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Tuesday 3 October 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# the twilight zone
Doppelgangers, a pig's head and an alien saviour: The 20 strangest stories of 2015
“That CAN’T be right…”

IF YOU FEEL like the world becomes a more bizarre, less predictable place every year – it’s not just you.

By way of proof, here’s our countdown of 20 stories from 2015 that will make you gasp, scratch your head, squirm, and wake up in a sweat screaming”Hang on, WHAT??”

20. An Australian artist has been growing an ear. Inside his arm. AND NOW – he wants to connect said arm-ear to the internet, and start live-streaming audio from it.

Edinburgh International Science Festival PA WIRE PA WIRE

19. Detroit woman is asked by police to please stop splaying this chillingly life-life “corpse” in her front garden, because they can’t cope with all the panicked 911 calls from locals.

prankdummy ClickOnDetroit ClickOnDetroit

18. Twink went on TV and clairvoyant Derek Acorah did a reading on her dog Teddy, who was infamously abducted last September.

I got 90% trauma when I first saw him…right now with him I get 1%, he’s with his Mummy, he’s happy again.

Weird, weird, weird.

17. Former DIT and Portobello College law lecturer Joe Morrissey is accused of having sex with his 17-year-old secretary in Virginia. He denies it. Then in May, admits the affair, and unveils the couple’s child, in this truly bizarre Civil War-era costume photo shoot.

morrissey Courtesy of Joe Morrissey Courtesy of Joe Morrissey

16. The first of a few on this countdown that will have you squirming for hours. An Aldi shopper in Thurles picks up a few bananas, unpacks them at home, and finds this – a nest of spiders.


15. Surprisingly, this is NOT the strangest story from the courts this year (See #7 below), but it’s fairly out there.

Fox News presenter Harris Faulkner wants $5 million in compensation from the toy-maker Hasbro for a plastic hamster which she claims steals her name, appearance and persona.

In response, Hasbro’s lawyers file this exquisite legal argument:

faulknerdetails US District Court, New Jersey US District Court, New Jersey

14. Police in Florida arrive at a mobile home, following up on a routine arrest warrant. After an absolutely terrifying ordeal inside the house, they find 3,714 knives, an occult shrine, and several fake body parts.

Then, they file the most frightening police report of 2015:

dykemareportpic Hernando County Sheriff's Department Hernando County Sheriff's Department

13. What happens at the Ballinasloe Horse Festival stays at the Ballinasloe Horse Festival. Usually.

But this year, the world was treated to this unexplained, inexplicable shot of a man finishing up his shopping in Tesco – on horseback.

tescohorse Imgur Imgur

12. This was the year the world became acquainted with the Pigg-O-Stat – a vital piece of medical equipment used to keep young children from moving about during X-rays.

But not before we all fell over each other trying to figure what was behind the adorable oddness of this viral image:

piggostat Imgur Imgur

11. A far-right “ginger extremist” is arrested for plotting to “put a bullet in Prince Charles’ head”, to speed up the red-haired Prince Harry’s ascension to the throne.

The judge calls it a “very strange case” involving a “very strange person.” Indeed.

10. A Japanese fisherman captures this video of a writhing, wriggling, bright green sea creature with a pink appendage that seems to have a life of its own.

It promptly causes hundreds of thousands of nightmares around the world.

thruthem / YouTube

9. This one has a tragic ending. But 2015′s strangest conviction must be that of Oklahoma man Brad Lee Davis, who was found guilty of killing his stepfather by pulling his underpants up and over his head – known as an “atomic wedgie.”

8.  You’re getting on a flight from Scotland to Galway, going through the usual rigmarole of stowing your luggage and brushing past people, then you finally find your seat, and this is who’s sitting next to you:

doppelgangers Lee Beattie Lee Beattie

The story of the “plane doppelgangers” went global in October, leaving all of us questioning what we thought we knew about the fabric of the cosmos.

7. Ivy League-educated New York lawyer Richard Luthmann apparently got a little bit bored with a dry asset protection lawsuit against him this year.

His response? To demand Trial By Combat, and file the single maddest legal motion of 2015:

luthmann1 NY Supreme Court NY Supreme Court

6. An 87-year-old Texas man suffers severely damaging burns to his left hand, and requires an unorthodox emergency surgery.

Doctors save his hand – by literally inserting it into his belly, “like a hoodie”.

Saving a Hand Associated Press Associated Press

5. 2015 was also the year many of us heard about “heteropaternal superfecundation” for the first time.

It came up in a bizarre paternity lawsuit in New Jersey, where it emerged that two twins had two separate fathers – the result of a very rare situation where a woman has sex with two men during the same menstrual cycle, and two of her eggs are fertilised by them.

4. The bag of hot air that caused traffic chaos in Dublin, and sent headline-writers into a frenzy all over the world, in August.

Here it is, in all its glory, the Giant Inflatable Minion of 2015:

minionpic Erin Van Londen Erin Van Londen

3. There are a few medical stories on this list, but none more bizarre than this one.

In June, routine testing on a 92-year-old Chilean woman revealed something that has only been seen 330 times in human history.

A hip X-Ray showed that she had been bearing a mummified fetus for at least 50 years. The condition is known as lithopedion and happens when a fetus dies during pregnancy and calcifies outside the uterus.

So now you know.

2. The story that caused Twitter to implode back in September. The most outrageous claim committed to print in 2015, the highest-profile would-be political scandal of the last 12 months – it’s PigGate.


1. Some stories are odd because of a single, bizarre fact, or a mystifying context. Others, like this one, leave us baffled by the questions we have after reading them.

In July, a man in his 60s is found dead and decomposing in a car in Los Angeles.

When police eventually identify him as Jeffrey Alan Lash, they search his fiancée’s apartment, and find 1,200 guns, six tonnes of ammunition, 14 vehicles, and $230,000 in cash.

It’s later revealed that she and her employee were with him when he died, but left his body in the car.

Why? The two women believed Lash to be a “half alien, half human hybrid” sent to save the planet earth, and employed as a secret agent by the US government.

Authorities still have not given an explanation for who Lash really was, how he died, and how he ended up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, and $5 million worth of weaponry.

ampedin / YouTube

Read: 12 really strange things that happened in 2014>

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