The Most Disturbing, Hilarious and WTF News Stories of 2019
Student Caught Wearing Shorts in Brutal Cold Goes Viral for Refusing to Reveal Identity: 'Mom Would Be Mad'
One Minnesota college student knew he would be getting an earful if his mom spotted him walking around campus in frigid temperatures with shorts on. That's why, when the Star Tribune ran a photo of him in January crossing the street wearing his winter coat — sans pants — he knew that he needed to keep his identity confidential.
“Miles, a University of Minnesota student who declined to give his last name because he said his mom would be mad at him for how he was dressed, crossed University Avenue Southeast in shorts Tuesday,” the photo caption read.
A reporter with the outlet shared the photo and caption on Twitter, declaring it “CAPTION OF THE YEAR,” which quickly prompted the tweet to go viral.
Although it's unclear whether the student's mother has seen the photo, we can only assume she knows because let's be real — moms know everything.
Fat Rat Gets Stuck in Sewer Grate & Prompts Large Rescue Operation
It took nine volunteer firefighters to save a fat rat who nearly lost its life after getting stuck in a sewer grate in Bensheim, Germany, in February.
In a clip shared on YouTube by Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar, firefighters can be seen lifting the manhole with the rat still stuck in it, wiggling its feet and tail vigorously.
“She had a lot of winter flab and was stuck fast at her hip — there was no going forward or back,” animal rescuer Michael Sehr told local media, BBC News reported.
When asked why so much manpower went into saving one rodent, Sehr told local outlets, “Even animals that are hated by many deserve respect.”
Reason Behind Garfield Phones Mysteriously Washing Up on a French Beach for 30 Years Revealed
Since the mid-1980s, broken and roughed-up Garfield phones have washed ashore Brittany, France, and locals haven't been able to figure out where they're coming from. But one environmentalist finally closed the case after a local farmer explained that he had seen a cavern filled with phones featuring the famous cat's face while he was out exploring one day.
The cavern was a part of a set of caverns that have only been accessible during low tide 30 years ago. With that in mind, Claire Simonin-Le Meur, president of the environmental group Ar Viltansoù, told the Washington Post that she and a group of journalists went to explore the cavern once ocean conditions allowed for them to, and found more phones scattered along its opening. Then, inside the cavern, they found an empty shipping container, which presumably once held all of the Garfield phones that had been washing out to sea for three decades.
“I saw Garfield and container pieces all over the cave. But the bulk of the phones are already gone, the sea has done its job for 30 years,” Simonin-Le Meur said, according to Le Monde. “We arrived after the battle.”
Man, 40, Sues Parents for Throwing Out His Stash of Porn & Sex Toys That's Allegedly Worth $29,000
A Michigan man, 40, filed a lawsuit against his parents after they threw out his collection of pornography and sex toys, which he said was worth nearly $29,000.
A series of email exchanges (provided within court documents obtained by PEOPLE) revealed that the man’s father insisted that he did his son a “big favor” by tossing the items. He believed it would improve his son's emotional and mental wellbeing. The son, who clearly did not agree, filed charges against his parents for the destruction of his property, which Ottawa County prosecutors declined to move forward with.
Michigan’s Department of the Attorney General did not immediately respond when asked for comment by PEOPLE.
The man sued his parents for $86,822 in damages, nearly triple the amount he believes his collection was worth, the court documents detailed.
In another email, the father expressed hope that his son would one day see the benefits of his actions.
“I would have done the same if I had found a kilo of crack cocaine,” he wrote in an email. “Someday, I hope you will understand.”
Surprised Parents Welcome Baby Born with Natural Frosted Tips
Some people spend half their paychecks dying their hair, but not this newborn. Parents Charlotte and Lewis Evans were pleasantly surprised when they welcomed their daughter Daisy, who arrived into this world with natural blonde highlights in her brown hair, according to The Daily Mail.
"It’s cute. Her dad has red [tipped] hair,” Charlotte told the outlet. “We got a few comments about that too, saying she takes after her daddy.”
“She does look like she’s got David Beckham hair,” Charlotte continued. The unique highlights even surprised the hospital staff, many of whom had been there for decades and had seen nothing like it.
