x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Obama denies Mars trip, and ET goes swimming

Plus, a new species of crab is dubbed "The Hoff", Mountain Dew claims to be able to dissolve a mouse before it can reach consumers, and more news you can lose.

The White House has issued an official denial that President Barack Obama was teleported to Mars in the early 1980s as part of a secret CIA experiment.

The office of the president was responding to claims by two men that they were also part of a team of special trained government agents who made a number of trips to the Red Planet, using a "jump room".

The object of the experiment was to establish US sovereignty on the planet, the men claim.

A spokesman for President Obama denied he had ever been to Mars, adding "only if you count watching Marvin the Martian".


Crotchety croc

A lawnmower is recovering after it was attacked and dragged underwater by a large saltwater crocodile.

"Elvis", a five metre crocodile living at a wildlife park near Sydney, Australia, grabbed the lawnmower from its operator, pulled it under water, then sat on it for several hours.

His keepers believe that the reptile had been drawn to the lawnmower by the noise it was making.

Elvis is described as a "big territorial male" who was originally captured after attacking fishing boats in Darwin Harbour.

He has "extraordinary large teeth" and lives alone after eating his first two mates. After the crocodile was lured away with kangaroo meat, the lawnmower was dragged out of the water and taken away for repairs.


Star in a shell

A newly discovered species of crab has been named "The Hoff" because of the excessive amount of hairs on its chest.

Scientists said the crustaceans reminded them of the Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff, best known for performing shirtless in the 1990s TV series.

The crabs were discovered in huge numbers living around volcanic vents in the South Atlantic ocean around the island of South Georgia and are related to yeti crabs. In due course they will also be given a more formal scientific name.


He came home …

Called out to recover a body seen floating in the sea off southern England, rescuers discovered instead a life-size model of ET, the alien star of the eponymous film directed by Steven Spielberg.

Police inquiries revealed the model had been stolen from the nearby home of Margaret Wells, 76, in September. The replica had been made by Mrs Wells's daughter nine years ago and has been returned to her, minus a finger.

Mrs Wells said: "I always knew ET would come home."


Mouse or no mouse?

The makers of Mountain Dew have disputed a claim by a man that he found a dead mouse in a can of the soft drink, on the grounds that the liquid would have already dissolved the corpse.

Lawyers for PepsiCo are defending the company against damages from an American man who says he spat out a dead mouse after drinking Mountain Dew in 2009.

They are seeking more time to prepare their case, saying the man's story cannot be true because Mountain Dew would cause any mouse to disintegrate soon after bottling.