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The Weird Week in Review

Tuba Thefts Linked to Banda Music

A rash of tuba thefts may be attributed to the popularity of a genre of music called banda. High schools all over Southern California report thefts of Sousaphones and concert tubas, which may be sold on the black market to banda musicians. Mexican banda music has been growing in popularity over the past twenty years, and the tuba is the most important instrument for the distinctive sound. Banda bandits are suspected because other instruments that are easier to carry off and sell for scrap have been left behind in the break-ins.

Courthouse Evacuated Over Coconut

A deputy at the Frederick County Courthouse in Maryland spotted a coconut on Wednesday morning. The coconut was placed on one of the building's columns, and appeared to have been split open and pieced back together. The courthouse was evacuated and the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Bomb Squad responded. Upon examination, they determined that the coconut was no threat. The investigation continues.

738-pound Tuna

Nathan Adams caught a pretty big fish, considering he was only using a rod and reel and fishing from a 20-foot boat. Adams landed a Pacific bluefin tuna that weighed in at 738 pounds! Bigger tuna have been caught, but the New Zealand fisherman may have set a world record for a rod and reel. Tuna that size can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars at a fish market, but Adams cannot sell the tuna for meat, as New Zealand law bans selling fish caught from a registered recreational vessel. He is considering having the fish mounted, which means Adams cannot eat the tuna himself, either.

Giant Chicken Stolen

A 10-foot-tall chicken was stolen last week from a poultry farm in Windham Township, Ontario. The fiberglass rooster had been guarding the farm since it was imported from Texas in 2004. Thieves broke the $3,000 chicken and made off with it, leaving its feet behind. An anonymous caller reported the bird's whereabouts, and police found it in a backyard in Milton. The homeowner, 36-year-old Brent Smith, was arrested for fowl play possession of stolen property. The farmers, Sonia and Frank Dierick, are hoping that an auto body shop may be able to reattach the big bird to its feet.

Terrifying Tom Turkey

Edna Geisler of Commerce Township, Michigan, is afraid to leave her home, because she is being stalked by a turkey. The 69-year-old woman calls the big tom "Godzilla." The bird stakes out her front lawn from sunup to sundown, and attacks if she tries to cross the yard. It has bumped her and even clawed her once. A wildlife expert says the behavior is unusual, but it appears the gobbler is defending its territory. Geisler just hopes Godzilla leaves before gardening season begins.

Town Covered in Spider Webs

Townspeople in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia, were evacuated during recent floods. When they returned, the fields surrounding the town were covered with a blanket of spider webs! Experts explained that the local wolf spiders threw out webs hoping to escape the danger of flooding, a process called "ballooning." The water made the webs more visible to the human eye. The water also makes the webs stickier, which means they trap more insects. The many webs are actually advantageous to people, as they help capture mosquitoes, which normally thrive during floods.

Steven Seagal Sued over Raid

The expected response to a story we posted here a year ago has come about. Last March, actor Steven Seagal assisted the Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff's office in a raid over suspected cockfighting. They showed up with an armored vehicle and a SWAT team and busted through a wall at the home of Jesus Llovera. The raid, during which Llovera's dog was shot, was filmed for the TV show Steven Seagal: Lawman. Llovera initiated a lawsuit this week against Seagal and the sheriff. The recorded raid was for an episode that was supposed to be aired in January, but the show was pulled from the A&E network lineup.

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds, U.S. Air Force, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
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Weird
How the U-2 Aircraft Made Area 51 Synonymous With UFOs
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Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds, U.S. Air Force, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Area 51 may be the world’s most famous secret military base. Established on an abandoned airfield in the Nevada desert, the facility has fueled the imaginations of conspiracy theorists scanning the skies for UFOs for decades. But the truth about Area 51’s origins, while secretive, isn’t as thrilling as alien autopsies and flying saucers.

According to Business Insider, the U.S. government intended to build a base where they could test a top-secret military aircraft without drawing attention from civilians or spies. That aircraft, the U-2 plane, needed to fly higher than any other manmade object in the skies. That way it could perform recon missions over the USSR without getting shot down.

Even over the desert, the U-2 didn’t go completely undetected during test flights. Pilots who noticed the craft high above them reported it as an “unidentified flying object.” Not wanting to reveal the true nature of the project, Air Force officials gave flimsy explanations for the sightings pointing to either natural phenomena or weather research. UFO believers were right to think the government was covering something up, they were just wrong about the alien part.

You can get the full story in the video below.

[h/t Business Insider]

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