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The Weird Week in Review

Removing Spider Webs Leads to House Fire

Galen Winchell was cleaning the outside of his home in Sargent, Georgia when a fire broke out. Specifically, he was removing cobwebs with a blowtorch. The fire raced through the attic and was extinguished by the Coweta County Fire Department. The fire was limited to one end of the 1,400 square foot home, but smoke and water damaged the entire house. Coweta Fire Investigator James Gantt advised the public not to use a blowtorch to remove cobwebs.

73-year-old Scores in College Basketball

Ken Mink, a full-time student at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee, scored two points in a game Monday night against King College. The 73-year-old sunk two free throws in Roane State's 93-42 win. It was his first college game in 52 years. Mink had played for Lees College in Jackson, Kentucky when he was young, but was kicked off the team for soaping the coach's office. He insists he didn't do it.

Priest and Nuns Attack Restaurant Owner

Passers-by in Rutino, Italy called police after observing a brawl at a restaurant. The restauranteur had responded to a report of trouble and arrived to find a priest and two nuns demanding the return of the property, which is owned by the Catholic church.

"I came down to try to calm things down but the priest hit me with a chair and I ended up on the floor. Then the two sisters started kicking me, insulting me with unrepeatable words," the unnamed owner said in a statement.

The restauranteur was taken to the hospital with injuries on his head and abdomen.

Captain Fantastic

150captainfantastic.jpg19-year-old George Garratt of Glastonbury, England legally changed his name to -get this- Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine The Hulk And The Flash Combined. The change was made via deed poll through a website. He admits he did it for a laugh.
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"My family have begun to expect these sorts of things from me, and although my friends thought it was ridiculous most people do call me Captain and it's been a great conversation starter."

Runner Covers Mile with Rabid Fox on Arm

An unidentified Chino Valley, Arizona woman was jogging on a trail near Granite Mountain Monday when a fox attacked her. The animal bit her foot, and when she tried to grab it, bit her arm and held on. She ran a mile back to her car with the fox still attached. The jogger then pried the fox's jaws open, threw it in her trunk, and drove to a hospital. The fox also bit the animal control officer who removed it from the trunk. The animal tested positive for rabies, and both the woman and the animal control officer are being treated.

Stick Inducted into Toy Hall of Fame

150stick.jpgThe National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York has selected three inductees for this year: the baby doll, the skateboard, and the stick.
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Curators at the Rochester museum say the stick is a special addition. They praised its all-purpose, all-natural, no-cost qualities and its ability to serve either as raw material or an appendage transformed by imaginations into something else.

Victim Drives Sleeping Rapist to Police

22-year-old Vipul Sharma was found guilty of rape in Wellington, New Zealand. He had met the unidentified victim in an Auckland bar and drove her to a park where he raped her. He then had her drive while he fell asleep in the passenger seat. The victim promptly drove to the nearest police station, where Sharma was arrested.

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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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