Lately, it seems like every magazine page or newspaper column contains a headline so wild, so wacky, so out-there that it’s tough to believe it’s true. While it may feel like little has changed in our day-to-day lives, 2018 has also brought us some of the most salacious, surprising, and altogether shocking news we’ve ever seen—and we’re not even halfway through the year yet.
From unimaginable political stories to unpredictable scientific breakthroughs, 2018 has been a seriously major turning point in every corner of the world. If you need a little excitement in your day, just take a gander at these 50 mind-blowing news items—all of which have already happened just this year alone. And for more wild info about the world around us, check out these 20 Crazy Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.
Doctors Grew a New Ear in a Soldier’s Arm
After Pvt. Shamika Burrage lost her ear in a near-fatal car accident, Army surgeons stepped up to make her a new one. However, instead of creating a prosthetic, Burrage’s new ear was grown from her own cartilage, under the skin on her right forearm, and was successfully attached at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. And for crazy trivia regarding our armed services, check out these 30 Celebrities Who Served in the Military.
13-Year-Old Wakes Up After Being Declared Brain Dead
After a dune buggy accident, 13-year-old Alabama native Trenton McKinley was pronounced brain dead. However, after being brain dead for days, just as his parents were preparing to donate his organs, the teen miraculously began moving his extremities. Even more impressive, following three brain surgeries, McKinley is talking, reading, and even walking again, just two months after his near-fatal accident.
Orange Snow Falls Across Europe
In early 2018, parts of Europe got a picturesque, if peculiar sight: orange snow falling across the eastern part of the continent. While alarming, the orange snow wasn’t actually the result of some kind of chemical or other potential source of harm, but was caused by a low-pressure area moving over North Africa and into Eastern Europe, causing orange sand to mix with water droplets, causing the strange-looking snow. And for more dinner party fodder, check out these 40 Facts So Funny They’re Hard to Believe.
The Golden State Killer Apprehended After 32 Years
32 years after the so-called Golden State Killer committed his last known murder in California, a DNA match was finally made. On April 25, 2018, Joseph DeAngelo Jr., a California-based former police officer, was arrested, thanks to DNA information found via the GEDmatch website. And for more crime facts, check out these 30 Illegal Things Practically Everyone Has Done.
Former FBI Director James Comey Testifies in Front of the Senate Intelligence Committee
The United States has long been rife with political scandal, but few things have been more shocking than former FBI Director James Comey testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Comey spilled additional dirt on the president during an ABC News interview, in which Comey described Donald Trump as “morally unfit” to hold his position. And for more on that matter, well, just see how our correspondent fared on Donald Trump’s cognitive exam.
Colorado Man Survives Both Shark and Bear Attacks
Dylan McWilliams has seen more adventure—and terror—in his 20 years than most people will see in a lifetime. Case in point: less than a year after being attacked by a bear during a camping trip, the Colorado native was bitten by a shark while boogie boarding in Kauai, Hawaii. However, despite his multiple brushes with death, Williams refuses to give up life as an outdoorsman: “I’m not going to let those things change what I want to do,” he told People. And for more wild trivia from the animal kingdom, discover these 40 Amazing Animal Facts.
High School Senior Offered More Than $7 Million in Scholarships
Good grades can get you anywhere in life—just ask Shariah Williams. The Memphis, Tennessee, high school senior made headlines this year when she was accepted to a staggering 149 colleges, who offered her a combined $7.6 million in scholarship money. Maybe she’ll enroll in one of the 20 Most Unbelievably Ridiculous College Courses.
Scientists Erase Alzheimer’s Damage in Human Cells
Approximately 5.7 million people have Alzheimer’s disease in the United States alone. However, 2018 brought some good news to those suffering: researchers at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco were able to change a protein associated with the condition into a less-detrimental form, reversing damage to the affected brain cells in the process. And for more exciting information about your body, check out these 20 Amazing Facts About Your Body.
