OUT OF PLACE
Earlier this year, one Florida couple discovered an unapptizing bonus in a newly purchased package of salad greens: a dead bat. While most bats are primarily insectivores, the fuzzy surprise was discovered nestled among the romaine, arugula and radicchio spring mix. The horrified customers sought treatment for rabies, but thankfully neither showed signs of infection. Still no word on how the creature wound up in the typically mammalfree fare.
A quiet stretch of British countryside turned chaotic when 30-plus cattle staged an impromptu sit-in at Hever railway station, a little over an hour southeast of London. The horde—which wandered over from a nearby farm—mobbed the platform, shocking onlookers and delaying train traffic by nearly an hour. A response team of Network Rail staff eventually negotiated the group’s removal. Tensions rose as one clumsy bovid tumbled back onto the tracks, but the entire herd was eventually led safely back to pasture.
This past April, on a United Airlines flight from Houston to Calgary, an eight-legged stowaway made a grand entrance. Despite United’s strict passenger manifest, a scorpion—around six centimetres of undocumented legs, pincers and stinger—bided its time in the overhead compartment before plunging into passenger Richard Bell’s hair. Bell plucked the arachnid from his head and placed it on his seatback tray, then tried to move the beast and was stung on the hand. Fellow passengers leaped into action: one crushed the attacker and another, who was a nurse, gave Bell anti-inflammatory medication. Scorpions are rarely dangerous to humans, but Bell received medical attention upon landing just in case. It seems any poison carried must have been within TSA guidelines.