Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania

Don’t Make Ebola Jokes on an Airplane

There is a time and place for everything, but joking about the Ebola virus on a plane isn’t funny. A passenger on US Airways Flight 845 from Philadelphia to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, reportedly sneezed, and then said either, “I’ve been to Africa,” or “I have Ebola. You’re all screwed” (reports vary). It was meant as a joke, but airline officials took no chances. As soon as the plane landed in Punta Cana, a four-man hazmat crew entered the plane in full gear to remove the passenger. The unnamed passenger protested that he’d been kidding, but he was taken to a hospital where it was determined that he does not have Ebola, and had indeed never been to Africa. The other passengers on the plane were then released.

Milking Champion Sets New Record

In 2008, Gunther Wahl set the world record for milking a cow at two liters in two minutes. In 2012, Maurizio Paschetta smashed that record by getting four and a half liters. At the 2014 World Cow-Milking Championship in Lenna, Italy, last week, Gianmario Ghirardi milked an astounding 8.7 liters in two minutes to win the title. The championship was not without controversy. The previous title holder, Paschetta, refused to participate this year. Why? 

“For a competition at this level I would have expected strong anti-doping checks on the cows and milkers to protect the animals and guarantee transparency of the top positions,” he was quoted as saying.

“The event could be a showcase for the agricultural world and its traditions, but this has been neglected in the organization,” Paschetta said.

Hints of a doping scandal in the world of competitive milking? What has the world come to?

Bear Gets Revenge on Hunter

A hunter in Russia shot and wounded a bear in the backside. The hunter and his companions pursued the bear, but lost track of it. They then returned to where they parked their cars. The hunter who shot the bear found his vehicle had been trashed by the bear! The Ford was dented and scratched, the rear bumper was torn off, and the interior upholstery was ripped to shreds. Two other cars, belonging to the hunter’s companions, were untouched. Could the bear have known which car belonged to the man who shot it?

Man Arrested for Flushing Nails Down Toilets

A rash of plumbing problems among restaurants in Eagan, Minnesota, had authorities looking for a patron who liked to flush nails down the toilet, two to three pounds of them at a time. Incidents occurred at the Transit Station, Starbucks, and several times at Subway outlets, which racked up thousands of dollars in plumbing repair. After a few incidents, a suspect emerged: Nicholas Mullenmaster of St. Paul. Police caught Mullenmaster in the act when they were called to Leeann Chin by the restaurant manager. Officers heard clanking noises in the restroom and found Mullenmaster with nails and a receipt from Home Depot. He was charged with first-degree criminal damage to property. No motive has yet been disclosed.

Horse Walks Into British Police Station

The Cheshire Police station, in Northwest England, got a surprise visit on Monday from a local horse who walked right into the building unaccompanied. The horse looked like he meant business, but declined to speak to officers. The episode was caught on security camera. Superintendent Peter Crowcroft issued a statement about the incident:

"We were somewhat saddled with our unexpected guest, who in the early hours of the morning quickly became the mane event of the night shift," Crowcroft said in a statement. "We like to ensure a warm welcome to all our guests at HQ, and at neigh point did the horse pose a risk to security and appeared to be a well cared for animal."

The horse was escorted back to its home nearby.

500-pound Body Causes Fire at Crematorium

Firefighters in Henrico, Virginia, responded to a fire at the local crematorium, Southside Cremation, on Wednesday afternoon. They were able to extinguish the fire, which only affected the facility’s roof. The cause of the fire was a 500-pound cadaver. Jerry Hendrix said that workers took the extra precautions necessary when cremating an obese body, but circumstances beyond their control caused flames to reach the ceiling of the furnace, setting the roof on fire. No one was injured, and two other bodies at the crematorium were not damaged.