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Deadly Underwater Gnome Garden Returns
In past entries I've written about gnomes that have mysteriously disappeared from gardens and peepshows. Now I think I know where the gnomes have gone. They've travelled to the secret gnome garden that lurks beneath the waters of Wastwater in the Lake District. Authorities report that a gnome garden (which even had a tiny picket fence) was removed from the bottom of the lake a few years ago after some divers died while spending too long searching for it. Now the gnome garden has reappeared, but even deeper beneath the lake, beyond the reach of police divers. Obviously the police are worried that once again divers will be unable to resist the siren call of the gnome garden and perish in the search for it. I think this must be the underwater version of Midgetville. (via The Anomalist)
Update: I managed to find a picture of the underwater gnome garden in this recent article from Cumbria Online.
Categories: Gnomes, Places, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 14, 2005
Comments (18)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
Are there any pictures of it anywhere?

This kinda reminds me of the movie "Amelie". Amelie steals her father's garden gnome and then send him postcards from the gnome with the gnome in pictures all over the world, from his travels, living the life that he never dared to.
Good movie, BTW.
Posted by Glamcat  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  05:02 AM
Hmm...a city under the lake. Like in Star Wars?? Are there no original ideas any more?
Posted by Maegan  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  07:37 AM
Why would the police spend time removing a gnome gardern from the bottom of a lake? Don't they have any bank robbers to chase? If some idiots died trying to find it, that's their problem not the taxpayers.
Posted by Captain Al  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  08:39 AM
Yeah, I'm upset at because they've been ripping off Amelie in their TV commercials. In fact, I think a couple companies have ripped off that theme of gnomes travelling. I'm pissed because I saw the commercial first, and then the movie second, and then only realized in retrospect that I had been duped!
Posted by brian  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  10:20 AM
Isn't it just a little too cute that the name of the lake is "Wast(e)water"? I tried a search for the name, and a deep lake by that name apparently does exist in the Cumbria area of England, but still...
BTW, how do those gnomes breathe underwater? I don't see any little scuba masks, and they couldn't surface for air from that depth without getting the bends. Have they made a breakthrough in diving technology?
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  01:58 PM
I'd like to be, under the sea, in an octopus' garden, with a gnome.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  06:34 PM
Actually, I think that 'Wast' refers more to a far & forgotten place than it does to waste. Maybe some our UK friends could shed some light on this.
Posted by stork  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  07:22 PM
Excuse me, "some OF our UK friends". Wouldn't want to spoil the Queen's English, or anything.
Posted by stork  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  07:26 PM
I'm a little confused. On this site
it is claimed that Wastwater is 270m deep, rather than the 80 mentioned in the original article.

And I just found this:

"The name of the lake and the name of the valley have been merged. Wasdale' means 'the valley with the lake'- the lake itself was therefore superfluously described as a 'water'.
O.N. vatn + O.E. waeter.
Wassewatre 1294. "
Posted by Boo  on  Wed Feb 16, 2005  at  02:49 AM
Just goes to disprove the old adage: "Gnome man is an island..."

Posted by Gareth  on  Wed Feb 16, 2005  at  05:08 AM
80 meters would be around 270 feet, so maybe they said meters when they meant feet.

If that etymology is correct, the name of the lake means "Water Water," which you've got to admit is not a very distinctive name for a lake. That puts it in the category of geographical names like "the Sahara Desert" ("Sahara" means "desert").
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Wed Feb 16, 2005  at  10:36 AM
The Sahara desert and Lake WaterWater were named by the Dept. of Redundancy Dept., who named the Sahara desert and Lake WaterWater
Posted by JoeSixpack  on  Wed Feb 16, 2005  at  11:15 AM
Ahhh, of course, Big Gary.
Shoulda thought of that.

And yes, it is a pointless name.
Posted by Boo  on  Thu Feb 17, 2005  at  02:24 AM
I was sure I remembered my parents telling me of a hill that was basically called Hillhillhill.
I think this is the one.

"Cumbria's Torpenhow hill is listed in The Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names as: "the ridge of a hill with a rocky peak", and gives the following etymology: tor (OE) + penn (Celtic) + ho'h (OE). All of these words can be traced to a root word having to do with a hill. The story goes that as each wave of invaders discovered the hill, they took the existing name and appended their word for "hill" on to it."
Posted by Boo  on  Thu Feb 17, 2005  at  02:35 AM
Torpenhow Hill is also in Cumbria, apparently. Maybe the Cumbrians just have a hard time thinking up place names.
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Thu Feb 17, 2005  at  11:09 AM
The issue for the Cumbrians is that they have a lot of hills and a lot of lakes.

Plus, like most of Britain, the area was occupied by successive groups of people with different languages. Quite often in these cases the later people add their word for eg hill or lake to the name for the feature they hear from the natives.
Posted by Ian  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  07:23 AM
A little late but,
I wanted to point out that Amelie is not original as there have been groups that 'liberated' (stole) garden gnomes (in France mainly) for years now and many did also send photos of the gnomes 'travelling', or free in their natural environment, the forest. This began long before the film Amelie was made.
If you look at other areas the size of Cumbria you will likely find a lot more than 2 pleonasms, there is plenty of inventiveness in Cumbrian place-names.
Posted by James  on  Sat Dec 30, 2006  at  07:25 PM
The Gnomes currently have a Christmas Garden - went to the pinnacles Saturday, there is a Garden at 46m below, but the Gnomes are on their migration to shallower waters for the holidays.

[Place names, I still think Terry Pratchett is correct where explorers rename something from the local language, ask the local guide "what's that hill called" and getting the answer in local language "its a hill you fool" or "yep thats your finger".]
Posted by Paul  on  Mon Dec 03, 2007  at  10:48 AM
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