From SitNews (inter alia):
Interestingly, lore has it that a naked woman onboard would calm the seas. That's why many vessels have a bare breasted figurehead of a woman on the bow. Superstition amongst sailors said that the figurehead should have eyes to find a way through the seas when lost, while her bare breast would shame a stormy sea into calm. Pliny, the ancient Roman scientist and historian, first recorded this belief over 2000 years ago.
Anyone have a source for Pliny saying this? Next, we have an item from the Anniston Star:
Alexander the Great dreamed of a waterway connecting the Black Sea and the North Sea. There is a ditch in the Alps that reminds us of his dream.
There was a strange press release too ... but it doesn't want to come up now.