A vivid new look at the Tasmanian Tiger, a massive statue being relocated in China, and a jar of Elvis' hair that fetched a huge sum at auction were among the strange and unusual stories to cross our desk this week.
By far the strangest story of the week centered around Elvis Presley, specifically a jar of music icon's hair which sold for a jaw-dropping $72,500 at an auction. Collected by his personal barber, Homer Gilleland, as he traveled the world tending to The King's iconic pompadour, the item was part of a huge sale of similarly unique memorabilia that was held over the weekend. Described as the "most well-documented collection of Elvis' hair in the world," the weird object came with a slew of paperwork confirming its origins including testimonials from experts in both collectibles and, oddly enough, human hair. Perhaps the most puzzling question to arise from the sale is not who would buy a jar of Elvis' hair, but what they plan to do with it now that they own it.
The last remaining Tasmanian Tiger in captivity sadly passed away 85 years ago this week and, in recognition of the event which has since become National Threatened Species Day in Australia, the country's Film and Sound Archive released a remastered and colorized film of the extinct creature that is simply breathtaking. Originally shot in 1933 by naturalist David Fleay at the Beaumaris Zoo, the 35mm negative of the footage was subjected to an UltraHigh Definition 4K scan and then subsequently colorized by a world-renowned expert in the process over the course of more than 200 hours. The end result of the ambitious project provides an incredible glimpse of the creature that is unlike anything seen before.
A bizarre bit of bureaucracy out of China made news this past week as backlash over an enormous statue led to the country's national government ordering it to be relocated in a process that will wind up costing nearly as much as the piece itself. Located in the city of Jingzhou, the 190-foot-tall bronze statue of warrior-god Guan Yu has been the source of controversy since it was first built in 2016 for a whopping $26 million as it was seen as something of an eyesore to both residents and officials. In response to the furor, the Chinese government finally declared that the piece must be moved, leading to even more acrimony when it was determined that the state-mandated project will cost a staggering $23 million.
For more strange and unusual stories from the past week, check out the Coast to Coast AM website.