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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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Millions of Ladybugs Are Converging on a Remote Radio Tower in Australia and Nobody Knows Why

A remote radio tower near Mount Burr in South Australia has attracted millions of ladybugs for reasons no one seems to understand.

The unusual sight was recently reported by wildlife photographer Steve Chapple, who posted several photos and a video of it on his Facebook page. Contacted by ABC News Australia, Mr. Chapple said that he was told by a friend about this place where ladybugs would sometimes converge in the thousands, seven years ago, but their number has since increased manyfold. This year, there appear to be millions both on the ground and on the radio tower itself.

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Australian Teen Left Quadriplegic After Swallowing Garden Snail as a Dare

Sam Ballard, an aspiring rugby player from Sydney, Australia, never imagined that a silly thing like swallowing a garden snail at a party would end up ruining his life and leave him quadriplegic.

Sam’s life took a devastating turn in 2010. He was at a friend’s party drinking red wine, when someone brought out a seemingly harmless garden snail and dared him to eat it. “Eat it, I dare you,” his friend said, and never one to back off from a challenge, Sam just swallowed it whole and, after having a good laugh with his mates, went back to the party. The teen didn’t give this silly dare a second thought, but he soon fell ill and had to be taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered that he had become infected with rat lungworm.

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Australia’s “Firehawks” Deliberately Start Wildfires to Flush Out Prey

According to a research paper published recently in the Journal of Ethnobiology, several Australian birds of prey have the habit of starting wildfires for the soul purpose of flushing out prey from the blazing grasslands. Interestingly, aboriginals have known about this for over 40,000 years and even have a name for the fire-wielding birds – “firehawks”.

Australia’s dry climate makes it prone to wildfires. Lightnings and human activities are considered the main causes, but according to a recently-published research paper, birds may sometimes have a part to play as well. Raptors like the black kite (Milvus migrans), whistling kite (Haliastur sphenurus), and the brown falcon (Falco berigora) can allegedly start fires in the continent’s 730,000 square miles of savanna by dropping burning sticks in the dry grass to flush out prey like insects, reptiles and small mammals. What’s even more remarkable is that they seem to be doing it on purpose.

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Distiller Makes Booze Out of Wine Spat Out by Strangers at a Tasting Event

An Australian distiller has taken the concept of recycling to a whole new level by taking the spat-out wine at a wine tasting conference and turning it into a spirit aptly named Kissing a Stranger.

Peter Bignell, of Tasmanian Belgrove Distillery, was first struck by the idea at the Rootstock festival in Sydney, a gathering of winemakers from all over the world promoting sustainable practices in the winemaking industry. He was in a group tasting wines, and as per tradition in wine-tasting, the majority of it was spat out in a bucket. This practice enables tasters to experience a lot of different wines while avoiding drunkenness. Bignell, however, saw it as wasteful.

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Snow-White Beach in Australia Is Made Up of Billions of Cockle Shells

Australia’s Shark Bay World Heritage Area is home to Shell Beach, one of only two places around the world where beach sand is completely replaced by sea shells.

Imagine billions of white cockle shells stretching out as far as the eye can see, and you get a pretty good idea of how amazing Shell Beach looks. Located on the western edge of the Australian continent, this unique tourist attraction stretches for a whopping 70 km, which makes it look like an endless sea of shells meeting the ocean. And if you’re thinking that the shells only make up a superficial layer, we’ll have you know that in some places, they reach 10 meters deep.

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7-Year-old “Gentle Giant” Reportedly Weighs 100 Kg, Is Unstoppable on the Rugby Field

A 7-year-old Samoan rugby player who towers over most kids his age recently sparked controversy in the world of children’s sports, after a video showing him effortlessly tearing through the entire opposing rugby team during a league game went viral online.

Vaka Tuitupou may be only 7-years-old, but he already weighs around 100 kg and is one or two heads taller than most kids his age. He’s also a pretty good rugby player and considering his physical advantages, it’s no wonder that his team, the Sydney St John’s Eagles, only play him when they really need to. In a video that has been doing the rounds online for the last two weeks, the boy effortlessly goes through the entire opposing team to score a try, despite their efforts to stop him.

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Australian Pet Groomer Creates Fake Nails for Cats

Cally Loridas, the owner of a pet grooming salon in Victoria, Australia, may have just sparked the latest trend in feline fashion – colored acrylic claw sheaths that keep your beloved pet from scratching the furniture.

Cat owners from all over Victoria have been pouring in at Cally’s Scratch & Sniffs Pet Grooming Salon, in Cheltenham, after word got out that she was applying stylish silicone nails that not only look good but have a very practical purpose. They keep the cats from scratching at the furniture, or your leg, whatever the case may be, without impeding their movement in any way. The fake nails come in 40 different colors and are guaranteed to give cat owners 6 to 8 weeks of scratch-free time with their pet.

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