Strange But True

Strange But True Category

Weird, offbeat and bizarre news from around the world. Funny, strange & odd news stories that make you wince, laugh and fear for humanity.

Who wants to buy a fake helicopter made by criminals in Moldova?

Fake helicopters

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.


Posted: 15th, July 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Lockdown studies: Japanese aquariums’ flowchart of the sex lives of penguins

penguin love flowchart

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.

Spotter: @pomeranian99

Posted: 8th, July 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

The best Covid-19 pandemic video ever

What did you do in the Covid-19 pandemic, daddy? I’ve now watched his video 29 times:

Posted: 4th, July 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Man finds and rears caterpillars found in his supermarket broccoli

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.”

Posted: 27th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment

Student Rickrolls teacher with Rick Astley acrostic in physics paper

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.

Spotter: i09

Posted: 22nd, June 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Barcelona opera house reopens to an audience of 2,000 plants

Barcelona opera house reopens to an audience of 2,000 plants

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…

Posted: 19th, June 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

‘Good on her’: Australian TV host praises the white twin over the black twin of mixed-race parents

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.

Posted: 6th, June 2020 | In: Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment

Monkeys mug lab assistant and escape with Coronavirus samples

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.

Posted: 31st, May 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Coronavirus Amen: Priests Baptise With Water Pistols

water pistol baptism

To maintain the correct social distance in the coronavirus age priests are performing baptisms with water pistols.

File under ‘Guns for Jesus’.

Posted: 27th, May 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Football team populates stands with sex doll WAGs

South Korea sex doll

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.”

Posted: 26th, May 2020 | In: Sports, Strange But True | Comment

Cafe in Germany keeps social distancing with swimming pool noodles

coronavirus noodles

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.

Posted: 25th, May 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Coronavirus means the Cannonball Run record has been broken

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.

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

The Covid-19 movie: couple trapped on never-ending honeymoon

covid 19, coronavirus, the maldives

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.”

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Cadiz Beach sprayed with bleach to kill Covid-19 – Spain already soaks seafood in hydrogen peroxide

How long does the Covid-19 bug survive on sand? In readiness for Spain’s partial easing of lockdown, the beach at Zahara de los Atunes, near Cadiz on the country’s southern Atlantic coast, was sprayed with bleach. Why? Why do meddling politicians who do stupid things do anything. Yep. To “protect children”.

María Dolores Iglesias, who leads an environmental volunteer group in the Cadiz region, is not happy. She said the bleach “killed everything on the ground, nothing is seen, not even insects”.

What about the seafood?

A Member of European Parliament has inquired whether or not the country has breached EU law by using hydrogen peroxide in the processing of seafood in a bid to make it seem fresher.

Spain authorised the practice in seafood such as squid, cuttlefish and octopus in 2011, with Italian authorities following suit.

But while hydrogen peroxide is authorised as a processing aid among EU countries, it is not allowed as a food additive.

Maybe a staycation isn’t so bad, after all…

Posted: 1st, May 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Post ICU syndrome in the age of Covid-19

I’ve been in intensive care. I remember the nurse from Redcar who made me laugh. She worked with the strength of purpose and efficiency of a submarine commander. I remember the brightly lit room, my back being to the window so I couldn’t see out and wondering about the man to my left who’d been in there for over a year. I don’t remember sleeping. Does that matter? Diagnosis changes how you sleep. Treatment does something else. I can relate to the stories of people who wake suddenly in the night. I’ve found myself stood on the bed, dashing around outside the bedroom or heading for the front door. Is that behaviour linked to my health? Recurring nightmares are one of the hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder. But that’s not it. It’s not a nightmare I’m having. It’s more like a trip. Dr Dhruv Khullar looks at what some are calling post-ICU syndrome and what it means in the age of Covid-19:

Among the patients I care for at the hospital is a young woman recovering from covid-19. To keep her blood oxygenated, she needs a device called a non-rebreather mask… It’s considered an advanced oxygen-delivery device, because it supplies more oxygen than a simple nasal cannula; it is also cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear. But the mask, my patient says, isn’t her biggest problem; neither is her cough or shortness of breath. Her biggest problem is her nightmares. She can’t sleep. When she closes her eyes, she’s scared she won’t wake up. If she does fall asleep, she jolts awake, frenzied and sweating, consumed by a sense of doom. She sees spider-like viruses crawling over her. She sees her friends and family dying. She sees herself intubated in an I.C.U. for the rest of time

The ill and the well is a true divide. You cross the line with a jolt…

Spotter: The New Yorker

Posted: 27th, April 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Coronavirus Warning and Tape Prevent People Sitting Down In London’s Brockwell Park

coronavirus brockwell park

To London’s Brockwell Park, where sitting in the park will not be tolerated. Lambeth Council have covered the benches with tape. the message is you can only use the park to “walk or run”. Joggers, strollers and malingers have been warned.

brockwell park covid-19

Posted: 26th, April 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Lockdown Challenge: Museums Compete to Show ‘Creepiest Objects’

On Twitter a #CuratorBattle is testing museums to showcase their creepiest objects.

