A pair of 3,000-year-old mummified corpses that were recently discovered in Scotland have been labeled ‘The Frankenstein Corpses’ after it was discovered by researchers that they are actually composed of body parts originating from six different people.
The mummified corpses were discovered in Cladh Hallan, an archaeological site on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. It is the only location in Great Britain where prehistoric mummies have been discovered.
National Geographic reports that isotopic dating and DNA experiments revealed the unusual pairing of body parts. The tests also revealed that the body parts were assembled and buried together more than 600 years after death, meaning that the assemblage was almost certainly deliberate.
However, it remains unclear exactly why the corpses were put together.
Lead researcher and University of Manchester professor Terry Brown says the answer could be simple and somewhat morbid: The original body parts may have simply been plugged in as a convenience to replace missing pieces.
“Maybe the head dropped off and they got another head to stick on,” he said.
Fellow researcher and University of Sheffield professor Mike Parker Pearson told LiveScience that the parts could have been more specifically put together to show the connected lineage between families other time.
“Rights to land would have depended on ancestral claims, so perhaps having the ancestors around ‘in the flesh’ was their prehistoric equivalent of a legal document,” Parker Pearson said.
“Merging different body parts of ancestors into a single person could represent the merging of different families and their lines of descent,” Parker Pearson said. “Perhaps this was a prelude to building the row of houses in which numerous different families are likely to have lived.”
Brown tells National Geographic he believes researchers will discover more composite-like bodies on the island. In fact, he said such mummified corpses may have already been discovered but can only be verified by comparing the DNA of various body parts.
“I think you’d have to go back to a time when the rituals were more bizarre,” Brown said of finding similar corpses. “You’d have to go back to the mists of unrecorded time.”
Japanese tourists visiting Scotland have been warned to avoid people wearing football shirts and not to eat “weird” Lorne sausages.
The first official Japanese tour guide to Scotland also suggests visitors avoid council estates, drink Irn-Bru, and never call kilts “skirts”.
Written in Japanese and published by Edinburgh-based Luath Press, The Insider’s Guide to Scotland is the only Scottish guidebook in Japanese compiled official guides.
In the book, potential visitors are told never to approach men wearing green or blue football tops, but to make sure to go on a pub crawl and get “merrily drunk” on Scottish whisky.
The book also recommends tourists try Mackie’s honeycomb ice-cream and ginger marmalade, but give Lorne sausages a miss.
The book slates the Scottish service industry, stating: “Please do not expect to have the same quick, polite and accurate service here to compare with Japanese service at shops, restaurants and hotels. Be patient anywhere in Scotland, it is not Japan.”
Potential tourists to Scotland are warned to mind their table manners by the tourist guide.
“If you make noise having a bowl of soup at a restaurant, please do not have it,” the book reads.
The guide also warns Japanese visitors “never” to call a Scottish person English.
One section of the book is dedicated to explaining why many Scottish people do not carry umbrellas with them at all times – something that puzzles the Japanese.
The book explains: “When it rains, it seems only a handful of people use umbrellas in Scotland. That puzzles Japanese quite a lot because in Japan people would carry umbrellas all the time or leave the spare ones at the office for sudden showers.”
Visitors to Scotland are encouraged to get “merrily drink,” to visit whiskey distilleries, sample Scottish-staple Irn-Bru and use the word “aye” – which translates as “love” in Japanese.
A mysterious bright light seen by thousands of people in the night sky over northern Britain caused a ruckus this weekend.
Some observers called police, others quickly hit the Internet to broadcast tweets about what they saw.
“UFO invasion?! Ball of fire flew past my window!” one woman posted on Twitter.
David Konstantinou of Glasgow tweeted he had seen “a huge meteorite heading south.”
“Huge white tail. Flashed green and red. Amazing sight. Made the hairs on my neck stand up,” he added.
One Greater Manchester police officer joined in the fun, tweeting: “Sounds like we are being invaded by martians. Several sightings of a bright orange light over Salford!”
The Met Office tweeted: “Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite.”
The most likely explanation for the phenomenon was that a meteor, probably about the size of a person’s fist, had hit the Earth’s atmosphere 60-70 miles in altitude.
A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said the force had been “inundated” with calls about a bright object in the sky across the west of Scotland.
Grampian Police said reports of people seeing a “flare or a bright object with a tail” were received from across the region.
And Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said numerous calls were made about a “large ball of fire in the sky” across Annandale and Eskdale.
A force spokesman wrote on Facebook: “A number of reports have been received from the public reporting observing bright lights or what is described as a large ball of fire in the sky.
“Inquiry has confirmed that this is actually a low level meteor shower.”
Meanwhile, Lothian and Borders Police said it had received “quite a lot” of calls from members of the public.
Strathclyde Police and Central Scotland Police checked with air traffic control who confirmed there were no concerns and all aircraft was accounted for.
