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Odd Stuff

Former Marine George Hood has reclaimed the male Guinness World Record for the longest time spent in the plank position.

Hood, 62, first set the Guinness World Record in 2011 with a time of 1 hour, 20 minutes and 25 seconds. His new time – 8 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds – beat the current record held by Mao Weidong. He set his record in 2016.

After reaching the new record Hood celebrated by doing 75 pushups.

The gruelling session burned an estimated 4,252 calories.

Hood has trained nearly seven hours a day for the past 18 months, which included, approximately 2,100 hours of plank time, 270,000 pushups and nearly 674,000 sit-ups.

Guinness World Records certified Hood’s record in Illinois, but he’s planked even longer in the past. He has completed a 10-hour plank certified by a different organization.

With the publicity surrounding his achievements, Hood hopes to raise mental health awareness.

An ocean photographer has taken an image of what is believed to be the only known pink manta ray in the world.

Photographer Kristian Laine took the pictures while diving off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The stingray was nicknamed Inspector Clouseau after the inspector in “The Pink Panther” media franchise when it was first discovered in 2015.

The stingray is around 3.3 metres, and has been elusive in the five years since it was first noticed.

Although locals are now well aware of him, the pink manta has only been seen around 10 times.  

Despite how shy he is, scientists from the research group Project Manta are still on the case investigating what causes the vibrant pink colour.

In 2016 they took a small biopsy to try to discover more.

A girl aged eight has died of old age in Ukraine.

Anna Sakidon’s was only 8 years old but her biological age was nearer to 80.

Anna had a rare medical condition called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. For children with this one year is equal to eight-to-ten years, so her real age was between 70 and 80.

The condition affected the movement of her arms and legs as different organs grow at different speeds.

She had been diagnosed with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome soon after birth.

Research in The Netherlands indicated that the condition affects one in 20million births.

There are only around 160 known sufferers in the world.

The world’s longest salami has been created in Argentina.

The Argentinian town of Tandil created a 99.5-metre meat salami. This is bigger than the statue of liberty which 93 metres tall.

The world record-breaking salami, which weighs 278 kilos in all, was presented to hundreds of hungry onlookers.

Those that were present were able to try the salami once the official length had been verified.

The sausage took 36 days and more than 100 people to be completed according to organiser Mariano Frias.

A zoo in the UK is asking for unwanted perfume so its big cats can play with it.

Banham Zoo in Norfolk put the request on social media. Apparently, their zookeepers are running low on supply.

They say that “Scent can play an important part in [the cats] enrichment programmes, providing animals with opportunities to express natural behaviours.”

The zoo says it will accept any perfume – but the cats do have a favourite. 

Calvin Klein perfume is a huge hit with all big cats, but any perfumes work well and the zoo do like to offer them a variety of different smells.

A cross-eyed cat has earned thousands of dollars for charities.

The cat, called Belarus, has been used by an American lady to help raise thousands of dollars for local pet shelters.

Rachel, the owner of Belarus, has been selling t-shirts with his face on the front. The t-shirts have become incredibly popular – thanks to his adorable ‘googly eyes’

The pupils of poor Belarus’s bright yellow eyes face in separate directions thanks to a condition called strabismus, leaving him with a permanently confused expression.

Despite the condition, Belarus has very few apparent issues with his vision, apart from occasionally pawing at his water bowl.

Last year, Belarus raised $6,000 for animal shelters, with $4,000 to Belarus’ shelter SFACC, $1,000 to Sonoma Community Animal Response Team for their efforts saving animals from the Sonoma wildfire, and $1,000 to Cat Town of Oakland.

Hundreds and thousands of bats have invaded the Australian town of Ingham.

Four different species of bat have descended onto the small town.

Mayor of the local Council Raymon Jayo said that “It just seems to me that every bat in Australia is now in Ingham.”

“There’s four different species and because they all have young at different times, there’s hardly a window of opportunity when we can interact with these bats to try and move them on.”

Bats are protected by law so they are not allowed to be killed. Local authorities are trying to move them on.

The bats are so bad they have caused issues around town. Tourism in the area has taken a dramatic hit since the bats arrived and one primary school has so many fruit bats, many parents are refusing to send their children to school until they are gone.

Peppa Pig is one of the world’s most famous cartoon characters and she now has a new voice.

Actress Harley Bird has played the role of Peppa since she was just five years old. This week she has announced she’ll be giving up the role.

Harley is now aged 18 and won a Bafta Award for the role back in 2011. She also performed songs for the recent Peppa Pig My First Album release.

Harley described the cast on the show as being “like a family” and said it had given her “unforgettable memories”.

The new voice will be by nine-year-old Amelie Bea Smith.

Amelia will be the fourth actress to voice Peppa and will make her debut in the Peppa Pig episode on Valentine’s Day.

Switzerland has unveiled the world’s smallest gold coin, featuring an image the of scientist Albert Einstein.

At only 2.96-millimetres across and weighing just 0.063 grams the new coin is tiny. It is roughly around the size of the tip of a match stick.

The coin has a value of 1/4 of a Swiss franc ($0.26) and can be ordered online.

According to Swissmint, 999 of the coins have been made, and a single coin will be sold for 199 francs (NZ$312). Each coin will be accompanied with a special magnifying glass so owners can see Einstein.

The gold coin represents Swissmint’s official 2020 commemorative coin and celebrates the works of Einstein.

A South African man has been living in a barrel 25m above the ground for more than two months, non stop.

Vernon Kruger has broken a world record set by himself in 1997.

Kruger is staying in the barrel for over 68 days and says “sleeping in this barrel is not very easy.”

The barrel is equipped with a drainage system for “all the waste”.

He has been washing twice a week in a small basin and surviving on food hoisted up by his team in a wicker basket.

The idea first came to his mind while climbing a palm tree on an island during a vacation. After a bit of research, however, Kruger discovered that a man from Indonesia had already broken the record by sitting in a tree for 28 days.

He scrapped the idea and one of his friends suggested “pole sitting”.

“The record was 54 days then,” said Kruger, who decided to take on the challenge and sat “on pole” for 64 days.

Despite the cramps and back pains, Kruger is now repeating the experience more than two decades later.

And to his team’s dismay, he plans to stay more.

“Vernon is not coming down when he breaks his record,” said organiser Fiona Jones. “He’s going to stay a little longer.”