There is absolutely nothing I love more than some of these strange news stories from the past year. They offer a much needed relief from the constant onslaught of political reports and aren't as depressing as the typical nightly news. And so far, 2015 has been a weird year.
Let's be honest — it also hasn't been a particularly positive year so far in terms of news, either. Between mass shootings, political fights, attacks against women, and more, it seems like there is no reprieve from the depressing, soul sucking daily news, which is why these stories provide some much needed levity. And strange new stories can be found across the spectrum. From funny to confusing to straight up weird, anything that falls outside of the normal news cycle is up for grabs.
There are definitely weird news stories on the national level (I would go so far as to say most articles reporting on Donald Trump's antics are pretty weird) but some of the best articles come from local sources. You might not find any of these stories on the main page of CNN, but that doesn't mean they're not important.
After all, how can you be properly informed without knowing about the dog who drove a tractor onto a major highway, or the armed unicorn terrorizing Canadian cemeteries? In case you missed these absolutely strange (but very educational) stories this year, we've compiled them below.
1. Man Saves BBQ, Then Family From Burning Apartment
A California man was making barbecue ribs at 3 a.m. when he realized that the next door neighbor's apartment was on fire. Acting quickly, Robert Wright was able to save the two things he loves most: his family and his ribs. Wright gave one of the best TV interviews ever about his heroic efforts, and I absolutely admire this man's dedication to his food.
2. Man Caught Trying To Use Cardboard Cutout To Gain Access To HOV Lane
And not just any cut out. The Washington state motorist was reportedly driving with a life-size cutout of the actor who portrays The Most Interesting Man In The World in Dos Equis commercials, in hopes of gaining access to the carpool lane. According to KOMO News, the driver told the officer that the cutout was "his best friend." The driver was fined — but not before the Trooper snapped a picture for Twitter.
3. Airport Officials Took A Stuffed Tiger On An Adventure
This story isn't that strange — it's just adorable. When a 6-year-old boy left his stuffed tiger Hobbes at Tampa International Airport, officials found it, and took it on the adventure of its life. Hobbes was photographed all over the airport before the tiger (and photographs) was returned to the owner. Americans everywhere were left wishing they had that much fun in airports.
4. An Ancient Manuscript Contains A Drawing Of Yoda
Sort of. A manuscript in the British Library dating to the early 1300s contains a creepy drawing that looks a lot like Yoda from Star Wars. Somehow the people at NPR are the only ones to find this as hysterical as I do. According to the museum curator, it's not Yoda — it's actually a drawing to accompany the biblical story of Samson. Sure.
5. A Man In A Unicorn Mask Chased Someone Through A Graveyard With A Knife
When police responded to an alarming and weird 911 call in British Columbia, they found an individual wearing a unicorn mask wielding a hunting knife while his victim cowered nearby. According to local authorities, the two men (who were in the 30s) were actually just making a video in the middle of the night at a local graveyard. With a unicorn mask. Like you do.
6. A Dog Driving A Tractor Terrorized A Scottish Highway
A boarder collie named Don managed to take control of a small tractor and drive it onto the M74, a major Scottish highway. Don was alright, but he caused quite a bit of traffic for his fellow drivers. Following the incident, Traffic Scotland warned drivers of delays, "due to dog taking control of tractor... nope, not joking. #maycausetailbacks."
7. A Minnesota Toddler Becomes Mayor
Dorset, a small town in Minnesota, welcomed a 3-year-old boy as their newest mayor, following a local raffle where the boy's name was picked out of a hat. There don't seem to be any requirements for becoming mayor of the 22-person town, as previous individuals who held the office include the boy's 6-year-old brother, as well as a local rooster.
These are the stories that journalists wait their entire lives to break. I personally would have given everything in order to report on the tractor-driving dog.