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7 Viral Stories That Had Twists Nobody Remembers
Every once in a while, a particular kind of news story captures the hearts and minds of every single person on the internet, and even some of the bots. It's cute, it's novel, it is almost immediately forgotten, and soon enough the cycle begins anew. But if you follow up on those flash-in-the-pan headlines, you might find some new information that totally changes the tone of the story. For example ...
That Photo Of A Monkey Recreating The Lion King Was A Kidnapping
The Lion King is such a huge hit that even nature rips it off from time to time. Like in July 2018, when the internet went nuts over this photo of a baboon hoisting up a baby, Rafiki-style.
The CGI in these remakes keeps getting worse. That baby doesn't even look like a lion.
After photographer Dafna Ben Nun sent the photo to a news agency, it took on a life of its own. The photo inspired endless Lion King-related headlines in the British media outlets, and spread from there to the rest of the world.
But the backstory isn't quite as cute as it seems. It was in truth a case of monkeynapping, which arose from a primate supremacy scuffle. The photographer was out in the wild with a group of fellow monkey enthusiasts(?), when she heard an animal shriek. A baby had been snatched, and the mother attacked the baboon in the photo. In fact, the very next snap shows momma snatching the little one back.
The one after that shows her successfully filing a restraining order.
So it was less Lion King and more Taken, which is slightly less heartwarming.
The "Worst Fan" Who Snatched A Baseball From A Child Was The Real Victim
This footage from a July 2018 Chicago Cubs home game shows first base coach Will Venable tossing a ball to a small child, whose tiny hands fail to catch it ... at which point a heartless villain in the next row snatches the ball away and proudly presents it to his wife.
But don't worry! The team hooked the kid up with another ball signed by infielder Javier Baez, so it was a happy ending for all involved!
Well, except for the innocent guy chased by a billion virtual pitchforks. Other people sitting around the infamous ball-grabber say he was actually a pretty chill dude. He had already given the same kid a foul ball prior to the incident, and apparently gave balls to two other children. This explains why the kid was holding two balls in a photo tweeted by the team -- one from the Cubs, and one from his supposed nemesis.
Also, the man wasn't gloating. He'd traveled with his wife from South Carolina and snagged her a ball as an anniversary gift. The reward for his kindness was a wave of harassment so intense that he couldn't leave his hotel room. As if being a Cubs fan wasn't punishment enough.
Australia's "Tender Kangaroo" Wasn't Mourning, Just Horny
"Tender-roo" is the somewhat obnoxious name the media coined for a male kangaroo who was photographed cradling the body of a deceased female. The photo soon became a massive viral hit.
The doomed couple also inspired YouTube montages set to sad music:
We were expecting Evanescence, but OK.
But observant animal experts soon noticed that the situation in the photo was less about mourning and more about morning wood. He's not cradling his dead mate; he's trying to hump her. According to the Australian Museum's principal research scientist, the kangaroo shows signs that he's distressed because he can't find a way to perform sex with the corpse.
To make matters worse, another expert explained that "Tender-roo" was likely the one responsible for her death in the first place. As it turns out, male kangaroos harass prospective mates, even to the point of death. So maybe all those people who thought they were seeing human qualities in an animal were right after all.
The Man Who "Coughed Up A Lung And Lived" ... Didn't Live Long
Last year, a man showed up in a San Francisco hospital with an extremely nasty cough and spat out something resembling one of those "this should really stay on the inside" body parts:
What looked like a piece of coral from Hell's Reef was a blood clot which essentially made a cast of the man's right bronchial tree. And the man survived passing that through his system. Now he gets to encase the thing in Lucite and use it as one hell of a conversation starter at parties.
Or he would have, if he hadn't died horribly a week later.
Doctors did their best, but a few days later, the man rapidly declined and perished from heart failure (which was what caused the clot in the first place). So this story was less like marveling at an innocent medical curiosity, and more like rubbernecking at someone's hideous death throes. The internet!
Canada's Crack-Smoking Mayor Died (And Then His Equally Bonkers Brother Got Elected)
Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford rose to infamy through buffoonish stunts and episodes of public intoxication, and ultimately died a tragic (if not entirely shocking) early death. But you know what they say about ignoring history ...
Today, Rob's equally oafish brother Doug is the premier of the province of Ontario -- which, for the few of you not intimately familiar with Canadian politics, is a position much higher than mayor. He is somehow managing to further embarrass the family name with outrageous escapades like running on a platform based on cheap beer, and trying to spend almost $40,000 off the books to customize his van with a leather sofa and mini fridge. His daughter Kyla has also come under fire for promoting illegal cannabis products, while Doug himself was accused of dealing hashish back in the '80s.
So "I'm possessed by the ghost of John Belushi" is apparently a valid political platform in Canada now. Let's hope the other party finds a nice John Candy type to counteract the curse.
The Cute "Climbing Fail" Cub Was Trying To Escape The Drone Filming It
In this adorable viral video, a small bear cub is trying to climb a steep snowy cliff to get to his mother at the top, but keeps sliding further and further down right as he's about to make it. Eventually he does make it, and everyone watching over your shoulder on the subway starts clapping. A true roller coaster of emotions.
Isn't it remarkable that somebody managed to capture such an endearing moment? Unfortunately, the whole ordeal only happened because it was being captured.
Multiple drone operators, bear experts, and drone-operating bear experts pointed out that the animals were probably scared shitless of the flying robot doggedly pursuing them. Bears aren't bad climbers and know how difficult a path like that would be, so it's likely that they only took it because they were being stalked by the drone. Also, note that the camera doesn't zoom in every time the mother freaks out -- that's the drone itself getting dangerously closer. So this is less like an awkward, cutesy private moment, and more like paparazzi harassing a star until they trip and fall off a cliff.
Ever Wonder What Happened To "Batkid"?
Batkid was the most bittersweet story of 2013. We all watched as the city of San Francisco turned itself around to let five-year-old Miles Scott recreate the most important points of the "being Batman" experience (riding the Batmobile, stopping villains, watching a flash mob perform "Don't Stop Believing"). But we also all knew what was going to happen to that adorable kid eventually. Miles was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia as a baby, and had spent most of his life in chemotherapy. They don't grant these types of wishes to kids who get to grow up.
In another act of respect, an incoming international flight carrying George Clooney was diverted to Phoenix.
You probably never looked up what happened to Batkid, because who feels like making a scene on the bus, right? Well, here it is: He's in remission and doing just fine!
The whole Batkid operation only got underway after Miles had already received his last shot of toxic chemicals. His cancer never came back, and there's reason to believe he'll live a long life. According to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, "Since his crime fighting day five years ago, Miles has returned to being a typical kid -- playing little league, going to school, helping his family farm, and even selling his first market goat in the local fair." That's not quite as exciting as saving civilians in a bat-themed Lamborghini, but we're sure he doesn't mind.
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