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Phuket Weird World News: The littlest, the biggest and the not quite deadest

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: In this week’s Weird World News round-up we take a “peak” at a couple of neighbors, Nepal and China, as they dispute how big the mount really is, though there is no contest when it comes to who has the littlest wee man. Then China just gets strange as a gran comes back from the dead to do a little cooking.

From base to tip – how big is it?

HOW big it really is, is a question man has been asking since time before history, because everyone wants to know how big is the biggest, which has led Nepal to call for international donations in order to once and for all settle its dispute with China about how tall Mount Everest really is.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in1953 were the first of over 4,000 climbers to have scaled Everest, which straddles the Nepal-China border.

But the exact height of the mountain has become a point of contention between the two neighbors.

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, sets the peak at 8,848 meters, including the snow packed on top, as it was measured in 1954 by the Survey of India.

But in May 2005 China sent its own mountaineers and researchers to the summit and found that the rock height of the mammoth mountain was about 3.7 meters shorter than estimates made in 1954, coming in at 8,844.43 meters.

“We are doing the work of precise leveling for the height up to Namche bazaar [the gateway to Mount Everest] but we don’t have enough technical and scientific expertise or funds to measure the peak on our own,” Krishna Raj B.C., Director General of Nepal’s Department of Survey told Reuters.

Raj went on to explain that they were in the process of preparing a proposal to be submitted to potential donors in order to get the necessary international support for equipment and qualified researchers.

“We need the support and involvement of internationally known scientists so the findings are acceptable to the global community,” he said.

In 1999, an expedition by the National Geographic Society and Boston’s Museum of Science determined the mountain to be 8,850 meters tall, however that included the densely packed snow of the peak. They said they were unsure about the height of the rock peak.

Reports from some mountaineers who have recently scaled Mount Everest said the mountain’s glaciers are shrinking and portions of the trail leading to the summit are transforming from snowy to rocky.

Nepal: Shortest man never heard of tallest mountain

THOUGH Nepal and China might not agree on exactly how tall the tallest mountain in the world is, the Guinness World Record team has concluded that Nepal is again home to the world’s shortest man.

The previous record holder, a Filipino man aged 18 with a boastful stature of 59.69 centimeters took the title from Nepal last year, but has been undercut this week as 72-year-old Nepalese man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi, stepped up to the measure stick at 54.6 centimeters.

“The good news is that Chandra Bahadur Dangi is the world’s shortest living man,” Guinness Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday told reporters after measurements were taken.

“If he is really 72 years old he is the oldest person to be awarded the shortest-man record,” Glenday said, adding Dangi was also the shortest person ever measured by Guinness World Records.

From a remote part of Nepal, Dangi said he had never heard of the towering Mount Everest and was unaware of the world’s shortest-man record title, before a timber merchant visited his village and measured him up, Reuters reported.

The littlest man in the world has become a celebrity in Nepal and had the opportunity to take his first ride in an airplane as he headed to Rimkholi to meet the Guinness World Records officials.

“I am good. I feel happy,” Dangi said holding two framed certificates. “I want to travel around the world and spread the name of my country.”

Dangi, who said he had no desire to marry, is unsure when he stopped growing, and despite being the runt in a family of seven average-sized siblings, he had never been to a doctor.

Dangi mostly stays at home, needing assistance to move around, preparing head straps used by villagers to carry loads, Reuters reported.

Zombie grandma still has fire

SIX days after being found “dead”, a 95-year-old grandmother climbed out of her coffin in the village of Liulou China this week to make a little food.

Li Xiufeng was found motionless and not breathing in her bed by her neighbor Chen Qingwang when he brought her breakfast on February 17, reported The Mirror.

“No matter how hard I pushed her and called her name, she had no reactions,” Qingwang said.

“I felt something was wrong, so I tried her breath, and she has gone, but her body is still not cold,” he explained.

In accordance to custom, Xiufeng’s coffin was kept in her house for several days, so friends and relatives could pay their last respects.

The body of Xiufeng was placed in her coffin on February 19 by Qingwang and his son. However, they chose not to nail the coffin shut before the burial.

Just one day before the funeral, Qingwang arrived at Xiufeng’s house only to discover an empty coffin and Xiufeng’s body missing.

After searching for the corpse, the villagers were stunned to find Xiufeng sitting on a stool in her kitchen cooking.

“I slept for a long time. After waking up, I felt so hungry, and wanted to cook something to eat,” she told villagers.

“I pushed the lid for a long time to climb out,” she said.

It is believed that Xiufeng suffered an “artificial death”, during which a person has no breath, but their body remains warm.

“Thanks to the local tradition of parking the coffin in the house for several days, she could be saved,” The Mirror quoted a doctor at the county hospital as saying.

Despite getting to pass go and keep playing, Xiufeng did not get to collect 200 dollars, or any of her other belongings. In accordance with tradition, while she was considered a deceased person all of her possessions were destroyed by fire.

Remember to tune in next week for more of the Phuket Gazette‘s Weird World News round-up.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Songkhla

Nude Panda: naked food delivery man hit with 500 baht fine

Maya Taylor

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Nude Panda: naked food delivery man hit with 500 baht fine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Nude Panda? Rude Panda? Or NoodPanda? A man working as a food delivery driver in the southern province of Songkhla, has been filmed riding his motorbike while naked. 24 year old Botsin Dueanchamroon later handed himself in to police, explaining that he’d taken his clothes off due to “a personal problem”. The nature of the problem is not known, and police let Botsin go with a 500 baht fine.

