Whale tail sculpture saves Dutch metro train

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A general view of a metro that crashed through a stop block and landed on an artwork of a whale tail at De Akkers subway station in Spijkenisse, near Roterdam, Netherlands, November 2, 2020. (Reuters)
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The whale’s tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo)
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The whale’s tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo)
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A general view of a metro that crashed through a stop block and landed on an artwork of a whale tail at De Akkers subway station in Spijkenisse, near Roterdam, Netherlands, November 2, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 02 November 2020

Whale tail sculpture saves Dutch metro train

  • The front carriage was left hanging 10 meters above the water, propped up only by the giant silver-colored sculpture — called, improbably, “Saved by the Whale’s Tail”
  • The sculpture was built around 20 years ago in a park underneath the raised metro, its name a deliberate play on the fact that it is a “tail track” at the end of the line

SPIJKENISSE, Netherlands: A Dutch metro train was saved from disaster Monday when it smashed through a safety barrier but was prevented from plummeting into water by a sculpture of a whale tail.
The driver of the train, who was the only person on board, was unharmed in the incident which happened just after midnight at Spijkenisse, near the port city of Rotterdam.
The front carriage was left hanging 10 meters (30 feet) above the water, propped up only by the giant silver-colored sculpture — called, improbably, “Saved by the Whale’s Tail.”
“The metro went off the rails and it landed on a monument called Saved by the Whale’s Tail. So that literally happened,” Carly Gorter of the Rijnmond regional safety authority told AFP.
“Because of the whale’s tail the driver actually was saved, it’s incredible.”
The driver was later held for questioning, the safety authority said. The cause of the crash was still being investigated.
The sculpture was built around 20 years ago in a park underneath the raised metro, its name a deliberate play on the fact that it is a “tail track” at the end of the line.
It features two large whale tails poking out of the water, one of which saved the train.
A team of experts, including the architect of the sculpture, was now on site to work out how to safely remove the train.
“The problem is it’s water around it, so a crane isn’t able to get there,” said Gorter.
“We have a lot of wind at the moment and that’s one of the issues that we’re facing, that’s a risk and worry.”


Mysterious monolith in US desert reportedly disappears

Updated 24 min 28 sec ago

Mysterious monolith in US desert reportedly disappears

  • The shiny, triangular pillar was spotted on November 18 by baffled local officials
  • Some observers pointed out the object’s resemblance to the avant-garde work of John McCracken

LOS ANGELES: A mysterious metal monolith found in the remote desert of the western United States, sparking a national guessing game over how it got there, has apparently disappeared, officials said.
The Bureau of Land Management in Utah said Saturday it had received “credible reports” that the object had been removed “by an unknown party” on Friday evening.
The bureau “did not remove the structure which is considered private property,” it said in a statement.
“We do not investigate crimes involving private property which are handled by the local sheriff’s office.”
The shiny, triangular pillar which protruded some 12 feet from the red rocks of southern Utah, was spotted on November 18 by baffled local officials counting bighorn sheep from the air.
After landing their helicopter to investigate, Utah Department of Public Safety crew members found “a metal monolith installed in the ground” but “no obvious indication of who might have put the monolith there.”
News of the discovery quickly went viral, with many noting the object’s similarity with strange alien monoliths that trigger huge leaps in human progress in Stanley Kubrick’s classic sci-fi film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Others remarked on its discovery during a turbulent year that has seen the world gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic, and optimistically speculated it could have a different function entirely.
“This is the ‘reset’ button for 2020. Can someone please press it quickly?” joked one Instagram user.
“Somebody took the time to use some type of concrete-cutting tool or something to really dig down, almost in the exact shape of the object, and embed it really well,” Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety told the New York Times.
“It’s odd,” he added. “There are roads close by, but to haul the materials to cut into the rock, and haul the metal, which is taller than 12 feet in sections — to do all that in that remote spot is definitely interesting.”
Some observers pointed out the object’s resemblance to the avant-garde work of John McCracken, a US artist who lived for a time in nearby New Mexico, and died in 2011.
His son, Patrick McCracken, told the Times recently that his father had told him in 2002 that he would “like to leave his artwork in remote places to be discovered later.”
Although officials had refused to disclose the object’s location out of fear that hordes of curious sightseers would flock to the remote wilderness, some explorers had been able to track it down.
Instagram user David Surber said he trekked to the monolith using coordinates posted on Reddit.
“Apparently the monolith is gone,” he posted later.
“Nature returned back to her natural state I suppose. Something positive for people to rally behind in 2020.”