Content Section
  1. Believe It or Not The Year's Weirdest News Stories Robert Laberge / Getty Images

    1. The Year's Weirdest News Stories

    From revolutions to economic crises, it’s been an exciting year full of big stories, and you'll probably see plenty of reviews of the most important ones. But what about the smaller, stranger items? The weird crimes, like the man who robbed the 7-Eleven in a Gumby suit, or the unusual animal stories, like the kangaroo that fought the 94-year-old woman. Or the animal-crime stories, like the man who attacked a woman with a frozen armadillo or the disgruntled snake charmer who released his cobras in a tax office. It's been a good year for strange stories, too, and here are some of the best. From Dennis Kucinich’s olive-pit debacle to the estranged siblings who accidentally went on a date, here are some of the year’s most bizarre news stories.

    December 23, 2011 4:48 PM

  2. Into the Wild The Year I Lived With Wolves Tim Davis / Corbis

    2. The Year I Lived With Wolves

    Wolf: man’s best friend? Researcher Shaun Ellis describes how he lived with wolves for a year in an essay in England’s Guardian. Working at an Idaho research center, Ellis ventured out in the wild little by little, eventually earning the trust of a pack. He then stayed with the wolves day and night. "I ate what they ate, mostly raw deer and elk, which they would often bring back for me, or fruit and berries," Ellis writes. "I never fell ill and my body adapted quickly to its new diet." During the entire year he spent with the pack, without any communication with humans, Ellis earned his keep by watching over the wolf cubs. He had a couple close calls, like when he ate the wrong piece of meat and was reprimanded by a dominant male wolf. Ultimately, he returned gaunt and exhausted, but with a spellbinding story and a new center in Devon, England, that educates people about wolves.

    January 15, 2011 12:07 PM

  3. Obvious Science Sexy News Anchors Are Distracting

    3. Sexy News Anchors Are Distracting

    This is certainly bad news for the Naked News website: Men have more difficulty remembering information from news programs when it is presented to them by attractive women, say two researchers at Indiana University. “Emphasis on the sexual attractiveness of female news anchors distracts from memory formation for news content,” they wrote in Communications Research, noting that “men’s cognitive mechanisms favored visual over verbal processing.” Four hundred men were assigned to watch one of two news programs—one hosted by a made-up female anchor in a revealing outfit, and another by a female anchor in loose-fitting clothes and no make-up. Men remembered “significantly more information watching the unsexualized anchor deliver news than her sexualized version.” For women test subjects, it was the opposite, but the effect was significantly less pronounced.

    January 26, 2011 1:55 AM

  4. TMI Kucinich Settles Olive-Pit Lawsuit J.D. Pooley / Getty Images

    4. Kucinich Settles Olive-Pit Lawsuit

    Finally, we can all start getting on with our lives. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced Friday he’s settled his lawsuit against the operators of the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria, which he’d filed after splitting a tooth on a rogue olive pit hidden inside a sandwich wrap. The olive pit apparently did substantial damage, splitting the tooth “through the crown and the tooth, below the level of the bone,” after which the damage only snowballed. In his announcement, Kucinich included a detailed account of his injuries—which included “intestinal obstruction and emergency medical intervention”—and of the substantial work required to rectify the issue.

    January 28, 2011 1:23 PM

  5. Science Spineless Penis Makes Us Human Getty Images

    5. Spineless Penis Makes Us Human

    And here we thought it was just our big brains: Since diverging from chimpanzees seven-million years ago, human ancestors lost several hundred DNA snippets that led to uniquely human traits—including tactile spines on our penises. Penis spines, like the ones found on chimpanzees, make the penis more sensitive and speed up sex. The loss of penile spines may have helped pave the way for monogamous sex in humans. In the end, it may still all be about our brains: The loss of some DNA may have allowed brains to grow larger.

    March 10, 2011 1:58 AM

  6. Who Knew? Separated Siblings Go on Date

    6. Separated Siblings Go on Date

    A couple that corresponded anonymously online for several months in Britain finally met face-to-face—and discovered shortly thereafter that they were siblings. According to reports, Sarah Kemp and George Bentley lived together as children but split up when their parents divorced. Sarah then married later but never changed her name back after divorcing. "I had absolutely no idea where she was," George said. "I was also searching for Sarah Bentleys, rather than Sarah Kemps, as I obviously didn't know she married. After a while, I think both Sarah and I gave up looking."

    March 30, 2011 3:00 AM

  7. Niche Genghis Khan Dentistry Book Wins Award

    7. Genghis Khan Dentistry Book Wins Award

    You can judge this book by its cover: Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way won the Diagram prize for oddest book title of the year. The book includes chapters on managing conflicts, team building, and “planning for disaster.” Past Diagram winners have seen a huge uptick in sales. The sales for Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes skyrocketed 1,5000 percent within a month of winning the prize last year. Previous winners of the award, which has been going since 1978, include Living with Crazy Buttocks, Greek Rural Postmen and their Cancellation Numbers, How to Avoid Huge Ships and Highlights in the History of Concrete.

