Hilarious, but Strange Facts about London

London has a long history of its development as is evident from the discovery of foundations of buildings dating back to 4000 BC and the earliest Thames crossing near Vauxhall supposed to have been constructed around 1,500 BC. Its historical journey through several millennia reveals many interesting legends and urban myths. Given below are a few hilarious and lunatic tales about the city.

A Polar Bear’s Escapades in London: The King of England, Henry III received a polar bear as gift from the King of Norway in 1252 and Henry III used to make arrangements for the bear to go fishing in the Thames.  A muzzle, chain and a strong long chord were purchased by the Tower of London, which was the residence of the king, to ensure that the bear did not escape during these outings. The Tower had many other exotic animals also in its menagerie besides the bear such as free-roaming lions, leopards, elephants, ostriches and other primates. Accidents were not uncommon.

Jumping Jack – London’s Terror: A spring heeled fearsome man with clawed hands and eyes resembling red balls of fire, has been sighted off and on ever since the 1830s. One of this evil person’s abilities is or be able to jump to unimaginable heights that enables him to rise above fences and walls to make good his escape. He has also been seen in the form of a fire-breathing man with a devilish stance. One of his first victims was Mary Stevens, a girl who was attacked on Clapham Common in 1837 by Spring Heeled Jack who appeared mysteriously from a dark alley and attacked her, kissing her face and tearing off her clothes before running away from the scene. Such was his appalling countenance and his unbelievable leaping abilities that he soon became one of the famous characters of the Victorian era, making appearances regularly in papers and comics. He has been sighted in every decade even as late as in 2012.

The Black Sewer Swine of Hampstead: It was rumoured that in the Victorian era, a terrible clan of evil pigs was very active deep beneath the city streets running about in the waste paper pipes in north London shortly before fat-bergs and Ninja Turtles,. The origin of this rumour has been traced to a report that a sow fell into the newly built sewer system and then produced a litter of piglets. As pigs can survive on waste food, offal and other effluvia, these piglets started multiplying and becoming extremely violent. Although there have been warnings that pigs will up-root Highgate Archway and make Holloway intolerable with their grunting, there have been no sightings officially at any time.

Staying in a Kensington hotel is the wish of most tourists who come to London as they will be located in the posh area of Kensington, close to most attractions.

Pigeons Also Travel by the Tube: Some people say that pigeons also travel by the Tube, not merely by chance but deliberately. They purposely get into a carriage to reach a desired location. There was a BBC programme that was based on this issue in which a situation was created when a pigeon moves towards the door when the train slows down and in the background someone asks whether this is a new kind of evolution.

If Big Ben Strikes 13. Lions of Trafalgar Square Will Come to Life: There is an urban myth that in case Big Ben ever strikes 13, the four lions at the foot of Nelson’s Column will immediately come to life, creating havoc. These lions are depicted as to be quite ferocious as they are each 20ft long and over 11ft tall. Since these lions were installed in 1867, they must be quite hungry by now. The designer of the lions, Landseer, was believed to have the skill of painting pictures with both hands simultaneously.

The best way to enjoy your trip in London is to stay at Park Grand Kensington Accommodation as it offers utterly luxurious rooms with the best of facilities and a superb location.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets of Hendrix: Nowadays, plenty of rose-ringed parakeets are visible in south-west London at places like Clapham Common, Richmond Park and other west London parks. Around 60,000 breeding pairs are believed to exist across London as they have multiplied in recent years. It is also believed that Jimii Hendrix was the person who had released the original breeding pair on Carnaby Street in the late 1960s. A picture of Hendrix, who lived in a flat in Brook Street, Mayfair in the late sixties, shows him with a rose-ringed parakeet on his shoulder.

An Underground Train with Dead People: It is believed that an underground train, known as Whitechapel body train, supposedly used to transfer bodies from the overflowing morgues and hospitals to an unknown destination. It operated in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and ran between the Royal London Hospital and Whitechapel Tube station. This belief was strengthened by the fact that there was an outburst of diseases in the area and to cope with the large number of corpses the empty rooms beneath Whitechapel Tube Station were used as a temporary morgue.

If the Ravens at the Tower of London Fly Away, England Will Get Destroyed: There is a superstition that in case the famous ravens at the Tower of London fly away, the crown will fall along with England itself. As a result, even the authorities have become very careful as they have kept official captive ravens at the tower since the late 19th century. At present there are six of them and one more has been kept in reserve. Officially listed as soldiers of the British Kingdom, these ravens also have their individual attestation cards similar to the ones issued to human soldiers and human police. Winston Churchill had asked for their protection during World War II. There have been a few cases of desertion by the ravens such as in 1981 when a raven left the tower for a nearby pub after staying there for 21 years.

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