The Weird Week in Review

Jesus Goes Up in Flames

A 62-foot tall statue of Jesus at the Solid Rock Church on I-75 near Cincinnati was sometimes called "Big Butter Jesus" or "Touchdown Jesus" because of his upstretched arms. Monday night, the statue was set ablaze by a bolt of lightning. The structure was made of foam and fiberglass over a steel frame. After the fire, only the frame remains. An adjacent amphitheater was damaged, and fish in the pond beneath the statue were killed. No one was injured. Police warn they will ticket anyone who stops on the interstate highway to take pictures of the damage.

Big Tip Allows Taxi Driver to Retire

Mary Watson of Newquay, Cornwall, England used the same taxi driver for 20 years when she went shopping. He was always kind and courteous. Then when Watson died in her 80s, she bequeathed Don Pratt a very large tip in her will. She left the driver £250,000! The sum includes the woman's savings and a house.

"When I was told she had left everything to me I just couldn't believe it. We were sad to hear she had passed but thankful she had left us this money.

"We are very grateful for her generosity. In nearly 30 years as a cabbie, this is certainly the biggest tip I've ever had."

The 65-year-old Pratt then announced he was retiring from driving.

Thief Steals Suit to Wear to Court

Phillip Northmore was facing shoplifting charges in Exeter, Devon, England. He didn't want to wear jeans and a t-shirt to court, but that was all the clothing he had. So on the way to court, Northmore stole a pair of trousers, jacket, shirt and tie so he would look respectable as he faced the judge. Instead, the 26-year-old was arrested and later pled guilty to theft and other outstanding charges.

Woman Arrested for Mayonnaise Vandalism

Boise, Idaho has seen a series of vandalism incidents involving condiments over the past year. Joy L. Cassidy was arrested Sunday moments after she was spotted putting mayonnaise into the drive-through book drop at the Ada County Library. The 74-year-old woman is under investigation for previous incidents in which librarians found books covered with corn syrup and ketchup. She is suspected in up to ten other condiment crimes.

In Other Mayonnaise News

Authorities in Destin, Florida closed off a neighborhood and called in a HAZMAT team after two residents complained of trouble breathing and irritated eyes as they inspected their new home. They also reported a funny smell. Neighbors who were evacuated speculated that the cause might be a meth lab or a terrorist cell. The HAZMAT team found a large barrel which contained five gallons of rancid mayonnaise. It had been left by the previous residents of the home.

Woman Fined for Nursing Baby -While Driving

An unnamed 47-year-old woman in Mettmann, Germany was pulled over by a policeman when he spotted her breastfeeding her 18-month-old while driving.

The woman objected to being pulled over, explaining that because her home was nearby, mother and child would have certainly made it home safely. But the officer refused to let her continue driving in that state.

Instead the woman was issued fines for failing to provide proper security for her child or herself while driving.

Man Calls 911 over Sasquatch Sighting

In the 1970s, Cleveland County, North Carolina had a slew of sightings of an mysterious Bigfoot-like animal that was dubbed "Knobby". The stories died down until Tim Peeler called 911 to report that he had seen a giant ape with a man's face in his yard. A Cleveland County deputy was dispatched to Peeler's home, but did not find the Bigfoot. Peeler says he'll be armed with a camera next time it happens. With video.

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"

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]

The Mysterious Case of the Severed Feet in British Columbia

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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