Friday, February 29, 2008

Clifton Springs

The Florida Everyone Forgot website has been updated with a page on Clifton Springs.

Clifton springs
Clifton Springs is a small natural spring in Oviedo, Florida near the shore of Lake Jessup. The spring consists of several small boils that flow down a stream to Lake Jessup and one larger boil that fills a large murky pool before flowing to Lake Jessup. It is a very cool place to see, and apparently it has some quicksand as seen in the picture above...

Follow the link to visit the page...
Link: Clifton Springs

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NASA Space Monkey Retirement Home

Florida has its monkey legends, some of which are based in fact, while others are more myth. There are the packs of wild monkeys that roam the Ocala National Forest, especially near Silver Springs as well as the wild monkeys in Dania Beach that caused all sorts of conspiracy theories when the city was accused of coming in at night and killing the monkeys one by one. There are the mysterious Monkey Island legends where a group of lab monkeys were placed on an island somewhere in southwest Florida for experimental purposes, until the company that put them there closed up and abandoned the monkeys causing them to go insane. These crazy monkeys are rumored to kill and eat any boaters that don’t realize what island they are landing on. And who can forget the Skunk Ape, Florida’s version of Bigfoot. Recently though, I came across a bit of Florida monkey lore that I was completely unaware of and it actually exists too…

Not too long ago, I was virtually flying over Florida in Google Earth, when I came across a placemark that someone had posted pointing out a NASA Space Monkey retirement home. From Google’s satellite images, it looked like this place was a good sized compound consisting of several islands surround by canals. It was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by orange groves for miles. After finding out about this place, I decided that it was a must see on my next excursion through the area. What could be cooler than seeing the same monkeys that had rode in centrifuges simulating spaceflight, now sitting on a man-made island retired in Florida?

A few months later, I went and found the place. The only problem was that I didn’t see any monkeys. The whole place was surrounded by large dirt embankments behind a barbed wire fence and a canal. There were some signs telling what the place was though. Apparently what was behind those hills was the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary. They gave a website:, and in all caps the sign told you that the chimp sanctuary was NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

In one spot in the front of the place, I spotted what could be called a chimp playground over the hill. I got out of the car for a closer look, but I still didn’t see any chimps. I did hear them though at this spot. They were very noisy…

I didn’t get to see any chimps, but as I was stopped here I spotted an alligator basking in the sun on the opposite shore of the canal.

It was a bit disappointing that I didn’t see any of the chimps. It would be great if this place put up some sort of observation deck or something where you could see over the hill and possibly have a better chance of seeing a chimpanzee. I think people would be more interested in saving the chimps here if they could actually see the chimps.As I was leaving, there was a nice sunset to the west with the sound of chimps howling in the background…

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Universal Studios Mardi Gras Parade

On February 23, I went to Universal Studios for their Mardi Gras event and the Third Eye Blind concert that night. They have a parade each Saturday before the concert where they throw out thousands upon thousands of beads and a smaller number of coins. It's a whole lot of fun, but riding on a float in a parade is even more fun. I didn't think this would happen this year when I saw this, but it turns out I managed to get a ride in the parade without paying (technically, shouldn't they be paying you?) by being at the right place at the right time.

You started out by walking to your float, passing by all of the rest along the way.

You then got to the assigned float and boarded.

The fun part began once you started moving through the streets of the park having thousands of people begging you for cheap plastic beads.

And in what seems like no time at all, the parade was over. I missed some of the concert, but all is good. I rode on a float...

Leaving the park I saw these people. Is it possible to go overboard when collecting the beads? I wonder if any of the beads were thrown by me?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse: February 20, 2008

On February 20, 2008, in Florida as well as many other parts of the world there was a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse started at 8:43 pm and was initially covered by clouds where I was watching. By the time the moon was totally covered by the shadow of the earth at 10:01 pm, the sky was clear providing an excellent view. The moon turned a nice red color in the shadow, and soon enough the earth's shadow began to recede. A little after midnight, the full moon was free from shadow and back to it's normal self!

Here are some pictures I took of the eclipse:

I took some video of the eclipse by leaving my video camera on a tripod with it's full exposure open and auto-focus turned off. I took two segments of footage, one between 9:45 and 10:15 when the moon was approaching it's full eclipse and another segment between 11:45 and 12:15 as the moon returned to normal.

It's amazing how fast the earth and the moon move in relation to one another when you are trying to track the moon with a stationary object. Every time you see the moon drift off of the picture in the videos is not due to the camera moving. The videos were sped up to 3 times their original speed.

Feb 20, 2008- 9:45pm-10:15pm

Feb 20, 2008- 11:45pm-12:15pm

The next one comes in 2010!

Monday, February 18, 2008

World's Smallest Police Station

The World's Smallest Police Station is located in Carrabelle, Florida. The tiny town's biggest tourist attraction is this phone booth that was converted into a police station that would receive 911 calls. Carrabelle outgrew their phone booth as a police station, so they now use it as a roadside attraction.

LINK: World's Smallest Police Station

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sanford Mardi Gras

Event Tents

Sanford, Florida had a Mardi Gras event nine days too late. Their event took place on February 14, 2008. Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras day, was on February 5. If you follow the “official” rules of Mardi Gras, all of the celebrating goes on up until Fat Tuesday, and after that all partying ends with the start of Lent. I guess the organizers of the event don’t follow the rules. I’m glad…

Sanford’s Mardi Gras was part of their Alive After Five event that they do each month where everything in Downtown Sanford stays open late, along with additional vendor setting up, and you get samples of food and alcohol for five dollars. The whole Mardi Gras theme consisted of people handing out beads, Cajun inspired food, and some bands playing somewhat appropriate music. I remember hearing advertised a few years ago that Sanford had a Mardi Gras parade, but not this year.

Here are a few pictures from the event…

Shrimp, corn, and potatoes boiling…
shrimp boil

Cool old firehouse, now converted to offices and apartments.
old firehouse

Art for sale from India...
Elephant Dragon Fish!

Art for sale on the street corner.
Looks like a spray foam jesus?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ginger Ale Springs

Be sure to check out Ginger Ale Springs on Florida Everyone Forgot. Ginger Ale Springs is a small sulfur spring in Longwood, Florida that was rumored to once be used as a ginger ale bottling plant until the water turned sulfurous. The water flows out of the guppy filled spring, overflowing out of a concrete pool, and then streaming down through the woods until the water meets the Little Wekiva River.

Link: Ginger Ale Springs

Friday, February 8, 2008


Welcome to the Florida Everyone Forgot Blog. This is the official blog of the Florida Everyone Forgot Website. On this blog, I will be discussing the little known, forgotten, strange, unusual, or just plain cool locations within the state of Florida.

Hope you enjoy reading!