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The Weird Week in Review

Cargo Ship Turned Away Due to Spiders

The cargo ship M.V. Altavia began to offload cargo in the U.S. territory of Guam when thousands of spiders of different species emerged from the cargo. The ship was carrying supplies used to build housing for temporary workers. Agriculture officials don't know what species of spiders were swarming the ship, but they don't want to take the chance of introducing an invasive species to Guam. The M.V. Altavia had most recently ported in South Korea. The ship was told not to return to Guam.

Man Broke into Bar -and Opened It

The Valencia Club in Penryn, California had been closed for a year when 29-year-old Travis Kevie helped himself to the business. He broke in and posted a sign that the bar was open. Kevie sold drinks for four days until a newspaper article mentioned that Valencia had re-opened, which interested county detective Jim Hudson.

Not only had Detective Hudson had previous run-ins with Kevie, he knew the Valencia Club's liquor license had been surrendered.

When Detective Hudson went to the bar to investigate, he found it open for business and customers at the bar.  Kevie quickly went from behind the bar to behind bars.

Parasailing Donkey

A leisure firm in Golubitskaya on the Azov Sea launched a donkey into the air by parasail as a promotional stunt. Tourists at the beach were distressed when they heard the donkey braying as it glided in the air for half an hour. After the video was released, Russian police are investigating the matter and may file charges of animal cruelty. If convicted, those responsible may be sentenced to up to two years.

Police Led on Horse-and-Buggy Chase

Police in Leon, New York saw a horse-and-buggy run a stop sign and chased the wagon for a mile at rather low speeds. The buggy only stopped when the driver, taking a turn too fast, rolled the vehicle over. The driver then fled on foot. After a week of investigation, police arrested an Amish youth, 17-year-old Levi Detweiler, on charges of reckless endangerment, over-driving an animal, underage possession of alcohol, failure to stop at a stop sign, and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Elderly Women Receive Surprise Pot

An unnamed elderly woman in Blackman Township in Michigan received a mysterious package in the mail. She opened it and found two pounds of marijuana! She reported the package to police, who said the pot was worth about $2,400. A return address in Arizona turned out to be fake. Police believe that either the marijuana was mailed to the wrong address, or else someone had planned to steal the package from the elderly woman's mailbox.

Eighteen Monkeys in his Girdle

Authorities at the international airport in Mexico city detained a man arriving from Peru because of a strange bulge under his t-shirt. A search revealed that he had 18 tiny monkeys hidden in a girdle underneath! Only 16 of the 6-inch tall titi monkeys were still alive. Authorities arrested 38-year-old Roberto Cabrera on charges of endangered species trafficking.

Cabrera told authorities he was carrying the monkeys in a suitcase but decided to put them in his girdle "so the X-rays wouldn't hurt them."

Man Gets Livestock Citation For Ceramic Chickens

Robert Sosebee of Austell, Georgia came home to find he had been ticketed for keeping livestock in the city. But he doesn't own any chickens, except for a couple of ceramic hens decorating his lawn. Sosebee believes one of his neighbors saw the hens and reported then to authorities. The enforcement officer apparently relied on a complaint and had not looked for the chickens himself. Code enforcers later tore up the ticket.

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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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