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The Weird Week in Review

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Iowa Teen Abandoned in Nebraska

A new law in Nebraska states that any child can be relinquished by anyone at a hospital without incurring abandonment charges. The broadly-worded law was meant to protect children from parents who could not care for them. A couple in Council Bluffs, Iowa took advantage of the law by driving their granddaughter over the state line and leaving her at a Omaha hospital. The 14-year-old girl was the first child relinquished from out of state. The girl was returned to her family in Iowa after the grandparents changed their minds. Since the law was passed, 17 children have been relinquished at hospitals in Nebraska, including a group of nine siblings and one 15-year-old boy.

Woman Spends £10,000 So Cat Can Meow

Jean Kelly of Olney, Buckinghamshire, England noticed her cat Cadbury was quiet -too quiet. She took him to the vet and found he had a paralyzed larynx, a rare condition preventing him from meowing. Two surgeries were required to correct this condition. He also spent six days on oxygen and four months in nursing care, for a total cost of £10,000. Kelly's pet health insurance covered £6,000 of the cost, leaving her to pay the other £4,000. Kelly, who postponed a vacation in Africa to pay for Cadbury's bills, said it was worth it to hear her 13-year-old cat meow again.

1847 Law Keeps Cabbies from Bathroom

Cab driver David Finnegan was confronted by a council officer in Darlington, England when he parked his cab to use a public restroom nine feet away. The officer cited an 1847 law that says,

"If the driver of any hackney carriage leave it in any street or at any place of public resort or entertainment, whether it be hired or not, without some one proper to take care of it, any constable may drive away such hackney carriage and deposit it."

Finnegan, who has driven a cab for twenty years, objected to the law, saying it would prevent him from ever leaving his cab for any reason. As the regulation was intended for horse-and-carriage drivers, the Darlington Council said they would dispose of the matter informally.

National Debt Clock Runs Out of Digits

150debtclock.jpgThe National Debt Clock has been keeping track of the US debt in Times Square since 1989. When Seymour Durst installed the clock, the national debt was 2.7 trillion. Last month, the digital dollar sign was removed in anticipation of the debt passing the 10 trillion dollar mark. Now the place where the dollar sign was accommodates the new digit. A new clock will be erected early next year, with space for a debt of a quadrillions dollars. The current national debt is 10.2 trillion dollars, which may go to 11 trillion due to the financial bailout package.

Swimming the Palace Moat Naked

Japan's Emperor and Empress live in a palace in Tokyo surrounded by 12 moats. On Tuesday, a man who later identified himself as a British tourist jumped into the moat naked and led police on a chase that lasted an hour and a half. At one point, he left the water to chase police with a pole and throw rocks at them. He also scaled the 8 meter palace wall before returning to the water. The man was finally arrested and later released.

Couple Saw Home in Half

150halfhome.jpgA couple in Cambodia have separated from each other by cutting their home in half! After being married for almost 40 years, the two decided to live apart, and thought this would be the most equitable way to do it. The wife will remain in her half of the home in its current location; the husband will live with his parents until he reconstructs his half at another site.

Python Tried to Eat Zoo Owner's Head

Renate Klosse runs a zoo in Uhldingen, Germany. Last weekend, she was cleaning out the cage of a Tiger python named Antonia when the snake attacked her!

'The jaws of the snake opened so wide that, with one lunge, she was able to completely cover the woman's face,' said a police spokeswoman.

'She feared that with a few more gulps her head would be inside.'

Klosse stuck her thumbs into the snake's jaws while her coworkers sprayed the snake with a water hose. The snake then let go, and Klosse was treated at a hospital for bite wounds and shock.

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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.


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."


A man has a traffic cone over his head

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.


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.


A stock shot of a person stuck in a toilet

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."


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.”


A man appears to be stuck inside a washing machine

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.


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."


A chimney sits on a rooftop

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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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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