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The Weird Week in Review

Man Reports Incorrect Change to Police

Dexter White of North Charleston, South Carolina paid a drug dealer $60 for crack cocaine, but says he only received $20 worth. Naturally, he was angry, so after he smoked what he had, he called 911 to report that he had been shortchanged. White asked for the police to send a canine unit to his location. Police responded, but instead of getting him a refund, they arrested White on a charge of disorderly conduct.

Mobility Scooter vs. Airplane

Colin Furze, a plumber in Lincolnshire, England, holds the world speed record for a mobility scooter, driving one that he built at at 71.59 mph. Now he can say he has raced with an airplane!

Mr Furze spent nearly three months and £400 converting his scooter, fitting it with a powerful 125cc motorbike engine beneath the seat, five gears and twin exhausts.

And remarkably the scooter managed to accelerate faster than a Robin DR400 single engine propeller aircraft when the pair were pitted against each other down a runway in Lincolnshire.

Eventually the plane overtook the scooter, but Furze is satisfied with his scooter's performance.

Led Zeppelin Finds Hidden Burglar

An alert neighbor heard a strange noise at the house next door in Friern Barnet, Greater London, England last December. He looked out the window and saw footprints in the snow on the rooftop and called police. Officers arrived with a sniffer dog named Led Zeppelin about the same time the resident came home. The burglar tried to hide in a bedroom under a duvet, but Led Zeppelin uncovered him. Police arrested 36-year-old Robert Erdei. Erdei was convicted last week and sentenced to four years for burglary with intent to steal.

Teacher Shaves After Ten Years

Gary Weddle did not shave for 3,454 days. The 50-year-old middle school teacher was so absorbed with watching the news after the 9/11 attacks that he went for days without showering or shaving. Then he made a vow to not shave his face until Osama bin Laden was captured or proven dead. Weddle had no idea that his whiskers would grow for almost ten years, but he kept the vow. Parts of his beard grew 14 inches long! Weddle finally shaved it off Sunday evening, just before president Obama addressed the nation about bin Laden's death.

Fancy Luncheon on the L Train

Imagine a formal feast served on a subway train! That's exactly what happened in New York City on Sunday, aboard the L train bound for Brooklyn. The guests only knew they were there for an "underground dining experience." What they got was an experience, all right: a six-course meal of caviar, filet mignon, and more, served on lap trays and finished up in a half-hour. The entire event was arranged by several cooperating supper clubs, unbeknownst to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Officials of the Authority were not happy. After all, open drinks of any kind are not allowed on city trains.

Dog Hides in Bathtub to Survive Fire

A home in Greenville County, South Carolina burned for hours as firefighters battled the blaze. The family was away from home, but Mia the one-year-old Belgian Malinois was inside. The dog saved herself by hiding in a bathtub in the basement! Mia's owner, Chris Brumby, said he knew the dog was smart.

He said Mia was able to get to a bathtub on the lowest level of the house, where she waited as firefighters doused the home with water. As the water ran down into the basement, it filled the bathtub and soaked Mia, keeping her safe from flames, Brock said.

Brumby said the dog has learned how to open doors throughout the house, and that she had to open four doors to get to the bathtub where she was found.

Six hours after firefighters arrived, they found Mia, wet and sooty, but well. The cause of the fire has not yet determined.

Going to Prom in the Weinermobile

Ben Ross was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident. A joke he made while in the hospital led his mother to petition the Oscar Mayer company to take Ben and his girlfriend Molly Muchow to their prom in the Weinermobile. The company came through, and Ben and Molly were driven in the 27-foot vehicle to the L.D. Bell High School prom last weekend at the Dallas Trade Center.

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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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