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The Weird Week in Review

Easy Come, Easy Go

Kenneth Lamoree of Solvay, New York won $3,200 at a casino Monday night. Only about an hour after he arrived home on Tuesday morning, a fire broke out at his house. Lamoree, his fiancee, and their three children escaped along with the other family that lived in the duplex. The damage to the home was extensive, and the items that were destroyed included the wallet that contained Lamoree's winnings. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Workmen Dig Up Wrong Trees

A real estate agent in Mackenzie, a suburb of Canberra, Australia saw workmen digging up trees and was told that they were under orders to dig up every tree on the property. The agent called Peter Collard, the homeowner, and found there were no such orders. The two workmen had dug up ten palm trees, grass. and topsoil before Collard arrived. When he confronted the men, they packed up and left without leaving their names. Collard suspects they were at the wrong address. The homeowner was left with $18,000 in damage to the property he is trying to sell.

Spider-Man Arrests Shoplifter

Don't even think about shoplifting in a comic book store when Spider-Man, The Flash, and some Jedi Knights are present. The super heroes, dressed for International Free Comics Day, detained a man who tried to make off with $160 book at Comic Centre in Adelaide, Australia. Store owner Michael Baulderstone, who was attired as Spider-Man, saw the perpetrator hide X-Men Omnibus and gave chase. Security cameras caught the super hero chasing and apprehending the suspect.

"Everyone in the store thought it was a play, that it was street theatre of some sort. It wasn't until I said `Call the police' that people started to realise."

"One of the funniest things about the incident was that I called for people to stand near the door and it just so happened we had people dressed as Jedi knights there blocking the exit, the Flash was there at some point too," Mr Baulderstone said.

Wounded Man Goes to Baskin-Robbins

Fort Walton Beach, Florida firefighters were working at a fundraiser at a Baskin-Robbins outlet when a car pulled up with a wounded passenger. The unnamed man had a knife stuck all the way up to the handle in his leg! He said he was using the knife and then fell on it. His fiancee was  outside when the accident occurred, and she drove him to the ice cream shop. Firefighters bandaged the wound and called Emergency Medical Services.

Russian Regional President Abducted by Aliens

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the leader of the region of Kalmykia, a part of the Russian Federation, claims he was abducted by aliens. Ilyumzhinov revealed in a TV interview that he was taken aboard a spaceship. Minister of Parliament Andre Lebedev has asked Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to investigate Ilyumzhinov's story, not because the MP is concerned about Ilyumzhinov's fitness for office, but because he is concerned that protocols should be in place for such meetings, lest some government figure should reveal state secrets to the aliens.

A Whale that Paints

Xiao Qiang is a Beluga whale living at Qingdao Polar Ocean World in China. He has learned to paint pictures, and his paintings sell for hundreds of pounds!

"He showed a lot of interest in painting right from the start so now all we have to do is give him the brushes and hold the paper while he paints with his mouth," said trainer Zhang Yong.

"His favourite colour seems to be blue and he's best of all at seascapes. His people always look like seals."

See a video of the Xiao Qiang in action.

Driver's License Granted on 960th Attempt

Cha Sa-soon of Jeonju, South korea finally has her driver's license, after trying to pass the written test almost daily since 2005. The 69-year-old woman finally passed the written part of the test last year, and took the driving test ten times before passing last month. All told, she was at the license bureau for testing 960 times attempting to obtain driving privileges. Cha now hopes to get a small car in order to visit relatives and to help in her vegetable business.

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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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