This Cuddly Rodent Coats Itself in Lethal Poison to Keep Predators at Bay

The African crested rat, an elusive rodent that lives in forested areas of Eastern Africa, has a very strange yet intriguing defense mechanism against would-be predators – it licks deadly toxins onto its own fur.

People inhabiting the highland forests and woodlands of countries like Somalia, Sudan or Ethiopia have long known to stay clear of the large maned rat that makes its home in those areas. Known as Lophiomys imhausi to scientists, this long-haired rat is the world’s only poisonous rodent. But the most interesting thing about it is that it’s not born poisonous; it actually “borrows” the lethal toxin of a plant known as the “poison arrow tree”, which contains a poison strong enough to kill an elephant, when applied to an arrow head. The rat applies this toxin to specialized hairs on the sides of its body, turning itself into as lethal weapon against anyone foolish enough to attack it.

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English Company Develops World’s First Antimicrobial Smartphone

Smartphones have long been known to be crawling with all sorts of bacteria and microbes, but that “dirty” reputations is getting a cleanup thanks to a UK startup that claims to have created the world’s first antimicrobial smartphone.

The CAT S42 build under the Caterpillar brand is one of the sturdiest and cleanest budget smartphones money can buy. Its IP68 rating means it has total protection against dust and water, and the manufacturer actually encourages users to wash and sanitize their phones under running water. But starting in 2021, the CAT S42 will get an extra layer of protection thanks to a new technology called “Biomaster antimicrobial technology”, which supposedly stops the spread of germs.

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Kid Shoves Metal Coin Into His Nose, Forgets About It For 53 Years

A 59-year-old man in Zelenograd, Russia, lived with serious nose breathing difficulties for over half a century, because of a coin he had shoved up his nose as a child and forgot about over the years.

Doctors at the Konchalovsky City Clinical Hospital in Zelenograd recently reported the strange case of a patient who said he had been completely unable to breathe through his right nostril for several months. A CT scan showed that the right nasal passage was completely blocked by a foreign body of stony density stuck in the posterior, close to the nasopharynx. A more common curvature of the septum was also observed, but it would not have obstructed the nasal passage completely all by itself. The foreign object was the problem, but the deviated septum had emphasized the breathing difficulties to the point where the patient had no choice but to seek help.

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Plant Evolves to Become Less Visible to Humans in Areas With Excessive Harvesting

Fritillaria delavayi, a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine, has apparently evolved to match its background and become more difficult to spot as a direct consequence of heavy harvesting.

Scientists had known that many plants evolved to use camouflage as a way of hiding from herbivores that may eat them, but a recent study suggests that one particular plant species has developed the same mechanism to hide from human harvesters. Researchers found that fritillaria delavayi plants, which grow on the rocky slopes of China’s Hengduan mountains, match their backgrounds most closely in areas where they are intensely harvested by humans.

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Man Attends Celebrity Wedding With Six ‘Girlfriends’, All Allegedly Pregnant With His Babies

Nigerian socialite Mike Eze-Nwalie Nwogu, aka “Pretty Mike”, sparked controversy after attending a high-profile wedding accompanied by six heavily pregnant women, all allegedly carrying his babies.

Describing the women as his “six baby mothers to be”, Pretty Mike was filmed rubbing and kissing each of their bellies at the wedding of Nigerian actor Williams Uchemba to his girlfriend Brunella Oscar. The socialite, who owns a nightclub in Lagos, wore a pink suit, while his six dates put on matching long silver dresses or two-piece outfits that emphasized their baby bumps.

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Japanese Company Wants to Buy Your Face and Sell It as a Hyper-Realistic Mask

Would you ever sell your face? If the answer is yes, there is a Japanese company that wants to hear from you. It’s in the business of buying the rights to people’s faces so it can sell them in the form of hyper-realistic 3D-printed masks.

Ever since Kamenya Omoto, a Tokyo-based specialty mask maker and store, announced its intention to buy the rights to people’s faces for 40,000 yen ($380) a pop, it’s been overwhelmed with offers. The company wants to reproduce people’s faces in the form of hyper-realistic masks and sell them for an estimated ($940). If a mask proves popular with clients, the person whose appearance inspired it stands to earn a percentage of the profits as well. The controversial project, named “That Face”, reportedly aims to give a sci-fi twist to the idea of buying and selling faces.

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Helicopter Crew Accidentally Discover Mysterious Metal Monolith Deep in Utah Desert

A helicopter crew from Utah’s Department of Public Safety recently discovered a large metal monolith in the rocky desert of southeastern Utah. So far, no one knows what the metal object actually is, or how it got there.

Last Wednesday, while helping the Division of Wildlife Resources count bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, members of a helicopter crew from the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Aero Bureau spotted something unusual in the rocky, barren desert below. A smooth, shiny metallic block rising up from the earths isn’t something you usually stumble into around those parts, so the crew decided to land and take a closer look at it. While it failed to do anything worthy of a sci-fi movie, the mysterious structure did raise a lot of questions, most of which remain unanswered.

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Japanese Rapunzel Hasn’t Cut Her Hair in 15 Years

35-year-old Rin Kambe has been dubbed the Japanese Rapunzel because of her nearly 6-feet-long mane, which she hasn’t cut in 15 years.

