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Bizzare & Odd

Match Factory Horrors: Phossy Jaw

Early in the 19th century, it was discovered that adding yellow (now called white) phosphorous to matchstick heads made them easier to ignite. The demand for the new ‘strike-anywhere’ matches was enormous, creating a profitable international industry and white phosphorus became the active ingredient of most matches from the 1840s to the 1910s.

Concern over phossy jaw contributed to the London matchgirls strike of 1888, and although this strike did not end the use of white phosphorus, William Booth and The Salvation Army opened a match-making factory in 1891 which used the much safer, though more expensive, red phosphorus.

The Salvation Army also campaigned with local retailers to get them to sell only red phosphorus matches. However, it was not until the use of white phosphorus was prohibited by the international Berne Convention in 1906, and were implemented in national laws over the next few years, that industrial use ceased.

The first case of phossy jaw was diagnosed by physician Lorinsor of Vienna in 1839. The patient was a female Viennese matchstick maker who had been exposed to the phosphorus vapours over a five-year period.

Phossy jaw
Phossy jaw

By 1858 detailed medical reports were coming out detailing the effects of Phosphorus necrosis (phossy jaw) upon those afflicted with it. Those affected would usually begin suffering painful toothaches and swelling of the gums, with the pain quickly spreading to the teeth and jawbone.

Over time, pus formations penetrated the oral mucosa with the effect of causing of fistulas, teeth loss, and recurrent abscesses, which in time led to dead bone separating from living bone after around 3 months and necrosis of the jaw within 6 months.

The lower jaw was more commonly affected than the upper jaw. In addition, effected areas developed an eerie greenish white ‘glow’ in the dark. The condition also caused serious brain damage.

Surgical removal of the affected jaw bones could save the patient, but otherwise, death from organ failure would follow. The disease was extremely painful and disfiguring to the patient, with dying bone tissue rotting away accompanied by a foul-smelling discharge.

However, removal of the jaw bone had serious effects on patients’ ability to eat, leading to further health concerns including malnutrition.

In 1852, Charles Dickens wrote in his weekly periodical Household Words reported three phosphorus necrosis cases including that of a 21 year old match worker, about whom he wrote, “He has now no teeth in his lower jaw, of which a great part is destroyed.”

The disease could have been prevented by using the safer but more expensive red phosphorous and following good occupational hygiene. European countries started to ban the use of white phosphorous from 1872, but there wasn’t a total ban until 1910.

By Paul Middleton, source: Ghosts, the paranormal, myths and legends

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Bizzare & Odd

Too much karaoke gives man a collapsed lung

Image Credit: PD – Kane Reinholdtsen

Too much karaoke can be bad for your health. 

A man in China recently ended up in hospital after an evening of belting out songs caused his lung to collapse.

For most of us, the ordeal of singing pop songs in front of an audience is punishment enough, but for one man in China recently, singing karaoke almost had fatal consequences.

The 65-year-old, who has been identified only as Wang, sang at such intensity and for so long that he started to experience difficulty breathing as well as pains in his chest.

When he visited a hospital the next day, doctors discovered that his lung had literally collapsed “because of the high lung pressure caused by singing high notes.”

The condition, which is known as pneumothorax, happens when air is rerouted into the area between the lung and the chest wall, putting pressure on the lung and causing it to collapse.

It is believed however that Wang must have had a pre-existing condition beforehand.

“Typically, a collapsed lung requires some degree of architectural abnormalities within the lung,” said Dr. Enid Neptune at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. “An absolutely, totally normal lung usually doesn’t suffer spontaneous pneumothorax in the absence of trauma.”

Source: Live Science

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Creepy Dolls Mysteriously Appearing in Missouri are Unexplained and Spreading

“All the dolls look similar. They are very realistic. People living in the community said it is not only the dolls that are creepy but where they are placed that is strange.”

The crime reports out of Festus – a small town on the eastern border of central Missouri – usually look like those of any other small municipality … DUIs, break-ins, noise complaints, etc. Residents may be referring to those as “the good old days” now that the city is in the throws of a mysterious epidemic of creepy dolls appearing in odd places that is keeping people and their kids indoors and the police on alert.

“When we found this one, it was laying in front of our building. We picked it up and it was the doll, they’ve been hanging on top of stop signs, laying in front of the license office.”

On a stop sign? That IS creepy.

The worried residents of Festus told local media they‘re finding the dolls on the ground, on the tops of road sign, hanging from light poles, leaning up against a building and other strange spots. The locations aren’t the only creepy part – the dolls are sometimes carefully placed to appear to be small children – sitting, leaning against a wall, on the ground as if they fell, etc. (Video here and photo here.) That causes concerned witnesses to stop and see what’s going on, says police chief Tim Lewis.

“If you were to see it from behind it looks like a little girl. If you’re out and about and you see that, it looks like a little girl crying, against a pole and someone is going to stop,” he said. “In this town, people are good-hearted. People are going to stop to make sure that’s not a child. They are going to get hit or they are going to get run over and then you’re dealing with a catastrophe.”

It’s bad enough when they realize they stopped for a doll. What’s worse is when they flip it over and find the doll has no face. Some have no heads at all. The doll leaning against the building had its hands sewn to its face. Many of the dolls appear at busy intersections, causing traffic jams. Others are in remote locations. No matter where they are, no one has seen (or admitted to seeing) who puts them out. Some have quickly disappeared and no one seems to have seen that either. Chief Lewis suspects the culprit or culprits are hiding, watching the commotion and laughing. While the number incidents have gone down, local station KSDK reports that at least one creepy doll has appeared in nearby Crystal City.

“Dolls are just creepy in general to me. I don’t like them.”

What about puppets?

Resident Logan Galczynski probably speaks for many people who feel the same way about life-sized dolls as they do about clowns. Some think it’s linked to the new Annabelle movie, but it could be something more sinister, like the so-called voodoo dolls found last year all over the Russian town of Zavetny. Those were the size of adult store mannequins but dressed like school girls. The voodoo part comes from the dolls being pierced by needles, some threaded. That thread finally help investigators determine that the dolls were once used in puppet theater, then donated to a museum, threw them out (too creepy?) but they were found and given to a school, which also threw them out (definitely too creepy for school) but someone found them in the trash and began placing them around town. That culprit was never caught.

Are the residents of Festus and now Crystal City doomed to deal with the dolls forever? Will they desert their towns, leaving them to the dolls like the island of haunted dolls in Mexico known as La Isla de las Munecas? Perhaps Logan Galczynski is right.

“Dolls are just creepy in general to me. I don’t like them.”

Source: Mysterious Universe

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World’s largest frog builds its own ponds

Image Credit: Marvin Schafe
Imagine finding this in your back garden.

The goliath frog is so ridiculously enormous that it is capable of building small ponds by moving rocks.

The species, which is found only in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, weighs in at a whopping 3.3kg.

Due to the frogs’ remote location not a great deal is actually known about them, but now, a new study published in the Journal of Natural History has revealed one of the more unusual traits of these gargantuan amphibians – their ability to move rocks around to form their own little ponds.

These small bodies of water are used by the frogs to help protect their vulnerable offspring.

“Goliath frogs are not only huge, but our discovery shows they seem to be attentive parents as well,” said study team member Marvin Schafer.

“The little ponds they make at the edges of fast-flowing rivers provide their eggs and tadpoles with a safe haven from sometimes torrential waters, as well as from the many predators living there.”

“We think that the heavy work they put into excavation and moving rocks may explain why gigantism evolved in these frogs in the first place.”

Source: Geek.com

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