Now that you've seen that, check this out. Inspired by a Rue Morgue Magazine note on the topic, I've been researching Abe Lincoln's funeral train. Wow. Via Abraham Lincoln's Assassination:
Abraham Lincoln's funeral train left Washington on April 21, 1865. It would essentially retrace the 1,654 mile route Mr. Lincoln had traveled as president-elect in 1861 (with the deletion of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and the addition of Chicago). An example of a published schedule is pictured to the right. The Lincoln Special, whose engine had Mr. Lincoln's photograph over the cowcatcher, carried approximately 300 mourners. Willie Lincoln's coffin was also on board. Willie, who had died in the White House in 1862 at age 11, had been disinterred and was to be buried with his father in Springfield. A Guard of Honor accompanied Mr. Lincoln’s remains on the Lincoln Special. Mr. Robert Lincoln rode on the train to Baltimore but then returned to Washington. The following information summarizes the martyred president's final journey home.
(Emphasis mine.) Good God. You have to love those nineteenth-century types with their lack of squeamishness / hands-on obsession with death. This would make an incredible foundation for a ghost story, wouldn't it? If not about Lincoln specifically, a story that takes place on a mega-extended funeral train route would be interesting. Question: anyone know how good nineteenth-century embalming techniques were? Would the corpse last the journey?
On a totally other note, a Korean woman's mouth was inseminated by a parboiled squid that she was eating. After she reported into the emergency room with pain, doctors removed twelve "'small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms stuck in the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheek, and gingiva'—the dead squid’s live spermatophores," according to Death and Taxes Magazine. A spermatophore, because I know you need to know, is basically a bunch of semen, aggregated together, with an "ejaculatory apparatus" and a "cement body for attachment." Precisely how it attaches itself to stuff (including the inside of your mouth) is, according to biologist Danna Staaf, a mystery.
All we need to invent absolutely disgusting alien species is a more thorough knowledge of what is here on this gross, diverse planet of ours.