Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Herme Herisyam/Malaysia Civil Defense Force
Herme Herisyam/Malaysia Civil Defense Force / Herme Herisyam/Malaysia Civil Defense Force


Construction workers in Penang, Malaysia, spotted a python curled up around a tree near their work site. They called the local civil defense department, who sent men out to capture the reticulated python. It took them about a half-hour to capture the snake, which turned out to be 26 feet long and weighed 550 pounds!

The Malaysian snake could well be the longest snake ever captured. The Guinness Book lists the current record-holder, a living reticulated python named Medusa, as the biggest, at 25 feet 2 inches. The folks from Guinness may want to check out the Penang snake.


In an experimental program, the Moscow Police canine unit will train a group of Welsh corgi puppies to do police work. According to state news agency RIA Novosti, two puppies are in training already, a two-month-old and a six-month-old. Elena Haikova, head of the canine unit, said there is no guarantee the experiment will yield Corgi police dogs.

She explained that the relatively low height of the corgi means they may prove effective in sniffing out objects close to the ground, and move in tight spaces, searching for bombs or contraband goods. “They still need to grow, be trained and undergo every test,” Haikova said. “The dogs may buckle under the workload.”

We should know within a year whether corgis turn out to be effective for the tasks they are training for.


Inky the Octopus was a popular exhibit at the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand, since 2014. But Inky no longer lives there, as the aquarium has revealed that he made his escape earlier this year. One day, staff noticed that there was only one octopus in the tank instead of two. The lid to the enclosure had had been placed loosely, leaving a small gap, and the octopus took the opportunity to climb out. Octopus tracks led to a small floor drain, only 150 millimeters (6 inches) wide. The cephalopods can squeeze through any opening bigger than its beak, which is the only stiff part of the animal.

While we learned that “all drains lead to the ocean” is not universally true, in this case the drain does lead to the ocean. Inky had toys and games and regular meals at the aquarium, but nothing beats freedom. 


The 30-foot Loch Ness Monster has been found after it went missing almost 50 years ago, thanks to an underwater robot. The prop was built for the 1970 film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which was shot on the banks of the Loch Ness in Scotland.

Mr Shine told the BBC News Scotland website: "We have found a monster, but not the one many people might have expected. "The model was built with a neck and two humps and taken alongside a pier for filming of portions of the film in 1969. "The director did not want the humps and asked that they be removed, despite warnings I suspect from the rest of the production that this would affect its buoyancy. "And the inevitable happened. The model sank."

They had to make another model, of just the head and neck, to complete the film. But now a project to explore the depths of the lake has employed a robot from a Norwegian company, which had taken sonar images of the lake’s bottom. One of those images clearly shows the prop monster. The robot had made other finds, too, which you can read about at BBC News.


A man at an undisclosed location took sleeping pills. The next morning, he checked his mail and found out that he had ordered a yak from Yaks N Things. The receipt said he had purchased a Golden Tibetan Yak Cow for $2600, with shipping costs bringing the total to over $3,000. After getting over the shock, he was able to cancel the order.  

The unnamed man reportedly posted an update on the Facebook, where he said his landlord wouldn’t have allowed the yak. “The only thing worse than being homeless is being a homeless yak owner.”


The southern cassowary is considered one of the world’s deadliest birds. They can weigh as much as 167 pounds and are quite aggressive. They’ve been known to attack humans with their large clawed feet.  So it was frightening when one of these birds invaded a home in Wongaling Beach, Queensland, Australia. Peter and Sue Leach were at home Sunday when the bird came in through their garage. Peter jumped behind a table and Sue ran outside. Their home is near a rainforest, and the cassowary had been seen before in the neighborhood, but this is its first reported home invasion. The article doesn’t say whether the bird left or not, so it might still be there. The couple managed to take a picture of the cassowary in their home.