The Strand Magazine/Volume 4/Issue 20/The Queer Side of Things
The Queer Side of Things.
REAKS of vegetables, especially of turnips, radishes, parsnips, and the like, have probably been observed from time to time by most people, though very rarely in such distinct and striking forms as in these instances, which have been recorded in old prints.
The radish, which we give first, grew in a sandy soil at Haarlem, more than two hundred years ago, and was painted in fac-simile by Jacob Penoy, one of whose friends presented the picture to Glandorp in the year 1672. This picture was engraved by Kirby, showing the root exactly as we reproduce it here. Nor is this the only instance in which the root of a radish has taken this particular form, as another, exactly resembling a human hand, with fingers and thumb complete, was possessed by Mr. Bisset, Secretary to the Birmingham Museum, in 1802.
Our second illustration represents a parsnip, which also strikingly resembles a hand, but in a different position, as it appears to be grasping another root. This oddity was sold by a market woman in the ordinary course of business, and was passed from hand to hand as a curiosity until it came into the possession of an engraver, who made the drawing of it which we give.
The last of our illustrations is a turnip with a face, a plumed head-dress, body, arms, and a number of intertangled legs, like those of some sea-monster, "ending in snaky twine." This root grew in a garden in the village of Weiden, in Germany, in 1628, the fact being recorded in the curious columns entitled "Miscellanea Academiæ Naturæ."
If any of our readers should come across any "Vegetable Oddities" of this kind, we shall be pleased if they will send them to us for inspection, so that, if they are sufficiently curious, we may illustrate them in these pages.
The above illustration gives a most curious result of a locomotive boiler explosion in Norway some time ago. The two engines were standing end to end on the same pair of rails, when the boiler of one exploded, lifting it bodily in the air, at the same time turning it over, till it fell on the adjacent engine, as shown in sketch, which was taken from a photograph.