A humpback whale that somehow wound up in the middle of the Amazon jungle, a fat rat that became an viral star, and a talking gargoyle at America's most infamous airport were among the strange and usual stories to pop up on our radar this week.
For the past few years, we've been increasingly impressed by Denver International Airport's surprising embrace of its reputation in conspiracy circles as an alleged secret headquarters for sinister organizations or nefarious aliens. The site provided a good chuckle again this week when they replaced their iconic gargoyle statues with an animatronic version that chats with travelers. By way of the wonderfully weird installation, the facility may have pulled off something more unbelievable than the wildest conspiracy theory: an airport that you actually want to visit.
In one of the weirder star turns we've seen in quite some time, a fat rat in Germany became an overnight sensation online thanks to a fantastic photo of the poor creature stuck in a manhole cover. The rotund rodent's rescue at the hands of a team of firefighters and animal welfare workers seemingly captured the imagination of the public thanks to the uplifting nature of the odd extrication which served as a reminder that even the lowliest of animals are worthy of compassion and, when needed, a helping hand from us humans.
By far the most mind-bending story of the week arrived on our desk by way of the Amazon rainforest, where the body of a fairly massive humpback whale was inexplicably found in the middle of the jungle. Measure a whopping 36 feet long, the enormous carcass was somehow transported around 50 feet from the ocean and dropped into a remote region of Brazil's Marajo Island. Although scientists say that the creature's remarkable journey was most likely the result of a powerful storm, we still haven't crossed aliens off our list of suspects.
For more strange and unusual stories from the past week, check out our offerings at the Coast to Coast AM website.