We've covered some oddball stories in our time. Here are the weirdest of the weird.
1. Weird Animals in Weird Ley Line Weirdness (2005)
Over the previous few weeks, we'd reported on a big-cat sighting in Bexley, a crocodile-like turtle in the River Lea, and red-eared terrapins in Mill Hill. When yet another strange creature came to light, we decided to plot the occurrences on a map. The results were intriguing... if ruined by a needless barrage of puns. Read more.
2. Who Wrote Brooke Shields Alphabet? (2007)
This enigmatic graffiti was all over London in 2007. We know. We mapped it. As far as we're aware, nobody ever came forward or explained why this message was appearing on walls across the capital. Brooke Shields was asked for comment. She was aware of the phenomenon, but was as puzzled as everyone else. One of the great unsolved mysteries of London's history. Read more.
3. The Man with 17 Boxes of Tart Cards (2008)
Stephen Lowther has a strange hobby. Since the 1980s, he's collected every prostitute advertisement to appear on Euston Road. At the time of this interview, his collection filled 17 large boxes. Taken as a whole, the smutty cards offer an alternative social history, and reflect developments in home publishing. It is held at Wellcome Collection, should you wish to browse. Read more.
4. How Many Nipples are there in the National Gallery? (2011)
In the interests of academic scholarship, we counted the number of nipples (male and female) on display in the National Gallery. We then broke down the results by sex, nationality and century. Among our findings: there are many more male nipples on display, most of them belonging to one rather popular man-god. You can read the full results here.
5. and 6. The Mayoral Election in Dogs, and Knitted (2012)
We couldn't compete with the broadsheets for incisive coverage of the mayoral elections, but we had it covered in other ways. One article likened the four main candidates to different breeds of dog. Another featured a hand-knitted simulacra of the quartet. Read dogs. Read knits.
7. London's Top Six Truncated Hyperbolic Paraboloids (2015)
It was 2015, and listicles were all the rage. As a tonic to all the '7 best cupcake stalls' and '9 most amazing views', we thought we'd go for something a bit more niche. Number 4 will amaze you. Read more.
8. Drink Beer Brewed From Roald Dahl's Chair (2016)
Yes, you read that correctly. In 2016, experimental foody duo Bompas and Parr recovered samples of wild yeast from the chair of the children's author. From whence, beer. Read more.
9. 35 people left sex toys on the tube last year (2017)
We rose to the challenge, but couldn't get to the bottom of it. Read more.
10. A family tree of bollards (2017)
London's bollards come in a bewildering variety. We tried to make sense of it all with this family tree of street furniture. Read more.