Teenager whose face was burnt off in aerosol explosion regains his skin... but loses all his freckles

A schoolboy who was turned into a 'human fireball' when an aerosol can exploded in his face during a camping trip has made a miraculous recovery.

Aiden Kelly suffered horrific burns when the pressurised can exploded in his face as he leaned over a campfire.

The 15 year old's hair and face were set alight leaving him covered in scabs which doctors feared would never heal.

But just weeks later his skin grew back - without his distinctive freckles.

Aiden, from Havant, Hants, said: 'I think it's turned out quite well actually.

'I really wanted to get rid of the freckles before because I didn't think they looked very good. Then I got burnt - and this was the upside to it.

'I could have ended up with a lot of scars all over my face, but now it looks as though it never even happened.'

Aiden was camping with friends in May last year when one of the group threw an aerosol onto their campfire and the pressurised can exploded in his face.

The explosion set his hair alight and caused serious burns to his face and arms.

Aiden rolled on the ground to put out the flames while one of his friends called his own father from a mobile phone.

The man took the injured boy back to his nearby home to hose him down with cold water before calling an ambulance.

Aiden spent eight days at the specialist burns unit in Salisbury District Hospital, Wiltshire after the horrific incident.

His worried mother Geraldine Kelly arrived just as her son was being helped into the ambulance.

The 40 year mother of two said: 'After it happened it looked like all his flesh was falling off. It was absolutely horrendous, he didn't have any skin left on his nose.

'Some of the burns were quite deep and we thought he would be permanently scarred.

'Aiden was in terrible pain and they had to give him plenty of morphine at hospital so he could cope.

'Thankfully he didn't have to have skin grafts - he was really lucky.'

She said that over time his burns just peeled off and he moulted like a snake.

'Now he's absolutely fine. He's even lost his freckles which he is really pleased about,' Mrs Kelly said.

For the past six months the teenager has followed a strict regime to help his skin grow back, including daily applications of special ointments and avoiding sun exposure.

Lovestruck fireman wows fiancee with massive 100ft birthday message carved in the sand

She may have said she didn't want a present, but romantic Jeff Brook-Smith had no intention of leaving his fiancee disappointed.

The lovestruck ex-fireman wowed his partner of seven years - not to mention dozens of passers-by - with an astounding hundred-foot message that he carved in the sand with a rake as a surprise for her birthday.

Determined Jeff Brook-Smith, 62, spent a painstaking four hours raking the beach near the couple's seaside home in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, to create the stunning image proclaiming his devotion to partner Janet Shipley, 61.

He scrawled: 'Happy Birthday Janet! With all my love Jeff' on the seafront, measuring an incredible 120ft by 50ft.

Jeff even researched tide times and pored over forecasts to ensure inclement weather would not spoil his masterpiece.

He said: 'When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she was very modest and said she didn't want anything. That was when I came up with the idea. I wanted to surprise her.

'It was hard work, like raking 20 allotments. But I was really pleased with it, and Janet was astounded. She thought it was absolutely fantastic.'

Jeff, who has three children from a previous relationship, said dozens of passers-by had stopped to chat while he was raking the message and had been so impressed they had taken photos of it.

He added: 'The public's reaction was a bonus. People were watching and some were taking pictures on their mobile phones. Everyone was making nice comments and saying it was unique.'

Although Janet's birthday falls on Monday, clever Jeff knew that predicted poor weather could ruin his handiwork so created the message early.

He now plans to treat her to a candlelit meal and has another surprise up his sleeve which he is determined to keep secret until the big day.

The loved-up couple met in a Kwik Save supermarket where she was a supervisor and he was a customer.

'the Silent Assassin'::The supergun that kills from a mile

British Army snipers call it 'the Silent Assassin' and it is the weapon the Taliban fear the most.

It is the British-made L115A3 Long Range Rifle which, in recent weeks, has killed scores of enemy fighters in Afghanistan.

In a new initiative on the front line, the Army is using sniper platoons to target the Taliban and 'The Long', as the snipers call it, can take out insurgents from a mile away.

Many of the elite marksmen who use the rifle make their own extraordinary suits of camouflage to stay hidden from the Taliban.

Some have been known to go 'under cover' for two days while they pick off the enemy.

Last week Army snipers were training with the rifle and full camouflage on the snow-covered ranges of the Support Weapons School at the Land Warfare Centre at Warminster, Wiltshire.

