This year has been full of bizarre stories on Culture24, here's ten of the best from 2013...Bompas and Parr’s Tutti Frutti boating lake at Kew
Everyone’s favourite fans of foodie frivolity returned with perhaps the most bizarre interactive installation of the year, arching Kew’s skyline with a giant pineapple and inviting visitors to row into a banana grotto. The escapade honoured edible fruit.
© Ann Charlott Ommedal
Silicon-filled Neanderthals and homo sapiens at the Natural History Museum
Under the cover of darkness, two intense inhabitants of next year’s Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story show moved in. This powerful pair, based on DNA samples and a skeleton found in a Belgium cave, will be seeing you in 2014.
© Natural History Museum
Fifteen containers of 103-year-old carrots, peas, asparagus and cherries arrive at the Beamish
Darlington deli-man Fred Reeks won multiple awards for his fruit and vegetables during the early 20th century. “To think those peas are more than 100 years old and still have their colour,” said Hilary Hopkins, Reeks’ granddaughter, donating these sugar-preserved relics to the Beamish.
© Courtesy Beamish Museum
Richard III’s body was infected with roundworms
A distinctly less palatable side of the Richard III story: taking samples from his pelvis, archaeologists reckoned the parasite eggs would have hatched into larvae, passed through the king's tissues and matured in his lungs before crawling up his airways to be re-swallowed. Once back in their unwitting carrier's intestines, they would then grow into adult worms of up to a foot in length.
© University of Leicester
Gardener makes a giant courgette version of HMS Alliance
Eric Rayment is part of the team ably assisting the £7 million conservation project on Gosport’s mighty HMS Alliance. His own project was just as ambitious: working with materials found under his courgette foliage, he installed a vegetable version of the submarine right next to it. “I couldn’t help but think it looked like a nuclear submarine,” he reasoned.
© Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport, Hampshire
Eco-artist to spend a year in a giant egg
“The Exbury Egg is a necessary intervention in the landscape,” said Stephen Taylor, perched near a hammock in his temporary, energy-efficient home from September. Taylor’s findings from his River Beaulieu residency will be used by oceanography researchers at the University of Southampton.
© Nigel Rigden
Gilbert and George issue Ten Commandments
Stellar advice from the provocative art pairing here. Sex, soul, love and artificial art were all advocated to students at Plymouth University, where the duo were given Honorary Doctorates in Art.
© Alan Stewart
John Travolta visits Leighton Buzzard Railway
A leafy heritage railway might seem an unlikely setting for a man associated with greased lightning. But having apparently seen a leaflet in his hotel, Travolta escorted his son on a 70-minute round trip before a low-key photoshoot. “They were satisfied with what they saw,” organiser Mervyn Leah reported of the star’s minders.
© Courtesy Leighton Buzzard Railway
Call for Ai Weiwei remainders results in 10-pound seed bag donation
Having toured internationally, it stood to reason that some of artist Ai Weiwei’s signature seeds might have been pocketed by passing fans. But when a New York enthusiast sent a mass of them to a Bexley exhibition, it eclipsed the previous record of returns – 13 – by a mind-boggling margin.
© Bexley Heritage Trust
Thomas Knights goes red-hot ginger
From Christina Hendricks to Prince Harry, redheads need take no nonsense anymore. Artist Thomas Knights – who grew up ashamed of his auburn barnet – seized on this in a sexy show presenting ginger sitters as the ultimate alpha males.
© Thomas Knights
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