Category: Viral

Each day, all across the globe, thousands of trinkets and other mysterious finds wash up on shore. However, not all of them are as gruesome as what forensic scientists and detectives are investigating along the coast of Japan.

Last weekend a ghost ship washed up on the shores of Oga, Akita Prefecture during the early morning hours. More surprising than the shipwreck itself was what was found on board. The boat contained eight decomposing bodies scattered throughout the nearly 23-foot-long vessel. While initially believed to be a fishing boat that went off course, when the ship was recovered, there were no signs of fishing equipment.

After discovering the wooden ship, the conditions of the passengers would really throw a wrench in investigators’ gears.

The fact that many of their skeletons were bare suggests that they were already halfway through the stages of decomposition in the active decay process. During active decay, much of the body’s tissues are lost through liquefaction caused by microorganisms. Because of the condition of the bodies, there is no way to determine the age or sex of the crew members on sight alone.

While much of the mystery surrounding the ghost ship is still unknown, it is widely speculated that the ship in question is from North Korea.

The Japanese coastguard has confirmed that during the time of the ship’s landing, there were no Japanese ships reported missing. Another clue to the origins of the boat lies in a packet of cigarettes found inside the boat. It is believed that the cigarettes in question were produced in North Korea.

However, the washing ashore of the ghost ship is only the latest in unusual happenings along Japan’s coast.

Just days before the ghost ship’s arrival, another North Korean boat washed ashore just a few miles away from the most recent shore discovery. This time, however, eight men were found hovering along the marina at night. It is believed that the boat drifted into port after the ship’s engine broke down. Members of the Japanese coast guard also rescued three crew members earlier last month after their boat sank nearly 180 miles from shore. The rest of the 15-passenger crew was lost at sea.

It is reported that in 2017 alone, there have been nearly 40 incidents involving people and/or ships washing ashore along the coast of Japan. Over the last five years, that number is believed to be well over 500.

While it is not 100 percent clear that all these boats are from North Korea, if true, these ghost ships paint a horrifying picture of what it’s like living under the rule of Kim Jong-Un, desperate to get out.

According to director of Asian Studies at the Japan campus of Temple University, Jeff Kingston, North Korea is in the middle of a serious food shortage. It is reported that leaders of the country are forcing their fishermen to delve deeper into the unexplored water in order to produce bountiful catches. However, the poor conditions of the country’s vessels, in addition to the Sea of Japan’s rough waters, may be to blame for the overabundance of ships washing ashore in Japan. Others have speculated that the ships are containing refugees who had hopes of escaping the cruel dictatorship of Kim Jong-Un.

(via USA Today and IFL Science)

If these are just the reports of vessels that have made it to shore, I wonder how many more have been lost forever in the depths.

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In 2013, six former Bosnian Croat officials were given prison sentences after being convicted for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims, including rape and murder, that took place during the Croat-Bosniak War in the early 1990s.

Slobodan Praljak, former assistant defense minister of Croatia and commander of the Croatian Defense Council, had helped secure weapons and ammunition for the Croatian Defense Council army. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In an appeal hearing for the six convicted war criminals on November 29, Praljak stood before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands. When the judge upheld his sentence, the 72-year-old pulled out a small vial he’d sneaked in and drank from it, stating the liquid inside was poison.

After yelling he wasn’t a war criminal and that he rejected the verdict, Praljak swallowed the unidentified liquid. Watch the courtroom footage below.


(via Huffington Post and CNN)

The judge immediately suspended the hearings, with authorities declaring the courtroom a crime scene. Praljak was taken by ambulance to a hospital in The Hague, but he died shortly after.

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Just when I think I know all there is to know about cute animals, the world continues to amaze me.

I’ve been writing on the internet for a long time — I know all about the potto, the pangolin, and the dik-dik. Add to that your run of the mill kittens and puppers, and I’m drowning in almost too much adorable to handle. Almost.

Enter the aardwolf, the cutest animal I never knew existed.

