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The Weird Week in Review

Women Rescued After Truck Lands in Tree

Erin Dawn Bowser was apparently driving too fast along Route 68 in Evans City, Pennsylvania Monday morning. She hit a car and a guardrail and then her car launched off the side of the highway and into a tree, where it became stuck -30 feet above the ground! Rescue workers say Bowser was not only conscious, but calm as they set up equipment to retrieve her from the tree. The road was closed for several hours while a crew extracted Bowser. She was taken to a hospital with only minor injuries, and is facing several traffic citations. See a video report as well.

Oswald's Coffin for Sale

The coffin that Lee Harvey Oswald was buried in back in 1963 is up for sale at an auction house in California. The coffin spent 18 years underground until Oswald was exhumed in 1981 so that his identity could be confirmed. The presumed assassin who was shot and killed before going to trial for the murder of president Kennedy was then reburied in a different coffin. The wooden coffin is not in great shape, but experts say it can be restored. Bids will be taken until December 18th.

Lawnmower + Boat = Shortcutter

John Hinton of Horsham in West Sussex, England, combined a boat and a riding lawnmower to make a vehicle he can drive around traffic jams by slipping into a canal. The vehicle is completely amphibious. However, with a top speed of 6 miles per hour, the "shortcutter", as its called, is more likely to cause a traffic jam than to circumvent one. Hinton says his vehicle is a prototype and he will continue to improve it.

Dentists Repair Elephant's Tusk

A 27-year-old elephant named Devidasan developed a painful 19-inch crack in his tusk over the past five years. C.V. Pradeep, a dentist in Kerala, India, did some research and decided to fill the crack with the same resin used to repair human teeth. The difference: repairing the tusk took 47 tubes of resin in a two-hour operation!

"It was literally an elephantine task, because we had to find specialist equipment and modify it," Dr Pradeep said.

"The main difference between this and a similar operation carried out on humans is that we were not able to use X-ray screening, because none of our mobile X-ray units was large enough to suit the elephant's needs."

The elephant was not tranquilized, and remained cooperative through the procedure. The repair seems to have eased his toothache.

A Family of Three with One Birthday

Jamal White of St. Paul, Minnesota fell in love with a woman who had the same birth date as he did, November 24th, although she was a year older. Tiara White also had the same last name as Jamal even before they were married. The couple welcomed their first child, Jamal, Jr. into the world on -you guessed it- November 24th. The odds of all three family members having the same birthday were calculated at 1 in 133,225. And none of them will have any excuse for ever forgetting each other's birthdays.

Corn Flood

A grain silo in Norwalk, Ohio collapsed on Tuesday, sending a "sea of corn" into the area, covering a block of neighborhood. The over 100,000 bushels of spilled corn was 12 feet deep in some places. The rushing grain pushed a nearby house off its foundation and knocked over a fire hydrant. No injuries were reported, and officials don't know what caused the silo to collapse.

Teenager Swallows Bag of Cocaine

Massachusetts police pulled over 18-year-old Art Taylor in Framingham for failing to signal a turn. Taylor acted strangely when confronted and reached for a small bag containing white powder. Despite a struggle, he swallowed the bag containing what appeared to be cocaine. Taylor was arrested for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. You will understand why this item is in the weird news section only when you see his mugshot.

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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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