One of them, known as Yuppie, said: 'You could call it made-to-measure camouflage.

'This one is green string tied into sheets, then covered in straw with straps attached so it fits tight. It took three months and a lot of patience to make.'

His comrade Dean, who like Yuppie is a veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, said: 'I wouldn't say us snipers are an elite, but we think we're a cut above the rest.'

The L115A3 Long Range Sniper Rifle - based on a weapon used by the British Olympic shooting team - weighs 15lbs, fires 8.59mm rounds and has a range of 1,100-1,500 yards.

Just hanging around: The illusionist who defies the laws of gravity

It just doesn't seem right.

Hanging in the air with his arm casually pressed against the wall Johan Lorbeer appears to defy the laws of gravity and be able to float 10ft off the ground.

In these pictures the illusionist performs his act before bewildered people in the streets of Madrid.

Remaining in these positions for hours at a time he says that he is acting in the manner of a sculpture or statue.

The German-born artist chats with the audience during the performance and encourages them to buy into the belief that is indeed floating.

His 'still life' performances have built up a steady following across Europe and his repertoire of illusions include one where he appears to be standing horizontally out from a street wall dressed as a street cleaner.

Johan has been working on his act since the late 1970s and believes his work is defined in the 'dynamic area between act and sculpture'.

Quite how he manages the illusions remains his secret. However it is rumoured to involved ladders, mirrors and fake arms. One theory has it that Johan holds on to a fake arm attached to the wall and then balances against it.

Johan, however, offers a more enigmatic explanation: 'My point of view standing on the wall acts normally; that is to say vertically.

'The optical perception redefines the wall as the floor, which is why from my position I perceive the observers as positioned against the wall.'

The Mummy X-posed: The face of an Ancient Egyptian priestess revealed after 3,000 years

She has lain undisturbed for nearly 3,000 years, sealed in a decorated coffin ready for her voyage to the underworld.

Now the face of Meresamun, a priestess who sang in the temples of Ancient Egypt hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, has been revealed to the world for the first time.

Using a hospital scanner, scientists were able to peer inside her closed casket, and see through the layers of linen that protected her mummified features.

The astonishing three-dimensional pictures reveal her skeleton and her face, apparently with stones placed on the eyes.

Egyptologist Dr Emily Teeter, from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute museum, where a new exhibition featuring the images opens this week, said: ‘It is so exciting to be able to see this.

‘The mummy is still in the coffin. It is like having X-ray eyes to see the relationship between the coffin, the wrappings and amount of linen used.’
meresamun is thought to have worked and lived in the temple of Thebes around 800BC. Her name, shown in an inscription on the casket, means ‘She Lives for Amun’ – an Egyptian god.

According to the inscription she was a priestess-musician who served as a ‘Singer in the Interior of the Temple of Amun’. The scans suggest she was about 5ft 5in and in her late 20s or early 30s when she died.

The cause of Meresamun’s death is unknown and all the more mysterious since she
appears to have been in good health.

The state of her bones shows she had a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle.

Although she bore no signs of dental decay, her teeth were worn down by the grit in Egyptian bread, which was made from stone-ground flour.

The sealed casket was bought in Egypt in 1920 by James Henry Breasted, founder of the Oriental Institute.

The world's smallest car gets out of a tight squeeze

It has certainly got itself into a tight squeeze, but the world's smallest car has every right to be there.

Tucked in between two vans in London's Piccadilly Circus, the Peel 5 is not only legally allowed to take to British roads.

It is parked squarely by its new home - Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum.

The miniature vehicle goes on display today at the museum, which promises visitors the ultimate insight into the world of the odd and bizarre.

The three-wheeled micro car boasts the record for the smallest ever automobile to go into production.

It was originally manufactured in the 1960s by the Manx Peel Engineering Company, with a production run of 50 vehicles that sold for just under £200.

That was clearly a bargain, given the remaining 20 originals command anywhere between £35,000 and £50,000.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! will add the Peel 50 to over 800 exhibits already on display.

The three-wheeled wonder was designed as a city car. It was advertised as capable to seat one adult and a shopping bag.

It has a single door, on the left hand side, a single windscreen wiper and just one headlight.

It is no surprise the tiny car makes tourists and commuters alike do a double take.

It looks like it belongs more on an episode of the 1980s cartoon Postman Pat than the streets of England's capital city.

At just 134 cm long and 99 cm wide and weighting just 59 kg, it barely fits a grown business man inside.

