World's Weirdest Home News
Sometimes the strangest stories are the ones we read in black and white. Here, the home improvement edition
Ever read a headline and find yourself checking the front page of your newspaper to make sure you didn't accidentally pick up The Onion? From freak accidents to manmade muck-ups, sometimes the strangest stories are the ones we read in good old black and white. We proudly offer you a compilation of exactly those types of stories—the home improvement edition. Enjoy—and take heed.
There are some things that should never be cooked in the microwave. Such things include your PJs. Australian newspaper The Herald Sun reported that an elderly woman's Queensland home went up in flames after she nuked her pajamas, perhaps in an effort to dry them after a spill or warm them before bedtime. The woman was unharmed in the fire, but it took firefighters 40 minutes to control the blaze. Read all about microwave safety and cooking at usda.gov. And check out our Fire Safety tips, too.
There are a few precautions you can take to prevent home break-ins. But what to do when you come home to find your entire house missing? That's just what happened to the owner of a double-wide, prefabricated mobile home in Ontario, Canada. Police discovered the stolen building, valued at about CAN$30,000, a short distance from where it was taken. The perpetrator was charged with theft and mischief, but not before he presented police with forged ownership documents.
Anne Diamond never believed in haunted houses. That is, until a ghost tried to sell her a home with a view of Warwick Castle in England. Diamond fell in love with the large, detached Victorian after the elderly owner let her in for a tour. But when she called the broker that same day to make an offer, she learned that the owner had died weeks before. "They found her lying on the living room floor; she'd been dead for two weeks," a passing postman explained to the would-be homebuyer. In the end, Diamond passed on her dream house.
Sometimes the calling to build is just too, well, divine. Self-taught carpenter and landscape architect Horace Burgess started his 100-foot-tall, ten story structure in Crossville, Tennessee, after "receiving a revelation from God." Now, the Guinness Book of World Records wants to name it the largest tree house in the world. To confirm the title, Burgess must measure every inch of the structure and vows to keep adding to the building if his title is ever threatened.
They say porch living is coming back into vogue. A runaway baboon, likely from Six Flags Great Adventure's Monkey Jungle Safari in New Jersey, was found in Howell Township on July 2, 2011. After a whirlwind tour of a local golf course and Interstate 95, the wayward primate was captured while relaxing hanging out on someone's back porch. Six Flags park officials report that the animal made it back to the "jungle" unharmed and in good health.
A "hungry and unfriendly" pet boa constrictor named Diva went missing on June 30, 2011, sparking a frantic police hunt—and alerts to residents of Ipswich, England, residents to keep children and pets indoors. The owner, who claimed that the 7-foot-long reptile broke the lock on its cage to escape because it was breeding season, found Diva right at home under the kitchen sink the following day.
Is it the '70s again? Because one hot tub seems to be attracting some particularly hirsute bathers. A homeowner in Longwood, Florida, was "freaked out" to see a black bear walk right through her pool deck screening "like it was butter." After testing the water a bit with his paw, the bear settled in for a nice, relaxing soak. "It looked like he knew what he was doing," the homeowner told the Orlando Sentinel.
Sure, we have a few tips for delaying bulb burnout, but the lightbulb pictured here has been burning continuously, with the exception of power outages, since 1901. It lives in a Livermore, California, firehouse and the bulb's longevity has baffled scientists. But now, the Guinness Book of World Records has declared it the oldest known working lightbulb.
It's hard enough to get an appliance repair person to come out when your washing machine breaks down, but you're certainly going to have a no-show if your problem started with your drunken misuse of a loaded weapon. British free newspaper reported that a 21-year-old intoxicated woman attempted to shoot her husband during an argument in their home. Instead she shot the washing machine—which caused the house to flood. The couple is now involved in divorce proceedings.
Josh Ferrin and his family thought they'd gotten a good deal when they purchased their first home in Bountiful, Utah, from the estate of an elderly man who had passed away. But then, according to The Huffington Post, Ferrin found 8 small metal boxes hidden in the attic of the house, and a good deal turned into a jackpot. The boxes contained roll after roll of money—totaling $45,000. Ferrin thought about paying his bills and buying a new car, but in the end, decided to give the money back to the man's six children.