Tall Tales

Indian villagers pray to ‘Goddess Corona’

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Transit of Venus seen in New Delhi, India

Residents of an Indian village have erected a shrine to “goddess corona” and are offering her prayers in a bid to beat the deadly virus. Devotees in Shuklapur village, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, have also been offering holy water, and flowers at the bright yellow shrine where they have placed their idol of “Corona Mata”. The numbers have dropped in the village and are now sharply lower than they were at the height of the pandemic.

Fishermen swallowed and spat out by whale

A lobster fisherman in the US says he was almost swallowed up by a humpback whale. Michael Packard escaped with severe bruising to his legs after being accidentally engulfed by the feeding humpback off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The 56-year-old was 45 feet (almost 14 metres) below the ocean’s surface when he suddenly “felt this huge bump and everything went dark”. He says he thought he was going to die before the whale spat him out.

Ed Sheeran school video up for auction

A home video of a teenage Ed Sheeran singing in a school production of Grease is going up for auction. The two hours of footage shows Sheeran as a 15-year-old playing the character Roger or ‘Rump’. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather has high hopes for a significant sum. He said: “Over the last year or so we’ve seen an exponential increase in interest for memorabilia and collectables relating to contemporary artists, especially Ed Sheeran.”

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