It’s Just Plain Weird: A Snollygoster, Coastal Kangaroos, & More



Here’s a word I’m betting you have never come across—SNOLLYGOSTER. As of February 2017 it has been reinstated into the Collegiate Merriam Webster Dictionary. Isn’t that just plain weird?

It had been taken out in 2003 because it was thought that no one used it.

What does it mean? It is a noun and considered slang and refers to a clever but dishonest person.

It originated in the American South around the 1850s and was sometimes used to describe politicians. People who study how words come about believe it originated from the word SNALLYGASTER which describes an imaginary creature who was half reptile and half bird that was said to prey on children and chickens.

So be careful not to confuse a snollygoster with a snallygaster!

A SNALLYGASTER is a cryptid or a mythical creature similar to the Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti or Sasquatch. This one is thought to roam Western Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania and the word is believed to come from the German phrase “schneller geist” meaning quick spirit.

Kangaroos on the Coast

Woodgate Beach in coastal Queensland is home to about 1,000 people—and a population of eastern grey kangaroos. Drought in the surrounding park land has caused the roos to migrate to the lawns and the beaches of this seaside town.

What is also remarkable is that the townspeople and the kangaroos seem to coexist quite happily.

Kangaroos can be vicious and have been known to attack people, but when fights between roos break out in Woodgate, the local inhabitants know to keep clear.

Operation Icebridge

Operation Icebridge is an ongoing NASA mission to observe and measure the ice at the poles. NASA uses airplanes and satellites to measure and monitor changes. Among their more unusual recent observations are:

Rectangular Icebergs

This October, flying over the northern Antarctic Peninsula, Jeremy Harbeck spotted a tabular iceberg. A tabular iceberg occurs when a large strip of ice breaks off, or calves, from an ice shelf. They have steep vertical sides and a flat top. The most unusual aspect of this one is that it appears to a perfect rectangle.

It is thought that this broke off the Larsen C ice shelf which last year calved an enormous iceberg about the size of Delaware.

Meteor Crater

Another recent discovery was a huge meteor impact crater under the ice in northwest Greenland. It was measured at 19 miles wide and 1,000 feet deep. Ice-penetrating radar helped the scientists make the discovery.


B-46 doesn’t sound like much of a name—but to those in the know who have seen it say it is a giant iceberg that broke off the Pine Island Glacier in late October. NASA estimates the surface area to be 66 square nautical miles. In the photograph you can just see the shadow of the aircraft in the bottom left corner.

Learn some more just plain weird facts here!