Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Lee County Department of Transportation
Lee County Department of Transportation / Lee County Department of Transportation


Residents in Fort Myers, Florida, called the Lee County Sheriff’s Department to report a foul odor in their neighborhood. Department of Transportation officials determined the odor was consistent with that of a decaying alligator. Outside of Florida, it would be unusual for anyone to recognize such a smell consistently. Crews went to work and pulled the obstruction of out the storm drain. As expected, it was an alligator -that measured measured 11 feet long! A DOT spokesperson said they normally pull an alligator out of drains once or twice a year, but this one is unusually large. The pipes leading to the drain are only 14 to 24 inches wide. The DOT crew hauled the gator away to be buried.


The Vancouver Fire Department responded to a call of a vehicle on fire Monday afternoon. The fire was quickly extinguished, but the van is expected to be totaled. The van belonged to a fire prevention service.

The van belonged to Vancouver Fire, which describes itself as “B.C.’s largest, longest-established fire protection, fire safety and commercial security and monitoring company.” Investigators are looking into what caused the fire, but it is not considered suspicious at this time. Vancouver Fire Department Assistant Chief Ron Coulson said there was likely some fire prevention equipment in the van at the time of the blaze.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.


It sounds like the setup for a joke, but there was no barbecue reported after a wreck on I-95 near Kenly, North Carolina on Thursday morning. A tractor-trailer carrying chicken parts was traveling in the northbound lane when the trailer came loose from the cab. The loose trailer struck another 18-wheeler that was carrying a load of corn. Both trailers spilled their contents on the highway. The driver of the chicken truck was to be charged with failing to secure his cargo. No injuries were reported. The road was shut down for about five hours for cleanup.


Jesuína Santos Cardoso of Union City, Brazil, has been receiving old age benefits for a long time. But recently the National Social Security Institute (INSS) suspended her payments because they thought it was a case of fraud. Surely she couldn’t be 120 years old! There have been cases where a family continues to receive benefits after an elderly relative passed away. So Dona Jesuína had to travel to Curitiba, 300 kilometers away, to prove that she was indeed, still alive. Her 53-year-old granddaughter accompanied her. A machine translation of the article said,

After the INSS employees saw owner Jesuína in the car, not only reactivated its benefit as Dalíria encouraged to go in search of the title for the elderly. A councilman, friend of the family, is in dealing with the documentation of the resident by the Guinness Book, the record books. The date of birth brought the old registration is January 30, 1896.

Dona Jesuína had 15 children, three of whom are still alive. She also has 36 grandchildren, 63 great-grandchildren and 44 great-great-grandchildren. She never saw a doctor in her life before the age of 100. Whether or not the family will be able to document Jesuína’s age well enough for the Guinness Book, she will continue to receive her pension as long as she’s alive. Here’s the story in its original Portuguese.


Simon Hayes of London was loading the dishwasher and left the room without  closing the appliance door. When he returned, there was a juvenile fox inside, among the dirty dishes on the lower rack! This being the 21st century, Hayes’ first move was to make sure to get the incident on video. He moved the dish rack out of his way and tried to coax it out, but the kit retreated further into the washer. Hayes is a veterinarian and not afraid of wildlife, so he used a broom to scare the fox out. The back door had been open and the kit may have been attracted to the aroma of food on the dishes. Hayes said he could hear the kit’s mother calling from the yard.


A fight broke out between two couples at Sloppy Joe’s bar in Key West, Florida, on Monday. Richard McBride and his girlfriend Sandra Stoner of Naples said the fight started when someone broke wind.

The couple said they were drinking with friends at the bar when Stoner traded words with an unidentified woman before getting out of her seat and confronting her in “an aggressive manner,” police said. An unidentified man tried to pull the woman away as others began to step into the dispute, including McBride, who pushed the man, police said. The man retaliated by striking McBride in the face and McBride responded by tackling, Stoner told police.

The unidentified couple ran from the business, and police were unable to find them. Several people were taken to a hospital, and one man was treated for a dislocated shoulder. McBride and Stoner declined to press charges. It was never made clear who was responsible for the fart.