In Brief

Man nearly dies after inserting live eel ‘to cure constipation’

And other stories from the stranger side of life

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A man who had to have a 15-inch long eel removed from his innards said he had inserted it into his anus to try to cure his constipation. It turned out that the unorthodox method wasn’t a winner: the live eel tore a hole through the man’s bowels, leaving him close to death. Doctors at Dongguan Huangjiang Hospital in Guangdong in China were able to save the man’s life but the eel did not live to tell the tale.

New Yorker in penis statue protest  

A New York man embroiled in a local planning dispute has been arrested for erecting a huge penis-shaped statue on his lawn. After local authorities told Jamie Gange his plans for a new workshop were not up to standard, he carved a 7ft log of pine wood into a phallus and placed it in his front garden. He says: “I just want to live in peace and finish my workshop.”

Scientists bottle smells of books 

The Institute of Digital Archaeology is capturing smells from antique books dating back as far as the 13th century. Odours emerging from the various tomes have been described as “moist white bread” and “white socks”. A researcher said reading is a multi-sensory process: “The feel of the pages, the smell of the book, the sound of the pages turning, all of those things factor into the experience.”

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