CLOSE

The Weird Week in Review

International Banana Club Museum to be Sold

Ken Bannister, founder of the International Banana Club Museum, is selling out. The price of the museum has dropped from $45,00 to only $15,000! Before you snap up that bargain, be aware that the museum includes only the banana artifacts but no real estate, as the museum has been housed in rented space. Now the exhibit center is pulling out of the rental agreement and Bannister doesn't want to put the museum's contents in storage. The Banana Museum is the world's largest collection devoted to any one fruit, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Bids can be submitted to eBay.

Germany's Unluckiest Olympian

Is it luck or a curse that causes German speed skater Daniela Anschutz-Thoms to finish in fourth place? Not once, not twice, but fifteen times in the Olympics, the World Championships, and the European Championships. At each competition, medals are awarded to the top three only. It happened again in Vancouver.

Right up until the last lap, Germany's unluckiest Olympian looked set to break the mold and grab silver in the women's 3000 metre speed skating race.

But eventually the 35-year-old fell short, losing out on third place by just three hundredths of a second.

No matter how hard poor old Daniela tries, she just can't escape fourth place.

Anschutz-Thoms will have one more chance at a medal, in the 5,000 meter race next week.

Shoe Thief Targeted Funerals

A 59-year-old man named Park was arrested in Seoul, South Korea for stealing hundreds of pairs of shoes. He would attend funerals and wait for mourners to remove their shoes before entering the building, as is customary. Then he would pick out a expensive pair, put them on, and leave his own cheaper shoes behind. When police raided the warehouse at Park's second-hand shoe business, they uncovered 1200 pairs of shoes that may have been stolen. Now the shoes are laid out on display, and victims have been asked to come and collect the shoes that were stolen from them.

Czech Doctors Left 12" Tool in Patient

66-year-old Zdenka Kopeckova underwent surgery in September at a clinic in Ivancice, Czech Republic. She complained of constant pain since the operation. Only in February did doctors realize her surgical team had left a foot-long medical tool that resembles a spatula inside her abdomen! Four clinic employees have been fired over the incident. Clinic supervisors have apologized and offered compensation to Kopeckova, who plans to sue.

Gordon Lightfoot's Status Upgraded to Not Dead

71-year-old Canadian musician Gordon Lightfoot was at his dentist's office when he heard the news that he had passed away. The report was broadcast on the Toronto radio station CP24 Thursday. Lightfoot called in a correction.

"I'm fine, everything is good. I don't know where it comes from. It seems like a bit of a hoax or something," the 71-year-old singer said. "I was quite surprised to hear [it] myself.

"I haven't had so much airplay on my music now for weeks."

The initial report is thought to have been a prank which turned into rumor which made its way to Canwest news websites.

Not Dead Enough for a Funeral

A funeral home in Cali, Colombia was preparing the body of a 45-year-old woman for embalming when she began to move and breathe. She had been declared dead the day before by hospital staff when monitors registered no heartbeat and no blood pressure. The unnamed woman was transferred back to the hospital, where she is in a coma.

Stranded Snowboarder Burned Money to Stay Warm

22-year-old Dominik Podolsky of Munich, Germany was trapped 33 feet above the ground on a ski lift in Austria when operators shut it down for the night. He didn't have his phone with him, and decided not to jump. Instead, he began burning his money to ward off hypothermia. A crew on the ground spotted the fire as Podolsky was burning his last 20-euro note, six hours after he boarded the ski lift. He was taken to the hospital, treated for hypothermia, and released that same night. Podolsky is considering legal action against the ski lift company, but a spokesman said that no one was supposed to use the ski lift to ride down the mountain.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Lists
8 Bizarre Places People Have Gotten Stuck
Original image
iStock

Some days it just doesn’t pay to venture outside, particularly when you wind up the subject of a police and fire department rescue because you’ve somehow trapped yourself inside an ATM machine. Check out eight other strange environments that have ensnared bystanders and prompted emergency responses.

1. A CLAW MACHINE

A giant see-through container full of plush toys is any child’s idea of paradise, and they will attempt any means possible to inhabit it. For three-year-old Jamie Bracken-Murphy of Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland, that meant crawling through the small flap from which the toys can be retrieved and finding himself lodged in a claw machine. Murphy was on display for about 10 minutes before an off-duty fireman was able to coax him back out the way he came in. Jamie’s father, Damien, expressed little surprise at his son’s predicament, saying that, "He's a very mischievous, sharp kid who's always pushing boundaries."

