CLOSE

The Weird Week in Review

Man Steals Ambulance with Patient Inside

Police in Madison, Wisconsin say a drunken man got into an ambulance in the parking lot of a ski resort and drove off Monday night. Emergency personnel were in the back of the ambulance with a patient at the time! Police stopped the vehicle as the man was driving it around the parking lot. 24-year-old Nicholas Pontillo was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, driving while intoxicated, and vehicle theft. He also had two outstanding warrants.

Scottish Man Goes Home with Two Left Feet

76-year-old Patrick Morrison of Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland went to a hospital in Edinburgh to have his right foot amputated. A prosthetic foot was attached before he returned home. When his wife removed the bandages, she was surprised to find he now had two left feet!

Patrick reportedly said: "She just burst out laughing. I phoned the hospital and they cut off the bottom of the limb and replaced the foot."

The prosthetic expert at Astley Ainslie Hospital that fitted the foot to Morrison has been fired.

Millionaire Gives Away Fortune

Karl Rabeder of Telfs, Austria amassed a fortune of around £3 million after growing up in poverty. But his riches didn't make him happy. Now he is selling his properties and giving the money to charity. Rabeder is selling his luxury home in the Alps by a raffle, and his other house in Cruis through a real estate agent. The furnishings are being sold as well. The money will go to a microcredit charity he founded that lends small amounts of money to people in El Salvador, Honduras, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile for development and small businesses.

Turkey Vulture Hitches Ride in Helicopter

Paul Appleton was piloting a helicopter and taking pictures during the Super Bowl in Miami last week when a bird crashed through the windshield. The turkey vulture landed in Appleton's lap -and stayed there. The pilot decided it would not be safe to push the big bird out, so the buzzard rode for twenty miles sitting in Appleton's lap. When the helicopter landed, the bird flew out, stumbled around for a while, then flew off for good. The incident was captured on video.

Shackleton's Whisky Recovered

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust is restoring the shack used by explorer Ernest Shackleton during his Antarctic expedition of 1907-1909. In 2006 they discovered two cases of whisky, but only recently have they been able to free those crates from the ice. Then they discovered another case of whisky and two crates of brandy! Although the crates and most of the contents must remain with the historical site, a sample of the whisky will be retrieved for the distiller. Richard Paterson, master blender at Whyte & Mackay, says they will analyze the whisky in hopes of recreating the recipe, which had been lost since Shackleton took the brand to Antarctica.

Lame Duck Teaches Disabled Boy to Walk

Becci Lomax of Plymouth, England encountered a baby duckling that was going to be put down because of a lame leg. She took the duck in and nursed it back to health. As Lomax gave the duck, now named Ming-Ming, a dose of physical therapy every day, her 4-year-old son Finlay, who was born with cerebral palsy, watched and learned.

"This is the most amazing thing because in doing physio on the duckling, the same as I do for my son, Finlay took his first three steps after watching me doing the physio with the duckling.

"I was brimming with pride.

"Finlay uses a frame at home but even that's increased. He said 'I walk like the duck Mummy'," says Becci.

Is this quack medicine? We'll see when she gets a bill.

How Do You Steal a Washing Machine?

A man in Fort Walton Beach, Florida was seen pushing a washing machine down the street. A sheriff's deputy pulled up and asked him what he was doing. The man said the washing machine had been discarded, along with two dryers. The owner of the machine had appliances outside, but had posted a sign saying they were not to be moved. Nathan Earl Roberts was arrested on burglary and theft charges. Next time, he will probably make an effort to read the sign.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
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"
iStock

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]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Weird
The Mysterious Case of the Severed Feet in British Columbia
iStock
iStock

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."

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios