Devil’s Bridge or Die-Rakotzbrücke in Germany. The Devil’s Bridge (Rakotzbrücke) was built almost 150 years ago, back in 1860. Because of the unique construction accuracy, the bridge and its reflection merge into a perfect circle, regardless of the point of observation. Devil’s Bridge is a term applied to dozens of ancient bridges, found primarily in Europe. Most of these bridges are stone or masonry arch bridges and represent a significant technological achievement. Each of the Devil’s Bridges has a corresponding Devil-related myth or folktale.
Megatherium: The Great Beast
Imagine a sloth as tall an elephant and as heavy as one too, and you’re imagining the Megatherium—a genus of enormous ground sloths. They roamed Central and South America from the late Pliocene period (1.9 million years ago, after the decline of the dinosaurs) to as recently as the Holocene period (8,000 years ago, at the dawn of human civilisation). Fossils have been found from as far north as Texas to as far south as Argentina, and reconstructions show that the Megatherium were built extremely robustly: they had enormous claws, weighed almost 4 tonnes, and stood up to 6 metres tall (three times as high as a tall human!). In size, they were exceeded by only a few other land mammals such as mammoths, so they were undoubtedly one of the most impressive animals to walk the Earth. Their huge claws prevented them from putting their feet flat on the ground, so they must have walked like an anteater—on the sides of their feet. It’s believed that they were primarily herbivores, using their huge claws to reach up into the trees and drag down branches to crush in their powerful jaws, but evidence also suggests they supplemented their diet with meat too, feeding out of opportunity rather than hunting themselves—scavenging carcasses, perhaps by using their brawn to drive predators away from their kills. Their closest living relatives are tree sloths.
I had forgotten how much I love spumoni.
Unable to hatch a plan I feel comfortable with, I decide to go with the first one that popped into my head. I wait for the enormous thing to find me.
Thankfully, I don’t have to wait long.
A tree crashes down behind me and there is a loud, metallic grinding noise. And then an unearthly roar. I turn around to see an absurdly large Megatherium staring at me.
Granted, being stuck in a distant jungle does pose many questions. And the answers to these questions are probably something that will be unknowable to my person. Accepting this and moving is usually the best course of action. But in this cloud of unknowables, I did not expect to find myself under the hateful glare of an extinct Giant Sloth(and unreasonably large at that).
Thrown for a loop, I can’t help and marvel at the unique doom I’ve managed for myself. Alas, my revery would be cut short as the Megatherium swiped at me. I rolled in the most awkward fashion out of the way. Popping up, I remembered the plan.
Despite what I thought was somewhat of a “wildcard” move, the Megatherium wasn’t too thrown off by my charge. It bellowed and lunged towards me.
Now. I’m the sort of person who is basically manic when it comes to these sorts of scenarios. If you give me an option to manifest an object or a “hyper” sense out of thin air for myself I will always do one of two things. 1) Pick something super-practical. Maybe a book telling me how to survive the jungle or a heightened sense of smell. Or, 2)…I do this:
Seeing that I have mere seconds before my Slothy death, I unleash my surprise on this poor, hapless, extinct megafauna. I let loose my Super-Flatulence.
Poor guy never knew what hit him(and it’s probably better that way).
In an instant, his olfactory nodes were overwhelmed with a noxious level of methane and other unsavory gases. It’s brain did the only thing it could to survive. It shut down. The Megatherium collapsed to the ground, unconscious.
And from here on out, my story becomes less involved(because, well, because.) I waited for the chap to come to. And once he did, I began “training” him. We entered into a sort of symbiotic relationship. He didn’t squash me. I didn’t gas him. I do my best to find other ways to assist him, since he’s kinda doing me a solid by proxy-protecting me from the other nasties of this jungle.
Yes. I understand the plan was to escape said jungle. And that day may still come. But for now, I fart to survive.