2. A TRAFFIC CONE

A man has a traffic cone over his head
iStock

In 2013, a man in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England thought he’d have a bit of fun by sticking a traffic cone—otherwise known as a bollard—on his head. To his dismay, the large cone slid down over and past his shoulders, entombing him in plastic. John Waterman, a witness to the incident, captured it all on his cell phone. "It was very random," Waterman told The Telegraph. "It's not the usual thing you see in the middle of Hemel Hempstead on a Sunday lunchtime." The man stumbled around for more than two hours before anyone bothered to call police.

3. A CEMENT HOPPER

Aurora, Illinois was the site of a recent cement mix-up, when an unidentified man became trapped in a cement hopper. The worker had climbed into the machine to clean it, but found he was unable to move when residual cement on the machine's floor began hardening around his legs. It took firefighters more than two hours to extricate him from the hopper. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries, but released the same day, according to the local fire department.

4. A TOILET

A stock shot of a person stuck in a toilet
iStock

In 2016, a Norwegian man named Cato Berntsen Larsen found himself in deep trouble after he tried lowering himself into a public toilet to retrieve a friend’s cell phone. The toilet’s tank was located underneath the seat, allowing enough room for Larsen to become trapped. To his dismay, the tank—which is not connected to a sewage system and is only emptied sporadically—was full of human waste. Adding to the putrid nature of his enclave, Larsen vomited and was bitten by an unknown animal: His situation did not improve until authorities were able to come and pull him out. "It was damn disgusting," Larsen said, "the worst I have experienced. There were animals down there, too."

5. A GIANT STONE VAGINA

Tourists and residents of Tübingen, Germany are quite familiar with Chacán-Pi, a giant stone sculpture of a vagina created by Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara. The towering display sits just outside Tübingen University’s Institute for Microbiology and Virology and has attracted curious onlookers since 2001. In 2014, an unnamed American student decided to go spelunking in the 32-ton carving for a photo opportunity and became trapped, necessitating rescue by 22 firefighters. The Guardian called them “midwives” and reported that the student was “delivered by hand.”

6. A WASHING MACHINE

A man appears to be stuck inside a washing machine
iStock

Sometimes, games of hide-and-seek can go very wrong. That was the case for a man near Melbourne, Australia in 2014, who climbed into his top-loading washing machine fully nude to surprise his partner. Unfortunately, he was unable to climb back out. Responders were able to grease him with a liberal application of olive oil and pull him out. First Constable Luke Ingram told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that, as a rule, “My advice would be for people not to climb into appliances.” The warning went unheeded by another Australian man in 2015, who found himself lodged in a front-loading machine and had to wait while rescuers disassembled the entire unit in order to free him.

7. A BABY SWING

If you’re ever challenged by your adult friends to fit into a baby swing at a public park, you can confidently say that it won’t work. That’s because a man from Vallejo, California tried it in 2011. While he managed to slide into the seat using liquid laundry detergent, he couldn’t slide back out. As his legs began to swell, his friends abandoned him overnight. He wasn’t rescued until nine hours later, when a groundskeeper heard his screams for help at 6 o'clock the following morning. "The man sustained non-life threatening injuries to his body," the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "but there’s no word yet on the condition of his ego."

8. A CHIMNEY

A chimney sits on a rooftop
iStock

There are many Santa jokes to be made, but when you’re the man trapped in your own home’s chimney for four hours, there probably isn’t a huge urge to start laughing. In late 2016, a Tucson, Arizona homeowner who had locked his keys in his home opted to retrieve them by re-entering his abode via the chimney. While it was a spectacularly bad idea, he actually almost made it: His feet were touching the floor of his fireplace before the space grew too narrow to allow for any further passage and he got stuck. Firefighters were able to pull him out from the roof, covered in soot but otherwise unharmed.

Original image
YouTube
arrow
Animals
This Octopus Species in Northern Australia Can Hunt on Dry Land
Original image
YouTube

Most octopuses live in the ocean—but in northern Australia, a small, shallow-water species takes to land in search of food. Abdopus aculeatus is the only octopus that’s specially adapted to walk on dry ground. Using its long, sucker-lined arms, the slimy sea creature pulls itself along the shoreline as it searches tide pools for crabs.

Witness Abdopus aculeatus in action by watching BBC Earth’s video below.

[h/t BBC Earth]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios