QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

India’s €35bn treasure dream turns to dust

INDIA: India has ended a search for treasure underneath a 19th century fort after finding only a few bones and terracotta bricks but none of the gold predicted by a Hindu holy man’s dream.

The search began on Oct 18 in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India after Hindu swami Shobhan Sarkar told a government minister that a former king appeared to him in a dream and told him of a haul worth over €35bn.

The leader of the dig, Praveen Kumar Mishra, said the hunt had been suspended. The government spent almost €20,000 on digging at the site, said Durga Shankar, a local magistrate.

The opposition said the government search was triggered by the holy man’s dream.

However, the Geological Survey of India has said it found signs of heavy metal about 20m underground before deciding to dig in the area in Unnao district.

Mishra said yesterday that appeared to have been an error. The state-run Archaeological Survey of India found some artifacts and reached sediments of calcium carbonates in the first trench but there was no hope of finding any archaeological objects beyond that as the diggers hit rocks in the second trench.

Musical mystery

SCOTLAND: Historians are trying to trace the mysterious author of an 18th century music album that has been discovered in a library archive.

The untitled, leather-bound songbook was found by an archivist sorting through a catalogue of collections in the Watt Library in Greenock, Inverclyde. The inside cover is signed by a Hugh Cameron and dated 1709 and it also contains poems, a book list, and religious writings.

An expert from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has studied the unusual find and hopes to find out more about the person who wrote it. The book will go on display in the McLean Museum inside the library.

Dot london

ENGLAND: London is becoming one of the first cities in the world to have its own domain name.

A deal was signed this week that will make available internet addresses ending in .london, instead of the usual .com or .uk, from next year.

The agreement, signed off by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, allows London businesses, organisations, and individuals to apply for the domain name from spring 2014.

Hopping off

USA: Texas police officers were involved in an unusual chase after calls came in reporting a runaway kangaroo hopping along a rural road.

Deputies helped corner the 4ft-tall kangaroo as the owner offered a treat to the animal, then grabbed the pet.

Midland County has an exotic animals law and owners must notify the sheriff’s office. Authorities are checking to see if a pet kangaroo falls under that category.



Digger raider

USA: A man has been jailed on charges that he stole a $125,000 (€92,000) digger from a suburban construction site then drove it about 50km to a scrapyard in Philadelphia where he intended to sell it.

Police estimate it would have taken 33-year-old William Michael Pusey about two-and-a-half hours to make the trip to Philadelphia from Phoenixville.

Write stuff

USA: Ever wanted to write a love letter but don’t know what to say? Anja Sieger and her typewriter can help.

The 26-year-old describes herself as a performing typist selling other people’s thoughts. People hire her to write quirky love letters, insult letters, letters of recommendation, short stories, and poems.

She says letters from pets are especially popular and she even includes doodles. Unusual requests include a man who wanted her to write a thank-you letter to his tree. She sells her work through her website, generally starting at $15.


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