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The Weird Week in Review

Decorated Deer

You are used to seeing deer on lawns as Christmas decorations, but in Colorado Springs, you might see a real decorated deer! A TV news crew was there to capture video when a deer with Christmas lights tangled in its antlers roamed through a neighborhood. A neighbor tried to remove the lights, but couldn't get close enough before the deer ran away. Wildlife experts say the problem should resolve itself when the deer sheds the antlers.

Book 99 Years Overdue Returned to Library

75-year-old Stanley Dudek found a book entitled "Facts I Ought to Know about the Government of My Country" among his mother's possessions when she died in 1998. He didn't know it was a library book at the time. Last year, he noticed the book was due back on May 2, 1910. On Monday, he finally returned the book to the New Bedford Public Library in Massachusetts. The library waived the fine, which would be about $360 at the rate of one cent per day. The book, which was printed in 1894, was given to Dudek's mother in 1922 when she arrived in the US from her native Poland. The library has no records on who originally checked it out.

Drunk 4-Year-Old Steals Christmas Presents

Four-year-old Hayden Wright of Chattanooga, Tennessee was caught drinking beer and stealing Christmas presents from a neighbor's home in the middle of the night. His mother, April Wright woke up and found her son missing. Police found the child wandering the streets in a girl's dress taken from a neighbor's home and drinking a 12-ounce beer. Hayden had bypassed child safety devices on the doors and got the beer from his father's cooler. He then snuck into a neighbor's house and took Christmas presents, and rang the doorbell at another house. April Wright said he may have been looking for his father, or trying to get into trouble so he could be with his father, who is in jail. Hayden was taken to a hospital to be treated for alcohol consumption.

Cow Jumps Six Feet Onto Roof

A homeowner in Blagdon, Somerset, England called police to report damage to his roof. He suspected burglars, but later found it was a cow! Police asked neighbors if they knew anything about the incident, and 17-year-old William de Cothi showed them a photograph he had taken of a cow on the roof. The student had seen the cow on the roof and took a picture because it was so unbelievable. The animal had to jump about six feet to get onto the roof.

Woman Teaches Fox Sign Language

Beth Tyler-King of Hartland, Devon, England has taken in a deaf fox and taught it sign language. Milly the fox was injured when she was picked up by animal control 18 months ago, and found to be completely deaf. Tyler-king, who is also deaf, keeps Milly indoors most of the time as the fox was traumatized by earlier abuse. Milly has learned quite a few hand signals. Tyler King also has other injured animals she cares for.

"˜At the moment, I have got 30 hedgehogs, five owls, seven dogs, 14 cats, five pigeons, a dove, a parrot, and a squirrel.' She also has 12 hens and two ponies.

Food Fight Sends Germans to Hospital

A 74-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman got into an argument over a shopping cart at a supermarket in Aachen, Germany on Saturday. The woman's mother and brother joined in the fray and took the cart, but the elderly man caught up with them and began beating the brother with a salami. The mother grabbed a four-pound hunk of Parmesan cheese and defended her family. Police were summoned, and two of the group were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The shopping cart was undamaged.

Man Strangles Rabid Bobcat with his Bare Hands

61-year-old James Gruver of Yavapai County, Arizona was attacked by a bobcat. He was looking underneath a trailer on his property when the cat lunged at him, knocking the man down. Gruver kept his wits about him and grabbed the bobcat by the neck and strangled him.

"I just kept a death grip on it because I realized when I was down on the ground, this is getting real serious," he says.

Gruver avoided being bitten, but sustained a few scratches. Arizona has seen a record 244 cases of rabies in animals this year.

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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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