Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

By Editorial Staff
YouTube / YouTube

The stories in this week's weird news roundup are a little ...fishy.

Fish Too Big for Boat? Pose in the Water

A Swedish man fishing in Norwegian waters caught a 7-foot-long Atlantic halibut weighing 100 kg, or 220 pounds. Despite working as a fishing guide, Erik Axner had never caught a fish that large. However, taking a picture of it proved to be a problem because the boat was not big enough to haul the fish in.

“I was shocked when I realised how big it was,” he told Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper. "We couldn’t lift the fish into the boat as it was too big. We don’t do that, as we would risk hurting it. So instead, I jumped in the water and we took pictures.”

The crew took a video as well as still pictures

Man Impersonates Girlfriend to Take College Entrance Exam

Students in Kazakhstan must undergo Unified National Testing in order to be admitted to college. Ayan Zhademov’s 17-year-old girlfriend was anxious about taking the test, so the 20-year-old suitor went the extra mile to help her out. Zhademov dressed in a skirt, makeup, and wig in order to impersonate his girlfriend and take the test in her name. However, he was pulled out of the exam hall in Zhetisai and questioned. His deep voice gave him away. Zhademov was fined 1,400 GBP. However, when word of the ruse got out, Zhademov gained some notoriety for his selfless “romantic” gesture, and a businessman stepped up to pay half the fine. The girlfriend, meanwhile, must now wait a year to take the test.  

Shark Killed in Truck Accident

A transfer truck that was hauling four live sharks to an aquarium in New York had a tire failure and swerved into the median on I-95 near Edgewater, Florida. The incident Wednesday afternoon caused one of the sand sharks inside to be thrown out of its tank. A team from Sea World in Orlando responded to the accident, but the shark died before it could be re-tanked. The other three sharks are in good condition, and will be housed at Sea World until alternate transportation to Coney Island can be arranged. 

Reported Plane Crash was Just a Truck Being Washed

Emergency services in Greene County, east of Springfield, Missouri, responded in force to a report of a plane crash in a field on Monday afternoon. Four ambulances, three deputies, a fire truck, two state troopers, and other responders were dispatched to the scene. However, what they found was not a plane crash, but a jet-powered truck called Shockwave parked in a field, being washed after a muddy race.

Shockwave's owner, Neal Darnell, said he raced the vehicle — which looks like a fighter plane and a semi-truck had a baby — on a dirt course last week, so the truck needed to be washed on Monday. Part of that washing process means firing up the jet engines on the back of the 36,000-horsepower truck, and that makes for some loud noises and a cloud of white smoke outside of Darnell's garage on Farm Road 205. "We do it from time to time and it will usually generate a couple of 911 calls, but today for some reason it brought out a whole army of emergency vehicles," Darnell said. "And I hate that because they have better things to do than come out here."

No tickets were issued, and the emergency responders enjoyed seeing the famous truck.

African Clawed Frog Likes to Eat Fish

The pet shop owner assured them that it was okay to put koi fish into an aquarium with an African clawed frog. A man named Jameson, who owned the frog, named Michigan J. Frog, took the koi home. What resulted was a koi apocalypse, with detailed photographic evidence. Instead of welcoming his new companions, Michigan J. Frog took the koi to be a banquet. The pet store wasn’t named, but they also did not inform Jameson that koi are not suitable for an aquarium.

How to Get Out of Jury Duty

About a month ago, James Lowe of Barnet, Vermont, received a summons for jury duty in a murder case. He showed up for duty this week wearing a classic prisoner uniform with black and white stripes and a matching hat that he’d found at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago. Lowe said that he checked, and there were no guidelines for what jurors should wear. Other potential jurors saw the humor in it, but Judge Robert Bent did not. The judge said he could hold Lowe in contempt, but instead told him to leave. Lowe did, and said he is happy to be relieved of duty, as it interfered with his work schedule and family obligations.