Some folks can't help but wreck everything they touch. Their phone screen is cracked, their car only runs in reverse, and their insurance agent has night terrors. Sometimes they can't help it; it's just dumb luck. Other times, they drop the "luck" part. This goes out to all the poor stumblebums out there, and the valuable things they've accidentally destroyed.
Mother Nature had been working on the Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire, England for 100 million years before there were even dinosaurs ...
They might have survived the dinosaurs, but huge, oblivious, scaly beasts are nothing compared to the devastation wrought by your average teenager. Earlier this year, a group of unidentified youths were goofing around in the area, one thing led to another, and they wound up pushing one of the boulders off a crag. The rock was shattered in the fall. In a matter of seconds, they destroyed a minor miracle that had stood for 320 million years.
A team of geologists and other professionals has been sent in to study the damage more carefully and see if the formations could be healed in one way or another. It should only take about 300 million years.
In 2012, Russian businessman Dmitry Stroskin wanted to buy himself a historic chateau in the French countryside. After much deliberation, he fell in love with the sprawling yet rundown Chateau de Bellevue in the village of Yvrac. He intended to renovate the premises, but he was busy at the Russian business factory, so in the meantime, he hired a Polish construction crew and told them to knock down a small outhouse while he was out of town. The crew either misunderstood their instructions or had really expensive taste in outhouses, because they wound up bulldozing everything except the outhouse.
Stroskin returned to find that his prized historic chateau was now, uh, history. To make matters worse, absolutely every single villager in his home away from home was now angry as hell. Some locals believed that the whole thing was a scam and Stroskin had always intended to demolish the chateau -- including the mayor, who buried the site in investigations.
Three years and $1 million more than his budget later, Stroskin is still committed to painstakingly reconstructing the chateau. To be fair, it's hard to carry out dastardly deeds with the fuzz breathing down your neck. They kept such a close eye on Stroskin that in 2017, he got a hefty fine and a three-month suspended jail sentence for using the wrong sort of insecticide. If the villagers had found a shred of evidence that he deliberately destroyed the chateau, they'd have probably dusted off their guillotines.
Remember Monkey Jesus? That's what happens when well-meaning idiots try to restore works of art. You'd think people would've learned a valuable lesson about handing masterpieces over to dipshits, but the same thing happened again this year in the Basque town of Estella. The local priest approached an arts and crafts teacher from his parish and asked him to work on a 500-year-old wooden carving depicting the myth of St. George and the Dragon.
That's how we lost a valuable religious artifact and wound up with this confused, wall-eyed Disney prince:
The Spanish Conservationists and Restorers Association has pushed for the harshest possible framing of the incident, urging prosecutors to treat this as "a crime for damage against objects of cultural and historical value." But really, is being terrible at art a crime? It's times like this that we really need to stop and think: What would Bob Ross do?
The people running the cryptocurrency Ether installed a hefty patch in its software for the sole purpose of preventing the theft of millions of dollars. Unfortunately, said patch led to the accidental theft of millions of dollars.
A user known as "devops199" unwittingly triggered a bug in the patch while he was tooling around on the platform. To his surprise and horror, he soon found himself in control of every single wallet on the site, a cool $300 million in cryptocurrency. In a panic, he slapped at the screen, trying to undo the damage by deleting the code that had transferred him the funds. This ... didn't return the money. Instead, all those millions were lost forever. The deletion of the code locked all the wallets, and no one had a way to access them anymore.
You know what they say: Cryptocurrency is the future, and the future is as stupid and fragile as a glass platypus.
In 2010, 20-year-old David Smith and an unnamed minor went paintballing on a sacred Native American site in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. He has spent the ensuing years completely failing to explain why. Did every abandoned junkyard outside Las Vegas just up and disappear? Did they really want to meet a vengeful ghost? Whatever the reason, they ruined 38 areas containing petroglyphs (ancient images on rock faces) in the process. As it turns out, these were pretty meaningful to tribes in the area.
Smith says he thought the paint would be washed away by rain -- you know, in the notoriously wet Nevada climate. This actually would have been true if the paintballs he bought had been biodegradable, but instead the cheap crap he went with left behind oily stains which no one has yet been able to remove. Hopefully, Smith at least won the game.
When the TSA received world-famous pianist Krystian Zimerman's custom Steinway grand piano at JFK in 2002, they detained it because the glue smelled like a bomb to them. Rather than checking with the owner, or doing literally any research to determine whether the musical genius who owned it lived a double life as a terrorist, they just demolished the piano.
For the next four years, Zimerman only brought the parts of a piano when he traveled to the U.S., and had it assembled before concerts. But in 2006, he figured that lightning wouldn't strike twice and decided to push his luck. The TSA again detained his piano, but at least this time, they didn't destroy it. They just held it for five days. It took them that long to figure out that the same world-class musician who didn't bomb them in 2002 was also not trying to bomb them now. After all, what harm did it do? Just completely ruined his tour schedule. No biggie.
Before all this, Zimerman didn't have much to say about U.S. foreign policy, but after these debacles, he's become an outspoken critic. He even refuses to play in the United States now. We're not saying the TSA radicalized this generation's Mozart, but we're also not not saying that.
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