Holey Moley Fatman
A large "crack" - named by The Dorset Tourist Authority "The Dorset Omphalos", but already referred to by locals as "The Fatman's Arse" and "The Devil's Bumhole" - opened up unexpectedly in a field near Chetnole last night, baffling scientists and causing much social media speculation as to what might have caused the giant cleft.
Local glamour model and property owner Mystique Mannie-Cummings says that, since the puzzling scar has appeared on land owned by her, it is "beyond peradventure" that it is her crack that is making the headlines today. "I have no idea why or how it appeared, but I am grateful it did and hope people will just flock here and come to see my crack for the remarkable thing it is".
Described as large enough to peer down, but difficult for a fat man to squeeze into, Ms Cummings' crack is the subject of considerable dispute as well as intense critical debate. Ownership and visiting rights apart, experts are far from united in their views as to how the new landscape feature appeared. Theories range from tectonic activity [several of Ms Cummings' close friends say they have often felt the earth move when in her company], severe draught, unusual ploughing/harvesting regimes, climate change, the cost of living crisis, juvenile delinquency and changes to the Care in the Community funding model as well as Mrs Endersely-Kindersley's brutalising inter-library loans regime at the DHRA.
Our Ancient Historical Geomorphology correspondent Riva Styx writes:
* [i] An omphalos is a religious stone artifact, or baetylus or - by extension - a sacred place marked by a pronounced declivity. In Ancient Greek, the word ὀμφᾰλός (omphalós) means "navel". Among the Ancient Greeks, it was a widespread belief that Delphi was the center of the world. According to the myths regarding the founding of the Delphic Oracle, Zeus, in his attempt to locate the center of the earth, launched two eagles from the two ends of the world, and the eagles, starting simultaneously and flying at equal speed, crossed their paths above the area of Delphi, and so was the place where Zeus placed the stone. [ii] Omphalos is also the name of the stone given to Cronus. In the ancient world of the Mediterranean, it was a powerful religious symbol. [iii] Omphalos Syndrome refers to the belief that a place of geopolitical power and currency is the most important place in the world.
Classical Scholar and University of Afpuddle Orator Gaius Plinius Caecilius Plurimum Numerum [Pliny MCXIVish] says it is very unlikely that there are gods, sprites, spirits, furries, nymphs, heros or giants - let alone oracles - lurking in the bottom of the Chetnole hole. "Many of us gave up on that sort of thing after hearing yesterday of the untimely death of the beautiful Patroclus. Apparently, it has put even the irrepressible Achilles in a bit of a funk for a couple of days. After that, I think we all just stopped believing". He adds, however, that Omphalos Syndrome is not unknown in various departments of the Greater Dorset Metropolitan Regional Administrative Authority [GDMRAA], not least in the person of the [4 days per week on full pay] Chief Executive and All-Dorset Peleton Champion Ivor Skyvor.