Weird, offbeat and bizarre news from around the world. Funny, strange & odd news stories that make you wince, laugh and fear for humanity.
To Peru, where archaeologists have brushed the dust way to reveal a 2,000-year-old Nazca Line feasting the likeness of a cat. The enormous glyph was etched into a hill around 250 miles southeast of Lima, Peru. The big cat is about 120 feet long.
Why it’s there is mystery. Perhaps better to ask why it wouldn’t be there? We live in an age where big public works of art are all the go. That artists working for the Nazca peoples between 200 B.C. and 600 A.D. drew large artworks is a link to our shared past. And back then they didn’t have Netflix and Twitter to fill the day.
Not too far away from the big cat is a giant spider. And if the song is right, the images feature a trail which will ultimately end up with the bones of an old lady who swallowed a horse – to catch the cow, to catch the goat, to catch the dog, to catch the cat, to catch the bird, to catch the spider, to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly. Best leave that puzzler for the scientists.
Clowns can make anything worse. To Fargo, North Dakota, where Roxane Salonen and her teenage son are playing tennis. They spy four figures approaching. All four are wearing clown masks. They are the four clowns of the apocalypse. She calls the police and speaks to the media. The West Central Tribune takes up the story:
She said they were chanting something as they closed in on her and her son, but they quickly ran as she called the police who told her it was the second report of masked clowns in the city that night.
“Even if it was a practical joke, right now it probably isn’t a good time to be doing that, because there’s so much worry right now in the world,” Salonen said.
For Brenda Giere, the owner of Halloween Express, clown costumes have become more popular in her store over the past few years.
She said clown masks and suits have been outselling classic Halloween costumes like werewolves and pirates, just based on scare factor alone.
Clowns – with their masks, socially distancing shoes and clip on noses, will clowns be the human cockroaches that outlive the Covid-19 pandemic?
The marketing blurb for Inspired Luxury Escapes is tempting: book your “escape” to Krakow. There’s booze, sausages and the world’s No.1 Nazi death camp:
As the Christmas period approaches, Krakow transforms into a captivating winter wonderland. With the Old Town’s medieval streets providing the backdrop, wander 80 market stalls picking up unusual decorations while sampling traditional Polish dishes. Not to mention everyone’s favourite festive tipple – mulled wine. Included in our special offer is a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious Nazi concentration camps.
Mulled wine and so much more than the more humdrum Nazi death camps advertised on other Christmas escapes:
Its a “great way to get into the Christmas spirit”:
Book now to ensure disappointment in the depravity of humankind.
When you think of Germany, which personalities come to mind? Which individual makes you think of Germany? In 1999, for people in Taiwan it was Adolph Hitler. DBK, based in the southwest German city of Kandel, was advertising its space heaters:
“We decided to use Hitler because as soon as you see him, you think of Germany. It leaves a deep impression,” said Shen, who works in the company’s planning and design department.
Shen said the company had not been worried that the public would have a negative reaction to an ad that features a man who oversaw the killing of millions of Jews during World War II.
“Most people in Taiwan are not that sensitive about Hitler,” she said.
One country’s joke is another’s abomination:
It’s all about selling, right? Try to win over the audience and not put them off.
Medics have removed a four-foot long snake from the guts of woman in Levashi, a village in Dagestan, southern Russia, says The Metro. Said to have been sleeping at the time and waking with a feeling of illness, the young woman was rushed to hospital. Hailed by the words “Let’s see what this is”, medics, we’re told, put her to sleep and inserted a tube via her throat. They then retrieved a 4ft “snake”.
So says The Metro in a story that lacks the woman’s name, the medical centre’s address and what happened to the long beast and the patient. Also lacking is a mask for the medic holding the critter and an explanation as to how the snake is hooked on the end of a piece of soft tubing slid inside the patient. Do doctors fish around inside their charges in Russia – literally? But no fear because in place for fact, the trusty Metro notes that the population of the local town is 11,500 and is at an altitude of 4,165 ft.
The pandemic has been good for people who prefer to work from home. You get to stay in your pyjamas, at least from the waist up if you’re on Zoom; have the radio on; and use your own toilet. If you’re Damien Turner, 28, from West Virginia, you can even get to go to the toilet in your nappy.
Says Dave, a member of the ABDL community: “Gag-ga-go-toy-toy.” Or to put it through Goo-Goo-Google Translate: “Diapers are very convenient, comfortable, and cute. It’s a very nice lifestyle and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
He goes on: “Dressing and acting like a baby gives off a very calm, relaxing, safe vibe. It’s almost as if you were back in preschool without a worry in the world. Employment is hard. I’m constantly in and out of jobs. Sometimes my employers find my pictures online or just can’t put up with the fact I’m wearing a diaper and acting childish in the workplace.”
