If you've ever felt puzzled by the lack of similarities between polo and water polo, you're not alone; clearly, one inventor from the 1930s thought that the latter could benefit from the inclusion of ponies. As silly as it looks, the idea wasn't entirely unprecedented, nor was it original (two decades earlier, we covered an aquatic polo pony powered by a simple crank and gear). The era's growing demand for novelty sports, aided by the growing sophistication of mechanical gear, sparked trends that involved everything from motorized water horses to rowboat-inspired race cars.
Ballooning isn't exactly rocket science, apparently. A NASA balloon launch in the Australian outback turned calamitous today as a gondola carrying two rather expensive telescopes came loose from its carrier balloon, destroying the astronomical experiments and nearly wiping out a couple of local onlookers.
Video captured at the Alice Springs Balloon Launching Center in northern Australia shows the balloon initiating liftoff just before the gondola drops from its carriage to the ground. But the instruments were still partially tethered to the airborne balloon, which proceeded to drag the research platform through a fence and into a parked SUV, which will be needing some body work, as you can see in the video below.