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The Weird Week in Review

Armed WWII Grenades Used As Bookends

The bomb squad blew up two World War II hand grenades in Deland, Florida last Tuesday morning. A man told police he had been given a hand grenade by a neighbor. The man had pulled the pin on the grenade, then replaced the pin, set the grenade outside, and called police. The neighbor said her late husband, a World War II veteran, had used the grenades as bookends. Police detonated both grenades in a field, which left a two-foot crater in the ground.

Woman Finds Drugs Inside Vacuum Cleaner

An unidentified woman in Green Bay, Wisconsin, received a vacuum cleaner as a Christmas gift. When she opened the box, she found other packages: two pounds each of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine!

"This was an 'are you kidding me' incident," said Lt. David Poteat, who heads the Brown County Drug Task Force.

It's likely that a smuggler inserted the drugs into the vacuum cleaner box before the unit was shipped from the Juarez, Mexico, area, where it had been reconditioned, Poteat said. No one, including the Green Bay retailer who sold the vacuum, noticed anything amiss, he said, until the woman opened the package and called police.

Police believe the woman who received the package had no connection to the drug-smuggling scheme.

Texting Shopper Suing Mall

Cathy Marrero walked through the mall in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, while texting on her mobile phone and plunged headfirst into a fountain. Her mishap was captured on security cameras from at least two different angles. A video recording of the security staff watching the incident over and over and laughing was posted on YouTube where it received over two millions views. Marrero didn't think the video was all that funny, and said she is suing the mall because security guards should have been helping her instead of laughing. It is not clear how long after the incident the recording in question was made.

Update: And there's even more to the story.

Police Catch Drug-smuggling Pigeon

Police in Bucaramanga, Colombia found a pigeon a block away from the local jail trying to fly, but couldn't because of the weight of its baggage. A pack strapped to the bird's back contained 1.6 ounces of marijuana and 0.2 ounces of crack cocaine. Police believe the pigeon was supposed to deliver the package to jail inmates, but weren't sure whether it had been trained by inmates or accomplices on the outside. Pigeons have been used to sneak cell phone SIM cards into prisons before, but they weigh much less than the drug pack this pigeon was wearing.

Twin Sisters Give Birth Minutes Apart

Identical twin sisters Amy Gilbert and Allison Oliverio of Clinton, Michigan, grew up together, both married their high school sweethearts, went into the same profession, and then became mothers -on the same day! The sisters were put in rooms next to each other in the maternity ward of the local hospital, so Dr. Timothy Kim could attend to both births. Amy delivered a little girl and Allison had a son 14 minutes later. Only time will tell how alike the cousins who share a January 12th birthday will be.

Police Detain Drunken Owl

Police officers in Pforzheim, Germany, were called Tuesday to investigate an owl that appeared to be sick.

"A woman walking her dog alerted the police after seeing the bird sitting by the side of the road oblivious to passing traffic," Frank Otruba, spokesman for the police in the southwestern city of Pforzheim, told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

The Brown Owl didn't appear to be injured and officers quickly concluded that it had had one too many. One of its eyelids was drooping, adding to the general impression of inebriation.

"It wasn't staggering around and we didn't breathalyze it but there were two little bottles of Schapps in the immediate vicinity," said Otruba. "We took it to a local bird expert who has treated alcoholized birds before and she has been giving it lots of water."

The owl will be released when sober.

It Didn't Stay in Vegas

New York City college student Hubert Blackman filed a lawsuit against Las Vegas Exclusive Personals over an incident that occured while he was on vacation in December. Blackman says he arranged for a stripper to come to his room. He says the stripper also performed a sex act, for which he paid, but she didn't stay for the contracted hour. He demanded a refund from the company the next day. When the business refused, Blackman called police to complain. The police advised him that he could be arrested, as prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas. In the lawsuit filed in January, Blackman is asking for his $275 back plus $1.8 million "for the tragic event that happened." The Vegas company denies dealing in prostitution, saying the adult dancers it uses are subcontractors.

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8 Bizarre Places People Have Gotten Stuck
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Some days it just doesn’t pay to venture outside, particularly when you wind up the subject of a police and fire department rescue because you’ve somehow trapped yourself inside an ATM machine. Check out eight other strange environments that have ensnared bystanders and prompted emergency responses.

