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The Weird Week in Review

Ticket Paid with 137 Origami Pigs

An unnamed driver was issued a ticket for running a red light after being caught by a camera in Jersey Village, Texas. He paid his fine, all right, but in one dollar bills, each folded into an origami pig, then arranged in two doughnut boxes. He then uploaded a video of the exchange to YouTube and more pictures of the pigs at imgur. Officials were amused at the stunt, but then asked him to unfold the dollars.

Plastic Flamingos Held for Ransom

Arthur O'Neil of Mansfield, Massachusetts has been decorating his lawn with plastic pinks flamingos for years, even dressing them up for holidays, which entertained the neighbors. But for the past few months, the flamingos have been disappearing one by one. Then one of the flamingos reappeared with a ransom note written on it:

"We have the flamingos....
If you ever want to see Arturo and his friends again, call [this number]."

The fact that the perpetrator knows the name of a plastic flamingo would make one believe the thief is someone O'Neil knows. O'Neil turned the evidence over to police. No arrests have yet been made.

Bartender Recognized Stolen Credit Card as His Own

David Weber of Miami Beach, Florida is accused of breaking into a car Monday night and stealing a credit card. He then went into a bar and ordered a beer. Weber attempted to pay his tab with the credit card, but the bartender noticed his own name on the card. He had bar security call police, who arrested Weber on credit card fraud and theft charges. Weber claimed he found the card on the ground.

Police Called Over Singing Schoolchildren

Students from Coconut Palm Elementary in Miramar, Florida, went to their local Walmart store to sing "God Bless America" flashmob-style on Tuesday to commemorate the events of 9/11. The school had received permission from a Walmart manager for the performance. However, that manager was not at the store when the students arrived, and the choir was turned away. The group then decided to sing outside next to the flagpole. Store management called the local police to come and disperse the crowd of children and parents, who were in the process of leaving by the time officers arrived. Walmart has since apologized, but did not explain the miscommunication.

8-Year-Old Runs Away from Home in Family Car

An unnamed 8-year-old boy on a farm in Australia was upset that his mother wouldn't let him have a pet duck. The angry child jumped in the family's vehicle, which has a manual transmission, and took off. His mother called police, and then drove another vehicle to chase her son at speeds of up to 100 kph. The boy's vehicle only stopped when he blew two tires. By the time police arrived, the mother and son were together. The boy was warned, but won't be charged because of his age. No word yet on the duck.

Fermented Fish Mistaken for Gas Leak

Apartment residents in Stockholm, Sweden were alarmed by an unfamiliar and unpleasant smell and called emergency services to report a gas leak. Two fire trucks, two police vehicles, and an emergency gas leak team rushed to the building, where several neighbors were concerned about the smell. An investigation revealed the smell was coming from a can of Surströmming, which is fermented fish. Surströmming is a Swedish delicacy that smells particularly nasty, and was being served at a party in the building. Police said that particular mistake has been made before.

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Lists
8 Bizarre Places People Have Gotten Stuck
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Some days it just doesn’t pay to venture outside, particularly when you wind up the subject of a police and fire department rescue because you’ve somehow trapped yourself inside an ATM machine. Check out eight other strange environments that have ensnared bystanders and prompted emergency responses.

1. A CLAW MACHINE

A giant see-through container full of plush toys is any child’s idea of paradise, and they will attempt any means possible to inhabit it. For three-year-old Jamie Bracken-Murphy of Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland, that meant crawling through the small flap from which the toys can be retrieved and finding himself lodged in a claw machine. Murphy was on display for about 10 minutes before an off-duty fireman was able to coax him back out the way he came in. Jamie’s father, Damien, expressed little surprise at his son’s predicament, saying that, "He's a very mischievous, sharp kid who's always pushing boundaries."

