to life? How did something that cannot even sustain its own life give birth to another life?

Is your mind blown yet? Because I’m about to have my own seizure over here.

As the record claims, the woman was kept alive via a breathing apparatus, like an iron lung or some other behemoth machine that whines and wheezes for you. Imagine a team of doctors pumping oxygen into a corpse for 84 days, monitoring the baby’s vital signs the whole time.

How did this team of doctors manage to keep the child alive? Eighty-four days of gestation is a long time, so how did they know she was pregnant? Where was the father? There are so many questions that this snippet leaves unanswered!

Unfortunately, I cannot find any further information on this topic. Never have I felt such depression from a Guinness World Record.

If you find any information, please drop me a comment. This mystery cannot remain unsolved.

Winged, Glow-In-The-Dark Cats: Now on Sale!

No, we are not selling winged or glow-in-the-dark cats as Halloween accessories this year. Sorry to get your hopes up. But, there are some cat owners around the world who have found that their cats have suddenly sprouted wings as in, wing-like appendages that extend from the cats back. Creepy? Of course, just look at this picture:

feng

Photo from TheDailyMail.co.uk.

Give that cat some vicious teeth and some flying lessons and you’ll be looking at the deadliest predator to roam our modern Earth. Imagine the movie The Birds, except with winged cats. You walk outside and become enveloped in a cloud of winged cats, which I can only speculate here sustain their life on the sorrow and sadness of the human soul. Its really all too horrifying to even imagine.

winged cats

These cats are said to feel no pain or discomfort from their newfound wings.

The specific cat in the first picture is owned by a woman known only as Feng. When asked about the sudden growth of wings, Feng said, At first, they were just two bumps, but they started to grow quickly, and after a month there were two wings. Many female cats in heat came to harass him, and then the wings started to grow.

Too much mating leads to winged growths? Cats have it made.


As for the glow-in-the-dark cats, a group of South Korean scientists are the ones to come up with that one.

glow cats

Both of these cats are perfectly healthy. They’re just extra creepy.

The scientists cloned the cats from a mothers altered skin cell and then messed with the cats genes by including fluorescence protein genes. This resulted in the glow-in-the-dark fluorescent effects seen in the pictures. One of the cats glows a bright green, while the other glows a negative red.

glow cats

So creepy!

Before you go getting excited to own one of these astonishing creatures, know that they are not offered to the mass public. And even if they were offered to the public, the process to clone and create a fluorescent cat would cost between $32,000 and $50,000. There are plenty of other great animals that need homes and cost nothing near that amount.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVdLJ78RBWk