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The Weird Week in Review

Ned Kelly's Head Possibly Found

The remains of famed Australian outlaw Ned Kelly were identified from a mass prison grave and returned to his family earlier this moth, with the exception of his head, which was missing. Now 74-year-old New Zealander Anna Hoffman has come forward and says she has Kelly's skull, given to her years ago by a security guard while she was visiting Melbourne. Hoffman has a collection of more than 20 human skulls. Forensic investigators will conduct DNA tests on the skull to determine if it is Kelly's, although an examiner says it's a long shot.

Cow Stuck In Tree Rescued By Firemen

A farmer in Cumbria, England, noticed one of his cows was missing, and found that it had toppled ten meters down an embankment. The cow didn't fall to the bottom, as its fall was broken by a tree growing out of the hill. The Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service was called, and firemen were a bit surprised to be asked to get a cow out of a tree. They used a winch and other specialized equipment to remove the cow from the tree. A veterinarian checked the animal out and declared she was fine after her misadventure.

Wisconsin Cow Patties Scarce Due To Drought

The drought that has gripped the midsection of the U.S. this summer has far-reaching ramifications. The Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw and Festival in Prairie du Sac is finding it hard to scare up enough quality cow patties to throw. Cows tended to stay near the barn for food and shade, and manure didn't dry out in the sun as much as it should have. Organizers have only collected a third of the usual number of chips. Since they keep unbroken patties from previous years, they have a reserve supply they will have to dip into.

Student Asked to Change His Name for School

Three-year-old Hunter Spanjer is deaf and talks with his hands. In the S.E.E. (Signing Exact English) language, the gesture that means his name violates his school's weapons policy. Grand Island Public School wants Hunter to change his name so he won't have to use the sign. The sign may look a bit like a gun, but Hunter's name is a slightly modified sign to designate it as his personal identifier, in which he crosses his fingers. His fingers still look too much like a gun for school authorities. The National Association of the Deaf has been notified, and is expected to send lawyers to talk to officials from the school.

Lost Woman Looks for Herself

A bus driver alerted police and emergency personnel when one of the tourists went missing. The excursion to Iceland's Eldgjá volcanic canyon was put on hold for hours while a search was carried out.

However, the search was called off at 3 am when it turned out that the missing woman had been on the bus all along and even participated in the search for herself, mbl.is reports.

Before reentering the bus after the stop at Eldgjá, the woman had changed her clothes and freshened up, resulting in the other passengers not recognizing her.

According to information from the Coast Guard, a helicopter was ready to be sent to the area to assist with the search but the plans were put off due to foggy conditions. Around 50 people participated in the search on vehicles and by foot.

The unidentified woman hadn't recognized herself in the description of the lost woman, as her clothing had been described incorrectly.

Lion Hunt in Essex

A big cat sighting in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England had authorities on the prowl for about 24 hours. Residents reported seeing a "lion" roaming the neighborhood on Sunday evening, and one person gave police a fuzzy picture of the cat. Officials called in zoo experts and a heat-seeking helicopter for the search, but turned up nothing. Police called off the search the next day, saying that they believe the creature was actually a wildcat or a big house cat. They say many doctored photographs were circulated on the internet, but those were not the original picture that police were using.

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The Origins of 25 Monsters, Ghosts, and Spooky Things
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Though dressing up as an angel is acceptable, it’s ghouls and goblins that truly capture our imaginations during the Halloween season. As lit jack-o’-lanterns beckon and monsters lurk in the shadows, we explore the origins of 25 frightful things that go bump—or boo—in the night.

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Thanks to a Wet Winter, New Zealand Faces a Potential Potato Chip Shortage
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New Zealand has plenty of unique and tasty snacks, but kiwis also love potato chips. The universal comfort food is in danger Down Under, however, as an unusually wet winter has devastated the island country’s tuber crops, according to BBC News.

Twenty percent of New Zealand’s annual potato crop was wiped out from a series of major storms and floods that ravaged the nation’s North and South Islands, The Guardian reports. In some regions, up to 30 percent of potato crops were affected, with the varieties used to make chips bearing the brunt of the damage.

Potato prices spiked as farmers struggled, but the crisis—now dubbed “chipocalypse” by media outlets—didn't really make the mainstream news until supermarket chain Pak’nSave posted announcements in potato chip aisles that warned customers of a salty snack shortage until the New Year.

Pak’nSave has since rescinded this explanation, claiming instead that they made an ordering error. However, other supermarket chains say they’re working directly with potato chip suppliers to avoid any potential shortfalls, and are aware that supplies might be limited for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s potato farming crisis extends far beyond the snack bars at rugby matches and vending machines. Last year’s potato crops either rotted or remained un-harvested, and the ground is still too wet to plant new ones. This hurts New Zealand’s economy: The nation is the world’s ninth-largest exporter of potatoes.

Plus, potatoes “are a food staple, and this is becoming a food security issue as the effects of climate change take their toll on our potato crop,” says Chris Claridge, the chief executive of industry group Potatoes New Zealand, according to The Guardian.

In the meantime, New Zealanders are preparing to hunker down for a few long months of potential potato peril—and according to some social media users, kale chips are not a suitable alternative. “Chipocalypse” indeed.

[h/t BBC News]

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