Creepy objects
Creepy objects
Creepy objects
Creepy objects
Creepy objects
Creepy objects
Creepy objects

Posted: 25th, April 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Tory councillor in hot cross bun swastika row

Tory councillor Portsmouth hot cross buns swastika

Usually a hot cross bun is embossed with a cross, to symbolise Christianity. English folklore says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow mouldy during the subsequent year. Supermarkets offer non-believers a sell-by date printed on their ready-to-eat buns. They do not feature the words ‘SEX’ or ‘FUCK’, the flag of Scots nationalist nor a Swastika. Doing so would mean them no longer being hot cross buns, rather Swear Buns, SNP Buns or National Socialism Buns.

Tory councillor Lee Mason, a former Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, has been removed from his party while bun investigators look into his tray of home-baked buns which featured in a Snapchat post “leaked” to Portsmouth’s local paper, The News. Mr Mason denies baking any bun with a swastika on it. He suggests the image of the Swastika bun may have been altered, and we note that whoever made it or don’t make it has the arms pointing anticlockwise, which as any caterer for Nazi-themed parties and weddings will tell you is the wrong way. He has however admitted to baking the other buns.

“I have not baked a bun with a Nazi symbol. You can see from the picture that is not a Nazi symbol,” Mr Mason tells Portsmouth News. “I baked some cakes, yes, but I haven’t done a Nazi symbol on any of them. And there’s no Nazi symbols there.”

The News tells readers that the “swastika-style emblem – similar to one used by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, whose party slaughtered millions of Jews during the Second World War – appeared to have been baked on a bun.”

A spokesman for a local Jewish group is upset. Another former Tory councillor named – get this – Jezz Baker says: “I’m a Pompey Jew, born and bred, and my hatred for swastikas is enormous. But if there is one person that is not anti-Semitic and has nothing Nazi about him whatsoever it’s Lee Mason.”

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP (Labour), puts the bun in context of the fight against racism, the Covid-19 pandemic and given time probably global warming. “At a time when our whole community is pulling together to support each other, anything suggesting the use of the most offensive of symbols is shockingly inappropriate and shameful,” he says. “If true, it may also breach the members’ code of conduct. It is only right that serious and legitimate concerns be reported to the city council under its complaints system for councillors.”

No word yet from victims of the Crusades, crucifixion nor Christian fundamentalists about why the cross is unsuited to cakes and anyone who serves such a symbol of persecution, idolatry and suffering with butter and jam deserves to rot in hell for all eternity.

Posted: 25th, April 2020 | In: News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment

The NHS advert for staying at home during coronavirus crisis features a headless woman trapped beneath two laughing women and a dog

The NHS advert tells us to Stay At Home. Yeah, you can go out to exercise for an hour a day. And you can go shopping. And if you’re in the police force you can stand on a bridge and clap. But STAY AT HOME! One tip to prevent any urges to leave the home is to trap yourself beneath two fiends and a dog.

File under: it’s amazing what you can find down the back of a sofa.

Posted: 19th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment

Everything explained in one huge conspiracy theory graphic

Everything explained in one huge conspiracy theory graphic

The conspiracy theory about the conspiracy theories has been pulled together in one graphic. Of course, what you can’t see is the real evidence just just off the page to the right. And it will blow your mind!

Posted: 19th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment

Sign in Bronx booze shop tells customers the 7 Coronavirus rules

coronavirus the bronx

In The Bronx, New York City, a sign in the booze store winder lays out the 7 rules of coronavirus for all shoppers.

Posted: 15th, April 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Cambridge police patrol the aisles at Tesco supermarket

Cambridge police coronavirus

A tweet from the Cambridge police force aka twitter’s ‘Cambridge Cops’: “Officers visited Tesco Barhill this morning as part of their patrols around supermarkets and green spaces this weekend. Good to see everyone was abiding by social distancing measures and the non essential aisles were empty. #1732”

File under: essential policing.

Update: the Cambridge Cops have deleted their tweet.

Posted: 10th, April 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

The Medieval Elephant in Art

The Medieval Elephant in Art

Drawing an elephant when you’ve never seen one is testing, as these images drawn by Medieval artist prove. Uli Westphal’s Elephas Anthropogenus project shows us European illustrations of elephants between the fall of Rome to the end of the Renaissance. Around that period sightings of elepahants in what is now modern day Wigan or Oslo were rare. He writes:

After the fall of the Roman Empire, elephants virtually disappeared from Western Europe. Since there was no real knowledge of how this animal actually looked, illustrators had to rely on oral and written transmissions to morphologically reconstruct the elephant, thus reinventing an actual existing creature. This tree diagram traces the evolution of the elephant depiction throughout the middle ages up to the age of enlightenment.

An album of Medieval elephants can be seen here.

Posted: 4th, April 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Mega-rich TV evangelist executes judgement on Covid-19

Evangelist covid-19

US televangelist Kenneth Copeland will slay the coronavirus by channelling God’s powers. It’s the smackdown we’ve been waiting for:

Here’s Kenneth explaining why God made private jets:

Posted: 31st, March 2020 | In: Celebrities, News, Strange But True | Comment