The discovery of a bizarre new method of snake locomotion, a cave painting believed to be the world's oldest drawing of an animal, and a racing pigeon's very strange saga which saw it sentenced to death and then granted a reprieve were among the odd and enlightening stories that popped up on our radar this past week.
In a testament to how Mother Nature holds many secrets, scientists were stunned this week to discover a previously unobserved and rather bizarre form of locomotion exhibited by a snake. The strange climbing technique, which was seen performed by a brown tree snake on the island of Guam, consists of the creature wrapping itself around a pole in a manner similar to a lasso and then slowly inching its way upwards. Amazingly, this was the first new form of snake movement to be documented in nearly 100 years.
A pair of fascinating pieces of artwork from the distant past made news this past week, beginning with a centuries-old sculpture of a woman that was found in a Mexican orchard. The remarkably well-preserved statue, experts say, likely depicted a powerful figure from the late Mesoamerican Postclassic period of around 500 years ago. Meanwhile, in a cave on an Indonesian island, researchers discovered a drawing of a pig which is believed to be a staggering 45,500 years old and constitutes the earliest depiction of an animal ever found.
Easily the oddest story of the week came by way of Australia and centered around a racing pigeon that had purportedly flown all the way to the island nation from America. Becoming something of a viral sensation when its remarkable story was revealed, the bird's fate appeared to be sealed when Australian officials announced that they planned to euthanize the animal out of fear that it could be carrying diseases. However, in a twist worthy of a Hollywood film, it was subsequently revealed that the pigeon's tag identifying it as American was, in fact, a fake, sparing the animal's life and leaving us with far more questions than answers.
For more strange and unusual stories from the past week, check out the Coast to Coast AM website.