Aardwolves are like a cross between a hyena, an aardvark, and a cat, and they’re honestly so cool. Look at that mohawk!

Native to east and southern Africa, they chow down on termites, not meat like their hyena cousins. They can eat about 300,000 termites in one night!

Aardwolves are monogamous, only mating with one partner for life. They’re also very family oriented, and who wouldn’t be with these cute babies running around?

They live in underground burrows, but they don’t like to get all dirty digging the holes. They usually find an abandoned burrow and take up residence there.

Aardwolves are shy, and they usually only come out at night, unless they’re trying to conserve energy in the winter months.

And did I mention they’re adorable AF? LOOK AT THEM!

(via BoredPanda)

Aardwolves go to the top of the list of weird-but-cute animals to look at when I’m feeling blue. It really is a wild world out there.

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Most people think of Great White sharks as the rulers of the sea.

They’re the apex predators, and they’re feared by beachgoers everywhere. Generally speaking, those fears are pretty unfounded, but no one will deny that Great Whites are powerful, intelligent hunters whose size would intimidate almost anything out there in the ocean.

That’s why scientists found it curious that they were finding more and more Great White carcasses washed up on shore in South Africa, all with the same injury. What could be causing these deaths? It turns out the real king of the sea is the orca.

Killer whales off the coast of South Africa have been hunting Great Whites, choosing only to bite out their livers, which are oil-rich and full of energy.

The orcas appear to be capitalizing on tonic immobility, a quirk among sharks and rays. When they are turned upside down, they go into a trance-like state, essentially paralyzed and helpless.

That’s when the orcas bite out the liver and leave the carcass to float to shore. Researchers are still looking into why this pair of killer whales has left so many bodies in their wake this year.

Orcas, like the one in the video below, have been known to hunt Great Whites in particular, but the increased activity suggests something else is going on.


(via IFL Science)

This is so gruesome, but it’s kind of amazing. We never stop learning things about the natural world. Thank goodness for the scientists studying these fascinating creatures.

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One of the rarest and most endangered species of wolf in the world is the red wolf, or Canis rufus.

In fact, the species is so critically endangered that it was declared extinct in the wild in 1980 after predator control programs and habitat destruction nearly wiped them out completely. Thanks to recovery efforts and a captive breeding program that released red wolves back into the wild between 1987 and 1994, their numbers went back up to 100-120 individuals. But because of illegal shootings and killings, there are now around 45 to 60 of them living in five counties in North Carolina.

One of the threats to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency’s Red Wolf Recovery Program is the possibility of interbreeding with coyotes, but the agency states that “currently, adaptive management efforts are making good progress in reducing the threat of coyotes while building the wild red wolf population in northeastern North Carolina.” A more pressing and recent threat, however, is that a U.S. Senate committee is quietly working to end the program altogether.

On page 17 of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s $32 billion spending bill for the Department of Interior and environmental agencies, which was released last week, is a request to end the decades-long effort to save red wolves. Republican Senator Thom Tillis, who wrote the provision, had been the one to recommend the program be cut.

“The Committee acknowledges the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s request that the Service end the Red Wolf recovery program and declare the Red Wolf extinct. The program has failed to meet population goals for the Red Wolf and has impacted North Carolina landowners and the populations of several other native species,” the statement reads.

“The Committee encourages the Service to consider ending the program in fiscal year 2018 and expects the Service to work closely with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission during fiscal year 2018 as it determines further actions on this matter. “

Many private landowners in North Carolina support ending the program, which would effectively push red wolves in extinction. While the bill states the recovery program has failed to meet the population goal of 220 in the wild, scientists say there’s still hope for the red wolf with time and an updated plan.

“Senate Republicans are trying to hammer a final nail in the coffin of the struggling red wolf recovery program,” said Perrin de Jong, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Instead of giving up on the red wolf, Congress should fund recovery efforts, something lawmakers have cynically blocked time and time again.”

(via IFL Science and The Charlotte Observer)

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, almost all public comments submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about red wolves are supportive of recovery efforts, including 98.6 percent of those from North Carolina residents. They haven’t turned their backs on this beautiful species, and Senate Republicans shouldn’t either.

