Staff at the Martin County (Fla.) Correctional Institute spied some suspicious activity on the morning of Dec. 16. Around 1:30 a.m., a drone was spotted hovering over an inmate housing center, while at the same time, a black pickup truck rolled slowly in front of the center. The Tampa Bay Times reported officers stopped the truck and questioned Concetta Didiano, 22, and her mother, Cassandra Kerr, 40, who said they had driven the 200 miles from their home in Tampa so Didiano could learn how to drive the truck. But Kerr's husband is an inmate at the facility, and after a drone and a package of contraband — tobacco and mobile phones — turned up near the front gate of the prison, Kerr came clean: "I did it. The remote and iPad are in the back seat." Both Didiano and Kerr have been charged with introducing contraband into a correctional center.
Havana resident Pepe Casanas, 78, has discovered a tried-and-true way to treat his rheumatism pain: Once a month for the past 10 years, Casanas seeks out a blue scorpion, which is endemic to Cuba, and lets it sting him. "I put the scorpion where I feel pain," Casanas told Reuters. After the sting, "It hurts for a while, but then it calms and goes and I don't have any more pain." Researchers have confirmed that the scorpion's venom has anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects. It may even delay cancer growth in some patients. A Cuban pharmaceutical company has been selling a homeopathic pain remedy called Vidatox, made from the scorpion venom, but Casanas, a former tobacco farmer, takes the simpler route. He sometimes keeps a scorpion under his straw hat for luck, where he says it likes the shade and humidity.
The Daily Mail reported on Dec. 14 that a Chinese man identified only as Peng, 37, was hospitalized in Zhangzhou, Fujian province, after he complained of a cough and chest pains. As doctors examined him, Peng admitted that he is "addicted to smelling his socks that he had been wearing." The pain in his chest, it turns out, was a fungal infection he had inhaled from his socks. While Peng is expected to make a full recovery, other people 'fessed up on Chinese social media that they have the same habit: "The reason I smell my socks is to know if I can continue wearing them the next day!" one commenter said.
Diner's rare find
Retired hospitality executive Rick Antosh, 66, of Edgewater, N.J., was enjoying a plate of oysters at Grand Central's Oyster Bar in New York City when he felt something hard in his mouth. "I just all of a sudden felt something like a tooth or a filling, and it's terrifying," Antosh told PIX11 News. But when he looked at it, he realized it was a pearl. Antosh called over the floor manager to ask how often such a discovery happens and was told he'd never heard of it before. Antosh has not had the pearl appraised, but early estimates say it could be worth $2,000 to $4,000.
Mistaken for Bigfoot
The Helena (Mont.) Independent Record reported that a 27-year-old man was shot at repeatedly Dec. 16 after being mistaken for Bigfoot. The unidentified man told police he was setting up targets for shooting on federal land when bullets struck the ground nearby. He ran for cover, then confronted the shooter, who said the first man "was not wearing orange and thought he was Bigfoot," said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. The cryptid impersonator described the shooter's vehicle to police but didn't want to press charges, asking only that the shooter be lectured about safe shooting.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.