BERLIN (Reuters) - From a Greek nunnery turned into a marijuana farm by two men posing as gardeners to a South African man with a gunshot wound told by a doctor to “walk the pain off,” the world was full of weird news in 2007.
A Moscow woman set fire to her ex-husband’s penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka. The couple divorced three years ago but continued to share a small flat.
“I was burning like a torch,” the wounded ex-husband told Tvoi Den newspaper. “I don’t know what I did to deserve this.”
In another unusual living arrangement, a German man left his dead mother seated in her favorite armchair at their shared home for two years after her death of natural causes at age 92.
Yet not everything that smelled like a corpse was really dead in 2007. In the German town of Kaiserslautern, police broke into a darkened flat expecting to find a corpse after neighbors complained of a nasty smell seeping out into the hallway.
But instead they found a tenant with very smelly feet asleep in bed next to a pile of extremely foul-smelling laundry.
There were sadly many deaths in 2007 that were hardly noticed, such as in Zagreb, where a Croatian man who boarded a night tram and died in his seat rode through the city for more than six hours before the driver discovered he was dead.
Unusual diets made headlines in 2007 — such as: “No more crispy duck at Beijing toilets.” Food stalls attached to Beijing’s public toilets were banned ahead of the Olympics after complaints over toilets with poor sanitation.
Also in China, 66-year-old Jiang Musheng said 40 years of swallowing live tree frogs and rats helped him avoid intestinal pain and made him strong.
British artist Mark McGowan ate a meal of meatballs made from a dead corgi dog in a protest against animal cruelty. He said the corgi, which died from natural causes, tasted terrible.
Criminals filled odd news headlines around the world. In the United States, two Colorado men were accused of plotting to kill a man with rattlesnakes in a dispute over a $60,000 poker debt.
“It’s a story out of the Wild West — there’s poker, rattlesnakes and unsavory characters,” said Lance Clem, of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. “You’ve got a bunch of snakes becoming involved with a bunch of snakes.”
In Sarajevo, two armed men disguised as Muslim women in burqas held up a bank and escaped with $40,000.
A Zimbabwe man stole a bus because he needed transport to get his driving license.
A German bus driver threw a 20-year-old off because he said she was too sexy for his bus. “He opened the door and shouted ‘Your cleavage is distracting me every time I look into my mirror and I can’t concentrate on the traffic’,” the woman said.
In La Paz, the winner of a Bolivian beauty contest was stripped of her title moments after her coronation when judges noticed she was wearing false hair plaits.
Climate change found its way into weird news. A Hummer owner in Russia’s St. Petersburg gave activists the green light to pelt his oversized vehicle with rotten eggs and tomatoes.
A 60-year-old German man stunned lawyers during his appeal hearing on a flashing conviction by stripping off in court.
Every story needs a happy ending and Bangkok delivered for this one. A 76-year-old Malay Muslim woman from southern Thailand got on the wrong bus 25 years ago and got lost, ending up living as a beggar at the other end of the country.
But in 2007 she was finally reunited with her family.
Editing by Alison Williams