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In response to recent instances of police brutality, more and more people have been calling for police officers to wear body cameras.

Proponents argue that the cameras protect both the police and the people they serve, showing exactly what happened in any given interaction. They’re not perfect devices, and they aren’t useful in every situation, but it could be argued that it’s the best solution we have right now.

One case in Los Angeles is proving that body cam footage can be used to help those who are wrongly accused. When a man was stopped by police, the camera footage revealed the officer planting a bag of cocaine on the suspect, lying to his fellow officers at the scene about where it was found.

Ultimately, this is a betrayal of this man, the other officers, and the community. Learn more in the video below.

Twitter / @nowthisnews

Fortunately, the LAPD has opened an investigation into this awful incident. Public outcry means that hopefully more body cameras will be put in place to protect innocent people.

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You’re probably not going to be shocked when I say that babies do some pretty cute things.

After all, that’s kind of the point of babies. They’re super cute and we have the natural instincts to protect and cherish them until they can take care of themselves. The little tykes can also be kind of hilarious, especially when they do things that make them seem like little adults.

One baby boy had a pretty awesome reaction to sneezing so his mom grabbed a camera to film it all.

What he says will have you smiling instantly. Doesn’t it make you just want to squeeze him?


Youtube / Gabriel Jones

Aww, this is too cute to handle. What’s the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen a baby do? Let us know in the comments.

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There’s a lot of stigma around people with intellectual disabilities, especially when it comes to parenting.

Up to 80 percent of people with intellectual disabilities who choose to become parents wind up having their children taken out of the home, either for a short period of time or permanently. Despite the fact that those with intellectual disabilities are protected under the same laws surrounding marriage and family planning as the rest of us, many are not given the support they need or are judged harshly despite being able to care for their children.

Amy and Eric say their children, Christopher and Hunter, were taken from their home due to their low IQ scores. They say they were not neglectful, have regular high school diplomas, and have stable income.

An anonymous tip to Child and Family Services reported them for allegedly being unable to care for their son Christopher. He was placed in foster care, as was their second son, Hunter, almost as soon as he was born. As part of the review process, the parents were given IQ tests.

Eric has an IQ of 66, while Amy’s is 72. A “normal” range is 90-110. Legally and ethically, low IQ cannot be used against parents as the sole reason a child is taken out of the home.

Amy and Eric are fighting in court to regain custody of their children and to fight the stigma around intellectual disability. Learn more about this heartbreaking case below.


Youtube / Inside Edition

Without the specific facts of this case, it’s hard to know if these children should have been placed in foster care or not. Still, this fight is an important one with legal ramifications for thousands of parents across the country who face this stigma due to low IQ.

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It’s that time of year again: the one where parents pull out the myth of Santa Claus.

Santa can be used to create Christmas magic or to encourage kids to be on their best behavior as we enter the holiday season. Still, if you think about it, the whole idea of Santa Claus doesn’t really make sense. I guess that’s why we grow out of it so quickly.

One little girl is already so over the lies, though. You may have seen Mila before — she’s a bonafide viral sensation known for her sassy attitude and speeches on a bunch of different topics. And boy does she have a lot to say about Jolly Old Saint Nick.

“What is even the deal with Santa Claus?” Preach, girl!

Facebook / Love What Matters

I love it. When did you stop believing in Santa Claus? Let us know in the comments!

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I grew up going to church several times every single week.

One of the parts of church services that made me feel connected to others was the singing. Whether or not you’re religious, you can’t deny that a good old gospel choir can send shivers down your spine. Some customers who were shopping at a Sam’s Club recently got an unexpected surprise when down one of the aisles everyone broke out into song.

These singers took everyone to church! It’s nice to see people coming together, especially during this time of year.

Facebook / Love What Matters

Can we also appreciate the woman belting it out at the end? I think I’d love for this to happen somewhere I was shopping. Let’s do carols and holiday music next!

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