Indian flintlock pistol with tiger head buttstock. Tiger carving includes real tiger teeth.
Sheet gold finger and toe coverings, plus sandals, from the tomb of three minor wives of Thutmose III at Wady Gabbanat el-Qurud, circa 1479-1425 B.C.
The Bisley Boy
It is a tradition amongst villages in England to celebrate the advent of the month of May with a festival involving processions, music, dancing, and, the piece de resistance, a May Queen - usually a young girl from the village adorned with a crown of flowers. The village of Bisley, however, does things differently. They choose a boy instead and have him dressed in the clothes of a Tudor era female. The question as to why is one which plagued Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, who, when he heard of the strange custom, sought to get to the bottom of it in his lesser known work Famous Impostors.
Stoker uncovered a local legend that told how, around 1543, Queen Elizabeth I, then a princess, was sent to Bisley to take in the country air, when suddenly she fell ill and died. Learning that Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, was on his way to visit his daughter, her governess began to fear for her own life: Henry had recently had his wife, Catherine Howard, beheaded and, famously ill-tempered and unpredictable, no one wanted to upset him further. As such, the governess hurried to find a replacement but no girl of similar appearance to Elizabeth could be found. There was however, a red-headed boy who would do just the trick. The governess had him put on the princesses’ dress and presented to the King. Henry saw his daughter infrequently and never discovered the impostor. In fact, the trick worked so well the King was never informed and the boy grew up to become Queen Elizabeth I. In 1870 the vicar of Bisley claimed he had uncovered the coffin of a girl dressed in Tudor clothes but had reinterred the remains in an unmarked grave so it did not become a shrine.
To add credence to the theory, Stoker cites a series of 16th century letters which detail ‘secrets of great moment’ between the Queen and her closest companions; her refusal to marry and apparent inability to bear children; her baldness; a change in the style of her writing from before and after the apparent swap; her refusal to see any but one doctor; and her instruction that there be no post mortem on her body when she died. Of course, all these things can be explained away much more simply, but, whatever the truth, everyone loves a conspiracy.
Chinese Dinosaur Embryo Fossils Are Oldest Found So Far
The oldest fossilised dinosaur embryos found so far have been discovered by palaeontologists in China. With several of the embryos petrified at different stages of development, it offers a rare insight into exactly how dinosaurs developed inside eggs.
Also exciting is that the embryos appear to contain organic matter that hasn’t been fossilised, which would be the oldest organic material ever found from a terrestrial vertebrate. The fossils — which are thought to be either Massospondylus or Lufengosaurus — have been dated as being between 190 and 197 million years old, the Lower Jurassic period.
Embryos can be difficult to study when fossilised because they tend to be inside eggs, but in this case more than 200 bones from several different animals were found among the remains of broken eggshells.
“The preservation of numerous disarticulated skeletal elements and eggshells in this monotaxic bone bed, representing different stages of incubation and therefore derived from different nests, provides opportunities for new investigations of dinosaur embryology in a clade noted for gigantism,” writes Robert Reisz, the study’s lead author.
Spectroscopic analysis of the bones also revealed the presence of preserved organic matter, the oldest so far found from a land-based vertebrate. The material — thought to be collagen — will be useful in determining the exact species of these embryos.
Both Massospondylus and Lufengosaurus are both sauropods, the clade of huge dinosaurs known for long necks and long tails. The most famous sauropod is probably Diplodocus. The embryos show a “consistently rapid rate of growth throughout development”, which could imply how all sauropods grew during the embryonic stage.
The findings have been published in Nature.
image: LufengosaurusJason Quinn/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
credit: Jason Quinn/ Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
In 1731, King Frederick I of Sweden gave a lion he had killed to a taxidermist who had never seen a lion before, and this was the result
Ceremonial dagger with light-green jade hilt
- Dated: 17th century (hilt)
- Culture: Indian, Mughal
- Measurements: L: 40.3 cm
Daggers of this type, inlaid with gold and with rubies and emeralds set in gold, were made for the ruling upper class. The cut-and-thrust weapons of high-ranking Indian officials, and especially their daggers, were embellished with great imagination with precious stones, enamel, and – as here – with entire hilts made of carved semi-precious stones. Knives of this kind were considered jewelry for men and were often used as princely gifts.
Source: © The David Collection
A soldier who lost both of his legs during World War One plays a game of billiards. 1915.
Lord Byron’s Orthopedic Boot.
Byron was born with a club foot, and was forced to wear painful corrective footwear, like the shoe shown above. As a child, he hated wearing his brace, and even threw one of his boots into a pond. The small size (10cm) of this shoe indicates that he wore it as a child.
Fantasiada, menina interage com cangurus em parque na Austrália; veja mais fotos: http://folha.com/131372 (Foto: Carters News/The Grosby Group)
Van a cambiar la canción de “Hay un amigo en mí” por la de “Hay 577 amigos en tu Facebook”.