curious news

A kangaroo of unknown origin is on the loose in Austria, raising eyebrows in the area around Hellmonsodt and causing confusion on the Internet.

Kangaroos are, of course, indigenous to Australia.

Austria is, of course, not Australia.

But there's a marsupial hopping about in Upper Austria, and no one knows why.

The suspected kangaroo — we add a caveat because it could well be a wallaby instead — has been seen "numerous times" over the past week or so, according to Agence France-Presse.

A Florida family is terrified of a huge Monitor lizard that has taken up residence in their back yard.

As the editor of a blog called Goats and Soda (see this story for the explanation behind the name), I'm always interested in the latest goat research.

So I was definitely hooked by a press release that declared, "Goats prefer happy people."

Flaviane Venditti

The Arecibo Observatory is repairing damage to the giant radio telescope after hurricane Maria, but operators now need help with another issue — cats.

After Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico last year, operators say a family of cats began calling the observatory their home.

Using lessons learned from harbor seals and artificial intelligence, engineers in California may be on to a new way to track enemy submarines.

The idea started with research published in 2001 on the seals.

Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany showed that blindfolded seals could still track a robotic fish. The researchers concluded that the seals did this by detecting the strength and direction of the whirling vortex the robot created as it swam through the water.

Stressed out, overworked, or just over it: Workers in Japan who want to leave their jobs — but don't want to face the stress of quitting in person — are paying a company called Exit to tell their bosses that they won't be back.

How To Survive A 10,000-Foot Fall

Aug 24, 2018

Falling from an airplane would ruin most people's day.

But if you're James Bond, it's no big deal.

After getting pushed out of a plane in the 1979 film Moonraker, Bond initiates a midair fight with a nearby skydiving villain and takes the evildoer's parachute.

As his enemy plunges to the ground, Bond fights off a second bad guy, deploys his chute and floats gracefully to Earth. Piece of cake.

An audience gathers around the transparent 14-foot-long "culinary instrument" in a restaurant called Creator in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood.

Pop quiz: What's a word you use a hundred times a day — that doesn't show up in the dictionary?

Give up? Mmhmm.

You got it! Mmhmm is a small word that's often used unconsciously. But it can actually tell us a lot about language, bias and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Once upon a time, English speakers didn't say "mmhmm." But Africans did, according to Robert Thompson, an art history professor at Yale University who studies Africa's influence on the Americas.

In Germany, beer consumption is up as temperatures remain unusually high. This is good and bad news for the beer industry.

While the breweries have more than enough beer to go around, they're running out of bottles because customers are not returning their empties quickly enough.

Germans care about the environment about as much as their beer; that's why the glass bottles are recycled. Customers pay a small deposit on each one, which they get back when they return it to a store.

This week, the Puy du Fou theme park in western France put some new employees in the field: six trained rooks, members of the crow family, picking up small pieces of paper and cigarette butts in exchange for food.

Boubou, Bamboo, Bill, Black, Bricole and Baco officially started their new gigs on Monday.

For the record, the park would like to note, the corvid colleagues are not replacing any human cleaning staff.

This week, two individuals became the focus of global celebration following an unlikely and joyous confluence of circumstances.

The viral story went that two elderly men escaped their care facility to attend a metal festival in northern Germany (or, as one headline put it: "Elderly Men Escape Retirement Home to Go RAGE!!").

Except they weren't, and they didn't.

Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET

Three of Sweden's crown jewels, dating back to the 17th century, were stolen Tuesday in a brazen daylight heist.

Two crowns and an orb are missing, and the thieves are still at large. They fled from the church first by bicycle and then by motorboat. An international search is underway.

Miss Helen the shark's weekend adventure is now over, after she was smuggled out of the San Antonio Aquarium in a baby stroller on Saturday. Police say they found the shark at the home of the main suspect in the heist. Both are now in captivity.

Video footage of the bizarre theft fed intense public curiosity — and led to solid tips from the public on the animal's likely whereabouts. Aquarium officials welcomed the shark back on Monday night.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

The 2018 Florida Supercon brought a cornucopia of superhero and comic fans together inside the Broward Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.

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