Below you will find a collection of strange
but true tales, gleaned from a variety of sources including
English national newspapers around the globe.
These stories are are added to at regular intervals.
Also, on the right, you will see links to a number of carefully
selected on-line sources for strange tales and humour. Please
check them out at your leisure
A first division football match in Moldova was
called off after a disputed penalty. The chairman of one of the
teams drove his car on the pitch and tried to mow down the referee.
Police received a tip that $70,000 stolen from
a casino in Louisiana had been thrown in a river and found notes
woven into a beaver's dam. They were undamaged.
A man who lost £200 in a fruit machine at a Rochdale
motorway service station tried to get his money back by burning
a hole in the machine. The ensuing blaze caused £7 million of
The last native speaker of Nushu, a 400-year-old
language, has died in southern CHina. The language was spoken
only by women.
An Iranian wife asked a court to restrict her husband
to beating her only once a week instead of every day. She said
she loved him; he said "If I don't beat her she will not be scared
enough to obey me."
The M61 motorway in Lancashire was blocked after
a four-car pile-up. All the cars were driven by police officers
on a training exercise.
The Association of Burial Authorities has launched
a competition seeking ideas on how to stop cemeteries being dull.
A spinster from Edinburgh, who died aged 95, left
several charities £30,000 each. SHe chose organisations whose
collectors said "Thank you" when she dropped coins in their boxes.
A man shooting a litter of puppies in Florida had
to be taken to hospital. One of his intended victims kicked the
gun's trigger and shot him in the arm.
At the Sydney Olympic Games extra shipments of
condoms had to be sent to the competitors' village as supplies
ran out. This year in Greece the British team has asked for more
A boy of 15 months who went into a coma after getting
his head stuck in a bucket of water had his life-support machine
switched off at a hospital in Cambridge. Seconds later he coughed
and started breathing unaided.
A car dealer in Berlin let a couple test drive
the new BMW 5. They drove it 4,000 miles to Spain and back.
robbers fled empty-handed from a warehouse raid near Coventry.
They filled bags so ful lof coins they couldn't lift them.
An operator handling emergency telephone calls
in Maryland, US, fell asleep while taking report of a burglary.
A tape of the call recorded the operator snoring.
Women over 60 at Black Sea resorts in Romania are
being told not to sunbathe topless. Police said it was "ugly" and
likely to deter tourists.
Artist Tom Bloor spent nine hours pasting pop-art
wallpaper over a walkway in Birmingham. Then the council which
had awarded more than £2.1 million to promote inner-city culture
mistook it for fly-posting and stripped it all off.
A railway signalman in Essen, Grmany, trapped for
hours in his office by a Staffordshire terrier, has claimed overtime
for his ordeal.
A German woman furious after a row with her husband
decided to smash up his car. After doing £650 worth of damage,
it became clear that she had attacked her nighbour's Opel Corsa.
Her husband drives a Ford Fiesta.
A burglar was caught in San Francisco after his
73-year-old victim insisted on showing him her family photo album.
He was so bored he fell asleep and she called the police.
A police superintendent in Kent, UK, was called
away from giving a lecture on crime prevention to comfort his
distressed wife. She had returned home to find they had been
Prince Abdullah of Jordan, the uncle of King Abdullah
II, attended the state funeral of Ronald Reagan in Washington.
He returned home to Amman with 14 Domino pizzas.
A villager in Tanzania killed a lion that had earlier
killed his wife. He left the remains of her body near the lion's
den laced with poison.
A detective detained for drink driving is suing
his own South Yorkshire police force for £100,000. He claims
that the officers who arrestem him beat him up.
A dog in Florida has had liposuction. The chihuahua
named Pumpkin had three quarters of a pound of fat removed from
Safe-sex campaigners upset Thai men by giving away
extra small condoms at railway stations. Western tourists flying
to Bangkok receive extra large ones.
Police are investigating the theft of £40,000 from
a locked safe. The safe was in an inspector's office at Colchester
Twenty Boy Scouts aged between 11 and 14 are being
sued for $14 million. They built a camp fire in the mountains
in Utah and the subsequent blaze destroyed 14,208 acres of forest.
