Earlier this month we reported on a sad incident on a French beach in which a horse and rider fell into decomposing green algae. Toxic gasses produced by the seaweed killed the horse almost immediately, while the rider was pulled to safety, narrowly avoiding the same fate. Read the story.   Sir Glitter, horse that died of toxic algae gas

At right, a photo of the horse, Sir Glitter, provided by his owner/rider.

Now an Associated Press report is adding quite a bit to the picture, including the hows and whys of the dangerous algae gas.

A quick excerpt:

"The horse is only the latest victim of the algae's noxious fumes. A man was found dead on the same beach two decades ago, his arm sticking out from a pile of algae. Another man fell into a four-day coma after cleaning algae 10 years later. And last year, two dogs died while romping on an algae-covered beach 60 miles to the east.

"At Grandville beach, where the dogs died, putrefying algae has turned the sand to blackened silt, spotted with green swampland and white crusty clumps of algae in decay. The stench of hydrogen sulfide hangs heavy in the area, where people occasionally show up to gawk at the ruined beach."

Read more about the algae and hydrogen sulfide.  


Quick weird story: a few days ago, one of the girls at my boarding stable was riding when a neighbor went up in his ultralight. This particular contraption looks like a hang glider with a seat, propelled by a large ducted fan. Its parachute/wing thing flaps in the breeze and it sounds like a big horsefly. It looks sort of like this.  

He doesn't get much altitude, so riding while he's flying can quickly become more exciting than intended, should he come in for a low pass.

Or should the propeller fall off.

No joke - he was flying over the field next door when the fan/propeller dropped off and fell from the sky. He glided to safety in a front yard and the mare (bless her) miraculously kept her wits about her.

What's the craziest thing that's happened while you're riding?