Boston Dynamics Creates Running Robot
We have robots that make our grocery lists and ones that vacuum our floors, but Boston Dynamics has taken things one step further, creating a robot that can effectively run and jump. While it’s unclear what the potential applications of this technology are, seeing this manmade machine take a human-like jog through a park is impressive, if a bit terrifying. And when you want more insight into what the future could look like, This Is What Life Could Look Like 100 Years From Now.
Amputee Shaquem Griffin Makes the NFL Draft
The NFL just got a little bit more inclusive with the addition of Shaquem Griffin—22-year-old linebacker, born with amniotic band syndrome, which necessitated the amputation of his left hand at age four—to the Seattle Seahawks roster. He was drafted by the Seahawks on April 28, 2018. And for more sports fun, check out these 12 Famous Actors You Forgot Were Once Amazing Athletes.
Bear Gets Ice Cream at Dairy Queen
There are many things you’re bound to encounter at a Dairy Queen drive-thru, from bored teens to hungry kids after soccer practice. One thing most servers don’t get to see is a Kodiak bear eager to get some soft serve, which is exactly what happened in Innisfall, Alberta, when the owners of Discovery Wildlife Park took one of their animals off the property and stopped in for a snack.
Jeff Bezos Creates 10,000 Year Clock
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has caused headlines for his ripped physique lately, but perhaps an even more surprising development was his $42 million investment in the 10,000 Year Clock. The clock, which will live in a hollowed-out West Texas mountain, will reportedly keep time for the next 10,000 years.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Antioxidant Found to Reduce Blood Vessel Aging
2018 was the year scientists may have just discovered the fountain of youth—at least for our blood vessels. Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder found that antioxidant MitoQ can reduce aging in the blood vessels by up to 20 years, potentially increasing the human lifespan in the process.
Hippo Accurately Predicts the Super Bowl
Want to win your Super Bowl bet next year? It might be a good idea to get a hippo on your side. Fiona, a hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo, made waves when she accurately predicted this year’s Eagles victory at the big game.
Mice Successfully Treated With Engineered Human Cells
Diabetes research advanced in a major way this year when researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center managed to treat diabetes in mice. Using engineered human tissue, the researchers made advances that may one day lead to the transplantation of organs using a host’s own regenerated tissue.
Katy Perry and Taylor Swift Made Up
After a years-long feud, pop stars Katy Perry and Taylor Swift did the seemingly impossible in 2018: the pair made up. Swift posted a shot of a card sent to her by Perry (which included an actual olive branch) in which Perry admits she’s “deeply sorry” for what transpired between the two former friends.
Dr. Dre Loses Trademark Lawsuit to Actual Doctor
After gynecologist Dr. Draion M. Burch, who also goes by Dr. Drai, tried to trademark his name, he found himself in a surprising legal battle against rapper Dr. Dre. Over three years, the rapper tried to argue that Dr. Drai might try to capitalize on his fame, only to lose, giving the real doctor a license to use his nickname for business purposes.
Scientists Implant Human Brain Cells Into Mice
The future of neuroscience is happening as we speak, thanks to researchers who managed to implant human brain cells into mice this year. Over time, this may teach us more about the workings of the human brain and may help doctors repair damaged brain tissue in the future.
Rudy Giuliani Admits Trump Repaid Lawyer for Stormy Daniels Pay-Off
After multiple denials from Trump’s camp, Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed that the president had repaid his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 Cohen had used to keep adult film star Stormy Daniels quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. Never before has such a brazen statement been made on live news programming.
Scientists Create “Everything Repellent”
We’ve got sunblock and bug repellent, but now, scientists have done us one better with “everything repellent.” Created by researchers at the University of Michigan, this product would repel virtually every liquid known to man, protecting everything from sofas to smartphones.
Barbra Streisand Clones Her Dead Dog
In addition to her singing and acting careers, Barbra Streisand has a new claim to fame: as the pet parent to two cloned dogs. In March, 2018, Streisand admitted to Variety that she missed her dog, Samantha, so much that she’d had two new dogs created using her cells.
