As we've discussed before, the world is much bigger than those yowling marionettes at Disneyland would have us believe. We're still finding new places and things in it, despite having lived around these parts for 200,000 years or so. Every day, science discovers something fascinating in a part of the world that the human race had previously shrugged at and said, "Eh, it's probably just more rocks and shit." For example ...
#4. Scientists Discover a Trove of Untouched Species in Australian "Lost World"
For millions of years, a good chunk of land high in the Cape Melville mountain range of northern Australia has been isolated from the rest of the world, protected from Starbucks and McDonald's moving in and setting up shop by massive boulders and cliffs. No man had set foot there ... until last month, when a handful of scientists and their camera crew went for a stroll and discovered three species that had never been seen before.
Tim Laman/National Geographic
"What a coincidence, we've just discovered a new species, too: Annoyus photographia."
Thanks to movies like Ocean's Eleven and Catch Me if You Can, we expect scams to be elaborate, highly coordinated events that require months of planning and at least three tuxedo changes. In the real world, both criminals and their victims are a whole lot dumber than you'd expect, which is why the following scams (almost) worked.
#5. An Elderly Couple Win a Vacation (and Become Drug Mules)
A 64-year-old Australian woman recently entered an online contest for a seven-day vacation to Canada. A few days later, she found out that not only had she not fever dreamed that time she entered a contest to go to Canada, but she had actually won. The trip included round-trip airfare for two, seven nights at a hotel, a new set of luggage (weird, right?), and some extra cash. Score!
The woman said she and her husband had a lovely time on their vacation, but there were a few times she had a nagging suspicion that something wasn't right. These feelings only grew when their luggage was swapped for the flight home. It turns out that spanking new luggage had been crammed to the gills with about 15 pounds of meth.
Unfortunately, "Heisenbergian levels of meth" didn't happen to be in the fine print.
Finding millions of dollars of gold stashed inside an airborne toilet is the type of thing that's only supposed to happen once in a thousand lifetimes, and even then, it is generally assumed that an interdimensional plane-striding wizard will somehow be involved.
But as it turns out, insane news stories that seem to have been scripted by the writing team from Lost sometimes occur with alarming regularity.
#4. People Keep Finding Gold Bars in Airplane Toilets
On average, a human being could habitually check every public toilet within a 200-mile radius of their home and/or office and never find a single piece of gold, unless it was in the form of a bloody gilded molar dislodged from a pimp's jawbone during a fistfight with a plainclothes detective.
But that wasn't the case for an airline cleaning crew who stumbled upon 280 gold bars in the toilet of a Middle Eastern jumbo jet, as if King Midas had haphazardly tried to stick a wad of toilet paper into his burning anus and accidentally spilled diarrhea through his alchemic fingers.
Or a rage-filled magical goose was shitting bricks over flight delays.
In our era of constant distractions, most of us only half listen to the news while checking Facebook or playing Candy Crush -- hell, you're probably doing at least three other things while reading this (and we're not counting pooping). But it turns out that if you pay a modicum of attention to those serious faces on your TV telling you the news of the world, you might find hidden gems of accidental comedy, like ...
#4. Chicago News Station Accidentally Shows Sheep Sex Warning Sign
When a news station in Chicago asked viewers to supply pictures of a tornado passing through the area for their coverage, the Internet didn't disappoint and provided them with a manipulated photo showing an obscene warning sign, which was on live TV in all its glory for a total of 40 seconds:
In the inevitable gritty reboot of The Wizard of Oz, that sign will impale the Wicked Witch of the East.