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The Weird Week in Review

Innovative, But Illegal

Police in Lincoln, Nebraska arrested 40-year-old William Logan Jr. on a misdemeanor theft charge. Logan was caught on surveillance camera using a vacuum to suck change out of coin laundry appliances. Detectives went to the home where Logan lived with his father, who recognized him from the surveillance photos right off. Logan only retrieved about $20 from the machines at an apartment laundry room. Logan was known to local authorities from previous arrests, including a conviction for stealing a Christmas tree from the Salvation Army.

Rain of Worms

Teacher David Crichton was holding a physical education class outdoors in Galashiels, Scotland, last week when worms began raining from the sky.

The boys heard a "soft thudding" on the artificial pitch - then looked up to see dozens of worms plummeting from the sky.

David, 26, said he and other teachers at Galashiels Academy were baffled by the incident.

And they later found more worms spread across a school tennis court almost 100 yards from the pitch. He said: "We started hearing this wee thudding noise. There were about 20 worms on the ground.

School staff eventually found about 120 worms. It is believed that a freak weather event lifted the worms along with water from a nearby river. The story was first reported on April first, but there is of yet no indication that it was an April Fool.

The Honeymoon from Hell

Stefan and Erika Svanstrom of Stockholm, Sweden set out on a world tour for their honeymoon. They were stranded in a heavy snowstorm in Munich, Germany in December. They arrived in Cairns, Australia just in time for a cyclone. The couple traveled to Brisbane to find flooding, so left for Perth where there were raging brushfires. The Svanstroms then went to Christchurch, New Zealand, arriving just after the big earthquake in February. They went to a few other locations before traveling to Tokyo, Japan days before the earthquake and tsunami. A calm visit to China wrapped up their trip and they returned to Stockholm on March 29th. The good news is that their marriage survived the trip.

Training Sharks to Eat

Lionfish are pretty, but they belong in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They lack natural predators in the Caribbean, so lionfish have become quite the invasive species since they escaped from aquariums ten years ago to breed in the waters off the US and Central America. In Honduras, divers are not only hunting them, they are also training sharks to eat the lionfish! Humans are also encouraged to eat lionfish, which are tasty once the venomous spines are removed.

Elderly Woman Cuts off Internet in Two Countries

An unnamed 75-year-old woman in Ksani, Georgia was looking for scrap metal and dug up a cable, which she cut in order to sell it. The cable was a fiber optic line that carried internet service to users in Georgia and neighboring Armenia. Thousands of subscribers in both countries were offline for several hours, with up to 90 percent of users in Armenia affected. The woman was arrested for damaging property, and could face up to three years in jail. Due to her age, she was released pending trial.

Man Glued to Walmart Toilet Seat

An April Fool's Day prank left a man stuck to a toilet seat at the Walmart store in Elkton, Maryland. Lt. Matthew Donnelly of the Elkton Police Department said someone put glue on a toilet seat in the store's mens room.

There, they found the 48-year-old victim, who called for help after realizing the sticky situation he was in when he tried -- and failed -- to stand up and leave the superstore's restroom, Donnelly said.

It took responders 15 minutes to remove the victim from the stall, but they were unable to disconnect the toilet seat from his body, Donnelly said.

Instead, the victim was taken to Union Hospital of Cecil County, where the seat was detached. He left with only minor injuries to his buttocks, Donnelly said.

The perpetrator, if found, could face second-degree assault charges.

Woman Fights to Keep her Disabled Kangaroo

Christie Carr of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is seeking an exemption from the city council from the regulation against keeping exotic animals. Carr cares for a paralyzed red kangaroo named Irwin. Carr, who suffers from depression, knew Irwin even before the animal's run-in with a fence that left him disabled. Now he is her certified therapy animal, and Carr takes him everywhere, including visits to a nursing home where the residents enjoy cuddling with a kangaroo. Because of his paralysis, Irwin is not likely to grow to full size or become dangerous, but city council members are leery of setting a precedent with an exemption.

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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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