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The Weird Week in Review

Police Chase Elephant Through Zurich

Swiss police are not accustomed to a chase scene like this. An elephant named Sabu led them on a chase through the financial district of Zurich last weekend. The escapee from a visiting circus roamed the city for an hour before a trainer was able to control the animal. Sabu stopped for a dip in Lake Zurich during her spree. No injuries or damages were reported, but a part of the chase was captured on amateur video.

Drunk Driver Was Distracted by Alligator

An unnamed Texas man was arrested in Crestview, Florida for driving under the influence when he drove into a ditch. The man explained that he'd had about six beers and that he was distracted when he saw an alligator in his headlights.

During his conversation with the officer, the driver warned them about the lions and leopards around him and warned the officer to be careful.

The officer suspected that the man was impaired and administered a field sobriety test. The man almost fell over during one portion of the test, the report said.

Chinese Farmer Fights Developers -with Rockets

Yang Youde does not want to give up his farmland on the outskirts of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Officials tried to buy his land, but he rejected the offer, saying the property was worth five times the offer. When developers came to seize the property, Yang fired on them with a homemade cannon consisting of fireworks mounted on a wheelbarrow. During the first eviction attempt, Yang ran out of ammunition, but was saved by local police. For the second eviction attempt, he had more rockets, which are capable of traveling over 100 yards, and a makeshift watchtower to fire from. No injuries were reported.

Woman Calls 911 Looking for a Husband

Audrey Kay Scott of Alliance, Ohio was looking for love in all the wrong places. She dialed 911 five times and asked for a husband. The dispatcher warned she could be arrested for misusing the emergency number, and threatened to send an officer. Scott thanked the dispatcher, since sending a man over was what she wanted in the first place. Scott was arrested and a judge ordered her to attend daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The news story includes an audio recording of the call.

'Moss Men' Take Over Spanish Town

A festival called Hombre de Musgo (Procession of the Moss Men) takes place in Bejar, Salamanca, Spain every year on the on the Sunday after the festival of Corpus Christi. Honored residents dress in stifling hot costumes made of moss and parade through the town, while locals throw flower petals at them. They represent heroes from a historical event.

Back in 1397, a group of Christians disguised themselves in moss before launching an attack to conquer the city of Bejar, which was under Muslim rule.

Legend has it that the original event took place on the day of Santa Marina, a virgin who lived in disguise on the nearby mountain of Castanar.

This year's procession can be seen in a video with the story.

A Wedding Inside a Shark Tank

April Pignataro and Michael Curry of New York City got married on Sunday. The bride wore a white wetsuit and the groom wore a traditional black wetsuit as they climbed inside a 120,000 gallon shark tank to take their vows at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, N.Y. Both are experienced divers, and said their "I dos" over a radio transmitter with an officiant who did not get in the tank. The ceremony was captured on video.

Married Couple had Crossed Paths as Toddlers

Alex Voutsinas grew up in Canada. His wife Donna is from Florida. The couple were looking through Donna's old photo albums and came across a picture of her trip to Walt Disney World when she was a toddler. Alex recognized a man in the background of the photo -it was his father, pushing a stroller containing a very young Alex! Alex's mother also had pictures of the trip that confirmed that the two children were at the theme park at the same time. The couple didn't meet until they were adults, and fell in love while working for the same employer. It's a small world, after all.

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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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