Drooling is ok, we art Anorak are pretty col with that. Scrawling on walls, yes, that too. Pooping your pants, less so. Also tantrums, strops, meltdowns and eating large green candles of thick snot straight from source are not much liked.
“I’ve lost a few childhood best friends,” adds Dave, most likely losing them when they starting shaving and mutated into adults. Although if Dave’s patient he might hook up with some old faces again when incontinence strikes.
You can buy a Covid-19 Plush toy and snuggle up to a stuffed effigy of the virus that has killed and contributed to the untimely deaths of thousands of people.
Somebody wrote the following:
It’s quite incredible (and mildly terrifying!) how a bunch of tiny microbes can have such a profound impact on the world.
You’ve been trying your very best to avoid it for the last few months, but now you can get your well-sanitised hands on COVID-19 – in cuddly plush form!
As you search the web for a cancer cuddly or an ebola action figure, another company says a small percentage of money raised from sales of the cuddly Covid-19 plus toy will go to “charities supporting healthcare workers who need essential supplies, vulnerable families who need care and children who are losing healthy meals due to school closings.”
As nurses and doctors snuggle up to the thing that might kill them at work – and the sane wonder why you didn’t just give all the money to charity – you can know that the Covid-19 toy is made in China – just like the real thing!
Says no-one: ‘Where can I get Covid-1 to 18 and complete the set?’
For two years Sameer Anwar, 7, had a piece of lego stuck up his nose. The other day he sniffed a pile of warm, pink cupcakes, felt something move, blew his nose and the plastic toy fell out – covered in fungus. Sameer of Dunedin, New Zealand, slotted the Lego piece up his nose in 2018. He told his parents what he’d done. A trip to the doctor produce nothing. The advice was to sit tight and watch it come out the other end. It didn’t.
In 1999 Bill Morgan, 37, suffered a heart attack and was pronounced clinically dead. Having narrowly survived a car crash, Bill was given emergency drugs which triggered an extreme allergic reaction causing his heart to stop. Medics pronounced him clinically dead. But after 14 minutes of inaction, Bill’s heart restarted. But he was now in a coma. Twelve days later Bill came round. The better news was that everything was working properly. He’d made an incredible recovery. And then luck struck. Bill won a car on the the lottery. Great news.
Local TV got wind of Bill’s story and invited to him to relive the moment when he bought the ticket and won the car. So off Bill went to the shop with the TV crew in tow. He’d show them how he’d bought the ticket and won the car – a useful asset to a man living in a caravan. The cameras rolled. Bill played along. He bought a new ticket. And checked the numbers. “I just won 250,000,” said Bill. “I am not joking. I just won 250,000. Please don’t film me.”I don’t believe this is happening. I think I will have another heart attack. Oh gosh!”
Thanks to photographer Mithun H for allowing us to share his picture of Saya, a black panther, and a leopard mate Cleopatra in India’s Kabini Forest. “Usually in the courting pairs generally it is the male who takes charge and moves around with the female following close behind. But with this couple, it was definitely Cleo who was in charge while the panther followed,” he says on his Instagram.
Spotter: Mithun H
On a helicopter flight to a North Sea oil rig I noticed that fellow travellers had their hands pressed on their harnesses’ quick release buttons pretty much throughout the journey. Experienced rough necks let the less experienced passengers sit in the middle seats. The clear message was that helicopter travel is dangerous and you plan your escape route before boarding. So how do you feel about flying in a counterfeit helicopter made in Modolva by criminals?
The Moldovan General Prosecutor’s Office says it located a camouflaged factory allegedly manufacturing fake ‘copters. The 10 machines were discovered “in various states of assembly” east of Moldova’s capital Chișinău and close to the border with the breakaway region of Transnistria.
Who were the customers for the Russian Ka-26 fakes is not yet known. But you know that tank / warship / submarine you bought? Best check the guarantee.
Like many of you, I too have been creating flowcharts of the wildlife I see around me. Charts on the lives of daddy longlegs, house flies and silverfish have been compiled in A4 pads for future generations to study. If like two aquariums in Japan you have more exotic household guests, you can do as they have and publish flowcharts that track the relationships of their penguins.
Penguins, the way they waddle around and protect their eggs, are often thought of as cute, cuddly and romantic. But those who observe them for extended periods know they have a dark side. Two aquariums in Japan, Kyoto Aquarium and Sumida Aquarium, keep obsessive tabs on their penguins and maintain an updated flowchart that visualizes all their penguin drama.
As Kyoto-based researcher Oliver Jia points out, penguin drama can include serious crushes and heartbreaks but also adultery and egg-stealing. And these Japanese aquariums have it all charted in a flowchart that can be studied for hours.
