From talking ducks to scary croissants: 2021's weirdest news

Take a break with some of the lighter headlines of the year


Published: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 11:53 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 11:54 AM

How we laughed in 2021! Yes, the year was plagued by Covid, fires and floods... but it did throw up some weird and wonderful news to lift the spirits.

Here is a selection:

No place to go

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

There was only so long US Secret Service agents guarding Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner could hold on...

Donald Trump’s seemingly favourite child and her millionaire partner refused to let agents use any of the “6.5 bathrooms” in their Washington mansion, it was revealed days before her father left the White House in January.

Instead, they had to use the toilet at Barack and Michelle Obama’s nearby home.

Fuelling fire

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Yoshiro Mori resigned as Tokyo Olympics chief in February after the former premier declared that the trouble with women is... they talk too much.

Mori later apologised, saying: “I don’t speak to women much.”

Alive... again

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

An Indian man declared dead after a motorcycle crash began to move on an autopsy table as doctors got ready to open him up.

“The emergency medical officer examined him. He did not find any signs of life and hence declared him dead,” said Rajendra Kumar, the hospital’s medical superintendent.

Fishy business

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Taiwan pleaded with people to stop changing their name after scores changed theirs to “Salmon Prince” and “Salmon Fried Rice” to take advantage of an April sushi chain giveaway for people whose name contained the Chinese characters for the fish.

Taiwan allows people to officially change their name up to three times. But officials dealing with the phenomenon — dubbed 'Salmon Chaos' by local media — were not amused.

Just for laughs

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

US First Lady Jill Biden, a notorious prankster who once stuffed herself into an overhead locker on Air Force Two when her husband was vice president, disguised herself as a flight attendant on Air Force One to hand out ice cream to reporters on April Fools’ Day.

“I’ve always believed you’ve got to steal the joyful moments when you can,” she wrote in her 2019 memoir.

That's not pretty

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

The reigning “Mrs World” was arrested after pulling the crown off the head of her successor as “Mrs Sri Lanka” and smashing her dressing room mirror after the ceremony in Colombo turned ugly.

Caroline Jurie had forcibly removed the winner’s crown, claiming the other woman was a divorcee and not qualified to win the title.

Double trouble

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

A Canadian lawmaker who appeared stark naked on a House of Commons Zoom conference call was caught on camera six weeks later peeing into a coffee cup during a virtual committee meeting.

“Obviously I’m embarrassed,” Liberal MP William Amos said.

Amos, 46, announced he was “temporarily” stepping down from some of his parliamentary duties while continuing to represent his constituency. He added that he would seek “assistance” but did not specify what that would be.

Quacking good

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Science was rocked in September by news that ducks can talk — and they are quacking good impersonators.

Biologists said they can parrot human speech and even imitate the sound of a door closing.

In other news

  • A woman in Quebec stopped by police walking a man on a leash during a coronavirus curfew insisted “she was walking her dog”, which was permitted under the rules.
  • South Korean officials issued a reminder to pregnant women to have enough pressed shirts, socks and underpants and frozen meals ready for their husbands when they are away in hospital giving birth.
  • A “dangerous-looking animal” in a tree that struck terror into a quiet street in Krakow, Poland, turned out to be a croissant blowing in the wind.
  • The French town of Bitche had its Facebook page taken down after the US tech giant thought its name was an insult.
  • A Taiwanese bank clerk married four times in a month so he could max out the country’s statutory eight days of paid holidays for newlyweds.
  • Kosovo surgeon Skender Telaku removed a mobile phone from the stomach of a prisoner without cutting him open after he swallowed it to hide it from prison guards. Luckily the phone did not ring during the delicate procedure.
  • A Danish artist given $84,000 to make artworks out of banknotes pocketed the cash and sent the gallery two blank canvasses entitled, “Take the Money and Run”.
  • A man under house arrest in Italy on drug offences pleaded with police to lock him up because he couldn’t bear being stuck at home with his wife. Police made the 30-year-old Albanian’s day by jailing him.
  • Scientists in Scotland have invented the DogPhone, which will allow bored Beagles or yappy Yorkies to call their owners for a chat anytime they feel the need. Never fear, the owners can always put them on paws.


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