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The Weird Week in Review

Lost Luggage

Dave Carroll of the band Sons of Maxwell who wrote the popular internet song United Breaks Guitars has become a spokesman of a sort for beleaguered airline passengers. Carroll flew United Airlines again on Sunday on his way to speak to a group of customer service executives. Then he spent an hour at the baggage claim because United lost his luggage! Carroll was told by a United employee that he had to stay in baggage claim, and a customs official told him he had to leave. The bag didn't show up until Wednesday. Carroll said United was the only airline he could fly from Saskatchewan to Colorado Springs. The luggage was returned to him on Wednesday.

The Silverware Swallower

A Dutch medical magazine asked its readers to send in their stories of strange medical cases. One respondent told the tale of Margaret Daalman, who came in to the hospital 30 years ago complaining of a stomach ache. An x-ray found 78 forks and spoons inside her! It wasn't the first time Daalman had been treated for her habit of eating cutlery. The photos and x-rays were not made public until now. Daalman went into therapy after the surgery and is said to be doing well today.

Murder Mystery Guests Fail to Spot Actual Crime

A church group staged a murder mystery dinner theater in Yeovil, England on Saturday night. They spent the evening looking for crime clues, but failed to notice that thieves had taken a large TV, laptop computer and the contents of a safe the night before. Elim Pentecostal Church was the victim of a break-in Friday that went unnoticed until Sunday, despite the crime-solving party. The crime was finally noticed by Reverend Howard Davenport, whose car had been vandalized at the church earlier in the week.

Revd Howard Davenport said: "In situations like this you have to laugh really!

"We were obviously disappointed that the church had been targeted twice in a week, but when I heard that it hadn't even been noticed I had to smile.

"You'd have thought that eight wannabe detectives might have noticed a real crime a few metres from them only hours earlier!"

10-foot Shark Nearly Bitten in Half by 20-foot Shark

A 10-foot Great White Shark had been hooked already by a baited drum line off the coast of Queensland, Australia when it was attacked and bitten by a much bigger fish. Based on the bite marks, the attacker is presumed to be a 20-foot long Great White shark. Swimmers were warned away from the area of Stradbroke Island.

One-legged Man Held After One Shoe Goes Missing

A clerk at a shoe store in Maldegem, Belgium discovered that a single shoe was missing on Monday. A suspect came immediately to mind -a one-legged man who had been in the shop. Police were alerted and quickly apprehended an amputee who fit the store employees' description. The shoe was recovered, and the suspect, a Russian asylum-seeker, was handed over to authorities.

Chihuahua Smuggled in Luggage

150chihuahuabagCustoms officials at the Dublin Airport at first thought the x-ray showed a toy dog in the suitcase, but they opened it up and out popped a live puppy! A Bulgarian man on a flight from Madrid was trying to smuggle the young chihuahua. Bring a chihuahua into Ireland is not illegal, but imported animals must have a health certificate and paperwork to travel internationally. The puppy was handed over to officials and was placed in quarantine. The man was not detained, but a file is being compiled on the case.

Cop Allegedly Pulls Gun At Haunted House

36-year Baltimore police sergeant Eric Janik took a tour of a staged haunted house with his 9-year-old daughter and three other people. At the end of the tour, Michael Morrison, who was working in character at the attraction, jumped out at Janik to scare him with a chainsaw, Michael Meyers-style. Janik allegedly drew his service revolver and pointed it at Morrison's chest. Morrison dropped the chainsaw, which had no chain. Janik later denied the incident, saying he pointed the gun at the ground. Witnesses say Janik had been drinking.

"Callers said he seemed to be very intoxicated. In fact, the people inside the House of Screams noted that. When he was being processed, two of the officers noticed his speech was slurred and there was a moderate odor of alcohol coming from his breath. He didn't seem to be taking this quite as seriously as he should have been," said Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey.

Janik has been suspended from duty with pay while awaiting a hearing.

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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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