April 15 (UPI) — It’s no secret that Australia has a reputation for the unusual, being home to numerous species of strange and mischievous animals — including humans.
The country has played host to a number of odd news-making events, including a kangaroo on the roof of a house, a world record-breaking stack of M&M’s, a motorized cooler and a news conference-crashing spider.
Here are 10 quintessential examples of odd news from the land down under:
A resident of the Brisbane, Queensland, area captured video in February as a group of people attempted to come to the rescue of animals trapped in a rainwater tank after heavy rains.
The footage shows mice, frogs and beetles hitching a ride on the back of an eastern brown snake, one of the most venomous species in the world. The filmer said all of the animals were successfully rescued from the tank.
Australia is home to many Guinness World Records, but the most bizarre might be the candy-stacking accomplishment of Brendan Kelbie.
Kelbie earned a Guinness title at his Queensland home in February when he stacked six M&M’s into a tower and it stood for at least 10 seconds before falling.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath’s December news conference about COVID-19 vaccination policies came to a temporary halt when someone pointed out a massive huntsman spider on her podium.
“This shows how controlled I can be,” D’Ath joked. “I don’t like huntsmans, but I’m going to keep going. If he comes anywhere near my face, let me know.”
Proving that Australia’s vehicles can sometimes be as bizarre as the country’s animals, a man in Kerang, Victoria, was stopped by Swan Hill Police Service while driving a motorized cooler on the sidewalk.
Police shared photos of the small cooler being loaded onto a large tow truck. The “vehicle” was impounded for 30 days and the man was cited for driving without a license.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said firefighters initially suspected a hoax when they responded to a Mount Isa home on a report of a kangaroo on the roof, but they arrived to find exactly that.
The kangaroo ended up jumping off the roof on its own, but firefighters said they remained baffled as to how the marsupial got to the top of the home in the first place.
Hussam Saraf of Shepparton, Victoria, earned a Guinness World Record for grafting five different species of fruit onto a single tree.
Saraf said his tree actually bears 10 different kinds of fruit, but Guinness did not consider all of them to be separate species. The tree bears white and yellow nectarines, white and yellow peaches, blood and yellow plums, peachcots, apricots, almonds and cherries.
Sam Kuerschner, a wool farmer from Orroroo, South Australia, said a lamb born in 2021 became a family pet instead of livestock when he discovered the animal had an extra leg growing out of the back of its head.
Veterinarian Paul Nilon of Perth estimated one in 200,000 sheep are born with an extra limb.
Residents of the rural Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia, shared photos and videos in June 2021 when their homes, fields and trees were covered in blankets of spider silk.
Experts said the webs resulted from a phenomenon known as “ballooning,” which involves spiders using strands of silk to ride on gusts of wind. They said the spiders were fleeing to higher ground amid flooding.
A confused cow was spotted wandering in March on Duranbah Beach, near Coolangatta, Queensland, and Tweed Heads, New South Wales.
The bovine was believed to have been carried away from its home by floodwaters and washed up in the area after floating more than 3 miles down the Tweed River from a farm in the Terranora area.
Danny Griffiths, of Hobart, Tasmania, said he was surfing on the island of Pedra Branca, off the southern coast of Tasmania, in 2017 when he was separated from his board.
A pair of tourists from northern Queensland visited Tasmania four years later and mentioned to locals how their sons, who are fishermen, found a surfboard floating in the water off the coast of Queensland’s Magnetic Island in 2018, about 1,700 miles from where it had been lost.