The Weird Week ending March 21st

Police Chase Stolen Donut Truck

Frank Alvarado took advantage of a Donut Delite van as the driver was making a delivery in Toledo, Ohio. He led officers on a chase that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour. Nine police vehicles from two counties and one city force were in pursuit before the truck was stopped.

"What strikes me as a bit out of the ordinary in this case is the number of officers who were able to respond," said Rich Vander Mey, assistant Tama County Attorney. "I don't know whether the fact that the stolen vehicle contained donuts has anything to do with that."

Donut Delite donated their goods to the police officers involved in the chase.

Sweaters Made from Dead Dog Hair140Sweaters.jpg

After Beth and Brian Willis of Newcastle, England lost their two beloved doogs, they heard about Princess Diana wearing a dog fur stole. Inspired, they collected dog hair from their carpets and brushes, and had it spun into yarn, which Mrs. Willis used to knit two sweaters. Mr. Willis wears his dog hair sweater every Saturday when he goes into town.

Woman Goes for Leg Operation, Gets New Anus Instead

A German woman is suing a hospital in Hochfranken, Bavaria for malpractice, aftert the performed the wrong operation. She was to have surgery on her leg, but the clinic confused her with an incontinence patient. The unnamed woman received a new anus instead. She is looking for another hospital to operate on her leg.

150drill.pngBrain surgeon operates with DIY drill

British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh uses an expensive medical drill when he does brain surgery in London. But when he travels to Ukraine twice a year to perform free surgery at the clinic of colleague Igor Petrovich, he uses a £30 Bosch 9.6 volt battery-operated hand tool.

"There's not a huge difference," he said. "The drill is Igor's solution. It's simply an ordinary drill which he uses with the standard medical drill bits."

Crucifixion can be Bad for your Health

Every Easter, dozens of voluntary crucifixions take place in the Philippines, as men re-enact the flagellation and crucifixion of Jesus with real whips and nails. The Philippine department of health issued a warning for participants to have tetanus shots beforehand, and to check the cleanliness of the whips used to guard against infection.

Woman on Toilet Attacked by Rat

Maxine Killingback of Deptford, England was sitting on the toilet when a rat bit her! She jumped up and flushed the rat, using a plunger to keep him from escaping. She had to barricade the toilet because there were other rats trying to get out. The local housing council told her it would be three weeks before they could do anything about it. Killingback left her home for the night.

Rattlesnake Vodka Seized150vodak.jpg

Agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided Bayou Bob's Brazos River Rattlesnake Ranch in Palo Pinto county and seized 411 bottles of unlicenced vodka. Each bottle also contained a ten-inch rattlesnake. Bob Popplewell, the owner of Bayou Bob's, is expected to face charges of selling alcohol without a permit. Alcohol containing snakes or scorpions is popular in Asia, where it is believed to have aphrodisiac properties.

Fleeing Shoplifter Forgets Son

A 45-year-old man in Amsterdam stole a package of meat from a supermarket was spotted by a store employee. The shoplifter was so intent on making a getaway that he drove away and left his 12-year-old son behind. Police contacted the man through his son, but he refused to come pick up the boy, saying the police should contact his mother instead. The man eventually turned himself in.

Bizarre New Species of Crabs and a Giant Sea Cockroach Discovered in Waters Off Indonesia
One known species of isopod, or "giant sea cockroach"
One known species of isopod, or "giant sea cockroach"

A crab with green googly eyes, another with "ears" resembling peanuts, and a species of giant sea cockroach are among the dozen new kinds of crustaceans discovered by scientists in the waters off Indonesia, Channel News Asia reports.

These finds are the result of a two-week expedition by Indonesian and Singaporean scientists with the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition (SJADES 2018), which involved exploring deep waters in the Sunda Strait (the waterway separating the islands of Sumatra and Java in Southeast Asia) and the Indian Ocean. Using trawls, dredges, and other tools, researchers brought a huge variety of deep-sea life to the surface—some species for the very first time.