But the diminutive automobile is sure to be a massive hit.

Gigantic 45ft snake that weighed as much as a car found by fossil hunters

A killer snake that was longer than a bus, as heavy as a small car and which could swallow an animal the size of a horse, has been discovered by scientists.

The 45 foot long monster - named Titanoboa - was so big that it lived on a diet of crocodiles and giant turtles, squeezing them to death and devouring them whole.

Weighing an impressive 1.25 tons, it slithered around the tropical forests of South America 60 million years ago, just five million years after the last dinosaurs were wiped out.

Partial skeletons of the boa constrictor-like prehistoric killer were found in an Colombian coal mine by an international team of fossil hunters.

They estimate that it was larger than the fictional snake featured in the Jennifer Lopez horror movie Anaconda.

Dr Jonathan Bloch of the University of Florida, one of the researchers who announced the find, said: 'Truly enormous snakes really spark people's imagination, but reality has exceeded the fantasies of Hollywood.

'The snake that tried to eat Jennifer Lopez in the movie Anaconda was not as big as the one we found.'

The fossilised remains were found in an open cast mine in Cerrejon, Columbia with turtles and crocodiles.

The creature lived during the Palaeocene epoch - the 10 million year period that followed the destruction of the dinosaurs by a giant asteroid or comet, and helps fill a missing gap in evolution, the scientists report today in the journal Nature.

Before the discover, there had been no fossil vertebrates - or animals with back bones - between 65 million and 55 million years ago in tropical South America.

Dr Jason Head, of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, in Washington DC, said: 'Now we have a window into the time just after the dinosaurs went extinct and can actually see what the animals replacing them looked like.'

He added: 'This colossal, boa constrictor like creature stretched longer than a city bus and weighed more than a car. It's the biggest snake the world has ever known.

'The snake's body was so wide that if it were moving down the hall and decided to come into my office to eat me, it would literally have to squeeze through the door.'

The size of the snake showed that conditions were around 10C hotter than today - around 30 to 34C on average.

Snakes and other cold blooded animals are limited in body size by the temperature where they live.The largest reptiles and bugs live in the world's hottest places close to the equator.

Hunting for fossils is trick y in the forest-covered tropics because so little rock is exposed. However, the open cast mining exposed huge swaths of rock, including the remains of the prehistoric snake.

Dr Jonathan Bloch at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said: 'It was a rain-forest like today, but it was even hotter and the cold-blooded reptiles were all substantially larger. The result was, among other things, the largest snakes the world has ever seen - and hopefully ever will.'

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest snake ever measured was 33 feet in length. The heaviest - a python - weighed 403 pounds.

British scientist Dr David Polly who was involved in identifying the snake at Queen Mary, University of London, said: 'At its greatest width, the snake would have come up to about your hips. The size is pretty amazing.'

Last year scientists revealed the smallest snake in the world - a four inch long creature living in Barbados that is as thin as a strand of spaghetti and so tiny it could fit on a 10 pence coin.

Thousands of 'tough guys' wade through mud and walk on fire in Tough Guy competition... despite the freezing weather

With his grimacing face, the burning hay bales and surrounding thick grey smoke it could be a climatic scene from the end of an epic war film - if it wasn't for the Borat mankini costume.

This pained looking man is actually taking part in an annual Tough Guy Challenge with thousands of other daredevils.

The aspiring 'tough guys' braved an obstacle course which included walking across fire and through water in the bitterly cold weather currently battering Britain.

Competitors from 25 countries descended on South Perton Farm, in Wolverhampton, for the brutal survival race.

The brave - or mad, depending on how you look at it - men and women are pictured grimacing as they make their way through thick mud, underneath barbed wire and even through burning hay bales.

The freezing cold challengers began the race with a gruelling cross-country run and are then challenged by 21 different obstacles including tunnels and swamps to complete the course.

People can compete on their own or in teams.

On the event's website it says: 'The event is uniquely fear ridden and you need to be fit in both body and spirit to survive the ordeal.

'You will not be alone, thousands will be by your side. There you will find the true spirit of Tough Guy.'

The extreme event is in its 23rd year.

The hardy challengers risk cuts, burns, broken bones and possibly worse as they make their way across the 150 acre site.

Competitors must sign a 'Death Warrant disclaimer' before taking part.

The event claims to be the safest most dangerous taste of mental physical pain and endurance on earth.

American Sports channel ESPN filmed the event in 2006.