From alien invasions to alternate dimensions, the world of Weird or What is typically takes on cosmic proportions. But what about the mysteries that happen closer to home? The weird could be lurking...under your very own skin.
Shoot! Where's my 'Chute?
Shayna Richardson of Silent Springs Arkansas was a seasoned thrill-seeker and trained skydiver on October 5th, 2005 - the day her parachute failed to deploy. Richardson veered off course and plummeted a stomach-churning 11,000 feet until a nearby parking lot broke her fall. Amazingly, Shayna survived.
Though a bit rough around the edges, Shayna walked away from the harrowing experience displaying no lasting signs of physical trauma.She was, however, diagnosed with a medical condition that would change her life forever. Shayna was pregnant.
After carrying her son to term with no unusual complications, Shayna is grateful for every second that she has with her family, and feels no need to test her luck with a parachute again any time soon. Most call Shayna's a tale of luck, others posit that she hit the ground at a favorable angle or that her mangled parachute still lowered her terminal velocity to a survivable 50 feet per second, but there will always be those who call this case nothing short of a miracle.
Charred remains sat smoldering in an otherwise largely undamaged room. What could have caused this mysteriously selective inferno?
Larry Arnold may not technically be a scientist, but he does know one thing: This case is an instance of spontaneous human combustion. He believes that tiny particles, dubbed "pyrotrons" fly through the universe at astounding speeds, with the potential energy to cause a localized explosion. Essentially, as these particles bob and weave between our protons and electrons they may accidently crash...and burn.
But Joe Nickel, Paranormal Investigator and Weird or What favorite, is dubious. Instead, he hypothesizes that seeming instances of spontaneous human combustion are, in fact, agonizingly slow, relatively weak smolderings that use the human body like a candle. With the clothing acting like a wick and our own body fat providing the fuel for the fire, a human body could be burnt to cinders without disturbing its surroundings, the radiant heat perhaps only melting nearby plastic. Even if this more mundane answer holds the truth, it's still most definitely Weird or What!
A Shocking Ability
Debbie Wolf believes that her body is able to disrupt electrical devices and even produce an amplified electric charge of its own. When she walks into a room, lights may flicker, the television may change channels, and appliances will begin to malfunction.
Electrical Engineer, William Beaty calls this strange ability "Street Light Interference," naming the individuals who exhibit it "Sliders." He believes that sliders charge their bodies by unwittingly stripping electrons off of the very air they breathe. But skeptics, argue that anyone storing electrical energy in this manner would fry themselves from the inside out.
Dr. Suwan Jayasinghe, a biophysics researcher, believes that a sliders' body acts like a capacitor, soaking up excess electricity to be released at a later date in a safe and manageable quantity. After testing Debbie, he was able to show quantifiable evidence that her electrical levels did indeed increase as her emotions became more volatile. While the resulting readings were above average for a human, he was not able to tease out a voltage capable of causing any real interference with the outside world. For now, this mystery remains simply weird or what.