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The Weird Week in Review

Woman Stuck in Toilet at Mets Game

An unidentified woman attending a Mets game Wednesday lost her gold tooth, which fell into a toilet at Citi Field. She reached into the toilet to retrieve the tooth, but then her arm became stuck. Security guards heard her screaming and entered the restroom, but they couldn't free her. A plumber was called in from the company that installed the new field's toilets. As the woman waited with water flushing over her arm, a crowd of baseball fans gathered around to watch. She was eventually freed, but did not recover the gold tooth. The Mets lost to Atlanta, 8-7.

Penguin Sports

The Penguathlon is a sporting event for penguins at the Kelly Tarlton Arctic Encounter in Orakei, New Zealand. Penguins compete in five events: football, Frisbee, surfing, swing ball, and waddle races. The colony at the Arctic Encounter has 80 King and Gentoo penguins in its colony. The sports are showcased as an enrichment exercise for the birds. The Penguathlon, which will run the rest of this month, may become an annual event.

Man Robs Store with Banana, Eats Evidence

John Steven Szwalla was arrested for attempted armed robbery of a computer cafe in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He approached the store owner, Bobby Ray Mabe while pointing something that was under his shirt. Mabe and a store customer jumped on Szwalla, held him down, and called police. The "weapon" turned out to be a banana! Szwalla ate the banana before the police arrived.

"And the deputy said, 'Ah hah! He ate the evidence,'" Mabe said. "But we had the banana peel and they took a picture of it."

Deputies joked about charging him with destroying evidence, said Major Brad Stanley, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff's office.

Doctor Uses Household Drill on Boy's Head

150rossi.jpg12-year-old Nicholas Rossi fell off his bike in Maryborough, Victoria, Australia. His parents rushed him to the local hospital, where Dr. Rob Carson saw the child's brain was bleeding. The hospital did not have the equipment for brain surgery, so he ordered a drill from the maintenance department in order to open the skull and relieve the pressure. Carson consulted with Melbourne neurosurgeon David Wallace by phone, who talked him through the procedure. Rossi was up and walking around within a couple of days, and has since made a full recovery.

Bodybuilding Event Canceled

There were twenty entrants ready to compete at the Belgian championship bodybuilding competition. Then suddenly there were none! The disappearing act was sparked by a visit from officials ready to test for drugs. Doping official Hans Cooman and two colleagues entered the venue and all twenty competitors just left rather than submit to testing. Steroid testing last year eliminated 75% of competitors from the bodybuilding event, either for steroid use or for refusing to take the test.

Nationwide Alert for Missing Teddy Bear

120_teddybear.jpgA desperate Australian student who is studying in Göttingen, Germany contacted German police after she lost the beloved teddy bear she'd had since childhood. She sent a recent picture of the bear by email. Police were touched and issued a nationwide alert which was picked up by TV and newspapers. No word yet on any possible leads in the missing bear case.

Unconscious Man Found Without Cell Phone Help

An unnamed 62-year-old man in Carrollton, Ohio was found unconscious after an 11-hour search Thursday morning. He was reported to have taken "several bottles of pills" before fleeing from a domestic disturbance. Carroll County sheriff Dale Williams contacted Verizon for help to locate the man using his cell phone signal, but the operator refused because the man was behind in his payments. Williams negotiated with the operator, and the sheriff agreed to make a $20 payment on the bill. However, police and firefighters found the man before the deal was accomplished. He was taken to a hospital and released later that day.

"I was more concerned for the person's life," Williams said. "It would have been nice if Verizon would have turned on his phone for five or 10 minutes, just long enough to try and find the guy. But they would only turn it on if we agreed to pay $20 of the unpaid bill. Ridiculous."

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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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