CLOSE

The Weird Week in Review

Fake Cop Pulls Over Real Cop

If you're going to impersonate a police officer, be careful who you confront! 20-year-old Israel Gomez used a siren and red flashing lights to pull over a car on Tuesday night in Hartford Connecticut. In that car was Lt. Ronald Bair, an off-duty officer with the Hartford police department. Bair called for backup, and Gomez was arrested, along with Esteban Cardona, who was in another vehicle. The two were charged with reckless driving, and Gomez is also charged with impersonating a police officer and improper use of flashing lights.

Horse Gets Head Stuck in Tree

Jason Harschbarger of Pullman, West Virginia was surprised to come across a horse with her head stuck in a tree. Gracie had put her head in the gap between two trunk sections and  become firmly wedged. Harschbarger, a neighbor of the horse's owner, used a chainsaw to carefully cut the tree around Gracie's neck. She suffered a few minor injuries but is now on the road to recovery.

Woman Jailed After Virtual Murder

An unnamed Japanese woman reacted in anger after her virtual husband divorced her in the interactive game "Maple Story". She reacted by killing him -not the player, but his online avatar. The player whose online persona was murdered complained to police, who arrested the woman on suspicion of hacking. She used information she got from the other player in order to destroy his avatar. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.

Houseplant Has a Personal Blog

125bloggingplant.jpgMidori-san is a hoya kerrii, or sweetheart plant, that has its own personal blog. The plant lives in a cafe in Kamakura, Japan and has sensors attached to its leaves. The sensors send data abut the plant's physical state to a computer, which translates it into Japanese and posts it to the web. Information about weather conditions is also factored into the posts.
*
"Today was a sunny day and I was able to sunbathe a lot"¦ I had quite a bit of fun today," it wrote on October 16 from its cafe in Kamakura, near Tokyo.

Woman Stalked by Man in Hearse

An Australian undertaker was sentenced this week for stalking a woman by following her in a hearse. 37-year-old Adam Lee followed Maureen Wyer through the streets of Sydney one night in December of 2004 while yelling and blowing the vehicle's horn. He was convicted of drunk driving, disobeying police orders, and driving in a menacing manner. Lee's attorney admitted that his client binge drinks on weekends.

Spider Eats Bird

125spidereatingbird.jpgA spider known as the Golden Orb Weaver was photographed in Atherton, Queensland, Australia eating a bird! The bird is a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, which likely flew into the spider's web and could not free itself. The Golden Orb Weaver is known to grow larger than a human hand. Les Martin, the man who took the photographs stated that the bird was already dead when he snapped the pictures.

Naked Man Wedged in Chimney

Firefighters were called to the aid of a 22-year-old man stuck upside down in a chimney of a Tesco store in Wigan, England. He is being held on suspicion of burglary.

Police said that because the man was naked he was taken to hospital as a precaution but was treated and discharged before being arrested.

A GMP spokeswoman said: "It is believed some of his clothes came off as a result of him struggling to get out of the chimney."

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
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"
iStock

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]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Weird
The Mysterious Case of the Severed Feet in British Columbia
iStock
iStock

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."

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios