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'Tis the Season 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

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'Tis the Season
Archaeologists in Turkey believe they have found the tomb of the real St. Nicholas, People reported on Oct. 19. The grave was discovered beneath the floor of a 7th- or 8th-century church in the country's Antalya province. St. Nicholas of Myra, the real-life inspiration for our modern-day Santa Claus, allegedly served as bishop there. Scientists say the site will be protected and prepared for display.

It's a Mystery
On a sheep farm in the Inner Mongolia region of China, a strange phenomenon has been caught on surveillance video, Oddity Central reported. Starting on Nov. 4 and lasting more than two weeks, dozens of sheep were seen walking clockwise in a large circle. Other animals could be seen staring at the circle from outside it, or standing motionless in the middle of it. Only sheep from one pen (out of 34) were acting strangely, according to Ms. Miao, the owner. Some viewers of the video theorized that the sheep are suffering from listeriosis, or "circles disease," but that condition usually causes a rapid death.

Fish Story
Bluewater Lakes in Champagne, France, is the home of the Carrot, a hybrid leather carp and koi fish that was released into the fishing lake 20 years ago and has been eluding fishers ever since, the Daily Mail reported. That is, until Nov. 3, when Andy Hackett, from Worcestershire, England, landed the 67-pound beauty. Hackett spent about 25 minutes hauling in the Carrot. "I always knew the Carrot was in there but never thought I would catch it," Hackett said. He released the famous fish back into the lake and celebrated with a cup of tea.

The Rules
In Tennessee, it is legal to collect roadkill for consumption, WJHL-TV reported on Nov. 20. In fact, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency encourages people to take home animals found on the road, with some strict rules in place. For example, deer and turkey must be reported to TWRA or local police within 48 hours of collection. But "bears, on the other hand, require that a TWRA agent come out and issue you a receipt for a black bear," said spokesperson Matthew Cameron. That's because the bear population is monitored, and the TWRA takes a tooth from the animal for the purpose of dating it. In addition, tracking bear kills helps the agency prevent the sale of bear parts on the black market. "It's highly illegal to sell any kind of bear parts in the state of Tennessee," Cameron said, "but it does happen." Small animals such as rabbits, raccoons, squirrels and skunks can be collected without notifying anyone.

Wiener War
A turf war of sorts broke out late on Nov. 19 in downtown San Diego, CBS8-TV reported: Interloper hot dog vendors from Los Angeles had set up outside Petco Park stadium, where Duke Dumont was playing, and the San Diego vendors weren't having it. A brawl involving 10 to 15 people ensued, with one 35-year-old man being stabbed in the back during the fray. Police arrested Yoni Yates, 21, in the assault, which resulted in non-life-threatening injuries. No buns were injured in the incident.

Stowaway
TSA agents at John F. Kennedy International Airport saved the day on Nov. 16 when they spotted an unusual item in a passenger's checked baggage: a live cat. NBC2 News reported that the feline could be seen in an X-ray of the bag and was rescued before the suitcase went into the cargo hold. "The cat did not belong to the individual with the suitcase," TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said. "It belonged to someone else in the household."

The Demands of the Job
In Paris, a court has ruled in favor of "Mr. T," a former employee of Cubik Partners who was fired in 2015 for being "insufficient professionally" because he wouldn't take part in "team-building" activities, i.e., going to the pub after work hours and on weekends. In his suit, Mr. T said the company encouraged a culture "involving promiscuity, bullying and incitement to various excesses." The Court of Cessation declared that Mr. T "could not be blamed for his lack of integration in the fun environment," The U.S. Sun reported. Cubik was forced to pay him about $3,100 in compensation.

Extreme Measures
Jermaine Bell, 38, spent more than three years in jail fighting charges against him for an armed robbery in 2018, Local10-TV reported. When he heard the guilty verdict in a Miami-Dade County, Florida, courtroom on Nov. 21, Bell guzzled a cup of bleach, becoming so sick that he had to be removed from the courtroom on a stretcher. He survived the self-imposed attack, but officials are unclear where he obtained the bleach. Rev. Jerome Starling, a distant cousin, saw Bell "drinking something that's not right, and that his attorneys are letting him drink it, the corrections are letting him drink it. And all of a sudden, I see him collapse. And I'm like, 'What just happened?'" Starling recounted. Bell's family members are pursuing the matter.

Oops
Japanese food shops rely on remarkably realistic plastic samples to showcase their offerings, but one Osaka shop mistakenly sold five plastic pastries to customers on Oct. 22, Gulf News reported. At Andrew's Egg Tart, a worker immediately noticed the mistake, and the plastic treats were exchanged for the real thing. From now on, the shop will use stickers to distinguish real egg tarts from their doppelgangers.

Likely Story
Police in Mathura, India, reported to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act court that more than 500kg of marijuana, confiscated and stored in two police stations, had been "eaten" by rats, Gulf News reported. Officers told the judge that mice and rats, although small, do not fear police. A district judge ordered police to eradicate the "mice menace" and provide proof that the critters actually consumed the weed by Nov. 26.

That's One Way To Do It
With home prices in New Zealand taking their biggest drop in 30 years, one homeowner who's looking to sell is trying to sweeten the offer. The owner of 22 Dungloe Avenue in Flat Bush is offering a free Tesla with the purchase of their $1.8 million home, Sky News reported. The new owner will be asked to choose the color of the electric car, which will be ordered new and delivered to the home from the manufacturer. And with six parking spots, they can park it sideways if they want.

Family Values
On Oct. 26, 12-year-old Ayden was picked up unexpectedly by his dad from a birthday party in Los Angeles and was told they were going to a park. Instead, KABC-TV reported, the man started driving to Las Vegas, and Ayden became concerned because he believed his dad was driving drunk. (The fact that Dad was wearing a Las Vegas Raiders helmet might have been a clue.) Ayden called 911 and explained his situation; he told the dispatcher the car has "Raider plates on the front and in the back." Officers finally caught up with the car, and Ayden's dad faces charges of DUI and child abuse.

Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com

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