That time Harry Houdini was swallowed by a sea monster

The Boston Globe has a fun retrospective on a 1911 Boston expedition by the famed escape artist Harry Houdini:

On Sept. 25, 1911, The Boston Daily Globe mentioned Houdini's upcoming challenge in a short write-up under the headline, "Houdini's Latest Test: Tomorrow Afternoon He Will Endeavor To Get Out of The Giant Sea Monster."

"The monster, which weighs 1,500 pounds, will be brought to [Keith's Theatre] in a motor truck," the story read. "This new challenge accepted by Mr. Houdini is the most original in his career," one that was put forth by a group of prominent businessmen.

According to as well as the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, the origins and identity of this horrible leviathan still remain a mystery to this very day. But the Globe's Steve Annear decided to get to the bottom of the legend, and shares the details of his own journey into the belly of the beast of research in order to figure out what, exactly, Harry Houdini was swallowed by on that fateful day — which, at the time, was covered in the papers like this:

You should read Annear's whole story for yourself, but if you want the quick spoilers: it was a 500-year-old Caribbean Sea Turtle that had somehow gotten captured off the coast of Nova Scotia. The embalming fluid they had used to preserve the creature was so noxious that it gave Houdini an extra incentive to escape even faster, before he choked.

Remember that time, 110 years ago, when Harry Houdini escaped the belly of a 'sea monster' in Boston? [Steve Annear / Boston Globe]