The great outdoors can be a mysterious place, and often we’ll come across something that’ll leave us scratching our heads. In this list we’ll go back over the top seven most bizarre outdoor mysteries of 2015. Some have already been solved, thanks to good old science and common sense. The jury is still out on the others.
Still, none of these hold a candle to some of the photos our trail cams get. Those are genuinely creepy.
Remember, when in doubt, don’t touch the potentially dangerous creature that looks like it’s straight out of a horror movie. And definitely don’t poke it with a stick.
1. Why does this wild pig have blue fat?
This wild hog was reportedly harvested by a hunter near Morgan Hill, California back in September. It appeared to be normal at first, but when the hunters cut it open, they discovered a layer of deep blue fat.
How did this happen? Is the pig still safe to eat? Some speculated that the pig was consuming chemicals containing blue dye, or perhaps it was exposed to bacterial infection. Others thought it may have been a genetic abnormality or contamination from nearby mercury mines. Of course, more amusing theories such as aliens or the pig drinking too much colored toilet water was also popular.
In the end, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife gave the best answer. Officials told OutdoorHub in an email that the blue color was likely caused by rodent poison or pesticides, which can change the color of pig fat after ingestion. Blue fat in pigs is seen occasionally in California and is often a result of the animals eating ground squirrel bait. Officials do not recommend eating meat from these animals.
Read more here.
2. Worm balls in Texas
Need bait? There’s plenty in Texas, especially after wildlife officials found “balls” of worms clumped together on a road in Eisenhower State Park in June. What is creepy here is that the balls appeared to have been evenly spaced from one another and in relatively straight line. Officials speculated that rains may have brought to worms to the surface, but had no idea why the creatures decided to group together in clumps.
Watch the worm ball in action below:
3. Hunters discover massive gash in the earth close to Yellowstone caldera
The first time we saw this photo we thought it was fake, too. In October, antelope hunters near Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains discovered this giant crack in the earth about 700 yards long and 50 yards wide. Since it occurred only 150 miles from the Yellowstone caldera, many speculated that it was a sign that North America’s most feared supervolcano was finally waking up.
Experts don’t think so, but what could’ve caused such a big split? Geologists believe that it was a natural movement called a slump. A slump happens when a mass of rock and other materials slide off a slope, much like an ice shelf calving. Experts say it is fairly normal.
You can read more about this here.
4. Strange lake ice object found in Utah
We still don’t know what this is. This video of a strange, almost fruit-like circle in the ice started trending on Facebook earlier this year and was reportedly filmed in Utah. Dotted with a number of slits in the ice, there are also floating “blobs” just under the surface that is slimy to the touch. According to the person that took this video, they looked like eggs.
Some people speculated that the circle was caused by Arctic jellyfish, ice fungi, or even Bryozoan blobs. Others thought it was caused by a thrown cup of coffee or something that fell out of a plane. We don’t know what it is, but if it showed up to our ice fishing hole, we would probably move.
We’ve all seen The Thing too many times to fall for that one.
You can watch a video of the object below:
5. A “naked” bear
What would you do if you saw a monster? When a bunch of Indonesian plantation workers an into this strange creature near the village of Sibu in January, they beat it with sticks. Despite its strange appearance, it turned out the animal was just a “naked” sun bear. A bad case of mange had caused it to lose its hair.
The bear was eventually tracked down and rescued. It was reportedly later transported to an animal rehabilitation center to be nursed back to health.
You can watch a video of the bear below:
6. Wait, that’s not Bigfoot!
Imagine you’re hunting in the same spot you’ve been hunting in for years. Suddenly, you hear a noise behind you. You turn around and see a human shaped figure hiding behind a tree.
“Hey, who are you?” you’d probably ask. “What are you doing on my hunting lease?”
Someone shouts back “I’m Bigfoot and I’m going to eat you.”
Wait, what? Bigfoot’s not real, you’d think as you watch a naked man emerge from behind the tree with a handsaw.
Oh. This just got much worse than your regular bigfoot stories.
This kind of a scenario happened to 58-year-old Jeff McDonald when he was hunting in Oregon. That encounter ended with McDonald fighting for his life after Linus Norgren tried to kill him because in young man’s words, “Sasquatch kills the hunter.” In March, a judge sentenced Norgren to 10 years in prison for the attack.
You can read more about this story here. You can also watch Norgren apologize in court below:
7. The “alien” of San Jose
Warning: the image below may be graphic to some viewers
After strange, moving lights passed over the San Francisco area in November, one resident said she found the corpse of an alien visitor on her lawn. The photos of the bizarre-looking body quickly went viral online, but after it was revealed that the lights in the sky were actually part of a US Navy test-firing, the story about the alien body quickly broke down.
Many of those who have seen the creature actually suspect it to be a deer or cow fetus. Additionally, the myth-busting website Snopes.com suggested that the photo was actually taken in Missouri, not the San Francisco area.