Friday, March 9, 2012

If setting a world record isn't enough for you... (Weird Sports)

You'd think that holding the world record for fresh water swimming would be enough to keep one man happy, but you'd be wrong. Just as everyone who wins the lottery needs to not just win the lottery but also needs to have an improbable story explaining how they won the lottery (Latest example of that: the Scottish kid who only realized he won the lottery after being told to clean his room. Zany! Also, false! But zany!), apparently world record holders now need a little something extra -- jimmies on top of the ice cream, if you will.

That, at least, is the explanation I give for why World Record Fresh Water Swimming Holder Tom Noblett claims he found a Loch Ness monster in a British lake:

Sightings of a creature not dissimilar to the Loch Ness Monster have caused a stir in the normally quiet waters of the Lake District. Local swimmer Tom Noblett, world record holder in fresh water swimming, thinks he was within feet of the creature whilst out for a morning swim. Photographer Linden Adams also claims to have seen the creature and has captured it on camera. The picture is now being analysed by experts in forensic visual computing.

(Source.) The picture supposedly taken by the photographer can be viewed in the video at this site, and from what I could see on the news report, Linden Adams took a series of photographs of a duck swimming,

but the BBC gave this the full-court forensic visual computing, where I imagine the process went something like this:

Since that story first came out, other people have seen "Bownessie,", which is what the creature has been named, proving that Brits are no more creative than we are at this naming thing. The awesomely-named Tom Pickles, IT specialist, near the end of a corporate team-building exercise, snapped this pic:

"Tom Pickles" is what I'd name a cat if I got one.

Said Tom Pickles: "I thought it was a dog." Apparently, scientists have ruled out that possibility, and scientists also say that the cellphone file photo of Bownessie is "too small" to analyze for tampering, important for you potential fraudsters to keep in mind out there: A cellphone picture cannot be analyzed for tampering.

No matter how much you enhance, apparently.

Tom Noblett, by the way, isn't a solo world record holder. He's part of a team called the "Windemere 12-way Warriors," and that link will take you to a recap of the record they set for fresh water continuous swimming in a relay (swimming 126 miles in 75 hours and 32 minutes.) They swam that back in May, 2011, so the evidence in favor of Bownessie is incontrovertible because it has been provided by a guy with a vested interest in publicizing Windemere and by a guy who is skillful with computers.

Fresh water swimming would likely be more difficult than salt water swimming, as salt water provides more support. I tried to find the world record for saltwater swimming but got distracted by the World Record for Largest Crocodile In Captivity:

About which: has anyone checked to see where that thing was when Tom Pickles was snapping cellphone pics? (The croc is Cassius, he lives in Australia, and he is 5.48 meters long, which is 17 feet, 11 3/4 inches in real measurements.)

Oh, and one other thing I forgot to mention until now that absolutely proves that "Bownessie" is real and Tom Noblett isn't just trying for some free publicity: Noblett owns a hotel in the area and as far back as September, 2010, was trying to use the hunt for Bownessie for publicity purposes. But back then, he was teamed with a psychic. Noblett's got nothing but the purest intentions for his search. As he told

He also hopes the mystery will help attract visitors to the Lakes – particularly after a ­recent decision to axe Cumbria’s £1.3million tourism budget.


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1 comment:

Grumpy Bulldog, March Madman said...

I don't think I want to go swimming in any British lakes. The thought of having some giant sea monster come up alongside me just freaks me right out. Almost as much as when I look at the Detroit River and think of swimming in it until I remember it's full of dead bodies, old cars, and probably rats (dead and alive). I'll stick to swimming pools, thank you very much.


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