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The Weird Week in Review

Cop in Charge of Drunk Driving Caught Driving Drunk

A deputy police inspector in Tokyo was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on Monday. He had bumped another car and ran off the road. Local media identified the inspector as the officer in charge of a campaign against drunk driving that had involved police handing out stickers at bars and restaurants.

"It is inexcusable for a member of the police to have caused this case and we plan to deal with it strictly," Tsutomu Sato, the head of the National Public Safety Commission told reporters.

Two-faced Kitten Born in Perth

A kitten with two faces was born yesterday at a veterinary clinic in Perth, Australia. A newspaper photographer was at the clinic to shoot pictures of greyhounds when the birth occurred, and took the opportunity to snap pictures of the newborn kitten. The kitten's two mouths meow simultaneously, controlled by its single brain. It eats only from one mouth, as the other has a cleft palate.

Former Prisoner Settles in Lost Penis Case

The State of Washington will pay $300,000 to a man who lost his penis and one testicle to flesh-eating bacteria while in prison. 61-year-old Charlie Manning was incarcerated in 2004 and developed a rash that was first diagnosed as an allergic reaction. By the time he was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria, surgeons had to remove several pounds of flesh in order to save Manning's life. Manning filed suit in 2007, and the settlement was reached in October.

World's Tallest Mohawk

150mohawk.jpgEric Hahn, a musician in Omaha, Nebraska, has the new Guinness World Record for the tallest mohawk hairdo. His locks stand 27 inches above his head, 3 inches taller than the previous record holder. Hahn donated the hair that was cut to produce the mohawk to Locks of Love, a charity that provides wigs to cancer patients who have lost their hair. Hahn's band also staged a concert last Friday to benefit Locks of Love and a local charity.

Hold the Toilet Handle Down

A 91-year-old woman in Jersey City, New Jersey was robbed by a man who impersonated a water company employee. He told her there was a water emergency, and instructed her to hold the handle of her toilet down or else the house would explode. The victim obeyed and held the handle for about two minutes. When she gave up and came out of the bathroom, the woman found that the man had ransacked her house and made off with $3,650 in cash.

Lost Cockatiel Identifies Owners by Phone

150cockatiel.jpgA lost cockatiel perched on passerby Sue Hill's shoulder in Wrexham, England. Once home, she phoned the local veterinarian to see if anyone had reported a missing bird. Someone had, and soon Hill was on the phone with Carole Edwards. Hill put the phone up to the cockatiel's ear and when he heard Edwards' voice, he spoke for the first time, saying his name Smokey.
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"It was so amusing. When she shouted 'Smokey' he just responded straight away. It was hysterical, and there was no doubt in my mind they were the owners."

Doctors Find Worm in Woman's Brain

Doctors in Phoenix, Arizona thought the worst when they saw the results of Rosemary Alvarez' MRI scan. She was taken into surgery to remove a tumor on her brain stem. Once they got inside, surgeons were surprised to see not a tumor, but a worm! Dr. Peter Nakaji even laughed when he saw what the problem was.

"I'm sure this is a very strange response for the people in the operating room," he told MyFOXPhoenix.com. "But because I was so pleased to know that it wasn't going to be something terrible."

The surgeons removed the worm, and Alvarez has recovered completely.

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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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