TIME Bizarre

Did This 3-Month-Old Just Say ‘I Love You’?

This is some first-class mimicry

We’ve heard of early talkers before, but this is ridiculous. In a YouTube video posted by user Ted Moskalenko, a baby described as a 3-month-old mimics a man saying “I love you” with very convincing similarity in tone and fairly audible diction (for an infant who can’t yet actually talk).

Moskalenko writes on the post, “My baby boy Ben said ‘I love you’ for the first time. Good thing my wife had the camera rolling.” We’ll be checking back on Ben’s status as a child prodigy in a few years’ time.

TIME Bizarre

This Ingenious Senior Prank Is the Ultimate Long Game

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Andrew Unangst—Getty Images

A Maryland school noticed mysterious stalks growing around the grounds

A high school student in Great Mills, Md., decided to play a sneaky prank that wasn’t even visible to the school until weeks later.

Charlie Sasscer planted corn in various locations around the grounds of Great Mills High School as a senior prank last spring, SoMdNews.com reports. Administrators began to notice the stalks coming out of the ground in strange places around campus in May and June, and finally tweeted a photo of the plants asking if anyone knew who was responsible. Sasscer owned up to the prank and the school’s principal, Jake Heibel, took it in good humor. Sasscer was not penalized for his actions, and Heibel took home an ear of corn for himself before the plants were removed.

[SoMdNews.com]

TIME Bizarre

Ingenious Couple Wear Homemade ‘Shark Cages’ at North Carolina Beach

They weren't taking any chances

You certainly can’t blame locals in North Carolina for taking precautions when going for a swim at the beach.

There have been several shark attacks in the area recently, and a new YouTube video posted on Tuesday shows a local couple taking safety into their own hands as they take to the waves wearing shark cages.

Local news site The Outer Banks Voice first posted the footage that shows a lifeguard putting an end to the stunt, whistling them back to shore.

Over the course of the summer, at least eight shark attacks have been reported on North Carolina beaches. Two of those attacks, reported just 90 minutes apart, resulted in two teenagers losing limbs.

The victim of the first attack, 12-year-old Kiersten Yow, was released from hospital on July 13. – nearly a month after the attack on June 14 which forced doctors to amputate her left arm below the elbow.

Both teens remain optimistic about their recovery.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME animals

This Japanese Zoo Is Trying the Impossible: Persuading People to Like Cockroaches

Red Cockroach
Norrabhudit—iStockphoto/Getty Images

The world’s most hated insect is getting a makeover

They’re extremely fast, famed (and reviled) for their ability to survive a nuclear holocaust and have been around since the dinosaurs. There’s also something about them that makes most people on the planet squirm with disgust.

But cockroaches, one Japanese zoo believes, have been given lot of unjustified bad press. And so staff at Shunanshi Tokuyama Zoo in western Japan have launched an exhibition to try to persuade people that cockroaches really aren’t all that bad.

“They have such a negative image,” a spokeswoman for the zoo told AFP. “But they’re actually playing an important role in the food chain.”

Visitors to the exhibition can come face to face with the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach — that can grow up to a whopping 7 c.m. long — and even watch five-way roach races.

The zoo also has about 200 individual cockroaches from 15 different species on display, and staff say the exhibition is already a hit with the public.

[AFP]

TIME Belgium

This French-Language Scrabble Champ Doesn’t Speak a Word of French

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Gareth Cattermole—Getty Images Current World Champion Nigel Richards at the Scrabble Champions Tournament, during the Mind Sports International World Championships on November 19, 2014 in London, England.

But he did spend nine weeks memorizing the French dictionary

Can you spell incroyable?

The winner of the World Championship of French language-Scrabble—held Monday in Louvain, Belgium—reportedly does not speak a word of French.

Nigel Richards, 48, a New Zealander who lives in Kuala Lumpur and represents Malaysia in international Scrabble events, beat French-speaking rival and Gabon native Schelick Ilagou Rekawe twice in Monday’s French-language World Scrabble Championship final, the BBC reports, after spending just nine weeks memorizing the entire French dictionary.

“I think one of the comments was ‘Are you extra-terrestrial or something?’ Because it was so amazing,” Shirley Hol, President of the Christchurch Scrabble club, told the NZ Herald of Richards’ underdog win.

Still, the win wasn’t out of sorts with Richards’ Scrabble history—Richards is the winner of five U.S. national titles and three World Scrabble Championships, even though he reportedly didn’t even learn to play Scrabble until he was 28, when his mother taught him.

 

TIME Bizarre

Watch This Teen Solve a Rubik’s Cube in Under 6 Seconds

The impressive feat did not quite break the world record

Australian teen Feliks Zemdegs is once again the winner of the Rubik’s Cube World Championships, solving a standard 3x3x3 puzzle in less than six seconds at the competition in São Paolo, Brazil.

Zemdegs defended his 2014 title, but his time of 5.695 seconds did not beat the current world record: American teenager Collin Burns still holds onto that glory with a solve time of 5.25 seconds. Burns did not compete at the World Championships in Brazil.

Watch how Zemdegs unscrambled the cube in under six seconds:

[GQ]

TIME Bizarre

Watch 12,975 Dancing Filipinos Break the Record for the World’s Largest Zumba Class

A new Guinness World Record for the world’s largest Zumba class was set Sunday in Mandaluyong, a suburb of the Philippine capital, Manila.

Clad in bright yellow shirts, 12,975 people filled the streets to follow the steps of instructors lifted above the crowds on stages scattered throughout the neighborhood.

The record was previously held by the city of Cebu, also in the Philippines, the BBC reports.

Zumba is a dance-fitness program founded by Colombian choreographer Alberto “Beto” Pérez in the 1990s. It boasts dance and aerobic elements, and incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, soca, mambo and merengue.

TIME Bizarre

Minion Toy Helps Save Colorado Girl’s Life by Cushioning Her 3-Story Fall

The quirky movie characters may have saved a life

So much for the Minions being evil.

The mysterious yellow creatures who aid supervillains played by Steve Carell and Sandra Bullock on film came in handy in Colorado on Thursday, when a 5-year-old girl playing with a Minion stuffed toy fell out of a third-story window, the Associated Press reports. Though she ultimately broke her arm, she held on to the Minion as she fell. Colorado Springs police credit the cushioning power of the critter, in part, with saving the girl’s life.

It’s more good news for the all-powerful Minions, who this month saw their eponymous movie earn the all-time second-highest box office debut for an animated film.

[AP]

Read Next: Why There Are No Female Minions

TIME Bizarre

Police Catch a Guy Who Dumped 11,700 Empty Beer Cans on the Same Street Over 18 Months

"It was very frustrating for the residents," a local police officer said

Every weekday for the past 18 months, someone had been driving by and throwing a neatly tied bag containing up to 30 empty beer cans onto the same street in Waverley, a suburb of Melbourne. And now, after a crafty neighborhood intervention, the culprit, a man in his late 30s, has been caught by local police, a local paper, the Waverley Leader, reports.

“It was very frustrating for the residents of the neat and tidy street. They’d really had enough,” Glen Waverley police Senior Constable Nick Schnerring told the Leader. “We had a breakthrough when several neighbors hid behind bushes and noted the registration and make and model of the car.”

The man, the street’s residents discovered, timed his daily garbage dumps very precisely — he would drive by between 7:30 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. After community members notified the police of the man’s car, police were able to catch the culprit in action.

The man had thrown out a total of about 487 24-packs worth of empty beer cans onto the side of the road. He has been fined $300 and police are still investigating.

TIME Bizarre

See 173 Sets of Twins on Tandem Bikes Try to Set a World Record

It takes two

Early Wednesday morning, 173 sets of twins rode tandem bicycles in New York City’s Central Park to try and set a world record for the most twins riding tandem bicycles at once.

Some participants came from as far as North Dakota, Idaho, California, and Toronto, Canada. There were pregnant twins, twins dressed like clowns, twins with slinkies attached to their helmets, and even a set of triplets who called themselves a “pair with a spare” (in case one fell off the bike), according to Debra Ganz, an event organizer.

However, she says an official for Guinness World Records could not verify the record because the participants were staggered and were not riding their bikes consecutively or in parade fashion. But because there only needed to be 150 bikers to set one, she maintains the event was “the biggest tandem bike ride that has ever been done.”

The stunt also happened to be a promotion for the upcoming VH1 show Twinning, which premieres July 22.

When asked if she would attempt the record again, Ganz said, “Of course. We’re twins. We have to do this twice.”

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