Odd news 2018: The strangest yarns from around the world

Every year it seems the world is getting stranger and less predictable.

Many have blamed the rise of social media and the increasing gap between reality and what many of us believe. Others suggest the switching on of the Large Hadron Collider sent us down a dark timeline which was never meant to happen.

Either way, the growing absurdity of modern life has made for some killer headlines. Here are Newshub's top 10 of 2018 from around the globe.

White House uploads 'awesome' video game violence montage


An incredible entry in the 'politicians don't understand gaming' annals. In March, the White House unveiled a horrifying, blood-spattered video showcasing extreme game violence, including scenes from Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fallout 4, Wolfenstein: The New Order and Sniper Elite 4.

Gamers loved it, and it quickly became one of the White House's most-viewed videos on YouTube. Newsweek went so far as to call it "awesome", which was probably not what the Trump administration had in mind.

Charles Dion McDowell and David Samuelson Jr.
Charles Dion McDowell and David Samuelson Jr. Photo credit: YouTube/supplied

Charles 'Wide Neck' McDowell meets his polar opposite - a guy with an extremely skinny neck

When Charles McDowell's mugshot was uploaded to a community police Facebook page in November, the internet took notice - he had a neck that would put even Dwayne Johnson to shame.

Also taking notice was David Samuelson Jr, aka @damnlongneck. The pair started beefing online, before meeting in real life to spread the word that "all necks matter" in the cutest video starring an alleged drug dealer Newshub saw all year.

'Risk of death' for drug suspect who refuses to poop

A suspect accused of drug possession managed to avoid charges in March after police failed to find any on him - after 47 days of waiting for him to poop them out.

And because it's 2018, the police kept the public informed via Twitter with a slightly inappropriate hashtag: #poowatch.

Fired cops claim mice ate half-tonne of missing marijuana

Six tonnes were seized in 2016, but only 5.5 tonnes remained when it was weighed in April this year. The police's explanation - that mice ate it - didn't fool their sober superiors, and eight lost their jobs.

No need for a probe: Uranus stinks, astronomers confirm

Like farts and rotten eggs, apparently. Not sure if this would have made the list - or even the news at all - if it was Saturn or Jupiter, but Uranus? Who could resist?

Yanny or Laurel? The audio clip which has the internet divided

In 2018 Western civilisation ran out of things to argue about, so we settled for screaming obscenities at each other over whether a short, distorted recording on a vocabulary site was saying 'Laurel' or 'Yanny'.

For the record it was 'Laurel', and the dress was blue and black.

Egyptian Ministry of Antiques' sarcophagus
The sarcophagus. Photo credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiques.

Huge Egyptian sarcophagus will be opened, despite warnings from doomsdayers 

Anyone who grew up watching Indiana Jones movies braced for the worst when an enormous black sarcophagus was found buried beneath an Egyptian street in July.

Tensions ramped up when the incredibly brave Egyptian authorities said hell yes, they'd be opening it.

But the only horror that emerged from the 2000-year-old tomb was the fact people on the internet wanted to drink the sewage inside of it.

A performing dolphin man.
A performing dolphin man. Photo credit: NBC

NBC cuts from announcing John McCain's death to obese dolphin-men kissing

Because it's 2018, not even the death of an elder statesman from a more civil time in politics could escape from descending into farce.

Coverage of John McCain's funeral in August was derailed when NBC News broke from its "regular programming" to report the Republican veteran had died, then cut straight back to two men in dolphin masks kissing.

California girls bake grandfather's ashes into cookies, hand them out at school

In October, a high school student in California reportedly baked her grandfather's ashes into cookies and gave them out at school.

"If you ever ate sand as a kid, you know, you can kind of feel it crunching in between your teeth, so there was a little tiny bit of that," one unintentional high school cannibal told local media.

Amanda Teague
Amanda Teague is a Jack Sparrow impersonator, and said her ghost husband, Jack, looks just like Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean character. Photo credit: Triangle News

Woman marries 'soul mate' 18th century pirate ghost

21st century men proved again and again throughout 2018 they weren't worthy of women's affection, so it shouldn't have been a surprise when a Northern Irish woman gave up on them altogether and decided to marry a 300-year-old pirate ghost instead.

She didn't dive straight in, checking the internet to make sure she wasn't the first person to think Ghost was a documentary.

The phantom's commitment to monogamy sealed the deal - but it wasn't to last, with the supernatural couple later splitting up, the woman warning ghost marriage was "not something to mess with".

Should have stuck with Patrick Swayze.