Women police officers in Berlin won the right to
patrol without hats. They had complained that their hairstyles
were being ruined.
A man who bought 3.7 million Visa and Mastercard
numbers from a California bank so that he could "check credit
ratings" was jailed for fraud. He had used the numbers to
obtain £37.5 million.
A cemetary in Chile is supplying coffins with built
in alarms - in case the occupants are buried alive.
A robber stole £19,000 from a Beijing bank
where his wife worked. When she tried to stop him he beat her
to death with a hammer.
A mother who lost her balance while leaning over
a fourth-floor balcony in Turin survived when she landed on a
plastic children's play-house being delivered next door. She is
A woman bought every Mars bar in a London Woolworth's.
They were on special offer at five for £1 and she drove
off with 10,656.
A burglar who stole £17,000 from a pensioner
in Berlin was arrested by police shortly afterwards. He had left
his hospital X-rays in her flat.
A pear tree was cut down in Birmingham after complaints
by residents. They said that wasps drunk on fallen fruit which
had fermented were becoming aggressive and stinging them.
A French policeman faces trial for drink-driving
after he was stopped at the wheel of his car drunk, and wearing
only a pair of fishnet tights. He admitted he was a part-time
transsexual prostitute after being chased through the Bois de
Boulogne, on the edge of Paris.
"Many" of the 164 victims of the North
Korean train explosion died going into their burning homes to
rescue portraits of their leader Kim Jong-il, the official news
A student spent eight months living in a New York
library because he could not afford to rent a room as well as
pay his $31,000 university fee. He slept on 4 chairs. Now he has
a free room on the campus.
A diver was rescued by a boatload of Scouts who
found him floating off the Californian coast. His colleagues had
sailed away five hours earlier, forgetting that he was still underwater.
Two brothers admitted stealing their father's credit
card on the day of his funeral in Tyne and Wear. They went on
a pub crawl.
Walkers complained that a new 8ft security fence
at a beauty spot near Llanelli, Wales, obstructed the view. The
council is now to spend £50,000 on a mound to restore the
A couple in Oklahoma woke to find a burglar in bed
with them. The 24-year-old was so drunk that he was still asleep
when police arrived to arrest him.
A London teenager was let off with a fine instead
of being jailed in Jamaica for smuggling cannabis. He is a hermaphrodite
and the magistrate said he did not know whether he should be in
a male or female jail.
A man in Houston, Texas, was so overcome by the
film The Passion Of Christ that he confessed he had strangled
The head of America's oldest gun maker, Smith &
Wesson, resigned when it emerged that he served more than 10 years
for eight armed robberies on banks and jewellers in Detroit. He
had used a sawn-off shotgun.
A man convicted of a shooting in Winnipeg was offered
a 20 month sentence in a smoke-free prison or two years where
he could smoke. He chose two years.
An unemployed German sued his local authority which
refused to fund his visits to a brothel "for my physical
and psychological wellbeing". The court said his benefits
covered "everyday requirements".
Firemen in Florida returned from a blaze to find
their station on fire. They forgot to turn off the luch cooking
on a gas oven.
The body of a successful New York banker was found
in a suitcase encased in concrete in New Jersey. She was identified
by the serial numbers on her breast implants.
The mayor of a Tuscan town has set up a fund to
provide cosmetic surgery for councillors. He feels that they would
then "better represent the town's image".
A boy aged 17 discovered that he was abducted by
his mother from Canada to Los Angeles 14 years ago. He found a
photograph of himself aged three on a missing children's website.
A chef in a German restaurant who hurled a piece
of meat at his wife was charged with assault. He missed his wife
but hit a woman diner instead.
A pupil admitted baking a hashish-laced chocolate
cake left outside of the staffroom in Luneberg, Germany. Ten teachers
had to go to hospital.
An American bank is giving its customers kits to
fingerprint their children to make it easier to identify them
if they are kidnapped.
A jeweller in India is slowly recovering his stock
of 170 diamonds which he had hidden in hay at his home. The hay
was eaten by a cow.
An expert in domestic violence was ordered by a
Birmingham, UK, court to attend a 60-day counselling programme
after he admitted attacking his wife.