"The world down there is an alien world," Peter Ng, chief scientist of the expedition, told Channel News Asia. "You have waters that go down more than 2000 to 3000 meters [9800 feet], and we do not know … the animal life that's at the bottom."

The giant sea cockroach—technically a giant isopod, also nicknamed a Darth Vader isopod—is a new species in the genus Bathynomus, measuring almost a foot long and found more than 4000 feet deep. The isopods are occasionally seen on the ocean floor, where they scuttle around scavenging for dead fish and other animals. This marked the first time the genus has ever been recorded in Indonesia.

Another find is a spider crab nicknamed Big Ears, though it doesn't actually have ears—its peanut-shaped plates are used to protect the crab's eyes.

More than 800 species were collected during the expedition, accounting for 12,000 individual animals. Researchers say it will take up to two years to study all of them. In addition to the 12 species that are completely new to science, 40 were seen for the first time in Indonesia. Creatures that the scientists dubbed a chain-saw lobster, an ice cream cone worm, and a cock-eyed squid were among some of the rarer finds.

A "Chain-Saw Lobster"
Nicknamed the "Chain-Saw Lobster," this creature is a rare blind lobster, found only in the deep seas.

Researchers took to the giant sea cockroach quickly, with some of the crew members reportedly calling it “cute” and cradling it like a baby. Check out Channel News Asia Insider's video below for more insight into their creepy finds.

[h/t Channel News Asia]

The Mysterious Case of the Severed Feet in British Columbia

While walking on the beach, many people look out for a number of things: Shells, buried treasure, crabs, and dolphins among them. But if you’re on a beach in British Columbia, you might want to keep an eye out for something a little more sinister—about 15 severed feet have washed up on the shores there in the past few years. The latest was found on May 6, wedged in a mass of logs on Gabriola Island, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The feet have been surprising unlucky British Columbians for over a decade. The first appeared back in 2007 on Jedediah Island; it was eventually matched to a deceased man whose family declined to provide additional information. Bizarre, but not particularly alarming—until another one showed up on Gabriola Island less than a month later. More feet followed, and though some were matched to missing persons, most remained anonymous (feet, unfortunately, don’t contain much identifying information). Instead, police focused on the fact that each foot was encased in a running shoe—though sizes, genders, and brands differed.

This seems like a real-life episode of The X-Files, but it turns out there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the severed feet: They’re not really “severed,” which would indicate cutting or slicing, at all. According to scientists who tested the theory, the feet likely belong to suicide, drowning, or plane crash victims. It’s common for decomposing bodies to come apart at the joint, making it natural for the foot to come apart from the leg. But if that’s the case, wouldn’t hands be similarly susceptible to washing up on beaches? Nope, that’s where the shoes come in.

While the rest of the body naturally decomposes in water, feet are surprisingly well protected inside the rubber and fabric of a shoe. The soles can be pretty buoyant, and sometimes air pockets get trapped inside the shoe, making it float to the surface. Most of the “severed” feet have been clad in jogging shoes such as Nikes and Pumas, but at least one case involves a hiking boot. In that instance, the boot (and foot) was matched to a man who went missing while fishing more than 25 years ago. The most recent case also involves a hiking boot.

That leaves the question: Why British Columbia? According to Richard Thompson, an oceanographer with the federal Institute of Ocean Sciences, it’s connected to ocean current. “There’s a lot of recirculation in the region; we’re working here with a semi-enclosed basin. Fraser River, False Creek, Burrard Inlet—all those regions around there are somewhat semi-enclosed. The tidal currents and the winds can keep things that are floating recirculating in the system." Several feet have also been found further south, in Washington state, which shares a network of coastal waterways with British Columbia.

Others aren’t so quick to accept this scientific analysis, however. Criminal lawyer and crime author Michael Slade still wonders if a serial killer is afoot. "We also have to consider that this could be a serial killer," he said. "Somebody who right now is underneath the radar. That has to be on the table."


More from mental floss studios