Revealed: The weirdest stories of 2011 from the world’s fattest woman to a €10m cat
The past year has borne witness to an array of bizarre events from the antics of an American vying to be the world's fattest woman ever to an Italian man who survived a gunshot wound to the head only to sneeze out the bullet through his nostril.
1. 52st mother eats 20,000 calories per day in quest to become world's fattest woman ever
In August, American Susanne Eman stunned readers by declaring her ambition to become the world's fattest woman ever. Already tipping the scales at 52st, the mother-of-two said she hoped to hit the 115st mark by her forties by consuming enough food each week to fill six supermarket trolleys.
2. Guy Gibson: ghost of Dambusters dog 'found' at airbase
A team of paranormal investigators claimed in November that they had made contact with the "spirit" of the dog owned by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the heroic pilot who led the Dambusters raids during the Second World War.
Wing Commander Gibson led the Dambusters raid in 1943 from his base at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, just hours after his black labrador, called Nigger, was run over and killed.
A legend sprung up around Nigger after there were several reported sightings of a black dog seen around the base following his death.
A team of experts given special permission to stake out the operational RAF base, have claimed that the spectre of the dog's spirit may have tried to speak to them as they have picked up activity on their electronic detection equipment.
3. World's hottest chilli contest leaves two in hospital
A 'world's hottest chilli' competition at a curry restaurant left two people in hospital in October.
Emergency services were called to Kismot Restaurant's curry-eating challenge, on St Leonards Place, Edinburgh, after competitors started writhing on the floor in agony, vomiting and fainting during the contest.
One participant, Curie Kim was so ill after sampling the "Kismot Killer" that she had to be taken by ambulance to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary twice in a matter of hours.
4. Daredevil 'Jetman' soars over Alps in latest stunt
We ought to be used to the antics of Yves Rossy by now, but the Swiss adventurer recently shocked the world yet again when he donned a jet suit and flew in formation with two Albatross jets over the Alps.
5. Italian black cat becomes a fat cat after inheriting 10 million euros
A black cat in Italy lived up to its reputation for good luck after inheriting €10 million from his adoptive owner, a widowed heiress.
Four-year-old Tommaso, who was saved from a hardscrabble existence on the mean streets of Rome, Italy, as a kitten, is now the proud owner of cash, shares and a property empire which includes flats and houses in Rome and Milan and land in Calabria.
6. Man finds drunken Moose in apple tree
A moose in Sweden hit headlines in September by becoming stuck in a tree after getting drunk from eating fermented apples. Per Johansson, who helped free the animal, described the experience as 'terrifying'.
7. Husband's penis cut off and thrown in rubbish disposal
Catherine Kieu sent shivers through male readers in July over allegations that she cut off her estranged husband's penis and putting it down a rubbish disposal after an argument over houseguests in southern California.
Police said the 48-year-old drugged a meal and served it to her husband shortly before the attack. The 60-year-old man felt sick and went to lie down but awoke to find himself tied to the bed and Miss Kieu allegedly attacking him with a 10-inch kitchen knife.
8. Breast milk ice cream banned from London shop
An ice cream parlour in London was been forced to stop selling its "Baby Gaga" flavour dessert in March, because it was made with human breast milk.
Matt O'Connor, the founder and owner of The Icecreamists, where the frozen delicacy was sold, said the ice cream proved to be popular with the customers.
However, Westminster Council officials took away samples for testing and later sent a letter to Mr O'Connor ordering him to stop selling the dish.
9. Electrician 'inflated' by pressurised air which 'shot up his bottom' in bizarre factory accident
It emerged in August that electrician Gareth Durrant narrowly escaped death in a horrific and bizarre work accident when he was "inflated" by a pressurised air line which went up his backside.
The 26-year-old was wiring a caravan at the factory where he worked when the large pipe – carrying compressed air at around 300lbs per square inch – shot up his bottom.
He was rushed to hospital where scans revealed a six-inch tear in his bowel and severe damage to his intestines. He then faced hours of emergency surgery to save his life
10. Italian man shot in head sneezes out bullet
Italian Darco Sangermano made a remarkable recovery in January after being shot in the head with a rifle by sneezing out the bullet.
The 28-year-old was hit in the temple by the .22 calibre bullet while wandering with his girlfriend through Naples – a city in Italy notorious for its rowdy New Year celebrations, often involving firearms and powerful fireworks.
The bullet went through the right side of his head, behind his eye socket and lodged in his nasal passage but miraculously did no serious damage.
Bleeding heavily, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance shortly after midnight, but while waiting to be seen by doctors he sneezed and the bullet shot out of his right nostril.