Rin, who hails from Tokyo, was never allowed to grow her hair as a child.  She was on the girl’s football team so had to keep it short, but when she became an adult, she decided to take control of her hair and use it as a “weapon of expression”. The last time she cut her hair was 15 years ago, and now her straight, black locks measure 5ft 10in, a good 4 inches more than Rin herself. Although her hair sometimes gets in the way when doing the simplest of tasks, like changing her clothes, the Japanese dancer and model said that she loves her long mane, adding that it encapsulates the “beauty of Asia”.

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How a Routine Blood Donation Left a Young Woman Permanently Disabled

A 21-year-old woman has lost mobility in her right arm following a botched blood donation in which a nurse allegedly drew blood from one of her arteries instead of a vein.

Gabriela Ekman, of Ontario, Canada, had just turned 17 when she decided to donate blood for the first time in her life. She hoped it would make a difference, maybe even save someone’s life, but she had no idea it would actually change her life for the worse. When she went to a blood drive hosted by Canadian Blood Services four years ago, she didn’t know what to expect, but when the the phlebotomist who drew her blood let out a “whoops” when she stung her arm with a needle, she knew something wasn’t right. But she didn’t say anything, not even when the staff commented on how oxygenated her blood seemed, an indication that it may have come from an artery, instead of a vein. By the time she realized something was definitely wrong, it was too late…

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Cartel Known as “The Surgeons” Moves Liquid Drugs in Women’s Breast Implants

Colombian police recently announced the dismantlement of a Cali-based drug cartel that specialized in coercing women to get breast implants that were actually filled with liquid cocaine.

Drug trafficking organizations ae known for coming up with all sorts of ingenious methods of sending their products all over the world to minimize getting discovered at security checkpoints. You’ve surely heard of underground tunnels several kilometers long under the Mexico-US border, or of drug smuggling submarines, but did you know about the Colombian trafficking ring using women to ship drugs all the way to Europe? Aptly named “The Surgeons”, the cartel would recruit women and force them to get breast and calf implants for which they used prosthesis filled with liquid cocaine.

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World’s Most Expensive Bar of Soap Is Made with Gold and Diamond Powder, Costs $2,800

A small family-owned factory that has been making soap since the 15th century sells claims to sell the world’s most expensive bar of soap, at $2,800.

The Khan Al Saboun brand of handmade soap created by Bader Hassen & Sons, a soap factory in Tripoli, Lebanon, makes a variety of luxury soaps and skincare products containing essential oils and natural fragrances. They are sold in some of the most exclusive shops in Dubai and the UAE, but its most expensive product is only offered to special guests and important personalities. First made in 2013, as a unique gift to Qatar’s first lady, the world’s most expensive bar of soap contains gold and diamond powder and reportedly costs $2,800.

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“Labor Inducer” Burger Attracts Flux of Pregnant Women to Minnesota Restaurant

Pregnant women have reportedly been flocking to a restaurant in Excelsior, Minnesota, to try the famed “Labor Inducer” burger and hopefully go into labor faster.

The story of the Labor Inducer burger started back in April of last year, when Enrique, the chef at Excelsior restaurant ‘The Suburban’, was experimenting with burger recipes for the upcoming Twin Cities Burger Battle annual event. Co-owner Kelsey Quarberg, who was nine days away from her due date, happened to stop by, and was offered samples of the various experimental burgers. She loved one so much that she ordered a full-size serving, and lo and behold, just seven hours later she went into labor with her baby Sam. But that was just the beginning…

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South Korea’s First AI-Powered News Anchor Looks Eerily Realistic

South Korean television channel MBN recently introduced its viewer’s to the Asian country’s first ever AI-powered news anchor, an eerily realistic version of human anchor Kim Ju-ha.

Developed by MBN in partnership with artificial intelligence  production company Money Brain, South Korea’s first AI-powered news anchor was reportedly shockingly similar to her human inspiration. Not only did it have the exact same look and voice of the popular presenter, but she also mimicked the small gestures that Kim sometimes makes, like fiddling with a pen while reporting the news. During a broadcast on November 6, AI Kim even shared a conversation with real-life Kim Ju-ha to compare their voices, which apparently freaked out a lot of people.

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Tattoo-Obsessed “Grandma” Covers Her Whole Body With Colorful Ink in Just Five Years

Kerstin Tristan, a 55-year-old woman from Leipzig, in Germany, reportedly spent around $35,000 over the last five years covering almost her entire body with colorful tattoos.

It all started in 2015, when Kerstin, who worked as a taxi driver for most of her life, decided to get her very first tattoo, to add a bit of color to her life. That very first piece of body art started what some would go as far as calling an obsession, as Tristan went from one tattoo on her arm to a colorful body suit in just five years. The German woman apparently spent a whopping 30,000 euros ($35,000) on her ink so far, and doesn’t plant to stop anytime soon.

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Fisherman Has Live Fish Stuck in His Throat in Bizarre Accident

An Egyptian fisherman nearly lost his life after one of his catches got stuck in his windpipe, making it almost impossible for him to breathe or retrieve the fish.

Earlier this month, doctors at the emergency room of a hospital in Beni Suef, Egypt, were shocked to discover that a patient who had been brought in with symptoms like shortness of breath and speaking difficulties, had a fish stuck in his throat. Upon examining the man, they noticed that the fish was stuck at the entrance to the trachea, leaving just enough space for a little air to get through and prevent the man from suffocating before even reaching the hospital.

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