    March 25, 2011 3:14 AM

  8. Viva Las Vegas Liberty Stamp Based on Vegas Replica USPS

    8. Liberty Stamp Based on Vegas Replica

    Maybe this will make it collectable? When drawing up their new Statue of Liberty Stamp, the United States Postal Service accidentally used the replica at the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas as their model, not the real statue off of Manhattan. The error was caught by a sharp-eyed stamp collector who also happened to be a Statue of Liberty buff. Though the real statues are obviously different—the Las Vegas statue is half the size of the real one, and in Vegas—the differences in an image of the face are quite subtle. The hair is different, the Vegas statue's eyes are more sharpy defined, and the replica has a rectangular patch underneath the center spike. The post office, which inadvertently selected a photograph of the Vegas replica from photo service when designing the stamp, is standing by the error, saying ““We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway.”

    April 15, 2011 3:09 AM

  9. Who Knew? Woman Suffers ‘Foreign Accent Syndrome’ Image Source/Unknown Photographe

    9. Woman Suffers ‘Foreign Accent Syndrome’

    Karen Butler went in for a routine dental appointment and left with a foreign accent. She appears to have developed “Foreign Accent Syndrome,” an incredibly rare neurological disorder usually caused by an injury to the part of the brain that controls speech. (Doctors say Butler may have suffered a small stroke while undergoing anesthesia at the dentist.) Her new accent—which, she says, she likes—is a combination of British, Irish, and Eastern European. There have only been about 100 known cases of the disorder: One British woman developed a Chinese accent after a migraine; another spoke with a French accent after suffering a stroke.

    June 1, 2011 2:51 AM

  10. Gross Man Pees in Portland Reservoir Frank Augstein

    10. Man Pees in Portland Reservoir

    The city of Portland, Oregon, decided to empty a 7.8 million-gallon reservoir after a security camera caught a 21-year-old man peeing in it. Gross as it is, health concerns may not justify the $36,000 cost of draining it. A toxicology professor said that worse things happen in open-air reservoirs all the time, like animals defecating in them or dying and falling in. But the Portland Water Bureau’s administrator asked, “Do you want to drink pee?” The urinator said he thought the pool was a sewage-treatment plant.

    June 16, 2011 5:09 PM

  11. Wacky Poll God's U.S. Approval Ratings Soar Plinio Lepri / AP Photo

    11. God's U.S. Approval Ratings Soar

    No wonder so many politicians tout their close relationship to God. A Public Policy Polling survey finds most Americans approve of the deity's performance. Fifty-two percent of Americans say that if God exists, they approve of its performance. Nine percent disapprove, and 40 percent aren't sure. Half those polled approve of the divinity's handling of natural disasters. God's most popular move by far is its creating of the universe, with 71 percent approving and 24 percent unsure how they feel about it.

    July 23, 2011 12:07 PM

  12. NATURE ATTACKS Woman, 94, Battles Kangaroo Rob Griffith / AP Photo

    12. Woman, 94, Battles Kangaroo

    Next time you start to complain about doing your laundry, think of Phyllis Johnson. The 94-year-old Australian woman was hanging her wash on Sunday in an Outback town when a red kangaroo attacked her. "I thought it was going to kill me," she said. "It was taller than me, and it just plowed through the clothes on the washing line straight for me." With the aid of a broom and her dog, Johnson fought back against the raging ‘roo, but she was badly injured enough that she had to be taken to a hospital for treatment. The animal was apparently a pet who had escaped, and it was subdued after a police officer arrived on the scene and pepper-sprayed it. Police said that kangaroo attacks on humans are rare; this was the first recorded instance of one being subdued with pepper spray.

    July 26, 2011 3:23 PM

  13. OUCH Tooth Fairy Faces Cuts Getty Images

    13. Tooth Fairy Faces Cuts

    In this economic climate, even the tooth fairy’s savings have taken a beating. A recent Visa Inc. survey found that, in comparison with last year, kids today are getting an average of 40 cents less per tooth. Nationally, the value of a tooth has fallen from $3 to $2.60. Ten percent of children get no money at all, whereas only 6 percent of kids last year got zilch for a lost tooth. One curveball in the survey: The tooth fairy has become more generous in the West, where the average reward per tooth is $2.80, in comparison with last year’s $2.70.

