The Weird Week in Review
SURPRISE WALLABY JOEY SHOWS UP A YEAR AFTER MATING
Mica is a brush-tailed rock wallaby at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. She’s been doing her job for the endangered species by giving birth. However, the only male wallaby in the zoo was moved away in March of 2015. Mica’s joey emerged from the pouch about six months later. But zookeepers were surprised to find that there’s another baby in there! The new joey recently peeked out from Mica’s pouch, and appears to be about six months old. How did that happen? Wallaby keeper Tony-Britt Lewis explained the phenomenon.
The birth is the result of a phenomenon known as embryonic diapause, which enables certain mammals to extend their gestation period and time the birth of their young.
The reproductive strategy, which is used by a number of marsupial species including kangaroos, wallabies and wombats, usually occurs when adverse environmental conditions threaten the survival of the mother and her newborn.
“It’s an interesting survival mechanism that allows the mother to delay the development of the embryo in drought conditions or if she already has a joey in the pouch,” said Tony.
Mica and her joey are part of the Taronga Zoo’s Platypus Pools exhibit.
HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE REVEALED TO BE 30-YEAR-OLD REFUGEE
They say it’s never too late to go back to school, but Jonathan Nicola took it a step too far. He signed up at Central Catholic High School in Windsor, Ontario, on a student visa from South Sudan. Nicola is 6’ 9” and a star center for the Central Catholic Comets basketball team. But an investigation revealed that Nicola is not 17 years old as he presented himself, but 30. Nicola is now in a detention center awaiting an immigration hearing. School officials stress that he posed no danger to other students. There’s no word yet on how the scandal will affect the basketball team’s record.
“BOATY MCBOATFACE” WINS POLL; LOSES SHIP
Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) held an internet poll to name their newest research ship. The final results had “Boaty McBoatface” winning with 124,109 votes, which is four times the number of votes the runner-up received. But as you knew would happen, the powers-that-be have nixed the name.
Appearing to drown all hope that the U.K.'s new $300 million research vessel will be named "Boaty McBoatface," Science Minister Jo Johnson says the ship needs a more "suitable" name.
We have yet to hear what that “more suitable” name will be. Former BBC radio host James Hand, who submitted the name “Boaty McBoatface,” said his favorite was “Clifford the Big Red Boat.”
A SHRINE FOR COOKIES
It was a heartbreaking scene in Leamington Spa, UK. A package of chocolate cookies had been spilled on the sidewalk and left behind. Warwick University student Hugh Osborn was saddened by the sight and took a picture. Other people noticed, too, and by the next day, flowers and a candle had been set by the cookies as a makeshift memorial. Later, Osborn added a note and a framed photo of an intact package of Digestives. The shrine was cleared away by Friday morning, but the photos live on.
FRENCH STATUE GETS REMOVABLE PENIS
The mayor of Arcachon in southwest France was troubled by constant vandalism. A statue of the mythical Greek hero Heracles stood in the Parc Mauresque since 1948, but he kept losing his penis to thieves. The vandals struck soon after a replacement penis was installed time after time. Now Mayor Martine Phelippot has announced that the next replacement organ constructed will be detachable, and will only be installed for ceremonies at the park. While the statue will again appear to be vandalized most of the time, the city will save money on replacements penises with the new plan.