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The Weird Week in Review

Tossed Pot Lands on Police Cruiser

A New York state trooper saw a man standing up in a car with his upper body sticking out of the sunroof on interstate 190 near Buffalo. When he began to follow the car with his flashing lights on, 20-year-old Sean Schmidt threw a small bag of marijuana away. Unfortunately for him, the bag landed on the hood of the police car. The pot was easily retrieved, and Schmitt was charged with marijuana possession in addition to a seat belt violation.

Man Robs Bank To Get Health Care

Richard James Verone of Gastonia, North Carolina walked into an RBC Bank and handed the teller a note demanding one dollar. It also said he had a gun. The teller handed him the money, and Verone sat down to wait for the police to arrive. Police arrested Verone without incident, as he was not armed after all. The 59-year-old Verone suffers from two ruptured discs and a growth in his chest, but could not afford medical care. His plan was to be convicted of armed robbery and receive treatment while incarcerated. However, the charge was only petty larceny, and as Verone's first offense, may get him only probation. While he awaits trial, his medical problems are being treated. Those who know say he should have thrown a brick through a post office window, which would have guaranteed a federal charge.

Snake Lost During Camping Trip

A camper at Addison Oaks County Park in Michigan reported that he had lost his 5-foot-long boa constrictor. The man was staying in a pop-up camper in the park's campground when the snake went missing. County officials called on herpetologists from Michigan zoos for help in determining whether the snake was a danger. A boa constrictor that size is a juvenile, and would be no threat to humans, but would look for small animals such as rodents. The camper was cited for violating park rules in bringing the snake to the campground.

Guy Fowlkes Arrested in "Gunpowder Plot"

The headline makes it sound as if history is repeating itself, but this happened in Ocoee, Florida. Guy Swindell Fowlkes was working at a fireworks tent and got into an argument with his girlfriend, who also worked there. According to the police report, the 33-year-old Fowlkes hit the woman, then went into the tent and began to light fireworks. He also lit firecrackers and placed them into the gas tank of a co-worker's car. As police approached, they could see explosions in the distance. Fowlkes was charged with arson and battery. Many of the fireworks explosions were caught on video.

37 Years Without a Bath

A farmer in India, Guru Kailash Singh, has neither bathed nor cut his hair since just after his wedding day -37 years ago! His wife says the family has tried to force a bath on him several times, but he manages to run away each time. Singh has nothing against bathing, but he was told by a priest years ago that giving up hygiene would help him produce a son. In the years since, seven daughters have been born into the family. Apparently Singh is holding onto that promise, even though his wife, Kalavati Devi, is now 60 years old.

Thief Wears Stolen Coat to Court

Stephen Kirkbride went to court in Kendal, Westmorland, England to answer charges of shoplifting from a sporting goods store. The expensive waterproof Craghopper jacket he wore to court was recognized by the store manager as the one that was stolen from the shop.

Kirkbride’s defence solicitor Judith Birkett argued her client ‘wouldn’t be so stupid’ as to turn up in stolen goods, but Kendal magistrate Jenny Farmer found him guilty of shoplifting, dismissing his excuses as ‘completely implausible’.

Store manager Deborah Robson said: “I pointed the jacket out to the police officer and he seized it straight away.”

Kirkbride claimed he bought the jacket from a thrift store, then said he got it from an unnamed friend. Security cameras had recorded Kirkbride taking the jacket from the store.

Dead Man Exhumed for Dentures

Kenneth Ray Manis of Chattanooga died while in the care of Parkridge Medical Center on June 12th, and was buried three days later. Only afterward did the hospital realize they had given Manis' family not only his personal effects, but those of his hospital roommate as well. The roommate's dentures had been buried with Manis. Two weeks later, arrangements were made at the family's request to exhume the grave and retrieve the dentures, to make sure Manis is buried with the correct teeth. The hospital will pay the cost of the exhumation.

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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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