Ever read a news story that made you exclaim, “WHAT?”
We all have -- pretty frequently, too. And 2015 was no exception.
Between all the tragedies, feel-good stories and countless viral videos of the past year, we skimmed over our fair share of head-scratchers. We laughed about them with our friends, shared them on Facebook, and most importantly, wondered how and why we live in such a strange world.
Here are our 10 top picks for the weirdest stories of 2015, in no particular order (because really, how could we even decide? They’re all gold.)
10. Woman pretending to be man charged with sexual assault
In September, Gayle Newland was charged with sexual assault after posing as a man on Facebook and tricking her female friend into having sex with her. The British woman, 25 at the time, used the alias Kye Fortune and required her victim to wear a blindfold every time they were together.
The pair dated for two years, and during every sexual encounter – about ten of them in total -- Newland bound her chest and wore a swimsuit to disguise her feminine features.
— BBC Radio Scotland (@BBCRadioScot) November 13, 2015
The victim only learned “Kye's” true identity when she ripped off her blindfold during one encounter, discovering it was merely Newland wearing a prosthetic penis.
In November, Newland was handed an eight-year jail sentence for her bizarre crime.
9. Rachel Dolezal, former NAACP leader, revealed to be Caucasian
Dolezal made headlines after her biological parents revealed that they were white – meaning that Dolezal is 100% Caucasian, despite leading others on to believe she was black for an extended period of time.
The nation reacted with outrage at Dolezal’s deception but the former African studies lecturer explained that she never lied, and was merely never asked the right questions.
— The College Fix (@CollegeFix) December 15, 2015
She still maintains that she has “identified” as black since childhood, telling The Guardian, “Nothing about whiteness describes who I am.”
8. Owl attacks joggers in Salem, Oregon
A bird eventually named “Owlcapone” by area residents made headlines back in February, after the creature – likely defending its nest – attacked joggers, and in one case, even stole a man’s hat.
After the story broke, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow jokingly suggested on air that the city post vivid yellow signs in Bush's Pasture Park, warning joggers to watch out for the owl.
The humorous sign shows a pedestrian stick figure bent forward, running, while an owl flies above with its claws extended. Salem officials liked the idea and had the signs posted.
7. Man disembowels girlfriend after she says ex’s name during sex
Ah yes, there had to be at least one Florida story here.
Fidel Lopez, 24, was arrested in September, accused of killing and disemboweling his girlfriend after she uttered her ex-husband’s name during sex.
Lopez called 911 after the incident and told the operator his girlfriend, Maria Nemeth, was “going to die.” When officers arrived, they discovered a grisly scene and Lopez next to his girlfriend’s naked body. Blood and body tissue were discovered around the apartment, as well as severe damage indicating a struggle had taken place.
Lopez admitted to detectives that he became a “monster” when Nemeth called out her ex-husband’s name twice during sex.
After becoming violent and enraged, Lopez began breaking things around the apartment. He inserted a beer bottle and a flat iron into his girlfriend’s unconscious body. He then inserted his arm up to his elbow and ripped out part of her intestines.
He was charged with first-degree murder.
But in the odd scenario you don’t remember this gem, the Internet both loved and hated #TheDress.
Ah yes, the worldwide web was truly divided. While some people said the below dress appeared to be gold and white, others swore it was purple and black. And no one could decide -- until the outfit’s true color was finally revealed, that is.
— Sam (@anth3200sam) December 8, 2015
Spoiler: The dress is actually purple and black.
5. Tourists detained in Malaysia for stripping nude atop sacred mountain, allegedly causing earthquake
Five tourists were arrested by Malaysian authorities in June, weeks after stripping down for a photo opportunity atop Mount Kinabulu, a sacred mountain. Just days after the photos were posted online, an earthquake erupted, killing 18 people.
Ten people in total participated in the photo-op.
Authorities maintain that the holidaymakers – who were Canadian, Dutch and German -- were to blame for the disaster, explaining that the earthquake was a “confirmation” Mount Kinabalu was sacred and that people “cannot take it lightly.”
Four of the defendants were ultimately sentenced to three days’ imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 Malaysian ringget (just over $1,100 USD).
4. Woman draws Trump portrait using menstrual blood
This story also broke in September.
An artist in Portland, Oregon, drew a portrait of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump – titled “whatever” -- using her period blood. But why the heck would she do that?
To hit back at Trump and make a statement about his alleged misogyny.
This one starts with Trump making an offensive comment – we know what you’re thinking, “when has Trump EVER said something inappropriate?”
The real estate mogul and TV personality is known for his loud mouth, but one particular comment he made has sparked more backlash than many others.
There was some obvious tension between Trump and Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly one night during the Republican presidential debate which aired on the network.
Post-debate, Trump noted, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever."
Many people assumed Trump was suggesting Kelly must have been on her period during the debate. He later clarified that by “wherever,” he was referring to either Kelly’s nose or ears.
3. Women wanted for “twerking” on complete stranger
In November, officials were looking to track down two women in Washington, D.C. who were seen on surveillance footage forcibly twerking on a man – who clearly wasn’t into it.
The incident happened at a gas station convenience store. One of the two women appears to try and kiss the guy, and even reaches for his pocket at one point.
One of the perpetrators, 22-year-old Ayanna Marie Knight, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse.
2. 53 Chihuahuas found in Baltimore home
Dozens of Chihuahuas were put up for adoption after a woman, who was breeding them and keeping them inside her home, could no longer care for them.
They were surrendered to Baltimore City Animal Control and then turned over to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) to be prepared for adoption.
1. Man shoots woman in the head during “freaky” sex
Another Florida gem.
It’s a story of “freaky sex” with an unintended freaky ending. After consensually retreating into a hotel room, 21-year-old Tyrone Fields and 18-year-old Christina Meagher – who had just met two days prior – began engaging in sexual acts.
But they decided to put a spin on things.
While getting intimate, the duo decided to partake in some role play that required Fields to hold up a gun to Meagher’s head. However, Fields had apparently forgotten to take a bullet out of the gun’s chamber even though he removed the magazine from the handgun.
When he pulled the trigger, Fields fired a bullet into Meagher’s head. She was rushed to a local hospital and later died of her injuries.