The incident came to light after a video was posted on social media, showing a naked Botsin hurtling along on his motorbike, which had a food delivery bag on the back. The video has now been deleted. According to a 66 year old motorbike taxi driver, Bai Aumaoom, Botsin parked his bike in front of a local temple, removed his clothes, then got back on the bike and drove off.

He later returned and strolled around before putting his clothes back on. One woman who witnessed the spectacle says she was “sickened by the sight” and would not want to eat any food delivered by the man.

Social media response was mixed with most just inquisitive about his motives to ride “commando” with little (actually no) protection.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket

The Thaiger

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Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | The Thaiger

Divers in the Strait of Malacca have reportedly found what they believe to be a 77 year old US Navy wrecked submarine in what is seemingly the concluding piece in a tale from World War II. The divers are currently awaiting confirmation of the finding from the United States Naval History and Heritage Command for verification after sending photos and other evidence to be reviewed. Over a five month time period, the divers gathered evidence over six separate dives to substantiate their claims that the shipwrecked submarine is that of the USS Grenadier, one of the 52 American submarines lost during the conflict.

The Grenadier, weighing 1,475 tonnes and measuring 307 feet long, was found about 150 km south of Phuket, Thailand in the Strait of Malacca. Singapore-based Jean Luc Rivoire, Frenchman Benoit Laborie, Australian Lance Horowitz, and Belgian Ben Reymenants-all who live in Phuket made the discovery. Reymenants was also one of the divers who helped in the dangerous rescue mission of the 12 Thai young football players who became trapped in a cave with their coach 2 years ago.

The Belgian has made a habit out of searching for sunken vessels over the years and would enlist Rivoire’s help in underwater searches as he had a suitable boat.

History of the submarine’s sinking details the story of the boat’s crew abandoning ship after Japanese bombs nearly killed them undersea. However, the sailors were lucky as all 76 of its personnel reportedly survived the bombing and subsequent sinking, but their luck soon took a dark turn. After Japan took the crew as prisoners, they were allegedly tortured, beaten and nearly starved for more than 2 years with 4 reportedly succumbing to the ordeal.

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | News by The Thaiger

In this image taken from video, the top hatch of a conning tower can be seen from a submarine wreck somewhere in the Strait of Malacca on March 4, 2020. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of a U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. (Jean Luc Rivoire via AP)

The Belgian says he has been researching possible locations of shipwrecks for many years. When they dived to look at one captivating object, they found it was much larger than they had originally expected. Horowitz says once confirming the object’s size, they searched archives to find out which vessel it could be.

“And in the end, we took very precise measurements of the submarine and compared those with the naval records. And they’re exactly, as per the drawings, the exact same size. So we’re pretty confident that it is the USS Grenadier.”

However, the confirmation could take anywhere from 2 months to up to 1 year to complete. But its 77 year old history may make it well worth the wait.

The Grenadier set sail from Pearl Harbor on Feb 4, 1942 embarking on multiple missions while sinking 6 ships and damaging 2. Then, it took to the waters again on March 20, 1943 from Australia, on its 6th patrole to the Malacca Straight and Andaman Sea. One month later, a plane was sighted causing the ship to be ordered to crash dive. But it was too late. Blasts from 2 bombs attacked the sub, leaving important parts of the ship damaged.

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | News by The Thaiger

This Dec. 27, 1941, photo released by U.S. Navy shows USS Grenadier (SS-210) off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of the U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. Photo: United States Navy via AP

The next morning, the crew made plans to scuttle the submarine but was captured by an armed merchant ship and hauled off to Penang, a major port town in Malaysia. Fitzgerald says the crew landed in a Catholic school turned Japanese prison where they then began to become the recipients of alleged abuse.

“The rough treatment started the first afternoon, particularly with the (enlisted) men. They were forced to sit or stand in silence in an attention attitude. Any divergence resulted in a gun butt, kick, slug in the face or a bayonet prick. In the questioning room, persuasive measures, such as clubs, about the size of indoor ball bats, pencils between the fingers and pushing of the blade of a pen knife under the finger nails, trying to get us to talk about our submarine and the location of other submarines.”

He says after a few months, the sailors were transferred to camps in Japan where they saw 4 of their compatriots die from a lack of medical attention. Such a tale that has spurned from the Grenadier has Horowitz enthralled in its history and significance.

“This was an important ship during the war and it was very important to all the crew that served on her. When you read the book of the survivors, that was, you know, quite an ordeal they went through and to know where she finally lies and rests, I’m sure it’s very satisfying for them and their families to be able to have some closure.”

 

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News Desk

Mother, daughter run over by pickup truck in Pathum Thani

Jack Burton

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Mother, daughter run over by pickup truck in Pathum Thani | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

A mother and daughter were run over today by a pickup truck carrying furniture reversing down a busy road in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok. The shocking incident was caught on surveillance footage. The pair had stepped into the road and didn’t notice the truck creeping up on them from behind.

Fortunately, both mother and child survived. Poh Teck Tung Rescue Foundation told the Daily News they were taken to hospital with leg and rib injuries.

Comments, criticisms and shares have been many on Thai social media. Most blame the pickup driver, but others say the mother and daughter shouldn’t have been standing in the road and should have looked to their left. Still, others say they appeared to have been waiting for a bus and shouldn’t have stepped off the sidewalk at all.

Local police say that the driver clearly could not see behind him properly and was negligent.

They suggested he should fit his truck an additional mirror, or better yet not reverse down a busy road but go to a U-turn to get back to where he wanted.

They say they plan on inviting the driver in for a “chat” with the victims when possible.

SOURCE: thaivisa | Daily News

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