Coastguard also received calls from members of the public asking if a flare had been used. One call was made to the coastguard in Stornoway, with one person reporting seeing a flare in the sky.
Incestuous marriages could increase in Scotland because of public sector cuts, a councillor has claimed.
Kenneth Gunn spoke out after Scottish Borders Council decided to save £50,000 by closing down several register offices where marriage notices, known as banns, are displayed.
He said doing away with posting banns could result in siblings marrying without realising.
The Selkirkshire councillor said: “The proclamation of banns is not merely a ritual from the Dark Ages but a necessary and vital part of the census services. In these days of broken marriages and extended families, surely it is even more important?
“I am aware in my own ward of brothers sitting beside sisters they do not know in primary school. These youngsters will move on to secondary school, maybe still ignorant of their own relations. It isn’t going to be too long before we have a union which could produce offspring if we do not play by the well-founded rules.”
The council have closed four register offices in the region – Selkirk, Jedburgh, Lauder and Newcastleton.
Gunn added: “At a time when the Home Office have no idea how many legal or illegal immigrants are in this country, surely this is not the time to be cutting back so severely on a service which has been around since medieval times?”
A man found dead in a remote bothy is thought to have been an adventurer who hoped to spend a year living alone in the Scottish wilderness.
David Austin, 29, from Derby, was found dead in a hut by a railway worker a mile south of one of Scotland’s most remote stations, Rannoch in Highland Perthshire, on Hogmanay.
His body is believed to have been lying there for several weeks when it was discovered, and a post-mortem examination found there were no suspicious circumstances behind his death.
Mr Austin is thought to have told family in November that he was heading to the Highlands to live out his dream of surviving in the wilderness.
He planned to live rough on a year-long adventure, using techniques like those used by adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls, despite being urged to reconsider by family and friends.
He is understood to have attended several courses in outdoor survival and bushcraft skills over the past couple of years with a view to realising a long-held dream of living alone in the wild.
Mr Austin is thought to not even have taken a mobile phone with him.
A number of personal possessions including a knife and a daily journal were found next to his body.
It is believed he may have died of hypothermia.
After leaving Derby, Mr Austin is thought to have travelled to Glasgow and then on to Corrour – which is the UK’s highest mainline station – on the West Highland line.
He is then believed to have spent his 29th birthday on 3 December alone outdoors, in the first heavy snowfall of the season.
A hostel employee at the Loch Ossian SYHA hostel on Rannoch Moor, said: “He didn’t stay here. He told me he’d been camping in the woods on the north side of the loch that weekend, then he just mosied over to have a look at the hostel.”
Mary McArthur, one of only four permanent residents in the Rannoch station area, said: “The story we heard was that he had taken a year out from work and was going to live off the land. And he was supposed to have walked down the line towards Rannoch station so perhaps he decided to take shelter in the bothy.
“But what happened after that, who knows? We heard he was well equipped and knew what he was doing. We heard there were no suspicious circumstances but weren’t sure if it was hypothermia, or a health complaint. At the end of the day, it’s someone’s son and a sad way to go in the middle of nowhere all alone.”
His body was found in a remote bothy used by track inspection workers.
A British Transport Police spokesman confirmed the man had been identified as a 29-year-old man from the east Midlands, and that there appeared to be no suspicious circumstances.
Three Scottish kids were shocked when they saw a UFO on October 12.
The three boys were near Bridgend Court in Dingwall, Scotland at approximately 7:30pm that Wednesday night when they noticed a UFO above the trees that was “quite big in size but it wasn’t going very fast.”
Cody MacKenzie, one of the boys who witnessed the UFO, told reporters:
“We were sitting down on the kerb when we heard this loud humming noise. We looked up and saw the UFO just above the trees. I thought it was a UFO right away. It was shaped like one and had coloured lights turning round and round underneath it. We didn’t see anyone in it but the lower part of it was a silver colour – you could tell that because the lights were reflecting on it.”
Cody also claims that he, his brother Keelin, and a friend also saw a black helicopter in the sky at the same time they saw the UFO. Cody describes hearing another UFO in the area, but never saw it.
The boys say they were frightened by the mysterious object, and feared it might land, so they quickly returned home.
According to the Ross-shire Journal, a Northern Constabulary spokesman in Dingwall said police had “received no reports of unexplained activity at that time.”
But Cody and the other kids know what they saw that night. Cody even created a sketch of the UFO to show his parents.
Cody’s dad, Ian, a nightshift worker at Nigg, said, “I got a phone call from Cody telling me he has seen strange lights in the sky. I saw the picture Cody drew the next morning when I got home – it’s not the sort of thing a young boy would bother drawing unless he had seen something.”
He added, “I don’t know if there was a military exercise happening that night, but there must have been something going on.”