The discovery of a Virgin Mary statue that had gone missing a decade ago, Elon Musk upsetting Egypt with a tweet about aliens and the pyramids, and a tourist's ill-fated visit to an Italian art museum are among the strange, unusual, and enlightening stories to pop up on our radar this past week.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk has something of a reputation for making strange and controversial statements on social media and, this past week, that trend continued when he wound up raising the ire of officials in Egypt by arguing on Twitter that it was obvious that extraterrestrials had built the pyramids. The nod to the popular ancient alien conspiracy theory garnered considerable attention from people online and, understandably, did not go over all that well with experts in Egypt, who quickly refuted the idea and noted historical records which indicate that the iconic structures were built by humans. To his credit, Musk later conceded that the pyramids were likely man-made and not the product of alien intervention.
This past week saw a pair of decidedly different but equally fantastic finds unearthed from the ground, beginning in Siberia where scientists removed the incredibly well-preserved remains of a woolly mammoth from a lake bed. Despite being approximately 10,000 years old, the carcass was in tremendous condition and several soft tissues, including skin, were still intact on the body. Meanwhile, in Mexico, officials in the city of Monterrey were amazed when a statue of the Virgin Mary which was lost in a hurricane back in 2010 was suddenly rediscovered partially buried in a river bed which had become exposed following a recent storm.
An Austrian man visiting an art museum in Italy wound up at the center of a proverbial international incident this past week when he decided to climb atop a statue in order to pose for a photo and inadvertently broke several toes off of the 200-year-old piece. Security cameras at the Gipsoteca Museum captured the tourist's profound blunder as it unfolded, including the awkward moment in which he realizes what he has done and nervously lingers next to the damaged statue before making a hasty exit from the scene. While authorities in Italy have identified the perpetrator and are debating his fate, one prominent figure in the country's art community has already called for the man to fined and sent back to Austria.
For more strange and unusual stories from the past week, check out the Coast to Coast AM website.