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Tourists Won’t Stop Visiting Australia’s “Asbestos Town”

It’s considered the most contaminated site in the southern hemisphere and one of the most toxic in the world, but for some reason tourists just can’t stay away from the abandoned mining town of Wittenoom, deep in Western Australia’s remote Pilbara region.

In its heyday, between 1930 and 1966, Wittenoom was home to around 20,000 people, most of whom worked in the now abandoned nearby mines, extracting deadly asbestos every day. Today, it’s a ghost town surrounded by large ‘Danger’ signs designed to keep people as far away as possible. Even though asbestos mining ceased decades ago, Wittenoom is still surrounded by around three million tonnes of asbestos residue, enough to make the air there potentially deadly. The place is so dangerous that last year the Australian government decided to compulsorily acquire the properties of the last three people living in the area, just to get them to safety. And yet, there are thousands of tourists visiting Wittenoom every year and proudly posting photos of it on social media.

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Christian Family Refuses to Pay Income Taxes Because It “Goes Against God’s Will”

A pair of Christian missionaries in Australia were recently ordered to pay over AUD$2 million to the Australian Taxation Office after failing to pay income tax because Australian taxation law was contrary to the law of Almighty God.

Fanny Alida Beerepoot and her brother Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot were brought in front of a judge at the Supreme Court of Tasmania on Wednesday after they both failed to pay $930,000 in 2017. Prosecutors showed that they pair had been served notices on two separate occasions, but they still failed to lodge their tax returns. In their defense, the two siblings argued that the law of Almighty God was supreme in Australia and they didn’t owe anything to the Commonwealth because they belong to Him.

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Tourists Play with Tiny But Deadly Octopus With Enough Venom to Kill 26 People

Two British backpackers fishing in Australia can consider themselves lucky to be alive after stupidly playing with a tiny blue-ringed octopus, whose painless bite can kill up to 26 adults in minutes.

A viral video posted on a Facebook group for backpackers shows daredevils Ross Saunders and Johnpaul Lennon dangling a blue-ringed octopus and letting it touch their skin, completely oblivious to the fact that a single bite could result in a painful death. The two adventurers had been fishing in Australia when they caught the yellow and blue spotted octopus, only instead of keeping it as far away as possible, they decided to play chicken with it, dangling the creature against their bare arms while laughing.

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Australian Man Dies After Allegedly Swallowing a Gecko as a Party Dare

34-year-old David Dowell, a father of three from Brisbane, Australia, tragically lost his life after becoming infected with salmonella, which friends claim was the result of him eating a small gecko lizard as a party dare.

Dowell, who would have turned 35 last week, was brought in to Brisbane’s Mater Hospital in “absolute agony” on December 3, 2018, three days after some friends reportedly saw him eating a gecko at a party. He never mentioned it to his partner, Allira, and to this day no one really knows for sure if he actually ate it, but a few days after that Saturday party, he was in the hospital fighting for his life. At first, doctors thought he was suffering from gastroenteritis, but in reality he had become infected with salmonella, a foodborne bacteria, that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, and, in rare cases, even death.

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Man Claims Supervisor Bullied Him by Constantly Farting in His Presence

Australia’s Court of Appeal has been tasked with deciding whether farting can be considered a form of bullying, after an engineer sued his former employer for allowing a supervisor to harass him in several ways, including by farting in his presence, as part of an alleged conspiracy to end his employment.

56-year-old David Hingst sued his former employer, Construction Engineering, in 2017 , seeking damages of 1.8 million Australian dollars ($1.28 million). During the trial, Hingst, who chose to represent himself, claimed that his ex-colleague at the company, Greg Short, was a serial farter and had repeatedly bullied him by way of flatulence. The engineer told Justice Rita Zammit that Short would come in his small, windowless office and fart several times a day, which apparently caused him serious psychological stress. After hearing the testimonies of both parties, the judge ruled that this was not bullying, but “typical banter or mucking around” and dismissed the case. However, Hingst recently appealed the decision, claiming he didn’t get a fair trial.

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Fast Food Restaurant Sparks Controversy for Serving Burgers with Fake Line of Cocaine on Them

Pablo’s Escoburgers, a Melbourne  fast-food restaurant named after infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, has been slammed for its controversial name and the fact that it serves one of its burgers with a line of white powder on top and a rolled fake dollar bill.

The backlash against Pablo’s Escoburgers started on Wednesday, when the pop-up eatery uploaded a photo of its “The Patron Burger” on Facebook, with a caption that read “infamous patron burger that people are lining up for”. It featured an otherwise delicious burger with a line of fine white powder on top and a fake rolled up $100 bill stuck into the top bun. That white powder turned out to be garlic powder, but a lot of people found the reference to snorting cocaine very offensive. The fact that other photos showed a small plastic bag with more garlic powder and a spoon, which allegedly come with The Patron Burger, only made things worse.

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Australian Man Allegedly Cooks Raw Steak in His Car on a Hot Day

An Australian man from Mildura, in the state of Victoria, wanted to show the world just how hot the inside of a car can get on a hot day, so he left a raw steak inside his car for a few hours. When he came back, the steak was allegedly well done.

“Yesterday at 11am I put a porterhouse steak in my car which was parked in the shade and left it until 4pm,” the Mildura Dockside Cafe worker wrote on his Facebook page. “It was very well done upon my return. With this heatwave please remember never to leave children, elderly or animals in the car. Always check on elderly neighbors, ensure your pets have a way to keep cool and cool drinking water.”

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Australian Families Living a Nightmare as Thousands of Bats Drop Dead in Their Yards Due to Heatwave

Dozens of families in and around the city of Cairns, in Australia, have been forced to temporarily abandon their homes after flying foxes started dropping dead on their properties due to the unbearable heat.