1. A CLAW MACHINE

A giant see-through container full of plush toys is any child’s idea of paradise, and they will attempt any means possible to inhabit it. For three-year-old Jamie Bracken-Murphy of Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland, that meant crawling through the small flap from which the toys can be retrieved and finding himself lodged in a claw machine. Murphy was on display for about 10 minutes before an off-duty fireman was able to coax him back out the way he came in. Jamie’s father, Damien, expressed little surprise at his son’s predicament, saying that, "He's a very mischievous, sharp kid who's always pushing boundaries."

2. A TRAFFIC CONE

A man has a traffic cone over his head
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In 2013, a man in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England thought he’d have a bit of fun by sticking a traffic cone—otherwise known as a bollard—on his head. To his dismay, the large cone slid down over and past his shoulders, entombing him in plastic. John Waterman, a witness to the incident, captured it all on his cell phone. "It was very random," Waterman told The Telegraph. "It's not the usual thing you see in the middle of Hemel Hempstead on a Sunday lunchtime." The man stumbled around for more than two hours before anyone bothered to call police.

3. A CEMENT HOPPER

Aurora, Illinois was the site of a recent cement mix-up, when an unidentified man became trapped in a cement hopper. The worker had climbed into the machine to clean it, but found he was unable to move when residual cement on the machine's floor began hardening around his legs. It took firefighters more than two hours to extricate him from the hopper. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries, but released the same day, according to the local fire department.

4. A TOILET

A stock shot of a person stuck in a toilet
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In 2016, a Norwegian man named Cato Berntsen Larsen found himself in deep trouble after he tried lowering himself into a public toilet to retrieve a friend’s cell phone. The toilet’s tank was located underneath the seat, allowing enough room for Larsen to become trapped. To his dismay, the tank—which is not connected to a sewage system and is only emptied sporadically—was full of human waste. Adding to the putrid nature of his enclave, Larsen vomited and was bitten by an unknown animal: His situation did not improve until authorities were able to come and pull him out. "It was damn disgusting," Larsen said, "the worst I have experienced. There were animals down there, too."

5. A GIANT STONE VAGINA

Tourists and residents of Tübingen, Germany are quite familiar with Chacán-Pi, a giant stone sculpture of a vagina created by Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara. The towering display sits just outside Tübingen University’s Institute for Microbiology and Virology and has attracted curious onlookers since 2001. In 2014, an unnamed American student decided to go spelunking in the 32-ton carving for a photo opportunity and became trapped, necessitating rescue by 22 firefighters. The Guardian called them “midwives” and reported that the student was “delivered by hand.”

6. A WASHING MACHINE

A man appears to be stuck inside a washing machine
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Sometimes, games of hide-and-seek can go very wrong. That was the case for a man near Melbourne, Australia in 2014, who climbed into his top-loading washing machine fully nude to surprise his partner. Unfortunately, he was unable to climb back out. Responders were able to grease him with a liberal application of olive oil and pull him out. First Constable Luke Ingram told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that, as a rule, “My advice would be for people not to climb into appliances.” The warning went unheeded by another Australian man in 2015, who found himself lodged in a front-loading machine and had to wait while rescuers disassembled the entire unit in order to free him.

7. A BABY SWING

If you’re ever challenged by your adult friends to fit into a baby swing at a public park, you can confidently say that it won’t work. That’s because a man from Vallejo, California tried it in 2011. While he managed to slide into the seat using liquid laundry detergent, he couldn’t slide back out. As his legs began to swell, his friends abandoned him overnight. He wasn’t rescued until nine hours later, when a groundskeeper heard his screams for help at 6 o'clock the following morning. "The man sustained non-life threatening injuries to his body," the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "but there’s no word yet on the condition of his ego."

8. A CHIMNEY

A chimney sits on a rooftop
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There are many Santa jokes to be made, but when you’re the man trapped in your own home’s chimney for four hours, there probably isn’t a huge urge to start laughing. In late 2016, a Tucson, Arizona homeowner who had locked his keys in his home opted to retrieve them by re-entering his abode via the chimney. While it was a spectacularly bad idea, he actually almost made it: His feet were touching the floor of his fireplace before the space grew too narrow to allow for any further passage and he got stuck. Firefighters were able to pull him out from the roof, covered in soot but otherwise unharmed.

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Animals
This Octopus Species in Northern Australia Can Hunt on Dry Land
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Most octopuses live in the ocean—but in northern Australia, a small, shallow-water species takes to land in search of food. Abdopus aculeatus is the only octopus that’s specially adapted to walk on dry ground. Using its long, sucker-lined arms, the slimy sea creature pulls itself along the shoreline as it searches tide pools for crabs.

Witness Abdopus aculeatus in action by watching BBC Earth’s video below.

[h/t BBC Earth]

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