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The Weird Week in Review

No Wife for World's Worst Student

74-year-old Shiv Charan made a vow that he would not take a wife until he passed India's year 10 school exams. That was in 1969. Charan has taken the exams almost every year since then, and has failed 38 times. This year, he failed all but one subject, Hindi.

"As long as I am alive I will go on giving examinations in order to get a wife," he said.

Asked if he was ready to give up his quest, he said: "Better to die than go back on your word."

Frantic Rescue Effort Saves Doll

Police in Gympie, Australia broke through a car window to save what they thought was an unconscious baby locked inside. The 'baby" turned out to be one of the extremely life-like dolls created by artist Vynette Cernik. Cernik said a similar incident occurred in the US when police broke into a Hummer to save a doll.

Police Raid Amtrak Mooning

The annual Mooning of Amtrak event was held Saturday, and around 8,000 people showed up to bare their backsides to passing trains in Orange County, California. 50 officers of the Orange County Sheriff's Department and California Highway patrol were called over complaints of nudity. They shut down the event and dispersed the crowd, but no arrests were made. The mooning is an annual tradition that started over an offer of free drinks in 1979.

Bull Crashes Pool Party

150bull.jpgGuests had just begun to arrive at Jamie Stewart's new pool when an escaped bull crashed through and plunged into the water. He couldn't climb out on his own, so the pool had to be  partially drained and the bull hoisted out by six firemen and a local veterinarian. The process took three hours. Stewart had just filled the new pool with 10,000 gallons of water the day before. His children were disappointed that they didn't get to swim, but "they ended up with a much better story to tell their friends."

Man Who Robbed McDonalds Produces a McDonalds Jingle

Tamien Bain robbed a McDonalds when he was 14 years old, and served 12 years for the crime. Now he's one of five finalists in a contest to produce a jingle -for McDonalds! Bain now goes by the name "BAiNG The Locksmith" and visits prisons and juvenile centers with other rappers to talk about how he turned his life around. He told the contest officials about his previous experience with McDonalds before he was named as a finalist. You can vote on the jingles at the contest MySpace page through Sunday.

World's Greatest Dad Caught in Sex Sting

125Dad.jpg33-year-old Daniel Allen Everett of Clarkston, Michigan thought he was on his way to a sexual rendezvous with a 14-year-old girl he met on the internet. Instead, he was met by police officers, who arrested him on child sex charges. It's not clear whether Everett has children, but he was taken in wearing a t-shirt proclaiming him to be the "World's Greatest Dad."

Suicide Designed to Look Like Murder

You hear of murders that were covered up by making it look like a suicide, but the reverse seems to be the case with the death of Red Lobster executive Thomas Hickman. Hickman was found March 15 lying in a field in New Mexico. Police have determined that Hickman shot himself in the back of the head, using a gun attached to helium balloons. The balloons could have carried the gun away, making the death appear as a murder, but the balloons and the gun, which was modified to reduce its weight, were found nearby.

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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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