From The Daily Telegraph:
From flying penguins to lewd logos, tiny girls to confusing crop circles, 2008 has been a busy year for weird news. Here are the top ten “How About That” stories that got readers clicking:
Telegraph.co.uk first reported on the curious case of the ‘tree man of Java’ in 2007, but public interest in the Indonesian fisherman’s condition and treatment ensured that he remained one of the most viewed stories in 2008. Dede has now had most of the bark-like growths covering his hands and feet removed, enabling him to hold a pen and walk unaided for the first time in years. He now hopes to find a wife.
Jyoti Amge is a 15 years old, but is just 1ft 1in tall and weighs only 11lb. The Indian teenager suffers from a rare form of dwarfism called achondroplasia and will grow no further, but is not embarrassed by her condition. She studies at the local school – albeit at a specially made miniature desk – and has the same hobbies as other girls her age. “I eat like you, dream like you. I don’t feel any different,” she said.
Raffella Fico, who appeared on the Italian version of Big Brother, sparked headlines across the world when she offered to sell her virginity to the highest bidder. Her family stepped in to defend the 20-year-old model when sceptics suggested she may not be as innocent as she made out. “She’s never had a boyfriend. I swear on my mother’s grave. She’s a devout Catholic and prays to Padre Pio every night,” her brother said.
Edward Smith suffers from “mechaphilia”, and he’s not shy about discussing his passion. The 57-year-old lives with his current “girlfriend” – a white Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla – and says that his most intense sexual experience was “making love” to the helicopter from 1980s TV hit Airwolf. He has not had a relationship with a woman for 12 years.