Man Eats 30,000th Big Mac
Think you love fast food? You’ve got nothing on Wisconsin resident Don Gorske, who consumed his 30,000th Big Mac this year. The 64-year-old is such a big fan of the McDonald’s burger that he’s eaten approximately two a day for the past 46 years.
Scientists Prepare to Create Neanderthal Mini Brains
Our understanding of human development will soon be more advanced than ever, thanks to an upcoming experiment from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. Researchers at the Institute are creating miniature brains using Neanderthal DNA in a bid to understand how human consciousness has developed.
Virginia Man Wins Lottery After Numbers Come to Him in a Dream
Some people are just born lucky, like Victor Amole of Virginia. After lottery numbers came to him in a dream, Amole bought four Cash 5 tickets and played using the exact same number combo, winning a staggering $400,000 in the process.
Computer Transcribes Words Without Sound
Dictation has just gotten a whole lot more advanced. In April, 2018, researchers at MIT debuted a computer interface that can transcribe words a person is thinking—and as such, giving tiny physical cues to indicate—even if they don’t actually say the words aloud.
Scientists Bring Pig Brains Back to Life
Have you ever wondered what life after death might look like? Well, researchers may have just figured that out. Yale neuroscientist Nenad Sestan and his colleagues have managed to reanimate pig brains following their slaughter for up to 36 hours, using a technology called BrainEx.
North Carolina Restaurant Perfects the Tarantula Burger
Think your taste is adventurous? Then you’ll love the menu at Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, North Carolina, where you can now get a roasted tarantula atop your burger.
Hobby Lobby Returns 3,800 Smuggled Artifacts
Craft giant Hobby Lobby’s smuggling days are behind them. After being caught with 3,800 illegal artifacts, the retail chain returned the antiquities to Iraq, from which they had been unlawfully removed for use in the chain’s Bible Museum.
Robot Runs for Mayor in Japan
In pursuit of a better, less corrupt political structure, a robot named Michihito Matsuda ran for mayor in Tokyo’s Tama City. While Matsuda lost to the incumbent, the robot still managed to get 4,000 votes.
Family Brings Home Bobcats Instead of Kittens
Bringing home a new pet can be a nerve-wracking experience—especially when you bring home the wrong one. That’s just what happened to a family in Texas, who believed they had adopted abandoned Bengal cats, only to discover their new kitties were actually bobcats.
Scientists Train Spider to Jump on Demand
Arachnophobes, beware: 2018 was the year that researchers at the University of Manchester taught a spider to jump on command. The spider, named Kim, demonstrated skill in 15 different jumping tasks assigned to her, moving up, down, and from side-to-side.
Woman Arrested After Sending Date 65,000 Texts
Think you’ve had a bad date or two? Your experience likely pales in comparison to the poor man who went on a single date with 31-year-old Phoenix resident Jacqueline Ades, who was arrested in May after sending 65,000 texts—many of them harassing—to the object of her of her affection.
New York Tiger Turns Out to Be Raccoon
If you’re a lifelong resident of New York City, you probably see three kinds of animals on a regular basis: pigeons, rats, and dogs. Unfortunately, a lack of experience with animals led to a misidentification in Harlem on April 12, when police responded to reports of a tiger roaming the streets. The only problem? It was just an oversized raccoon.
Boston University Student Breaks Joggling Record
A Boston University student has set a new world record for a sport most people don’t even know exists: joggling. On May 8th, student Zach Prescott managed to run a mile in just 4 minutes, 43.2 seconds, all while juggling a trio of lacrosse balls.
Woman Plays Flute While Undergoing Brain Surgery
Multitaskers got some serious inspiration this year, courtesy of Anna Henry. While she was concerned that she might never play again due to a hand tremor, the 63-year-old flautist managed to play her instrument of choice during brain surgery.
3D Printer Prints on Skin
3D printing is no longer just for making models and toys. In fact, researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered a new application: printing on skin. On April 25, 2018, a 3D printer successfully printed on human skin for the first time, offering a wide variety of medical applications in the future.
