X

The Elusive “Scorpion Beetle” – The Only Known Insect Capable of Inoculating Toxins Through Its Antennae

Beetles are generally regarded as harmless to humans. Out of the over 350,000 documented species of beetle, only three are actually known to bite people, and only if they feel threatened. However, there is another species that few sources mention. Onychocerus albitarsis, aka Scorpion Beetle, is the only known insect capable of stinging humans with its antennae and delivering a painful toxin.

First described in 1859 by famous English entomologist Francis Polkinghorne Pascoe, the scorpion beetle is considered by many experts a fascinating case of convergent evolution. While all other known insects deliver venom or toxins by biting with fangs or stinging with a structure used exclusively for this purpose, e.g. a bee’s stinger, the scorpion beetle does it through its two long antennae, which research has shown have evolved to closely resemble a scorpion’s segmented tail.

Read More »

Identical Twins Ordered to Pay Child Support to Same Child Because They Won’t Say Which of Them Is the Real Father

A Brazilian judge ordered a pair of male identical twins to pay child support to a child whose paternity could not be determined after they both refused to assume responsibility and a DNA test proved inconclusive because of their genetic similarity.

Valeria, the mother of the child, originally filed a lawsuit for recognition of paternity against just one of the two twins, Fernando, with whom she believes she had a short romantic relationship with. He underwent a DNA test which showed that there was a 99.9% probability that he was the father of the child. However, after seeing the result, Fernando continued to deny that he had fathered the girl, claiming instead that it had been his identical twin brother, Fabricio. The man’s twin was also ordered to take the DNA test, which yielded the same result as Fernando’s, because the two have virtually the same genetic code. Left with no option, the judge ordered both of them to pay child support to the same child.

Read More »

Woman May Have Suffered Permanent Brain Damage After Going on Liquid Diet for Three Weeks

An Israeli woman in her 40s was recently admitted to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv with possibly irreversible brain damage after being on a fruit juice and water diet for three weeks.

The unidentified woman, who weighed less than 40 kilograms and was in bad physical shape due to the severe salt imbalance caused by her liquid diet, had reportedly followed the advice of an unlicensed alternative therapist. While the woman’s condition has not been announced by doctors, it is believed that she is suffering from hyponatraemia, aka ‘water intoxication’. It is caused by low levels of sodium in the blood. When sodium levels in the blood become very low, water enters the brain cells and causes them to swell.

Read More »

Father Allegedly Staged Home Invasion to Cover Up Stealing Daughter’s Girl Scouts Cookie Sales

A 40-year-old Oregon has been arrested for allegedly staging an elaborate home invasion to cover up the theft of his daughter’s Girl Scout cookie sales.

On March 6 the Forest Grove Police Department responded to a 911 call for a possible break-and-enter and assault. When officers arrived at the scene of the alleged crime, they found 40-year-old Brian Couture, the person who had made the emergency call, unresponsive. The man later told police that an unknown individual had entered his home through a sliding glass door, and despite his attempts to restrain him, the burglar managed to escape. A special K9 unit was dispatched in the neighborhood to search for the suspect, which reportedly caused panic among residents.

Read More »

Man Too Lazy to Get a Real Driver’s License Uses a Handwritten Piece of Paper Instead

Traffic police in the Chinese city of Liuzhou got the shock of their career after pulling over a motorcycle driver only to find that instead of a driver’s license he had a handwritten piece of paper with his picture glued to it.

Faking official documents is common practice all around the world, but in the vast majority of cases people actually go out of their way to make sure their forgeries look as genuine as possible. Not the protagonist of this news story, though, he just made sure to include all the necessary details on his fake driver’s license, even though all he did was scribble them on a piece of paper hoping it would be enough to fool police. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

When police in Liuzhou pulled over a silver motorcycle for a routine check, on March 31, they didn’t expect to see the funniest driver’s license of their entire careers. The man, surnamed Tang, certainly didn’t seem nervous when the officers asked for his documents, and the driver license itself had a regular cover, so there was nothing to prepare police for what they were about to see.

Read More »

Polish Priests Burn Harry Potter and Twilight Books to Protest Occultism

Catholic priests from an evangelical group in northern Poland recently sparked a heated online debate after staging a controversial protest against occultism, idolatry and sorcery by burning various “sacrilegious” items, including Harry Potter and Twilight books, traditional masks and idols, and even a Hello Kitty umbrella.

