Two passengers traveling together on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Miami on Oct. 30 were removed before takeoff after one of the women attempted to sneak from coach into first class and hide in the footwell of her friend's seat, Fox News reported. The flight had already been delayed because of a catering issue, according to a witness, who said, "Apparently the plan was for this woman's friend to remain there the entire flight ... [as a stunt to] drive viewers to their YouTube channel." Flight attendants discovered the plot when they noticed an empty seat in coach, and the plane returned to the gate so the two could be removed. The witness reported an unrelated passenger was also removed after he "cussed out" a flight attendant over the delay.

A wrinkle with a dryer

Firefighters with Essex County (England) Fire and Rescue Service were called to a derelict laundromat in Epping on Oct. 30, where three young men had become trapped inside an industrial-sized tumble dryer. Two of them had climbed all the way into the dryer, while the third had managed to get his ankles trapped in the door. Firefighters were joined by Essex Police, a medical helicopter and the ambulance service as they employed "a lot of heavy equipment" to free the men, watch manager Glenn Jackson told Sky News. No word on what they were looking for.

Rise of the machines

A thief in Lippstadt, Germany, was foiled by his own booty on Oct. 27 as he tried to make off with a robotic lawn mower. The Associated Press reported that the robot sent a message to the owner's smartphone, alerting the man that it had been flipped upside down. When the owner went to investigate, he saw the thief with the robot under his arm. Police said the thief then dropped the lawn mower and fled.

A whale of a tale

Julie McSorley of San Luis Obispo, Calif., and her friend Liz Cottriel were enjoying a day of kayaking and whale-watching at Avila Beach on Nov. 2 when they were overturned by a humpback whale that got too close while feeding. "I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball, come up out of the water. ... All of a sudden, I lifted up and I was in the water," McSorley told KMPH. "I thought it was gonna land on me," Cottriel said. Other paddleboarders and kayakers came to their rescue, thinking the whale may have bitten the women, but it merely pushed them underwater. "We got back to the car, I was shaking my shirt and a bunch of fish came out of my shirt," Cottriel said.

A leopard too close

Dwight Turner, 50, is suing the owner of a backyard animal sanctuary in Davie, Fla., after the "full-contact" encounter with a black leopard that he paid $150 for turned into a mauling. Investigators said sanctuary owner Michael Poggi sold Turner time with the leopard to "play with it, rub its belly and take pictures" on Aug. 31, but the leopard attacked as soon as Turner entered its enclosure, leaving his scalp "hanging from his head," WPLG-TV reported. Authorities said Poggi is licensed to have the leopard, but he has been cited by Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation for allowing contact and for maintaining captive wildlife in unsafe conditions.

Send your weird news items with subject line Weird News to