It's been an incredibly weird year for much of the planet. Earlier in the year, having spent much of 2019 saying "I sure can't wait for 2019 to be over," around a third of the population of Earth was in lockdown from a virus running rampant around the world.
Let's forget about that for now, and focus on some of the other weirdest stories from one of the weirdest years of our lifetimes.
People began the year by dipping their balls in soy sauce after learning that testicles have taste receptors
Ah to return to the days when this was the biggest of our concerns. In January, social media users discovered that testicles have taste receptors and vastly misunderstood what that meant.
Before anyone could point out that actually you can also find taste receptors in your stomach, lungs, brain, and anus and yet you taste nothing, people on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube began dipping their balls into soy sauce to see if they could taste it.
While they might be under the illusion that they can taste it, they categorically cannot.
"The study (or any that have followed) hasn’t shown that any animal can actually ’taste’ via these receptors like we’d taste something from the mouth. There is no scientific or medical evidence to back up any claims that men (of any species) can actually taste things through their junk," Dr Kieran Kennedy told Men's Health Australia after the story came out.
"So while the fact that there might be taste receptors in the testicles is pretty damn interesting, it unfortunately doesn’t mean (at least unfortunately for TikTok soy sauce users) there’s any evidence they can actually taste things."
An Iranian minister attempted to pass a child's costume off as a spacesuit
In February, an Iranian minister of information and technology appeared to be unaware of the reverse search image function on Google and attempted to pass off a child's spacesuit costume as an advanced spacesuit.
Which distracted everyone nicely from the rising number of cas— OK let's not ruin the year just yet, forget about The Thing.
An AI camera ruined a football match after mistaking a referee's bald head for a ball
In what is possibly the best AI story of the year, a football team began to use an AI camera to stream their games in real-time for fans at home in lockdown, only to hit one hell of a teething problem: The AI kept mistaking the linesman's shiny bald head for the ball. In excellent footage, the camera kept following the linesman rather than the ball heading goalwards.
A model raised a hell of a lot of money to help fight the wildfires
Australia was hit by devastating wildfires at the beginning of this terrible year. One model stepped up and decided to fight the fire with nudes. Kaylen Ward offered nudes in return for donations and managed to raise an astonishing $500,000.
A bald eagle got killed by taking a loon to the heart
In May the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife published a report about a poor bald eagle that was discovered dead, floating face down in Highland Lake in Bridgton. Following a necropsy, it was discovered that the bird was killed by a badass aquatic bird called a loon. The loon had pierced the eagle's heart with its beak.
Florida police offer to test your meth for coronavirus FOR FREE
The cops in Florida announced they would be testing heroin, cocaine, and meth for free during the Covid-19 crisis, which was touching.
A man was banned from Yellowstone National Park after boiling chickens in a hot spring
In August, a man went to Yellowstone and headed right to a thermal hot spring with the apparent intent to boil two chickens in a burlap sack, which isn't even a nice way to eat chicken. When he was caught boiling the chickens he was fined, put on probation, and banned from Yellowstone for two years. Ideally, he would have also been given cooking lessons, but no such luck.
A court ruled that Subway's bread doesn't legally count as bread
In October a court in Ireland ruled that sandwich chain Subway's bread contains too much sugar to legally count as "bread", meaning that Subway would have to pay more tax on the sandwich products and (ideally) people will now have to ask for "a 6-inch meatball sub on hearty Italian cake".
A wild boar stole a German nudist's laptop
The pictures speak for themselves on this one.
An overzealous paleontology conference banned the word "bone"
One attendee put together a spreadsheet of banned words for the virtual conference, which included "hell", "ass", "pubis", "sexual", "crack", "damn", "beaver" – and "bone". Though not all of these are a problem, palaeontologists do occasionally find pubis bones with cracks in them, which is somewhat of an issue.
And there you have it, the weirdest stories of 2020 in a nutshell. Now brace yourself for 2021.