In photos posted on Facebook, several priests from the SMS from Heaven Foundation, in Koszalin, Poland, can be seen carrying baskets full of items they consider sacrilegious from their church to a stone fire area outside and setting them ablaze. Footage shows an African wooden mask, a small Buddhist figure, figurines of elephants and popular fantasy books like Harry Potter and Twilight being consumed by flames as the priests and a few altar boys watch. The objects were reportedly brought in by parishioners, who were encouraged by the priests to clean their homes of such evil items.

Read More »

Man with 5.5-Meter-Long Hair Hasn’t Had a Haircut in Over 54 Years.

Chinese social media users have been encouraging a 77-year-old man to apply for a Guinness Record after photos of his 5.5-meter-long hair went viral online. The man, who keeps his dreadlocks wrapped around his head as a turban, claims he hasn’t had a haircut in over 54 years.

The 77-year-old’s unusually long hair went viral on Chinese social media after his daughter-in-law accompanied him on one of his long and frequent visits to a hair salon in Leshan, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, to have his hair washed. She recorded a video of the staff there untangling his long dreadlocks, washing them in a sink and then painstakingly drying them, a process that reportedly takes two or three people around three hours to complete. The man’s daughter posted the footage online, where it quickly went viral, with over 1.5 million view in just a couple of days. People are now urging the man to apply for a Guinness Record, but his reasons for growing his hair so long have nothing to do with fame or recognition.

Read More »

Identical Twin Brothers Share Driver’s License for 20 Years, Get Busted Because of Baldness

A pair of identical twin brothers in China who had been sharing the same driver’s license for 20 years recently got bused by police after one of them started going bald.

According to Chinese media, the two brothers, surnamed Yan, had been sharing a driver’s license without any issues until 2017, when the younger brother’s permit was suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol. That didn’t turn out to be too much of an issue, because they continued sharing the other brother’s license, until it too got suspended, also for drunk driving.Luckily, by the time that happened, the younger Yan had gotten his driving license back, so the pair continued sharing that one. It was the perfect scenario, whenever one of the identical twins happened to have his driver’s license revoked, they still had another one to fall back on. Then one of them started going bald…

Read More »

Dutch Inventor Creates “Cow Toilet” That Curbs Ammonia Pollution

Dutch inventor and businessman Henk Hanskamp has developed an ingenious toilet that collects some of the 15 to 20 liters of urine that the average cow produces in a day.

Cows aren’t regarded as the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom, but Hanskamp claims they can be taught to use the toilet. It may sound like an April Fool’s Day joke, but Dutch agricultural machinery manufacturer Hanskamp has been working on the “Cow Toilet” for the last couple of years and according to early tests it could prove a viable solution to the world’s increasingly worrisome ammonia pollution problem. While most cows require stimulation in order to use the cow toilet, some of them have gotten so used to it that they just urinate in it naturally.

Read More »

Rare Genetic Mutation Makes Woman Virtually Immune to Pain, Anxiety and Stress

Jo Cameron, 71-year-old woman from Scotland, is one of only two people in the world known to have a rare genetic mutation that makes them virtually immune to pain.

Interestingly, Cameron only learned about her “superpower” at age 65, when doctors found that she didn’t need any painkillers after a undergoing a serious operation on her hand. She had been warned to expect severe pain after the surgery, but she didn’t feel any at all, so her anaesthetist referred her to pain geneticists at University College London and Oxford University, where tests showed that she had a mutation in a previously unknown gene, which scientists now believe plays a major role in pain signalling, mood and memory.

The story of how Jo ended up having surgery on her hand is quite interesting. Every now and then, her hip would give way, making her walk lop-sided, but because she never reported any pain, doctors didn’t even bother doing an x-ray scan of her hip. When someone finally decided to investigate the problem more thoroughly, they discovered massive joint deterioration that for the average person would have been impossible to live with without painkillers. Cameron had her hip replaced and managed the pain with just two paracetamol tablets a day. While she was recuperating in the hospital, doctors noticed that her thumbs were deformed by osteoarthritis and scheduled her for double hand surgery, a procedure that many experts describe as excruciating. Yet Jo didn’t feel any pain at all.

Read More »

Meet Yeon-woo Jhi, a South Korean “Muscle Barbie”

Yeon-woo Jhi is an IFBB Pro female bodybuilder with multiple major titles under her belt. The contrast between her cute, feminine face and impressively muscular body have also made her somewhat of an internet celebrity and earned her the nickname “Muscle Barbie”.

