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The Weird Week in Review

Cat Saves Man from Burning Home

With most "pet saves family from fire" stories, it's easy to assume that the pet woke someone up because it wanted OUT of the house. In this case, the cat came in from outside, and it didn't even live there!

Engineer Andrew Williams was asleep when the fire broke out at his bungalow in Bracknell in Berkshire.

As black smoke filled the property, his neighbour's cat Hugo came through a cat-flap and raised the alarm by clawing at the father-of-two's face.

Rescuers said that the fire could have killed Mr Williams if he had not been awoken by Hugo. A smoke detector had been moved during work on the bungalow.

Motive for Assault: Missing Condiments

26-year-old Monique Aguet went through the drive-through of a KFC in Surprise, Arizona. She became upset when her order did not include condiments. She went inside the store to continue the argument with a store employee, and was ordered to leave. The employee followed her back outside and stood behind Aguet's car to record her license plate number. Aguet then backed up the car/ The unnamed employee banged on the trunk to let her know she was there, but Aguet continued to back up, striking the employee with the car. Aguet was arrested for disorderly conduct and suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The employee was unhurt.

Windshield Shattered by Falling Fish

Leighann Niles was driving near East Harbor State Park in Ohio when a fish fell out of the sky and broke her car's windshield! The eight-pound freshwater drum, or sheepshead, was dropped by a bald eagle flying overhead. Niles said the eagle also dropped the head of a second fish. Neither Niles nor her 5-year-old daughter were injured in the incident.

Inmate Hides Gun in his Fat Rolls

120_vera25-year-old George Vera was arrested Sunday in Houston, Texas for selling bootleg CDs. Vera was searched at least four times and passed through a metal detector twice as he was processed and transferred from the city lockup to the county jail. On Monday, during a shower break, Vera admitted to a guard that he smuggled an unloaded 9mm pistol into the jail by hiding it in his rolls of fat. Vera weighs more than 500 pounds.

Cab Driver Choked; People Locked Inside Church

A strange chain of events occurred Saturday morning in Mount Vernon, New York. A cab picked up a passenger, who tried to rob the driver by choking him while he was driving. The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the River Jordan Holy Tabernacle Church. The attacker and two other passengers fled the scene. While police were investigating the incident, they found five people inside the church, which was locked from the outside. Police Commissioner David Chong said the five people were taken to a hospital as a precaution.

"What scares us about this is that the church was all locked down from the outside, so there was no means of getting out of the church for these four adults and the child," Chong said.

Duck has a Sandal

150ducksandalLucky the duckling is very lucky to have been adopted by an orthopedic nurse after she broke her leg, which left her with a right foot that bent the wrong way. Alison Morgan of Newport, Wales, performs physical therapy on the leg and had a special Roman sandal made for her by cobbler Kelvin Reddicliffe. The sandal protects Lucky's toes from irritation and further damage, and allows her to keep up with the other two ducks in the home. Morgan is trying to raise £500 for an operation to straighten and lengthen Lucky's leg.

Man Blames Cat for Child Pornography

Police investigators found over 1,000 images of child pornography on a computer belonging to 48-year-old Keith R. Griffin of Jensen Beach, Florida. He was charged with ten counts of possession of the materials. Griffin said that he left his computer on all the time, and that his cat would sometimes jump on the keyboard. When he returned to the computer, there would be "strange material downloaded". Griffin is being held in the Martin County Jail, with bail set at $250,000

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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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