2. A TRAFFIC CONE

A man has a traffic cone over his head
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In 2013, a man in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England thought he’d have a bit of fun by sticking a traffic cone—otherwise known as a bollard—on his head. To his dismay, the large cone slid down over and past his shoulders, entombing him in plastic. John Waterman, a witness to the incident, captured it all on his cell phone. "It was very random," Waterman told The Telegraph. "It's not the usual thing you see in the middle of Hemel Hempstead on a Sunday lunchtime." The man stumbled around for more than two hours before anyone bothered to call police.

3. A CEMENT HOPPER

Aurora, Illinois was the site of a recent cement mix-up, when an unidentified man became trapped in a cement hopper. The worker had climbed into the machine to clean it, but found he was unable to move when residual cement on the machine's floor began hardening around his legs. It took firefighters more than two hours to extricate him from the hopper. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries, but released the same day, according to the local fire department.

4. A TOILET

A stock shot of a person stuck in a toilet
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In 2016, a Norwegian man named Cato Berntsen Larsen found himself in deep trouble after he tried lowering himself into a public toilet to retrieve a friend’s cell phone. The toilet’s tank was located underneath the seat, allowing enough room for Larsen to become trapped. To his dismay, the tank—which is not connected to a sewage system and is only emptied sporadically—was full of human waste. Adding to the putrid nature of his enclave, Larsen vomited and was bitten by an unknown animal: His situation did not improve until authorities were able to come and pull him out. "It was damn disgusting," Larsen said, "the worst I have experienced. There were animals down there, too."

5. A GIANT STONE VAGINA

Tourists and residents of Tübingen, Germany are quite familiar with Chacán-Pi, a giant stone sculpture of a vagina created by Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara. The towering display sits just outside Tübingen University’s Institute for Microbiology and Virology and has attracted curious onlookers since 2001. In 2014, an unnamed American student decided to go spelunking in the 32-ton carving for a photo opportunity and became trapped, necessitating rescue by 22 firefighters. The Guardian called them “midwives” and reported that the student was “delivered by hand.”

6. A WASHING MACHINE

A man appears to be stuck inside a washing machine
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Sometimes, games of hide-and-seek can go very wrong. That was the case for a man near Melbourne, Australia in 2014, who climbed into his top-loading washing machine fully nude to surprise his partner. Unfortunately, he was unable to climb back out. Responders were able to grease him with a liberal application of olive oil and pull him out. First Constable Luke Ingram told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that, as a rule, “My advice would be for people not to climb into appliances.” The warning went unheeded by another Australian man in 2015, who found himself lodged in a front-loading machine and had to wait while rescuers disassembled the entire unit in order to free him.

7. A BABY SWING

If you’re ever challenged by your adult friends to fit into a baby swing at a public park, you can confidently say that it won’t work. That’s because a man from Vallejo, California tried it in 2011. While he managed to slide into the seat using liquid laundry detergent, he couldn’t slide back out. As his legs began to swell, his friends abandoned him overnight. He wasn’t rescued until nine hours later, when a groundskeeper heard his screams for help at 6 o'clock the following morning. "The man sustained non-life threatening injuries to his body," the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "but there’s no word yet on the condition of his ego."

8. A CHIMNEY

A chimney sits on a rooftop
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There are many Santa jokes to be made, but when you’re the man trapped in your own home’s chimney for four hours, there probably isn’t a huge urge to start laughing. In late 2016, a Tucson, Arizona homeowner who had locked his keys in his home opted to retrieve them by re-entering his abode via the chimney. While it was a spectacularly bad idea, he actually almost made it: His feet were touching the floor of his fireplace before the space grew too narrow to allow for any further passage and he got stuck. Firefighters were able to pull him out from the roof, covered in soot but otherwise unharmed.

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Animals
This Octopus Species in Northern Australia Can Hunt on Dry Land
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Most octopuses live in the ocean—but in northern Australia, a small, shallow-water species takes to land in search of food. Abdopus aculeatus is the only octopus that’s specially adapted to walk on dry ground. Using its long, sucker-lined arms, the slimy sea creature pulls itself along the shoreline as it searches tide pools for crabs.

Witness Abdopus aculeatus in action by watching BBC Earth’s video below.

[h/t BBC Earth]

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