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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 15, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Local Sasquatch hunters, and other stuff you might have missed this week

The weirdest stories on seattletimes.com this week ran the gamut from mythical creatures up for debate to actual creatures out for a stroll.

It was also a week of extremes: record heat, record rainfall (thanks, nature!), and what are likely some of the highest Web traffic numbers a year-old Times story has ever gotten (thanks, Facebook!).

Read on for some of the strangest stuff we’ve published in the past week — and if you know of other bizarre stories, feel free to drop me a line: gcole@seattletimes.com, or @Gina_Cole_ on Twitter.

1 No assembly required: $100 robot builds itself

After a human installs batteries and motors, this paper robot gets up, folds itself into shape and walks away. (Image from the journal Science)

(Image from the journal Science)

“Transformers” are real, everybody.

OK, these aren’t nearly as big or as awesome as Transformers, but they’re a few steps in that direction… and when I say steps, I mean literal steps, because this thing can not only assemble itself, it can then get up and walk. Without a human telling it to.

Watch a video of it in action here.

In other robot news:

A robot bellhop is being tested at hotels. Hotel executives insist they don’t plan to use it to replace human bellhops.

– Three teen girls from Whidbey Island built an underwater robot from scratch. Now, they’re bringing it to Romania to compete against kids from all over the world — including some who are much older. Check out the story, more photos and a video of their robot.

Annika Hustad lowers her team’s robot into the waters of Saratoga Passage from the marina in Langley on Whidbey Island. This was its initial test. The team heads for an international competition in Romania this week. (Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Annika Hustad lowers her team’s robot into the waters of Saratoga Passage from the marina in Langley on Whidbey Island. This was its initial test. The team heads for an international competition in Romania this week. (Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

2 Snohomish believers: ‘You can’t say it’s not a Sasquatch’

Why hasn’t Sasquatch been captured on film? A Snohomish man says he’s “pretty sure” it’s because the creature can detect the light a night-vision camera emits.

Another Snohomish man said his experience hunting Sasquatch makes him able to tell when others are lying about having seen it. And he’s heard plenty such stories.

“If you’re not afraid to let people know you’re a nut, the reports start coming out of the woodwork,” he said.

Both call Snohomish County a hot spot for bigfoot sightings. (Yes, they mean bigfoot with a lower-case B — meaning the species, as opposed to one mythical being. Because if there were only one bigfoot? That would be ridiculous.)

“We’re just trying to get them to hang out with us,” they say. Check out the (Everett) Daily Herald’s story on their efforts here.

3 Something’s fishy here

This one is weird not so much because of the fish — sturgeons live in Lake Washington and, well, sometimes they die and float to the surface — but because of the timestamp. The Seattle Times published this story about a year ago, but it got a huge Web traffic resurgence this week, almost entirely from Facebook. It seems social media can raise the dead (dead stories, that is; the fish is still long gone).

In other — more recent — marine-life-spotting news, father and daughter spotted a rare 25-foot basking shark while fishing in Puget Sound. The daughter shared a photo with us:

A 25-foot basking shark was spotted in Puget Sound over the weekend. (Grace Coale)

(Photo courtesy of Grace Coale)

Maybe in a year, this story will resurface, too!

4 Woman revives reptile with CPR

Sherrie Dolezal holds Del Sol.  (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez / Statesman-Journal)

Sherrie Dolezal holds Del Sol. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez / Statesman-Journal)

When her great-grandson’s pet bearded dragon nearly drowned in his little swimming pool, an Oregon woman revived the critter with chest compressions and rescue breaths.

Reptile owners, would you do mouth-to-mouth on your pet’s lizard lips?

5 Wacky weather

The Seattle area broke a heat record and then a rain record in the span of three days.

Monday hit 96 degrees. Then, by early Wednesday morning, a major street in Bellevue looked like this:

Flooding on Factoria Boulevard Wednesday morning. (Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department)

Flooding on Factoria Boulevard Wednesday morning. (Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department)

6 Why did the chicken cross the road? Apparently, to block traffic.

I can’t help but feel worse for the police dispatcher than for the drivers delayed by this situation. The call starts like this:

Hi, um, this is actually not a prank call, but there is a chicken trying to cross the road in Linnton.

After a bit of back-and-forth, the poor dispatcher still isn’t quite sure what to make of it:

And you’re … is it … I mean … are, are people almost crashing because of it, or …?

Also, snaps to the police sergeant writing the report on this traffic incident. He noted that not only were police unable to locate the chicken — they “were unable to determine the chicken’s intent.”

Hilarious-cop-MU

This is comedian Matt Braunger. You can watch the clip this is from here, but be warned: like most comedians, Braunger uses some explicit language.

Comments | More in List, Roundups, Weird news | Topics: Bellevue, bigfoot, Chicken


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