    July 27, 2011 9:51 PM

  14. MUTANT Giant Rat Killed in Brooklyn BlackandBrownNews.com

    14. Giant Rat Killed in Brooklyn

    No this is not a nightmare: A Brooklyn man killed a three-foot rat with a pitchfork Wednesday—and he says he has seen more. New York Housing Authority worker Jose Rivera said he speared the giant rat several times because it kept moving. Animal control experts said they thought it was a Gambian pouched rat, which are a fairly common pet rat but can grow to three feet. Residents of the public housing building said they have seen huge rats like this before. “Even the cats are afraid of the rats,” said resident Stephanie Davis, 44. “They get together and gang up on the cats.”

    August 25, 2011 6:49 PM

  15. WTF TSA Stops Man With Pants Full of Snakes TSA

    15. TSA Stops Man With Pants Full of Snakes

    Security agents at Miami International Airport stopped a man trying to smuggle an entire collection of exotic snakes and turtles on board a plane in his pants. The TSA discovered the snakes, wrapped in women’s hosiery and hidden in the passenger’s pants, while subjecting the man to a cutting-edge image screening. He was arrested and charged under a law restricting imports of exotic animals.

    August 30, 2011 10:30 AM

  16. CRIME ‘Gumby’ Attempts 7-Eleven Robbery Youtube.com

    16. ‘Gumby’ Attempts 7-Eleven Robbery

    A man in a Gumby costume attempted to rob a 7-Eleven in San Diego, but left the store 27 cents poorer than he entered. After demanding the store worker’s money, the man fumbled inside his suit as though reaching for a gun, dropped 27 cents, and then headed for the exit. The clerk didn’t originally report the crime, but his boss did after reviewing the surveillance tape. Police are now offering a $1,000 reward for a suspect.

    September 8, 2011 6:40 AM

  17. IN THE TANK Dirty Aquariums Make Fish Angry Nick Ut, File / AP Photo

    17. Dirty Aquariums Make Fish Angry

    There’s danger in the water, and it involves ornamental fish. Dirty aquariums can lead to killer fish, says a new study. Although, it’s likely that most ornamental fish are already livid and violent. How can you tell that a fish is mad? In the study, mild-mannered fish flared their fins, while ticked-off fish killed each other. Ronald Oldfield, a biology instructor at Case Western Reserve University, thinks it may show insight into human action. "This study might help us to better understand how human behavior changes when people are placed in different social environments," he said.

    September 26, 2011 6:09 PM

  18. Commitment Mexico City Mulls Temporary Marriage

    18. Mexico City Mulls Temporary Marriage

    You'd better remember your anniversary if you get one of these. Leftists in Mexico City's assembly have proposed reforming the civil code so that couples could decide on the length of their marriage. The minimum contract—which includes provisions on handling children and property in the event of a split--would be for two years and could be renewed if the marriage goes well. Around half of Mexico City marriages end in divorce, usually in the first two years. "You wouldn't have to go through the tortuous process of divorce," says Leonel Luna, the assemblyman who co-authored the bill. The church, already angry with Mexico City's decision to legalize gay marriage, called the proposal “absurd.”

    September 30, 2011 6:45 AM

  19. CREEPY 'Hairy Crazy Ants' Invade Southeast Joe MacGown / Mississippi State Entomological Museum-AP

    19. 'Hairy Crazy Ants' Invade Southeast

    No, this is not a nightmare: hairy crazy ants are apparently invading Florida, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana by the millions. The biting ants are called crazy because they each move at random, achieving much greater speed than an average ant. They can short out industrial equipment, and if one gets electrocuted, it releases a chemical that cues the other ants to attack a threat to the colony. Controlling the ants is expensive and can range from $275 to thousands of dollars per year per house. One possible upside is that the hairy crazy ants kill fire ants, but as one ant expert said, “I prefer fire ants to these. I can avoid a fire-ant colony.”

    October 1, 2011 3:27 PM

  20. FORE! Fan Throws Hot Dog at Tiger Woods Robert Laberge / Getty Images

    20. Fan Throws Hot Dog at Tiger Woods

    Adding insult to injury, Tiger Woods, who finished 30th at the Frys.com open, was attacked with a hot dog. A spectator ran onto the course and yelled the name of the former No. 1 golfer before hurling the frankfurter at him. He missed. He then voluntarily got down on the grass and was arrested by security. "When I looked up, the hot dog was already in the air," said Woods. "He was pretty far away from me [though].” “Just an idiot,” said the tournament's director of security. “But it wasn't a chili dog. It could have been really bad."

    October 10, 2011 7:11 AM

  21. COMETTES Meteorite Crashes into Paris Home File / AP Photo

    21. Meteorite Crashes into Paris Home

    While the thought of objects falling from the sky and breaking through the roof of one’s home isn’t exactly comforting, a French family was amazed to discover that a 4.5 billion year-old meteorite had crashed into their house in suburban Paris while they were on holiday. According to scientists, the egg-sized meteorite was the first space rock ever to have been found so close to France’s capital, and one of only 60 meteorites to have hit France in four centuries. Adding more irony to the rare incident, the family whose house was hit is called Comette. A mineral scientist and meteor hunter said the meteorite came “from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.”