A hooligan was banned from his home town in Yorkshire,
UK, for 10 years under an anti-social behaviour order. He is aged
The walls at Preston prison are being raised to
try to stop people throwing tennis balls filled with drugs into
The Dutch finance ministry issued a dress code for
staff saying that white socks "transgressed the limits of
decent dress behaviour".
Policemen in India are being given a monthly bonus
of 40p each if they grow a moustache. An inspector in Madhya Pradesh
said: "Hair adds to the overall authority of officers."
Three men who streaked through a restaurant in Washington
DC were left shivering in -7F in a car park. A thief had stolen
their car, with their clothes inside.
A family of four who left their granny on the roadside
was fined a total of £170 in Barcelona. The Catalonia government
recently passed a law making the abandonment of animals punishable
by a fine of £14,000
A nurse killed 24 elderly patients over two years
in nursing homes in the Lucerne district of Switzerland. He told
police it was to ease his work-load.
A woman drink driver in Pennsylvania ordered to
carry a photograph of the man killed in a head-on collision with
her car, returned to court to object saying that the picture was
of him in a coffin.
A wild boar searching for food broke into a Berlin
flat and bit a man's leg before fleeing. Police said the man found
the boar hiding under a table.
The only bar in Australia's hottest outback town,
where temperatures reach 100F, has closed after its temporary
manager resigned. The owners are on holiday in Europe and the
next bar is 125 miles away.
A rare robin - one of eight seen in Britain in five
years - which had flown the 400 miles from Norway to Manchester
perished when it was caught and eaten by a birdwatcher's pet cat.
Three German schoolboys on an internet spree charged
£85 million to a stolen credit card. Their purchases included
aeroplanes, country estates and restaurants.
German government vets have banned aquariums from
night-clubs. Loud music can damage the hearing, and even the livers,
of fish and is "unnecessarily cruel".
A school in Louisiana which operates a "zero
tolerance" policy on drugs expelled a pupil for a year who
was caught in possession of some tablets. They were Ibuprofen
A mechanic from Norfolk, England, to St Lucia to
help a friend get her car started. Tracy Healey's three-year-old
daughter had thrown the only car key into the sea.
Volunteers delivered 250 letters to shops and businesses
in Diss, Norfolk, asking for funds for the town's Christmas lights.
There was one donation of £5.
Pensioners in Japan have been tricked out of £12
million because they do not recognize their grandchildren's voices.
Since January, almost 4000 have fallen for the "It's me! scam",
in which young fraudsters call up asking for emergency cash.
A vodka-drinking contest in Moscow ended with one
death and five people in intensive care. The victor drank one
and a half litres and the organiser was charged with manslaughter.
A police hotline in eight languages set up to deal
with complaints of racism in Warwickshire has been scrapped after
two years. No one rang it.
A court in Barcelona halted the €380,000
compensation for a builder paralyzed by a fall at work. It said
that he should have refused to work without safety measures in
A hunter in Bayonne, in France, was shot in the
leg by his dog. The dog stepped on the trigger of a shotgun as
he jumped into the back of the man's car.
Store detectives in Portsmouth asked a man to strip
after becoming suspicious when he went into a changing room.
He was wearing a bra and knickers he had stolen for his wife.
Levi's admitted that it has had to recut its famous
501XX jeans in the US to fit the larger behind of the fuller-figured
man and woman.
A slimming instructor in Hawick, Scotland, was
suspended after adjusting the scales to trick his class into
thinking they had lost weight. Many were up to a stone heavier.
Guests celebrating a wedding in a Serbian village
fired guns in the air and accidentally shot down a light aircraft,
seriously injuring the pilot and his passenger.
A couple in Florida were arrested after receiving
thousands of dollars through an advertisement on the internet.
They had offered their unborn baby for adoption, and sold it
to 13 couples.
Police believe that hundreds of Americans and Canadians
paid a total of €30 million to a gang which wrote to them from
Spain saying that they had won €500,000 in an El Gordo-type
sweepstake. The victims each sent huge "handling fees" in anticipation
of their "prize" being forwarded.