Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
The East Maine Bridge via Facebook
The East Maine Bridge via Facebook / The East Maine Bridge via Facebook

The Truck-Eating Bridge

An 11’ 4” bridge in Enid, Oklahoma, is so notorious for eating trucks that officials had teeth painted on it. But that didn’t stop truck drivers from assuming they could clear it. The East Maine Bridge is so voracious that it has its own Facebook page. It happened again Sunday night, as you can see a video posted at Facebook.  You can see plenty of victims of the “Shark Bridge” in the Facebook gallery.

Kitten Gets Head Wedged in Dumpster Drain

Somehow, a tiny kitten got into a large industrial bin at a parking lot in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, UK. What’s worse, the kitten then got her head through the drain hole at the bottom and became stuck! A passerby notice the kitten and alerted the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Steve Morrall said: "When I arrived, I saw the head of the kitten poking out from this bin - it was so unusual and I have never seen anything like it before. "It is very likely she was looking for food in the bin, but panicked when the bin was being emptied and got herself stuck. "The kitten was so stuck that it became obvious I would need extra assistance from West Midlands Fire Service. They were absolutely brilliant."

The fire service used a small plastic collar coated with a lubricant to gently ease the kitten’s head back through the hole. A veterinarian was standing by in case sedation was needed. The kitten was then examined at a veterinary clinic and deemed healthy outside of an understandably low temperature. The five-week-old kitten was turned over to the RSPCA, who will put her up for adoption soon.

Twins Born in Different Years

Maribel Valencia’s twins weren’t due to be born for another week; the cesarian was planned for January 6. But on New Year’s Eve, the babies had a different idea. The first twin, a little girl named Jaelyn, was born at 11:59 on December 31, 2015, and her brother, Luis, followed at 12:02 on New Years Day. It’s not that unusual for twins to have birthdays on consecutive days, but in this case, they will have different birth years as well. If they had been in an earlier era, they might have to begin school in different years. Nowadays, the cutoff is earlier, often in October. As it is, Luis has the honor of being the first New Year baby in San Diego, while Jaelyn has a lifetime ahead of her to remind her brother that she’s the senior twin.

Ferret in Fence Flummoxed Firefighters

This ferret was found hopelessly tangled in a fence in Ossett, West Yorkshire, UK. last week. He had gotten caught in his midsection. But instead of backing out, he tried returning to the other side through another opening in the fence, leaving him stuck in two places. The RSPCA couldn’t free him, so they called the fire brigade. Firefighters cut a section of the fence around the ferret. The ferret was taken, fence and all, to Abbey House Veterinary Hospital

Vet Laura Smith, who treated Whoops, said: “This was such an unusual situation, I’ve never seen anything like it. I think Whoops had gone through the fence and got stuck, but instead of backing out he had turned and gone the other way and become even more stuck.” “It was easy enough to carefully ease his head out of the first bar, but the second was firmly stuck around his middle as he is really quite a chubby ferret! Between me and vet nurses Gillian Kerrod and Candice Dyson, we managed to cut him out completely once he was anaesthetised. All in all it took around 15 minutes, and after we monitored him overnight he was doing so well we released him back to the RSPCA to take him to a rehoming centre.”

The ferret, now named “Whoops,” is up for adoption through South Cheshire Ferret Rescue.

One Person Enters Contest, Wins Big

Bay City, Michigan, concocted a contest to celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary and promote participation in city events. Anyone who attended 25 city events would be eligible to enter a drawing for a prize package worth $1500. The city even sent out entry forms in utility bills in May. Maybe the contest seemed too complicated, or maybe it ran too long, but in the end, only one person turned in a completed “passport” showing he had fulfilled the contest rules. Taylor Langstaff had attended plenty of city events, and had a great time taking in shows, sporting events, parties, and cultural experiences in the city. What’s more, there were prizes to be awarded to the second and third place winner, so Langstaff ended up with those, too, for a total of $2,000 in prizes. The prizes include many restaurant meals, tickets to games and other events, books, a membership to the YMCA, t-shirts, and more. Langstaff will be a Bay City booster for a long time to come.

Stalking the Wild Parakeet

You don’t often see a budgerigar, or common parakeet, flying free in Manitoba in the winter. They are native to Australia, and are a common house pet. Sylvia Cassie of Winnipeg spotted a green and yellow parakeet as early as November 22, eating out of bird feeders in the company of sparrows. Several reports to Avian Welfare Canada got organization president Melanie Shura involved in trying to catch the bird before he succumbed to the cold weather. She set up a cage at Cassie’s home, complete with food, heat, and a trap door. Shura also helped Shelley Corvino and her husband set up a similar cage when they spotted the bird.

On New Year's Day, Corvino's husband saw the bird in the yard. It slowly made its way into the cage. "He pulled the string, which he'd MacGyver'd to capture the fellow, through the little gate on the setup here … and that was it! He was still feeding!" Corvino said, referring to her husband capturing the bird. "We high-fived and actually went and drank a toast and then we called Mel and Sylvia [Cassie] right away," she said.

The Corvinos will keep the parakeet, and have already named him MacGyver.