WTF Fun Fact 13531 – Gef, The Talking Mongoose

Have you ever heard a talking mongoose? Of course not. But you may have heard of one. His name is Gef.

In the annals of strange occurrences and unsolved mysteries, few tales captivate the imagination quite like that of Gef the Talking Mongoose, a mysterious entity that reportedly haunted a farmhouse on the Isle of Man in the 1930s.

Some called it a spook-weasel, others a poltergeist—Gef was unlike anything anyone had ever encountered. This story combines elements of folklore, psychology, and the paranormal, and despite investigations, it has resisted a definitive explanation for nearly a century.

A Farmhouse Stirred by Strange Sounds

The story begins in 1931 when the Irving family—James, Margaret, and their daughter Voirrey—began hearing eerie sounds in their isolated home, Doarlish Cashen, near the village of Dalby. The noises included scratching, rustling, and even what could only be described as vocalizations.

Convinced they had a rodent problem, they set up traps, to no avail.

The Mongoose Appears

But then, the situation escalated. The entity—whatever it was—began to mimic the family’s speech patterns, imitating a child learning to talk. Before long, it was speaking in full sentences.

Named “Gef,” the entity claimed to be a mongoose born in New Delhi in 1852, who had survived a life fraught with danger, including being “shot at by Indians.”

Soon, Gef was having full conversations, especially with Voirrey. Incredibly, he claimed to speak multiple languages, including Russian, Manx, Hebrew, Welsh, Hindustani, Flemish, Italian, and Arabic.

Gef, The Talking Mongoose

Only Voirrey claimed to have seen the critter, describing him as the size of a small rat with a bushy tail and yellow fur. Gef was reportedly so camera-shy that he avoided being photographed. He soon became a part of the Irving family’s life, allegedly visiting neighbors and even relaying gossip back to the family, further perplexing the community.

According to the family, Gef could shape-shift and turn invisible, attributes that helped him go unnoticed on his adventures. Convenient!

As Gef’s fame spread, journalists and paranormal investigators sought to witness this phenomenon firsthand. Harry Price, a noted psychic investigator, and R.S. Lambert, the then editor of BBC magazine ‘The Listener,’ visited the Irvings to study Gef.

Upon their arrival, however, Gef became “invisible.” Harry Price examined samples of fur and paw prints provided by the family but was skeptical about their authenticity, finding them more likely to be from the family dog than any known mongoose or weasel.

The Disappearance of Gef The Talking Mongoose

Eventually, as the 1930s wore on, Gef vanished from the public eye as interest waned. Some speculate that Voirrey, who was known for her ventriloquism skills, was behind the elaborate hoax, despite her denials.

The general consensus was that Gef was either a family joke that went too far or a deliberate hoax. However, there are still those who believe the tale points to unexplained phenomena or poltergeist activity.

Despite the skepticism and the lack of definitive evidence, Gef has earned a permanent spot in the annals of British folklore and paranormal history. Whether a product of human psychology, an elaborate joke, or an actual paranormal entity, the story continues to fascinate and puzzle talking mongoose enthusiasts.

What do you think? Was he a figment of a lonely girl’s imagination, a hoax perpetuated by a family for reasons unknown, or something more unexplainable?

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Source: “We’re Proud To Introduce Gef, The Talking Mongoose That Mystified A Nation” — IFL Science

WTF Fun Fact 13260 – Tornados Produce Infrasound

Tornados can produce a sound that most humans can’t hear but may still react to negatively. Known as “infrasound,” the low-frequency noise is below frequency range of human hearing, typically less than 20 hertz. (The typical range for human hearing runs from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (20 kHz).) Tornadoes produce infrasound when strong winds vibrate the ground and nearby objects, such as buildings and trees.

Tornados and infrasound

While the sound itself is not audible to the human ear, it can still have an effect on the body. Some people report feeling a sense of unease or even fear when they are in the presence of a tornado, and researchers believe that the infrasound may be partially responsible for this phenomenon.

Interestingly, the infrasound produced by tornadoes is similar to the sound produced by some musical instruments, such as pipe organs and bass drums. In fact, some composers have used the infrasound produced by tornadoes and other natural phenomena in their musical compositions. While the sound of a tornado may be unsettling to some, it is a fascinating example of the power and complexity of nature.

Do other phenomena produce infrasound?

Exposure to infrasound has been reported to cause both physiological and psychological effects. People have reported nausea, dizziness, headaches, and anxiety after being exposed to infrasound. It has also been linked to a range of paranormal and supernatural experiences, such as ghost sightings and feelings of unease in haunted places even if people can’t actually hear the noise.

Infrasound is also produced by other natural and man-made sources. These include earthquakes, ocean waves, thunderstorms, large machinery, air conditioning units, and some types of music.

Many animals are known to use infrasound for communication and navigation. Infrasound is also being studied for its potential therapeutic applications, such as reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.

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Source: “Infrasonic Detection of Tornadoes and Tornadic Storms” — NOAA

WTF Fun Fact 12446 – Lady Gaga’s Ghost

While we don’t quite know when or why “Ryan” the ghost chose Lady Gaga to haunt, it seems plausible that rumors of her purchase of machinery to detect him is true based on past interviews.

Apparently, Ryan followed Gaga around wherever she went, which she found pretty “annoying.” She tried contacting a medium to stage a séance and communicate with him, but apparently, that wasn’t enough.

Now, granted, if we were convinced we had a pestering ghost, we’d probably try to get rid of it too. But we don’t exactly have Lady Gaga’s funds, so we’d have to pass on the $50,000 state-of-the-art Electro Magnetic Field meter. We’re not sure if that got rid of Ryan, but sources also told celebrity news magazines that she would have a team of paranormal investigators on hand to assess each concert venue she was about to perform in.

Frankly, we’d like to know more about what they thought they found. How many ghosts hang out at Madison Square Garden, for example?

Lady Gaga is also rumored to believe that she’s is the reincarnated spirit of a dead aunt.
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Source: “Lady GaGa calls in the ghostbusters” — Glamour