Monday, June 1, 2009

The Monday Menagerie:
Creepy Curiosities Found In Other People's Books

1. Let's start things off with a classic: Makeshift weapons found in prison library books. This impressive array of shivs, scalpels and rusty nails comes courtesy of The Vladimir Central Prison Museum. Late fees, coupled with a life sentence in solitary confinement, make this a risky way to store one's weaponry.

2. I've only got one word for this next one: Yuck. Oh, wait. I thought of another: F**k! The Seattle Times reports, "Librarian Susanne Caro was leafing through an 1888 book on Civil War medicine when she spied a small, yellowed envelope tucked between the pages. Freeing it, she read the inscription "scabs from vaccination of W.B. Yarrington's children" in the corner, with the signature "Dr. W.D. Kelly," the book's author. [...] Researchers think the scabs found in March are either from smallpox-vaccine patients or from victims, whose scabs were used in an early inoculation procedure."

3. Dialing the gross-out factor back a bit, get a load of this: Two 19th century condoms found stuck between the pages of an 1857 newspaper. It's amazing what some folks will use as a bookmark. For all the dirty details, click here.

4. Alright, this one's pretty weird as well, but at least it didn't come encrusted in any ancient bodily fluids. (I hope.) It's a semi-oedipal note found in an Urbana, IL library book and forwarded to Found Magazine. Found has tons more like it on display here.

5. It's a fact. A customs official's day is never boring. Reuters identifies this reptilian treasure trove as, "a hollowed-out book containing two adult and two baby southern leaf tail geckos." And take a look at the little holes punched through the cover -- that's PETA approved!

6. And now a li'l something to take the edge off...
The caption reads, "Mechanical ingenuity of narcotic smugglers is constantly being tested in devising new methods of bringing their contraband goods safely into the country. The picture shows a Bible which has been hollowed out in the center to provide a hiding place for thousands of dollars worth of morphine and other opiates. The book was confiscated by Internal Revenue inspectors." Via.