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The Weird Week in Review

Nude Hiker Vows to Do It Again

German janitor Siegfried Grawert was arrested for public nudity while campaigning for the right to hike naked. He was jailed for ten days because he refused to pay the 500 euro fine. Grawert told a local newspaper he planned to continue participating in organized nude hikes. Germany is tolerant of nude bathing, but less so of hiking and jogging in the buff.

Fisherman Hooks Himself

Fisherman Peter Inskip cast his line towards a lake near his home in Uxbridge, England and caught it in some brush. When he tried to pull it out, the lure snapped back at him and the lead fishing weight embedded itself into his chest! He could feel the weight in the back of his throat as paramedics rushed him to the hospital. Surgeons removed the weight, breaking his breastbone in the process and leaving him with six stitches. They said he was lucky he hadn't nicked an artery. Inskip plans to fish again as soon as he is able.
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"It hasn't put me off one bit. The biggest downside is I'll probably never catch anything that big again."

Attempted Murder by Haunted House

38-year-old Sean A. Jennings of Spokane, Washington was sentenced to 12 years for trying to murder his wife. Last October, he called his wife out to the garage to see a haunted house he had arranged. He blindfolded her, telling her it was a surprise, then placed a noose around her neck. The woman lost consciousness before Jennings released her. When she came to, he advised her to hide the wound with a neck brace. The divorce was final a month later. Jennings pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder in a plea bargain.

Cow Stuck in Washer

150stuckcow.jpgA curious heifer in Cornwall got more than she bargained for when she stuck her head inside an abandoned washing machine. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals responded to a call and found the cow with the machine's drum completely encasing her head. RSPCA inspector David Hobbs freed the animal, and issued a statement about the irresponsibility of those who dump appliances instead of taking them to an approved landfill.

Stiletto Sprint

A $5,000 cash prize drew hundreds of women and several men to race in high heels down the street in Sydney, Australia last weekend. The 80-meter dash resulted in sore feet, twisted ankles, and a big pileup out of the starting gate. The winner was 18-year-old Brittney McGlone of Braidwood. The 265 people who ran set a record previously held by Holland, where 150 high-heeled runners participated in a similar event.

Woman "In Shock" Over 6-foot Zucchini

150zucchini.jpgApollonia Castitlione of Queens, New York grows zucchini every year, along with tomatoes and string beans. She's grown 4-foot zucchini before, but never anything as long as the 6-foot vegetable still growing in her garden. Castitlione posed with the zucchini, which is taller than she is, and said she would save the seeds to plant next year.
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"It's so straight, it's so perfect. Usually, some are really crooked."*

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The world record for zucchini is 7 feet, ten inches.

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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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