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The Weird Week in Review

Brazen Broccoli Bandit

Someone invaded Frank Fahy's garden in King's Somborne, England four times in one week. Each time the thief cut through the protective netting and took only one head of broccoli. Fahy posted signs after each theft, warning of surveillance, insecticide, and police action, but the vegetable villain has not been deterred. Fahy reports that he was victimized in a similar manner a year ago.

Obese Inmates Sues Over Weight Loss

19-year-old Broderick Laswell was arrested in Benton County, Arkansas last September on a murder charge. He weighed 413 pounds at the time. Since then, he has lost 105 pounds, and is now suing his jailers for starving him. Authorities report the jail food provides 2300-3000 calories a day.

Wedding Couple Jailed

A wedding couple became involved in a brawl with each other and wedding guests after repeating their wedding vows in Ross Township, Pennsylvania.

The fight between dentist David W. Wielechowksi, 32, of Shaler, and his bride, Christa Vattimo, 25, began as the couple were about to enter their room at the hotel on McKnight Road on Saturday night, according to police.

The couple spent their wedding night in jail, in separate cells.

Escaped Flying Pig Recovered

150pinkpig.jpgA signature Pink Floyd giant inflatable pig escaped its tether and flew away during the Coachella music festival last weekend. The tattered pig came to ground in the driveways of two families in La Quinta, California. The families will split a $10,000 reward offered by Coachella organizers. They will also share four life tickets to the annual music festival.

Crabs Attack Passenger After Plane Crash

Three people were returning to Houston from a fishing trip Tuesday when their small plane stalled in midair. An emergency landing in a field wrecked the fuselage, but no one was hurt from the crash itself. However, the man in the back seat suffered from crab pinches.

"When this happened, Craig was sitting in back and he said the cooler just went. Crabs went all over him just biting him left and right," said Georgette McGuire, the girlfriend of one of the men aboard the plane. "He said it was driving him crazy. He's got a bunch of crab bites on him."

Huge Beaver on a Liquor Rampage

150_beaver.jpgA large beaver broke into a liquor store in Ozersk, Russia last weekend and smashed several bottles of vodka before authorities could apprehend him. The beaver, who was thought to be fleeing nearby forest fires, was taken to a safe area and released.

High-Priced Dinosaur Dung

Dinosaur coprolites were sold for $960 at an auction Wednesday. Bonhams New York auction expected the fossilized feces to bring only around $450.

The buyer was Steve Tsengas of Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The 71-year-old owns OurPets, a company that sells products to treat dog and cat waste.

"Poop," he said, "is a big business in the pet industry."

Tsengas plans to use the purchase to display at trade shows.

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Animals
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"
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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]

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Weird
The Mysterious Case of the Severed Feet in British Columbia
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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."

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