Cairns residents started reporting massive numbers of spectacled flying foxes dropping out of trees on Monday, when temperatures in Australia’s Queensland region rose to above 40 degrees Celsius. According to animal experts, the nocturnal mammals cannot sustain an internal temperature of over 40 degrees, and with no way to cool off, their organs start to shut down and they eventually die. Wildlife rescuers have been working around the clock, using using spray bottles and drippers too cool off and hydrate the helpless creatures, but there’s only so much they can do. The flying fox colonies in the Cairns area have already sustained heavy losses and the number of fatalities is expected to rise for as long as the heatwave continues. But apart from the environmental issues, the massive number of dead bats rotting away so close to people’s houses has now become a become a serious public health issue as well.

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Meet Knickers, the Giant Bull That’s Too Big for Slaughter

Photos of a giant black and white bovine towering over other cows have been doing the rounds online for the last couple of days, making people do a double take. The animal looks so huge that you really couldn’t blame the many people claiming that the photos are photoshopped, but they’re wrong. He’s just Knickers the giant bull that’s too big for slaughter.

Knickers, a 194cm-tall, 1,400kg-heavy Holstein Friesian steer, became the talk of the internet these last couple of days after photos of him towering over a heard of Wagyu cows on a farm in Myalup, Australia went viral. He looked so big compared to the other cattle that a lot of people started questioning if he was  real, or just the result of photo editing. But then videos showing this bovine giant in all his glory started showing up online, and there was no more room for doubt. Yes, Knickers is just that big, in fact, he is believed to be the biggest steer in Australia, a country home to millions of cattle.

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Nation-Wide Scare as Metal Needles Are Found in Strawberries All Over Australia

Australia’s strawberry industry has been brought to its knees after reports of sharp needles found in store-bought strawberries have been coming in from all the six of the country’s states. So far, no one knows who is behind this act of “agroterrorism” or what their motives are.

What started as an isolated case in Queensland, earlier this month, has gradually turned into a nation-wide panic, as more needles were found all around the country. Things have reportedly gotten so bad that some growers have recalled much of their strawberries and turned to metal detectors to restore customer confidence. The only problem is that no one knows at one point from the growers to store shelves the needles are being inserted, and until more information about this aspect becomes available, there’s no clear way to solve the problem.

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The Puzzling Case of an Orange That Turned Purple Overnight

Australian food scientists are scratching their heads about an orange that turned bright purple just hours after being sliced open. The bizarrely-colored fruit has been collected as forensic evidence but so far no one can explain what caused the coloring.

The mysterious orange was purchased last week by Neti Moffitt, a resident of Brisbane, from a fruit and vegetable market. She planned to use it as a snack for her two-year-old son and claims that the fruit looked and smelled normal. It was only after leaving a piece of it out overnight that she noticed the bright purple coloring spreading on the orange pulp. After searching online for answers, Moffitt stumbled on a 2015 article that mentioned a similar case, where someone had bought an orange from a fruit market only to see it turn purple hours after being cut.

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Store Owner Fights Consumerism by Renting Out Clothes Instead of Selling Them

Do you buy too many clothes? Or do you often buy new garments only to wear them once before throwing them away? Research shows that you are not alone; a recent YouGov survey in Australia has shown that roughly a quarter of Australians have thrown away an article of clothing after wearing it just once.

Entrepreneur Sarah Freeman was so shocked by these findings that she decided to do something about it. She has founded a “clothes library” in Sydney, where customers can rent clothing instead of purchasing it; this way, you can still only wear it once, but without being wasteful.

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Sydney’s Mysterious Miracle House Oozes Oil from Walls, Helps Desperate Couples Get Pregnant

What was once an ordinary 3-bedroom home in the suburbs of western Sydney has now gained a reputation as a “miracle house”. Ash and oil leak from its walls in such a way that is reportedly “beyond science”. The homeowners, George and Lina Tannous, believe that the allegedly unexplainable phenomena are a sign from God and that they have also granted the house miraculous healing properties.

According to the pair, their house has the amazing ability to help other couples become pregnant, even in cases where they have received medical confirmation that pregnancy would be impossible. There is even one instance of the house reportedly curing a woman’s cancer.

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Man Jumps Out of Moving Car During Argument with His Wife, Sues Her for Negligence

An Australian man who was left with “catastrophic” injuries after jumping out of a car driven by his wife has sued her for not slamming the brakes earlier, after seeing that he was about to jump.

This unbelievable incident took place in December of 2012, when Brian Lim, his wife, Eunkyung Cho, and their two children were driving home after a family dinner at a barbecue restaurant. The two spouses had began arguing after Mr. Lim spoke to an acquaintance at the restaurant, and their argument continued on the drive home. At one point, Ms. Cho allegedly made a critical comment about her husband’s parents. Lim responded by telling her that he wanted a divorce, but then, all of a sudden, opened the car door and jumped out before his five could grab him or slam her foot on the brake.

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Artist Spends Three Days Buried Under Busy Road, with No Food

Mike Parr, a 73-year-old Australian performance artist, recently spent three days in a container buried under one of the busiest roads in Tasmania, with no food, as a “response to 20th-century totalitarian violence in all its forms”.

The unusual performance was apparently conceived a decade ago for an arts festival in Germany, but could not be pulled off due to health and safety concerns. However, the Hobart City Council, in Tasmania, approved it last month, as part of the Dark Mofo festival, as long as the organizers agreed to cover the roadwork bill. That included literally cutting a section of road and digging a large hole under it in order to lower a large metal container in it, and covering it up so that traffic could go on as usual for the three days Mike Parr spent buried inside.

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