QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Noisy fish looking for sex

ENGLAND: A mystery humming noise forcing people from their homes could be the sound of fish desperate for sex.

Fed-up locals have been kept awake for a week by the nightly drone. Some have had to sleep on friends’ sofas outside the area to escape the din.

Scientists believe it comes from the Midshipman fish looking for females to mate with in an estuary in Hythe, Hampshire. It can go on for hours and often gets louder as males try to out hum each other, according to The Sun.

Pumpkin power

ENGLAND: A contemporary artist has become the first person to sail a hollowed-out pumpkin across the Solent strait.

Dmitri Galitzine set sail from Stokes Bay, Gosport, Hampshire, in the boat made out of a 500kg pumpkin, and arrived an hour and 56 minutes later at Wootton Creek Yacht Club on the Isle of Wight. The pumpkin was grown by Mark O’Hanlon, winner of the UK’s heaviest pumpkin title, 2004.

It was fitted with a small outboard motor which enabled the gourd to travel at about one or two knots. The journey went so well for Galitzine, 27, from London, that he turned around and sailed back to Trafalgar Wharf marina in Portsmouth where he had prepared for the event.

Under the hammer

USA: A 1941 Cadillac custom-built for Britain’s duke and duchess of Windsor is to be auctioned in New York.

Dubbed “The Duchess”, the limousine features rose-coloured broadcloth upholstery, four jewellery cases, and three cigar lighters. It’s estimated to fetch between $500,000 and $800,000 (€362,000-€580,000) when it is sold on Nov 21 by Sotheby’s and RM Auctions.

General Motors delivered the limo to the Windsors at the Waldorf Astoria, where they had a suite. The duke paid $14,000 for it. It was one of the first Cadillacs to have power windows and is fitted with satin privacy curtains.

Rats routed

USA: A five-year battle to eradicate rats from a remote Alaskan island has finally been won.

Officials say the island, long known as Rat Island because of its infestation of invasive Norway rats, is now teeming with birds. For the first time, breeding tufted puffins have been documented on the island, which is not inhabited by people and is in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

The makeover of the island includes a name change. Rat Island is now officially called Hawadax Island, a nod to the original Aleut name.

Funny business

MEXICO: More than 500 clowns have gathered in Mexico City for their 17th International Clown Convention, entering competitions, exchanging experiences, and holding workshops to brush up on their clown techniques and learn new tricks.

Wearing oversize shoes, colourful wigs, and red noses, the clowns had to produce their “official clown rulebook” to register.

Tomas Morales, whose stage name is Payaso Llantom, said the goal of the convention is to professionalise clowns in Latin America and highlight the need for a School of Clown Arts in Mexico.

The clowns headed to a park for a group photo and a 15-minute laugh-a-thon against violence in Mexico.

Authorities capture mysterious goat

USA: Animal control officers in Des Moines used a tranquilliser to capture a mysterious goat that had dived into traffic and was on the run for hours.

The Boer goat got a taste of freedom on Wednesday as she evaded capture in the city. The brown and white animal with floppy ears ran into traffic and eventually went into a fenced car dealership.

The Des Moines Register says officers chased the goat around the dealership before using a tranquilliser to stop her. It was healthy and uninjured.

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