Nicolas Cage (!) Returns Stolen Dinosaur Skull (!!) to Mongolian Government (!!!)
Good headlines have one weird thing. (“Man Bites Dog.”) Great headlines have two weird things operating in conjunction with one another to create an even weirder effect. (“Man In Catsuit Bites Dog.”) But a new report today combining the being of pure light we have dubbed Nicolas Cage with a stolen dinosaur skull and the government of the sparsely populated Asian landmass Mongolia is on an entirely different level, joining together an unprecedented three bizarre components to form a headline that me and the other people who make a living making fun of weird headlines could only dream of.
The man born Nicolas Kim Coppola has a strong track record of purchasing and reluctantly relinquishing strange things, from a mansion in New Orleans’ French Quarter allegedly haunted by the ghosts of slavery, to a funeral pyramid (like, a pyramid in which the Academy Award-winning actor will be interred following his death, if that ever even happens) also in the Crescent City. Among Cage’s prized possessions was a rare preserved skull of the Tyrannosaurus bataar that he had purchased at auction in 2007 for $276,000, narrowly beating out a bid from fellow Academy-Award-winner-nope-just-kidding Leonardo DiCaprio.
A new scoop from Reuters has revealed that the dinosaur cranium in question had, as it turns out, entered this country from Mongolia under illegal circumstances after it had been stolen, even though Cage’s purchase came with a certificate of authenticity. In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security passed along a message from Mongolia’s government to Cage requesting the willful and safe return of the purloined dino skull, and Cage readily acquiesced. Which is, all things considered, kind of a disappointment.
The greatest story of the modern era, and Cage just ends it by giving up the bones without a fight. We were all prepared for some kind of National Treasure-type situation that sends the Cage on a cross-country race against time and gaining Mongolian enforcers to prove that the inside of the dinosaur skull contains, I dunno, a map to Genghis Khan’s buried gold or something. For the most bizarre headline of the year, it unfortunately boils down to something much simpler: ‘Man Returns Object Unknowingly Purchased Unlawfully.‘