What did you do in the Covid-19 pandemic, daddy? I’ve now watched his video 29 times:
When Sam Darlaston found some caterpillars in his supermarket broccoli he tweeted Tesco: “I was about to cook my favourite vegetable of all time (broccoli) and after unwrapping it, to my surprise, found caterpillars inside! They’re really nice and we’ve ended up keeping one as a pet and naming him. but just as a heads up, some of your broc has c-pillars.”
As you most likely know ‘Rickrolling’ means inserting the Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up” (1987) into a hyperlink that has nothing to do with the British singer. Hats off to quantum physics student Sairam Gudiseva, who Rickrolled their teacher in Tennessee.
See it all here.
Barcelona’s Liceu opera house reopens on June 22 with a concert for 2,292 plants. Humans will have to tune in on YouTube. Concert for the Biocene will feature Puccini’s “Crisantemi” on strings.
Eugenio Ampudia, the artist behind the concert, explains: “At a time when an important part of humankind has shut itself up in enclosed spaces and been obliged to relinquish movement, nature has crept forward to occupy the spaces we have ceded. And it has done so at its own rhythm, according to its patient biological cycle. Can we broaden our empathy and bring it to bear on other species? Let’s start by using art and music and inviting nature into a great concert hall.”
Not so much invited as carried in and unless they’re triffids, incapable of voting with their feet. But they’re quiet and don’t fidget. So play on…
Maria and Lucy Aylmer from Gloucester, UK, are twins. “Good on her,” says the TV host as she appraises Lucy’s fair skin. Non-identical twins are not identical is not a news story. But these two are because when one is whiter skinned and one darker skinned, the world can be different place for each of them.
To Delhi, India, where news is that monkeys have made off with samples of Covid-19. The monkeys attacked a laboratory assistant and made off with a batch of coronavirus blood test samples. One of the monkey’s was spotted up a tree by Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India. It was chewing on one of the blood samples. But don’t worry. Meerut medical college superintendent, Dheeraj Raj says, “They were still intact and we don’t think there is any risk of contamination or spread.”
End of days, readers. End of days.
To maintain the correct social distance in the coronavirus age priests are performing baptisms with water pistols.
File under ‘Guns for Jesus’.
To South Korea, where FC Seoul being are being cheered on by a platoon of immaculate WAGs. But take a closer look and these women are entirely made of man-made fibres. Has Vicky overcooked the injections and filler? No. These are factory-fresh, coronavirus-proof sex dolls.
“We will think hard about what we need to do to ensure that something like this never happens again,” says an FC Seoul rep who mistook Bot345 for Victoria Beckham. “We want to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by the instalment of the mannequins. Our intention was to do something lighthearted in these difficult times. We will think hard about what we need to do to ensure that something like this never happens again.”
Said one player: “She never took her eyes off me nor even blinked. It filled me with energy and desire. Now I feel a bit deflated – which is how Bianca was looking after we left the hotel. Please don’t tell my wife.”
To the “Café Rothe Schwerin” in Germany, where punters can maintain social distancing by wearing a swimming noodle on their heads. The cafe is open for al fresco dining, and tables are service 1.5m apart, as the rules dictate. But to ensure no accidental touching occurs, you can keep other punters at noodle-distance. Why a pool noodle and not, say, a barge pole, javelin or sombrero-styled MAGA hat? Things to ponder. Call me McDonald’s, I have ideas.
The Cannonball Run record for the fastest drive across the US has been beaten seven times in five weeks. The new record stands at 26 hours. That means making the 4507 trip at an average speed of a least 108 miles an hour. Accounting for fuel stops means the new record holders averaged 193km/h when crossing “several” States. You can thank the coronavirus pandemic for the empty roads.
The made-for-TV Covid-19 movie is being outlined in the Maldives, where Egyptians Khaled and Peri are living in a never-ending honeymoon. The Dubai-based coouple married on 6 March in their adopted homeland. Then it was off for honeymoon in Cancún, Mexico. On March 19, they headed back to Dubai. They never made it. “While we were on the plane we had access to internet and then we started getting messages from people ‘Are you going to be able to get to Dubai? There’s a new law, they’re banning expats,'” Peri told the BBC.
The coronavirus pandemic had hit. They’d left Mexico and had arrived in Istanbul for a connecting flight home. But flights to Egypt were suspended. And Turkey would not let them enter the country. For two days they languished at the airport.
“We decided to go on Google and check all the countries that allowed Egyptians without a visa, and then check if they had flights,” Peri said. It appeared they only had one option: the Maldives.
“Every time we tell people we are stuck in the Maldives, they laugh and they’re like ‘it’s not the worst situation, I wish I could be in your position’,” Peri added. “It’s not as easy or happy, it’s definitely very stressful… enjoy being at home with family. I would take that over anything.”