Oddity Central

Oddity Central

Meet Daniel, the Now-Famous Emotional Support Duck

Posted: 21 Oct 2016 12:11 PM PDT

Dogs, and sometimes cats, have long been used as support animals to help humans deal with a wide range of physical and psychiatric conditions, but ducks, not so much. That’s what makes Daniel Turducken Stinkbottom, the internet’s latest sweetheart, so darn special.

Daniel made international headlines a couple of days ago, after photos of him accompanying his human on an airplane were posted on Twitter and quickly went viral. It’s not every day that you get to see a duck on an airplane, especially one that’s wearing adorable red shoes and a Captain America diaper. So it’s no surprise that he caught people’s eye  – both those on the plane and millions others looking at his photos online. Mark Essig, the man’s whose photos of Daniel got the most attention, says that everyone on the plane was delighted to have a duck on board, and couldn’t stop snapping photos of him. And who could blame them, the little guys is simply too cute!

But it turns out there is more to Daniel than a pretty little head and a funny set of accessories. He is a support animal for his owner, Carla Fitzgerald, who is recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Fitzgerald adopted Daniel in 2012, when he was two days old, as a pet, but being involved in a terrible accident just a year later, he became her support animal. She was a horse-and-carriage driver in Milwaukee, when a driver texting behind the wheel crashed into her carriage from behind, injuring the horse and throwing her a metal-grated drawbridge.


Skunk-Like Bicycle Lock Sprays Thieves with Vomit-Inducing Gas

Posted: 21 Oct 2016 06:02 AM PDT

The aptly-named SkunkLock is an ingenious bicycle lock that blasts would-be thieves with a disgusting cocktails of chemicals that most of the time causes them to vomit uncontrollably.

When San Francisco-based Daniel Idzkowski learned that over 1.5 million bikes are being stolen across the United States, every year, he decided it was up to him to come up with a more efficient means of theft prevention. After six months of work, he came up with the SkunkLock, a hollow steel U-lock system which houses presurized noxious chemical deterrent that’s even detectable through some of the most advanced gas masks. The proprietary formula, known as D_1, was developed by Idzkowski and his partner Yves Perrenoud, and is perfectly legal.


Putting Faith in a Piece of Rope at Brazil’s Largest Religious Festival

Posted: 21 Oct 2016 05:07 AM PDT

Every year, in the second week of October, millions of Roman-Catholic devotees from all over Brazil descend on the city of Belem to attend Cirio de Nazaré, the country’s largest religious festival, and to touch a 400-meter-long piece of rope believed to have the power to heal the sick.

Cirio de Nazaré has been celebrated intermittently in Brazil since 1793. The event revolves around a small statue of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré (Our Lady of Nazareth), an artifact supposedly sculpted in Nazareth that is believed to have performed miracles in medieval Portugal, before being lost in Brazil. Legend has it that a cattleman found it in a canal during the 1700’s, but every time he took it out of the water, it would disappear, only to be found again in the original place it was discovered. The people of Belem believed that it was Our Lady’s wish to remain there, so they built a church there, which would later become today’s Nazaré Basilica.

The celebration lasts two weeks, but the climax of the event is on the first Sunday, when the small statue is taken from the city’s Catedral da Sé to the Nazaré Basilica, on a flower-bedecked carriage pulled by thousands of devotees. The night before the procession about 15.000 devotees queue in front of the cathedral to secure a place near the 400-meter-long piece of rope used to pull the carriage through the city. Men and women align on two separate lines, and by 10 a.m. on Sunday, the human density around the rope reaches an incredible 10 people per meter.


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