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Lost Cell Phones: 7 Strange Stories

The story of Apple and the lost, found, sold, and possibly considered stolen iPhone has the internet abuzz. But there are quite a few even stranger stories of people finding missing cell phones.

1. In a Bar

An Apple engineer left an iPhone G4 prototype at a bar, where it was picked up by someone else who sold it to Gizmodo, which blogged about its features way before Apple intended. Now police are investigating and seized computers belonging to Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. Anyone who has ever lost a phone knows how unnerving it can be. Here are more stories of cell phones that wound up in strange places. You may say that the Apple prototype was the most valuable, but sports fans may argue that the next phone is priceless.

2. In a Thrift Store

Dave Checketts was president and general manager of the NBA's Utah Jazz from 1984 to 1990. He has also been president of the Madison Square Garden Corporation, president of the New York Knicks, and vice president for development at the NBA. Around ten years ago, he lost his Blackberry. Just last month, a man bought an old cell phone in a thrift store in Provo, Utah, for 50 cents. When he charged the phone up, he was surprised to find contact information for the biggest stars in basketball and sports broadcasting, and even hockey star Wayne Gretzky! There were also saved email messages to the mayor of Salt Lake City and the governor of Utah. The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, did not call any of the stars listed in the phone, and planned to return it to Checketts.

3. In Food

Emma Schweiger of Janesville Township, Wisconsin, opened a bag of Clancy's Ripple Potato Chips and started eating. She wasn't looking at the bag when she reached in and felt something hard. It was a cell phone. The blue and silver Nokia phone contained a T-Mobile SIM card in it and grease stains on the outside. The chips were distributed by Aldi, who removed the rest of the lot from sales and said they would investigate. Schweiger was offered a replacement bag of chips, but passed, explaining that she'd lost her appetite for chips for the time being. She added that in the future, she would pour them out into a bowl before eating. Photo by Dan Lassiter.

4. Inside a Fish

Andrew Cheatle was playing with his dog at a beach in England when his phone slipped out of his pocket. He thought it was gone for good, but a week later, someone dialed his girlfriend from that phone number. Glen Kerley of Worthing, West Sussex, had caught a 25-pound cod and found the phone inside the fish! He retrieved the SIM card, inserted it into a dry phone, and found Cheatle's saved numbers. When Cheatle retrieved the phone and dried it out, it still worked—but not perfectly. He had the circuit board replaced and still uses the phone, which has since lost its fishy smell.

5. In a Cab

A phone found in a taxi cab sounds like an everyday story, but in at least one case it could help convict a murderer. Taxi driver Brian Douglas Horn was arrested in connection with the murder of 12-year-old Justin Bloxom in Bossier Parish, Louisiana. A cell phone found in his cab contained records of text messages that were entered as evidence that Horn lured Bloxom into the cab the night he was killed. This is not the first time a found cell phone was used as evidence in a murder case.

6. Inside a Dog

Nero is a Great Dane-Doberman crossbreed. The rather large dog from Pretoria, South Africa, snatched a cell phone from his owner's daughter's hand and swallowed it in the blink of an eye. Nero was immediately taken to the veterinary clinic, where he was X-rayed and then had surgery to remove the phone. The vets found stones in Nero's stomach along with the phone. Nero recovered, but the cell phone never worked again.

7. In a Body Cavity

Some may say the strangest place to find a cell phone is in someone's rectum, but this is actually pretty common. Even death row inmates have been caught hiding cell phones in their bodies. In one case, a prisoner had to have extensive surgery after the phone broke apart inside him. Then there's the story from Pakistan in which 37 prisoners were found with phones stashed in their bodies. Seven of those men required surgery to remove them.

My children are constantly misplacing their phones, which is one reason they are required to always have them charged and turned on. We just call them and follow the ringing! Curiously, they are always under something they should have already looked under.

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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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