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The Weird Week in Review

That's Where the Water Went!

The staff at Etali Safari Lodge in South Africa tried to find the leak in the hot tub for weeks, but didn't find out why it was losing water every day until a guest took a picture. An elephant named Troublesome was drinking from the spa! Rangers from the attached wildlife preserve are familiar with the elephant, and say she is very inquisitive. The lodge is now providing drinking water for the elephant to keep her out of the pool.

Woman Gives Birth While Driving

When Amanda McBride went into labor, she left work, picked up Joseph Phillips, and headed to the hospital. McBride drove the car because Phillips suffers from seizures. By the time they arrived at North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji, Minnesota, the baby was out.

"She yelled at me to grab the wheel," Phillips said. "And then, all of a sudden, I heard this little waaa (cry)."

Amanda said she had managed to pull down her pants after her water broke.

"And then the baby just came right out," she said. "I was just sitting on the seat and he just slid out. It really wasn't bad at all."

Amanda continued driving to the hospital because she figured that would be faster than pulling over and waiting for an ambulance. The baby boy is healthy.

Bomb Detonation Become Crapshoot

Police officers in Huron, Ohio called the bomb squad when a homemade bomb was found fizzing inside a portable toilet. The Lorain County Bomb Squad decided the safest way to deal with the bomb would be to shoot it. When they did, the toilet receptacle exploded and the police were splattered with feces. One officer was covered in it. Four teenagers were later arrested and charged with multiple violations.

Kitten Survives Entire Washing Machine Cycle

A four-month-old kitten in Manly Vale, New South Wales, Australia snuck into a washing machine as it was being loaded. Lindsay Rogers didn't see the kitten, and put the wash on a 30-minute cold cycle. When the load was finished, he opened the washer and heard a "meow". Rogers rushed Kimba to a veterinarian, who treated her for shock and hypothermia. The kitten started to purr within a couple of hours. More treatment was needed for Kimba's eyes, which were inflamed by the soap. Two weeks later, she has recovered, with no long-term effects expected.

Teen Holds Breath and Passes Out While Driving

Four teenagers in Monroe County, New York were taken to a hospital for minor injuries after a one-vehicle crash. Two of the boys had to be extracted from the car by firefighters. The three 19-year-olds and one 16-year-old were all holding their breath as part of a game, and apparently the driver, Bryan Parslow, passed out and ran off the road. The car hit a tree and then a large boulder. Investigators say alcohol was not involved.

Bagpipes Used to Scare Off Rats

A company that leads tours into the historic Vienna sewers was stopped by health and safety officials who declared the risk of rat bites was too high. In response, Third Man Tours came up with an innovative solution that allowed the tours to resume: bagpipe music.

Tour boss Peter Ryborz explained: "We get rid of the rats by taking a bagpipe player down with us, and they sound really great in the catacombs that tunnel all under the city.

"You can hear them coming out of drains as the tours walk around under the city."

German Thieves Overdid the Explosives

An attempt bank robbery in the German village of Malliss ended in massive destruction Monday night. The bank building was turned into rubble, nearby buildings were damaged, and a suspected getaway car was found on fire. Authorities believe the would-be robbers misjudged the amount of explosives needed to dislodge the cash dispenser, and had to leave empty-handed when the building collapsed. No one was hurt in the late night explosion.

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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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