Looking at 34-year old Yeon-woo Jhi, it’s hard to imagine that she was once a skinny, frail girl suffering from panic disorder and struggling to overcome social phobia. But everything changed 14 years ago when she started going to a gym near her house, hoping to get stronger. She just wanted to stop feeling weak and never imagined that she would one day compete in major bodybuilding competitions, but as her strength and stamina increased, she got more passionate about fitness and eventually decided to show off her toned up physique on stage. Jhi won the first bodybuilding competition she ever entered, and that only inspired her to work harder. She went on to win the Arnold Classic Europe Amateur in 2013, and became a pro in 2015.

Read More »

Reality TV Show Asks Participants to Trust Someone Else to Buy Them a House

Buying a home is one of the important financial and lifestyle decisions a person can make, so knowing exactly what you’re spending your money on is kind of important. Well, a Belgian reality TV show is flipping that idea on its head by asking participants to trust a couple of experts both with their finances and choosing a house for them, without ever seeing it themselves.

Blind Gekocht“, or “Bought Blind” is an original reality show on Belgian-Flemish channel VIER that invites couples to entrust one of the most important decisions of their life to a couple of strangers. The concept is similar to that of popular reality TV phenomenon “Married at First Sight“, where couples, paired up by relationship experts, agree to be married the first time they meet and live as a married couple for eight weeks before deciding either to divorce or stay married. However, couples who decide to go on Bought Blind not only agree to let experts choose their house for them, but also sign a legal document giving these two complete strangers power of attorney, allowing them to sign the deed to the house on their behalf, and spend their budget as they see fit. They only get to see their new home once the deed has been signed and the redecorating has been completed, so if they don’t like it, all they can do is sell it.

Read More »

Belgian Town Hosts Wacky Seagull Screeching Championship

Aspiring seagull imitators from all over Europe recently gathered in the Belgian town of Adinkerke to take part in the first European Gull Screeching Championship.

The wacky event took place in a local pub and required competitors to channel their inner gull, both vocally and physically. While the emphasis of the competition was on the sound produced by participants, with a maximum of 15 points being awarded for the best screeching sounds, participants could also score up to 5 points by putting on a proper performance. Some just flapped their arms in a gull-like manner, others wore seagull-style beaks on top of their heads, and a few actually wore gull costumes to impress the judges. It all sounds silly, but the Gull Screeching Championship actually has a serious goal.

Read More »

Japanese Food Stall Staffed by an Adorable Shiba-Inu Dog

Food stalls in Japan have apparently gone to the dogs. The aptly-named “Dog’s Sweet Potato Shop”, a small kiosk selling roasted sweet potatoes, in Sapporo, Japan is manned (dogged?) by a three-year-old Shiba-Inu dog.

Japanese Twitter user @hina_shii_ver2 first learned about the unique “Dog’s Sweet Potato Shop” in her home city of Sapporo earlier this month, when her husband texted her a weird message – “There’s a dog selling sweet potatoes”. She thought he was joking, of course, but then he sent her some photos and, sure enough, they showed an adorable dog sitting behind the counter of a small kiosk, seemingly waiting for hungry customers. @hina_shii_ver2 posted several photos and videos of this unusual food-stall on Twitter and they quickly went viral. Of course they did, how often do you see a dog running a business, and a food stall, no less?

Read More »

Survival Nuts Try to Survive Three Weeks in Malaysian Jungle Naked And Without Food

Two university pals from the UK who wanted to do something inspirational and epic decided to spend three weeks in a Malaysian jungle, naked and without food, to “show that it can be done”. They quit 16 days into their adventure after one of them cut his hand with a machete.

26-year-old Daniel Olifi, a financial tech worker, and James Moynihan, a 27-year-old cruise ship entertainer, wanted to see if they could survive in a harsh jungle with only minimal supplies, no food and a couple of large leaves covering their private parts. Their plan was to spend three weeks camping in the Kuantan rainforest, in Malaysia, but the challenge quickly proved much harder than they had anticipated. Within hours of setting up camp, last October, they almost ran out of water and while they eventually overcame that problem, they still had to endure swarms of mosquitoes, hypothermia and severe hunger. They eventually had to call it quits after 16 days, after Daniel cut his hand with a machete and his wound started smelling like rotten flesh.

Read More »