The Weird Week in Review

Longest Tennis Match in History

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut began their first-round match at Wimbledon on Tuesday. Before a winner was declared on Thursday, they had played five sets and 183 games! The last 138 games were in the final set. By then, millions of people around the world were watching the two relatively-unknown tennis players. The previous longest match in Grand Slam tennis was a mere six hours and 33 minutes. The Isner-Mahut matchup took a total of eleven hours and five minutes over three days. Isner won the match, 70-68, and will advance to the second round at Wimbledon.

Man Hold Up Gas Station with Caulk Gun

A teenager in Austin, Texas tried to rob a convenience store by brandishing a caulk gun. The store clerk said a man dressed as a woman entered the store, then 17-year-old Jose Alejandro Romero came in, pointed a caulk gun at the clerk, and demanded money. Romero struck the clerk with the caulk gun. The clerk struck back with a trash can.

The assailant left the store without money and sped off in the red pickup, the affidavit said.

The other man, identified as Kenneth Williams, told investigators that he is a transgender prostitute and that Romero had picked him up from the street before the attempted robbery, the affidavit said.

Williams spent the night driving around with Romero as he got money from several locations to buy and smoke crack, the affidavit said.

A warrant has been issued for Romero's arrest.

Antarctica's Nudist Club

Those who work in the freezing weather of Antarctica are already members of a very exclusive club, but with a initiation stunt, they can join an even more exclusive club. The traditional "nudie run" takes a slightly different shape for different nationalities, according to Dr. Chris Cormick. Australians run a lap of the the accommodation block if they are dared or if they lose a bet. New Zealanders skinny dip in Lake Vanda. Americans leave a 200-degree sauna and run a lap.  When the temperature is -100F, this stunt will earn them membership in the "300 Club" for enduring a 300 degree temperature change.

Cop Arrested for DUI on His Way to Court

Constable Glen Campbell of Gosford, Australia was arrested for driving under the influence last November, when he passed out at a shopping center. His blood-alcohol level was 0.395, one of the highest ever in Australia for a person who had been driving. He was in uniform at the time. Campbell was due in court over that charge last Tuesday, but was pulled over on his way to the hearing, and registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.253. Campbell pleaded guilty to both charges, and was ordered to live with his parents and not drink or drive. He will be sentenced in September.

Cat Receives Bionic Feet

A cat in England named Oscar was struck by a combine harvester last year and his back feet were mangled to the point that they had to be amputated. Veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick fitted Oscar with new hi-tech feet called intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics (Itaps).

Mr Fitzpatrick explained: "The real revolution with Oscar is [that] we have put a piece of metal and a flange into which skin grows into an extremely tight bone."

"We have managed to get the bone and skin to grow into the implant and we have developed an 'exoprosthesis' that allows this implant to work as a see-saw on the bottom of an animal's limbs to give him effectively normal gait."

The Itap technology is now in tests for human use. Dr. Fitzpatrick is the subject of a BBC documentary called The Bionic Vet.

Two Wives Claim Man's Dead Body

Chandan Kumar Chakrabarty, alias Sazzad Hossain of Dhaka, Bangladesh, led a double life that no one knew until he was killed by muggers last year. Two women, one Hindu and the other Muslim, both claimed the body as his widow! The 42-year-old man had married both women. The Hindu wife, who married Chakrabarty/Hossain 15 years ago, wants his body cremated in line with their religion. The Muslim wife says he converted to Islam a year ago, and should be buried with Muslim rites. Local police plan to hear testimony from Chakrabarty/Hossain's friends to determine which wife will receive the body.

Nude Woman Leads Police Chase

Police in West Valley City, Utah say a naked women drove up to another car, left her car and got into the second car and drove off. The owner of the stolen car, who had stepped out to post a sign, called 911 and then jumped in the woman's vehicle to chase her. The woman, followed by police, drove to a field and fled the car. Police then chased her on foot and searched the field. When they spotted her, she jumped into a police cruiser and drove off, dragging officers for a short time before they could let go. The woman crashed the cruiser and fled on foot once again. She climbed through a barbed wire fence to find more officers waiting for her. Police finally subdued the woman, later identified as 31-year-old Sylvina Beagley, with a Taser. She was taken to a mental health facility for an evaluation. The police car was a total loss.

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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