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‘Alien’ gargoyle on ancient Paisley Abbey

The gargoyles on the 850-year-old abbey only date back to the 1990s

A gargoyle on a historic 13th Century abbey has caused a social media sensation with its resemblance to the monster from the Alien films.

A photograph of the gargoyle at Paisley Abbey, which looks like one from the 1980s movie, has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter.

Reverend Alan Birss said most of the gargoyles were replaced during a refurbishment in the early 1990s.

He thinks that one of the stonemasons must have been having a bit of fun.

Mr Birss, minister at the abbey, said that 12 medieval gargoyles which had been on the abbey for hundreds of years had to be taken down in 1991 because they had “crumbled and were in a very bad state”.

The purpose of the grotesque figures was to take rain water away from the roof in the days before down pipes.

Just one of the original gargoyles was left outside the abbey to show how they would have looked, although there are medieval grotesques inside the building.

another paisley gargoyle The stonemason created 12 new gargoyles

Mr Birss said a stonemason from an Edinburgh firm was contracted to create the new gargoyles.

“I think it was a stonemason having a bit of fun,” he said.

“Perhaps the film was fairly new when they were carving this and if he was thinking of an alien perhaps the alien from the film was his idea of an alien.

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The Pharaoh’s Snake

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Like something out of Alien, the Pharaoh’s Snake is one of many strange chemical phenomena.

Any high school kid who showed an interest in chemistry, knows that if you burn ammonium dichromate, you get a mini-volcano to melt your plastic dinosaurs:

But what happens if you burn Mercury(II) thiocyanate?

It looks like something straight out of Alien… with soundtrack.

It is a stable solid at room temperature that has the appearance of white powder with chunks.

Mercury thiocyanate was formerly used in pyrotechnics causing an effect known as the Pharaoh’s serpent or Pharaoh’s snake. When the compound is in the presence of a strong enough heat source, a rapid exothermic reaction is started which produces a large mass of coiling serpent-like solid. An inconspicuous flame which is often blue but can also occur in yellow/orange accompanies the combustion. The resulting solid can range from dark graphite grey to light tan in color with the inside generally much darker than the outside.Wikipedia

Warning: The gases released are highly toxic!

The Voynich Manuscript

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The Voynich manuscript, one of the most mysterious writings ever found – penned by an unknown author in a language no one understands.

The Voynich Manuscript

This tome makes the “DaVinci Code” look downright lackluster: Rows of text scrawled on visibly aged parchment, flowing around intricately drawn illustrations depicting plants, astronomical charts and human figures bathing in – perhaps – the fountain of youth. At first glance, the “Voynich manuscript” appears to be not unlike any other antique work of writing and drawing.

An alien language: But a second, closer look reveals that nothing here is what it seems. Alien characters, some resembling Latin letters, others unlike anything used in any known language, are arranged into what appear to be words and sentences, except they don’t resemble anything written – or read – by human beings.

Secrecy is sometimes associated with alchemy, and so it would be consistent with that tradition if the knowledge contained in the book was encoded. What we have are the drawings. Just look at those drawings: Are they botanical? Are they marine organisms? Are they astrological? Nobody knows.”

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