1Mount Everest is a “Fecal Time Bomb”
Climbing Mount Everest has been a dream for many an adventurer; however, the arduous weeks' long journey means climbers must spend time in camps that lack a proper toilet. Over the years, as the number of expeditions have grown (700 climbers each season and climbing), so has the amount of fecal matter. In the upper camps (and for many years), climbers dug holes to go to the bathroom, but this has caused such a problem it has been called a “fecal time bomb” by explorer Grayson Schaffer. There is an estimated 26,500 pounds of excrement every season to deal with – that's a lot of crap.
2Island of Cats Becomes Tourist Attraction
Crazy Cat Ladies rejoice – there is a paradise just for you! Aoshima, an island off the south coast of Japan, is home to over 120 feral cats. The cats were originally brought in to deal with a mice problem, but as the human population dwindled to just 20 and the mice were killed off, the cats have reigned supreme. Now, the feral felines mostly live off of treats from the booming tourist trade.
3Bangkok Mall Overrun by Fish
In 1999, an abandoned mall in Bangkok caught fire and was eventually flooded with rainwater; this caused a mosquito infestation in the local community. To deal with the problem, someone introduced koi and catfish, which eat the mosquito larvae. Now, the subterranean shopping center is filled to the gills with fish. Unlike Cat Island, this locale is secret and visitation discouraged, but intrepid travel writer Jesse Rockwell took a series of awesome photos and shared them with the world.
4Spider Silk Blankets Town
In 2012, the town of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia was covered in a white sticky substance. This stuff is known as spider silk is secreted by the wolf spider and local to the area. These spiders use the wispy strands to “balloon” over long distances.
The reason for the massive amounts of silk was because Wagga Wagga experienced its worst flooding in 150 years – the unexpected storm caused thousands of the normally reclusive spiders to get the silk scared out of them as they attempted to escape a watery death.
5Snake Island: No Visitors Allowed!
There are lots of so-called Snake Islands dotting the oceans, but off the coast of Brazil lies Queimada Grande, home to 2,000 golden lancehead vipers. These snakes have a flesh-melting poison and can grow over half a meter long – they feast and thrive on the island's many (stupid) migratory birds.
The island's last human residents were the keeper of the lighthouse and his family in the 1920s. They disappeared and were rumored to have been killed by the snakes. Since then, only the Brazilian Navy is allowed on its shores, but you can watch a crazy documentary by the guys from Vice magazine who were given permission to visit:
6Australian City Bathed in Foam
The Australian town of Maroochydore was covered in 9 feet of sea foam after Cyclone Oswald hit in 2013.
The foam, which looked like shaving cream, was created when air, algae, and seawater churned from the exceptionally strong storms that hit the Sunshine Coast. Although the cyclones did cause several deaths, the surreal scene had locals taking photos or playing in the foam. Watch:
7The Great Molasses Flood
On January 15, 1919, a 2.3 million gallon molasses tank exploded in north Boston, due to poor construction and lack of oversight. At the time, molasses was a popular sweetener, and the sticky wave released was 15 feet high, 160 feet wide and moved at 35 mph. It ended up killing 21 people, injuring 50, and took 87,000 manpower hours to clean up the damage. The damage was estimated at $100 million in today's dollars.
Of course, lawsuits followed, and 6 years later USIA, the company that owned the facility, was found guilty of negligence. USIA paid the equivalent of at least $10.7 million in out of court settlements in what is known as the longest legal case in Boston history.
8London Beer Flood
It sounds like Homer Simpson's dream, but The London Beer Flood was a very real and terrifying event. On October 17, 1814, a vat of porter burst at the Meux Brewery, flooding the nearby tenements of St. Giles Rookery. About 3500 barrels of porter were lost, along with 8 lives, including a mother and daughter taking tea, and a group of Irish immigrants attending a baby's wake. Though the brewery is long gone, a local pub still serves a special porter every year on that date to commemorate the victims.
9“Rat Girl” Releases Thousands of Rats in San Francisco
A woman thought to be mentally ill is credited for single-handedly starting a rat infestation in San Francisco. The woman, known only as Erica J. and dubbed "Rat Girl" by the media, first came to attention in 2011 when she was caught breeding hundreds of rats out of a residential hotel south of Market St. This led to an extermination of thousands of rats in the surrounding area. Erica became homeless after that and continues to be found feeding the rodents, which are promptly taken away and exterminated (except for a few that were domesticated). City officials say they are at a loss at what to do and everyone concerned are desperately hoping she decides to take up another hobby.
10Chihuahuas Terrorize Arizona Town
Maryvale, a suburb near Phoenix, is being terrorized by Chihuahuas. The tiny animals, often aggressive towards humans, travel along with larger dogs in packs of 10-15, chasing children and cars.
Many of these dogs were abandoned as pets and were not neutered, which caused the population to explode. Local animal control agents received 6,000 calls in 2013 regarding the dogs – three times higher in Maryvale than in other areas. Local resident Frank Garcia says he sees packs of six or seven Chihuahuas “every single day.”