“There were midwives coming up from other floors who would say, ‘This is the baby everyone has been talking about, I’ve been waiting to see her,”’ Charlotte added. “She was famous in the hospital.”
Once the initial shock wore off, Charlotte realized that her brother was also born with the same highlights 36 year prior to her little girl!
2000s Beckham would be proud.
Canadian Tourist Cracks Code to 40-Year-Old Safe on First Try
Stephen Mills was offered a chance to unlock an old safe that was donated to the Vermilion Heritage Museum in Alberta, Canada, in the mid-1980s, and to everyone's surprise — including his — he opened it in one shot.
Mills noticed that the safe's dial had numbers that ran from zero to 60, so he decided to try 20, 40, 60 and boom — the safe, which had been locked since the 1970s, became unlocked.
"It was a 100 percent guess," Mills told CNN, PEOPLE Now reported. "I was fully amazed. I stepped back a little bit and thought, I'm buying a lottery ticket tonight."
Influencers Flock to Toxic Bright Blue Lake as Government Warns to Stay Away
If you're going to do it for the 'gram, make sure you're not putting yourself in danger. That's a lesson government officials have tried to share with Instagram influencers, who have been posing for photos at a man-made toxic lake.
Novosibirsk Maldives, a lake that got its name from the Russian city of Novosibirsk and the Maldives (a group of islands known for its bright and clear blue waters), isn't actually a lake at all. It's "an ash dump into which CHPP-5 [the coal plant] is dumping waste,” according to the Moscow Times.
The power plant in question, the Siberian Generating Company, claims that while the pond is "not technically poisonous," visitors should not go swimming in the body of water. For everyone else who is looking for a similarly breathtaking and (safe) vista to snap photos, there are plenty of other places around the world with bright blue water to visit.
Britain's Oldest Twins Reveal Secret to Longevity: 'No Sex and Plenty of Guinness'
When it comes to living your best live well into your 90s, identical twins Lilian “Lil” Cox and Doris Hobday have shared the two things that have helped them thrive: “No sex and plenty of Guinness.”
That’s what the spunky 95-year-old women revealed during their appearance on ITV’s This Morning, where they were interviewed over their sudden Internet stardom after creating social media accounts in honor of their 95th birthdays.
When asked why refraining from sex was a key to longevity, Doris simply stated: “Well, I don’t have a husband!”
A Parking Spot in Hong Kong Sells for Nearly $1 Million
Businessman Johnny Cheung, who owned four of the 400 spaces in front of the building, sold his final spot after making six-figure profits on his three previous listings, CNN reported.
“There aren’t many car park lots in Central’s office towers for sale, so prices have always been kept high,” James Mak, Midland Commercial’s district sales director, told the Morning Post.
The Center is a 79-floor steel office building home to major companies. A parking spot in front of the tower is prime real estate, as the building is located in one of the busiest, most central areas of the city.
Despite Hong Kong’s ongoing political issues, Mak shared that nothing has stopped the wealthy from continuing to spend their money.
“Good times or bad times, there are still ultra-rich people paying whatever needed to get what they like,” he added.
The person who purchased the parking spot has yet to be identified, according to the outlet.
Woman Thanks Restaurant Critic for Exposing Cheating Husband with Photo of Him Dining with Someone Else
Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema was surprised to learn that his latest review had done more than just critique food.
“Well Tom your latest review is accompanied by a picture of my husband dining with a woman who isn’t me!” an anonymous commenter wrote on Sietsema's weekly live chat column, Ask Tom.
“Once confronted with photographic evidence, he confessed to having an ongoing affair,” she continued. “Just thought you’d be amused to hear of your part in the drama. This Thanksgiving I’m grateful to you for exposing a cheat!”
Sietsema was seemingly shocked by this revelation, writing back that he’d “hate” to know that the commenter’s claim was true.
“Please, please, please tell me this is a crank post,” the critic wrote. “I’d hate to learn otherwise. I file two reviews a week, for Food and the Magazine, so I’m not sure which restaurant this is.”
Sietsema later shared the comment on Twitter, giving other Washington, D.C., area diners a warning.
He wrote: “So, this popped up on my live online food chat today. Cheaters, take heed!”