    October 10, 2011 3:03 PM

  22. Weird Suspect on the Loose in Armadillo Attack Jim Watson / AFP-Getty Images (FILE)

    22. Suspect on the Loose in Armadillo Attack

    Police in Dallas are still looking for a man who allegedly attacked a 57-year-old woman using a frozen armadillo on Sept. 29. The altercation occurred in the parking lot of an apartment where the suspect was attempting to sell the armadillo to the woman. While arguing over the price, police say the man threw the armadillo at the woman, bruising her leg and chest. If he is found, the suspect could face assault charges.

    October 22, 2011 6:08 PM

  23. INAPPROPRIATE Woman Finds Strange TSA Note Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

    23. Woman Finds Strange TSA Note

    After traveling from Newark to Dublin, Jill Filipovic found an odd note in her luggage. The blogger tweeted a picture of an official TSA notification, upon which someone had written “GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL.” Filipovic suggested that the TSA must have found a “personal item” in her bag, and described the item as “the most basic lady-thing you can imagine.” The TSA explained that “several entities” handle checked bags and that there is “no concrete evidence who wrote the note.” Still, Filipovic called the note “offensive” and said, “I hope they do see the complaint, they’ll look into it and remind their staff that going through people’s personal belongings is a responsibility that should be treated with some modicum of professionalism.”

    October 24, 2011 5:35 PM

  24. TECH EMERGENCY Man Calls 911 Over Broken iPhone Kendall County Sheriff's Office

    24. Man Calls 911 Over Broken iPhone

    Forget waiting in line at the Genius Bar. An Illinois man fed up with his malfunctioning iPhone decided it was an emergency situation and called 911 five times to complain about it. Police traced the calls to the home of Michael Alan Skopec, 48, who was arrested late last night after he “refused to comply with orders from deputies,” according to a spokesperson from the Kendall County Sherriff’s Office. He was given a misdemeanor charge for obstructing a peace officer. Not surprisingly, deputies reported that he was intoxicated when they arrived at his house. He was released from jail on his own recognizance, and will appear in court on Nov. 18.

    November 11, 2011 11:57 AM

  25. Sad

    25. Pet Hippo Kills Owner

    Marius Els, a farmer in South Africa, was found dead with bite wounds from his pet hippo, Humphrey. Els had spoken in the past about his relationship with Humphrey, whom he had found as a 5-month-old orphan. “Humphrey's like a son to me, he's just like a human,” Els said. “There's a relationship between me and Humphrey and that's what some people don't understand.” He was photographed earlier this year riding Humphrey’s back. The animal, however, had scared some people before, once chasing a man and his grandson into a tree and frequently breaking into a local golf course and chasing golfers. Els’s body was found in the same river from which Humphrey had been rescued.

    November 15, 2011 6:35 AM

  26. BUSTED FBI Arrests Suspected Beard Cutters Amy Sancetta

    26. FBI Arrests Suspected Beard Cutters

    An Amish sect’s beard-cutting spree may be at an end. FBI and local police raided an Amish compound in Ohio early this morning, arresting seven suspects, including the sect’s leader, Sam Mullet, and his three sons. Police say the sect assaulted several men and women in recent months and forcefully cut their beards and hair, a serious insult for the Amish. They are being charged with hate crimes.

    November 23, 2011 11:15 AM

  27. SSSURPRISE Charmer Lets Loose Bag of Snakes AP Photo

    27. Charmer Lets Loose Bag of Snakes

    You never know what kind of tricks a snake charmer has up his sleeve. An angry man in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dumped a sack full of snakes in a land-revenue office on Tuesday, causing officials and visitors to run from the building and jump on tables. A local journalist told the BBC that the snake charmer has petitioned various government offices over the years for a plot of land where he can “conserve” his snakes. Backed by a band of supporters, the man unleashed dozens of snakes that “were climbing up the tables and chairs,” according to the local journalist. No one was bitten or injured, but the snakes and the charmer are still on the loose.

    November 30, 2011 2:00 PM

  28. FALLEN Ex-Cop Held in Jail Named After Him RJ Sangosti, Pool / AP Photo

    28. Ex-Cop Held in Jail Named After Him

    Patrick Sullivan, the former sheriff of Colorado’s Arapahoe County, is being held in the jail named after him. He was arrested Tuesday for allegedly offering a man methamphetamine in exchange for sex and sent to the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility. He was sheriff of the county, which includes Littleton, from 1984 until 2002, and he was involved in the state’s methamphetamine-policy task force. The city of Littleton has not yet said if it will rename the jail.

    December 1, 2011 6:22 AM