Texas Man Steals $1.2 Million Worth of Fajitas
Think you love fajitas? Not as much as Gilberto Escamilla, a former employee at the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center in San Benito, Texas, who was recently sentenced to 50 years in prison for stealing 1.2 million worth of fajitas from a food supplier to the detention center.
Book Returned to Library After 47 Years
Lost library books are a fact of life. However, a particularly conscientious individual wouldn’t let that deter them, managing to return a copy of Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice to the San Francisco Public Library, from which the book had been missing for a shocking 47 years.
Man Wins $4.38 Million on Free Lottery Ticket
Anyone who thinks you never truly get something for free in life should tell that to Davenport, Iowa, resident Chuck Anderson. After purchasing a Powerball ticket, Anderson was given a free Lotto America ticket at a Kwik Star store in his hometown, and ended up winning a massive $4.38 million from it. To increase your own chances, these are the most common Powerball winning numbers.
Space Station Gets Sprouting Onion
Space food just got a whole lot more flavorful in 2018. This year, the International Space Station is now home to a sprouting onion, its green top a renewable source of flavor for future ISS cuisine.
School Brings Live Tiger to Prom
Most high schools are hard-pressed to get a live DJ for their prom. However, at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, students got an impressive dance floor accessory: a live tiger. However, after a serious online backlash, the school apologized for bringing the caged cat to the dance.
R. Kelly’s Music Removed From Spotify and Pandora
After years of investigations into his personal life, including multiple allegations he’s at the helm of a cult that dabbles in human trafficking, R. Kelly got some professional comeuppance for his behavior. In 2018, Spotify removed his music from their recommended algorithm and the playlists the company owns and manages, while Pandora removed his music from new playlists as well as their advertising and social media accounts.
German Supermarket Serves Buffalo Worm Burgers
Move over, crickets: if you’re looking for a more sustainable source of protein, look no further than the buffalo worm. In 2018, Netherlands-based company Bugfoundation rolled out buffalo worm burgers, touting them as a healthy, sustainable alternative to traditional beef patties.
Woman Discovers Runny Nose Is Actually Brain Fluid
Nebraska woman Kendra Jackson got an unpleasant surprise when she discovered that her runny nose was more than just the result of seasonal allergies. In fact, after meeting with a specialist at Omaha’s Nebraska Medicine, Jackson was told that she had actually been leaking half a pint of brain fluid each and every day since 2013.
MIT Builds Self-Driving Car Capable of Navigating Unmapped Roads
No GPS? No problem! 2018 was the year that MIT researchers managed to build a car that not only drives itself, but is capable of navigating previously unmapped country roads.
Bill Cosby Convicted of His Crimes
After years of accusations about his serial sexual assaults, once-beloved actor Bill Cosby got his just desserts this year. The 80-year-old former Cosby Show star was convicted of three counts of sexual assault for an attack that occurred in 2004, and may face up to 10 years in prison on each count.
Paris Museum Opens Its Doors to Nudists
If you love art but hate clothing, the Palais de Tokyo may have just solved your problem for you. In May, the contemporary art museum opened its doors to nudists for the first time, inviting them to enjoy the museum in their birthday suits for a single special event.
Mummified Monkey Remains Found in Minnesota Department Store
Purses and cosmetics aren’t the only things you find in department stores these days. In fact, in April, a mummified monkey carcass was found in the air vents in a Minneapolis department store, although his origin remains unknown.
Tumbleweeds Take Over California Town
Tumbleweeds aren’t just an ominous set piece in western movies. In fact, in April, tumbleweeds all but took over the California town of Victorville, where, following particularly strong winds, tumbleweeds piled up to seven feet high throughout the town, temporarily trapping many residents in their homes.
Ice Age Horse Discovered
While some people find remnants of their home’s previous residents when they do landscaping projects, a Utah family found something even more impressive: an Ice Age horse. A family in Lehi, Utah, discovered the well-preserved, but not fossilized, horse when landscapers dug up their yard; the skeleton is currently being excavated by paleontologists. And for more wild info about the world around us, check out these 20 Crazy Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.
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