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The Weird Week in Review

Banana Attacks Gorilla

The Wireless Center, a Verizon outlet in Strongsville, Ohio, was staging a promotion on June 29th featuring their mascot, a man dressed as a gorilla. Police were called because a man dressed as a banana walked in and attacked the gorilla! The banana then fled on foot with four unidentified men. Police did not find the banana. The gorilla was uninjured, but embarrassed.

Chestnut Wins Fifth Hot Dog Title

The annual July 4th hot dog eating contest was held Monday in front of Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs in Coney Island. And once again, American Joey Chestnut defeated all the others by scarfing down 62 hot dogs.

It wasn't a personal best for the 27-year-old nicknamed Jaws, but it was enough to out-eat second-place finisher Patrick Bertoletti by nine wieners. Chestnut, of San Jose, Calif., won $10,000 and the coveted mustard-yellow belt.

"I feel great!" he said after the contest, adding that he was going to drink a lot of water and avoid hot dogs for a few days.

In a separate division for women, Sonya Thomas ate 40 hot dogs to claim the pink belt championship.

Astronaut Survives Intentional Homeopathic Overdose

A group of Swedish scientists, including astronaut/physicist Christer Fuglesang, staged a deliberate overdose of homeopathic medicine to highlight its efficacy -or rather, its lack of efficacy. Homeopathy is based on the idea that a remedy grows stronger as it is diluted with more water. In Sweden, where such therapy is popular, homeopathic medicines must be diluted with water 10,000 times the amount of the active ingredient. Fuglesang and the others took ten times the normal amount of Coffea Alfaplex, a homeopathic sleeping pill. After the experiment, Fuglesang told a newspaper he felt fine, no better and no worse.

Man Freed from Gas Tank

Earr Stokes of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, looked into the gas tank of a car he'd taken to a garage to get a tire changed. He saw that someone had stuck a chocolate bar into the tank, so he reached in to retrieve it. But his hand became stuck in the filler pipe, and eventually his cousin summoned help. After trying to pull the hand out, firefighters had to cut the pipe from the tank, while one fireman stood by with a water hose just in case a spark from the saw ignited the gas. Once freed from the car, Stokes walked to a waiting ambulance, where paramedics removed the pipe from his fingers.

Duct Tape Used for Ducks

Passersby on Victory Road in Boise, Idaho, noticed something going on in the storm drain. A mother duck was hovering over the drain, and ducklings could be heard trapped below. A small crowd gathered, and the animal lovers wrapped duct tape, sticky side out, on the end of a stick. They used the homemade instrument and a pool skimmer to retrieve three ducklings and reunite them with the mother duck. The story did not say whether the tape used was Duck brand.

Nation's Most Expensive Gas Prices Displayed Temporarily

The most expensive gas station in the United States is Sun Gas near Orlando International Airport, but you won't know it by looking -they refuse to display the prices on a sign. The city passed an ordinance requiring that prices be posted, but Sun would rather pay the $250-a-day fine than show passing motorists that their gas is $5.79 a gallon. So last Thursday, a local artist did it for them.

Performance artist Brian Feldman, known for off-the-wall art, spent nearly six muggy hours in front of the station. Around his neck hung a gas station-style sign with Sun Gas' current prices for a gallon of regular, mid-grade and premium.

"This is an art installation, and I am playing the role of the sign. Hopefully, they'll do the right thing and post their prices. But if they don't, I'll do my best to make sure they get the attention they deserve," said Feldman, who was alternately cursed and praised by passing motorists trying to puzzle out his connection to the station.

Cop in Golf Cart Eventually Catches Fleeing Suspect

A sheriff's deputy in Lehigh Acres, Florida, chased a domestic battery suspect on foot through several backyards and down streets in a gated community. The officer than commandeered an electric golf cart from one of the residents. He continued to chase the suspect, who was on foot, for almost two more miles! Eventually, Jeremiah Ellarius Haynes had to stop and rest, and that's when the deputy nabbed him. Haynes was charged with battery and resisting arrest.

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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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