October 1997

A collection of weird news stories from around the world.

An Egyptian man who fell into a coma and was mistakenly pronounced dead regained consciousness after spending 12 hours in a morgue refrigerator.

He opened his coffin lid and began shouting for help. One of the paramedics who discovered him collapsed in shock and died.

Abdel-Sattar Abdel-Salam Badawi had been suffering from liver disease.

An adventurous duck and her 17 ducklings sent police quackers as they evaded some of the country's tightest security for a trip to 10 Downing St.

They left their home in St James's Park and crossed a busy road by the Foreign Office to reach Downing Street.

Police guarding No 10 pounced as the ducks headed for six-lane Whitehall, catching the ducklings in their helmets

An elderly widow lived without electricity for 20 years, mistakenly believing she had been disconnected.

The 86-year-old has used candles and oil lamps since 1977. The problem is thought to have been caused by accident by work near her Sheffield home.

But the bewildered pensioner believed she had been disconnected for not using enough power so she never complained.

Men have about 4bn more brain cells than women, Danish researchers have said. But they have not worked out what men do with them.

Neurologist Bente Pakkenberg examined the brains of 94 people aged 20 to 90.

Asked what the men might be doing with the surplus, she said: "It's a mystery. The knowledge we already have shows men are not smarter than women."

A picture is worth a thousand words - but not always in Hong Kong.

Police often botch evidence by leaving on lens caps when taking photos, a court heard, to the extent that forms include a box labelled "forgot to take lens cap off" for officers to tick.

But the defence disagreed: "No-one, unless he's got the IQ of a wooden plank, could possibly be that stupid."

A couple were the target of a vilalge's outrage when they publicly celebrated the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Middle-aged Anya Spackman-Bohdanowicz and husband Wiktor horrified residents of Watton-at-Stone by decorating the outside of their High Street home with bunting, inviting neighbours to a "We're glad Diana's dead" party and playing loud music during the funeral.

The couples celebrations started four days after the death of Diana when they put up the bunting, only to see it ripped down by villagers. They put up notices in their window saying they would not put the bunting back up as a mark of respect for the sad death of Mother Teresa.

Everyone in America is handling cocaine - but in most cases they do not know it, a report has revealed.

The drug is now so widespread that it has contaminated almost every banknote in the country, according to FBI forensic chemists in Washington DC.

The scientists blame automatic counting machines in banks for spreading the drug from dollar to dollar.

About 500 painted cucumbers are to be released into a river in a bid to improve water quality at beaches.

Environmental watchdogs want to find out where sheep droppings washed up on Blackpool's beaches come from.

The cucumbers are being painted bright colours so they will be easy to spot.

Cucumbers were chosen as they have waxy skins and are tough and biodegradable.

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Plagiarism Note: The stories on this page appeared originally on ITV Teletext or in Private Eye and are reproduced due to the kind ignorance of the original authors.

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