The weirdest news from 2021, from talking ducks to scary croissants

  • Even in a year dominated by Covid-19, there were still plenty of chances for a few giggles
  • Scores of people in Taiwan changed their name to salmon, and scientists in Scotland invented a phone for dogs
Agence France-Presse |

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Even in (another) year dominated by Covid-19, there was still opportunity for a few laughs and sideways glances. Take a look at some of the weirdest news stories of the last year.

Wait, isn’t it 2021?

South Korean officials issued a reminder to pregnant women to have enough pressed shirts, socks and underpants, and frozen meals ready for their husbands while they are away in hospital giving birth.

Because while you’re having a human being come out of you, your mind should be on your husband’s socks.

We’re not giving you an excuse to swear

The idea that swearing is bad turns out to be a load of phooey.

US researchers found people who use profanities tend to be more intelligent, creative, honest and less likely to “engage in serious unethical behaviours”.

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If you’ve gotta go, you’ve got to go (away)

US Secret Service agents guarding the daughter of former US President Donald Trump could only hold on so long.

Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s seemingly favourite child, and her millionaire husband Jared Kushner refused to let agents use any of the “6.5 bathrooms” in their Washington DC mansion, it was revealed days before her father left the White House in January.

Instead they had to use the toilet at former presidential couple Barack and Michelle Obama’s nearby home.

How do you only have half a bathroom? Photo: Shutterstock

Good thing he wasn’t cremated

An Indian man declared dead after a motorcycle crash began to move on the autopsy table as doctors got ready to open him up.

Again, isn’t it 2021?

Yoshiro Mori resigned as Tokyo Olympics chief in February after the former premier declared that the trouble with women is … they talk too much.

Mori later apologised, saying: “I don’t speak to women much.” We feel like that’s pretty obvious.

Very subtle

A French man who asked his neighbour if he could loan him his saw “to get rid of a body” was arrested in March for the murder of his lodger. There probably won’t be a Netflix series about him.

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Going out gracefully

The reigning Mrs World, the winner of a beauty pageant for married women, was arrested after pulling the crown off the head of her successor, Mrs Sri Lanka, and smashing her dressing room mirror after the ceremony in Colombo turned ugly. She claimed that she did it because Mrs Sri Lanka was unqualified to take part in the contest because she was divorced.

We’re changing our name to Young Salmon Post

Taiwan pleaded with people to stop changing their name after scores changed theirs to “Salmon Prince” and “Salmon Fried Rice” to take advantage of a sushi chain giveaway for people whose name contained the Chinese characters for the fish.

HELP it’s cold in here! Photo: Shutterstock

Pure terror

A “dangerous-looking animal” in a tree that struck terror into a quiet street in Krakow, Poland, turned out to be a croissant blowing in the wind.

Just give him the time off

A Taiwanese bank clerk married four times in a month so he could max out the country’s statutory eight days of paid holiday for newlyweds.

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Brilliant move tbh

A Danish artist given US$84,000 to make artwork out of banknotes pocketed the cash and sent the gallery two blank canvasses entitled Take the Money and Run. We love conceptual art.

But can they listen, too?

Science was rocked in September by news that ducks can talk – and they are quacking good impersonators.

Biologists said they can parrot human speech and even imitate the sound of a door closing.

More importantly, are they talking about us?

Weird way to get an iPhone

Kosovo surgeon Skender Telaku removed a mobile phone from the stomach of a prisoner without cutting him open after he swallowed it to hide it from prison guards.

Luckily, the phone did not ring during the delicate procedure.


Scientists in Scotland have invented the DogPhone, which will allow bored Beagles or yappy Yorkies to call their owners for a chat anytime they feel the need. Never fear, the owners can always put them on paws.

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