We live in an age where panic is around every corner, and every new video game, every new threat to the careful balance of life we’ve become accustomed to, is reported. Sometimes though, things get a little silly, as this list aims to show you.
The police in Kansas City, Missouri, got a pretty frightening call; a number of people had reported to have seen a cold, dead eyed alligator stalking their town.
Driving slowly to the address in question, the police spotted their mark. There was indeed a steely eyed lizard monster in their town and, despite the fact their area couldn’t support such a beast, or the fact it hadn’t moved or blinked, they unleashed a hail of gunfire onto it, because lives were at stake damn it, only to find the beast was seemingly impervious to gun fire. The reports of an unblinking bulletproof dragon monster were quickly explored and found to be false.
What they actually hit was a concrete ornament (an animal stuffed with concrete is still a stuffed animal) that the owner of the house had placed their to scare away children. What he’d done instead is convince the police that the son of Godzilla had come to their town.
In scenic England, locals driving along one England’s many motorways saw, crouched in a field, a white tiger. Of course, all minds immediately jumped to the obvious conclusion: one of the rarest animals on Earth had escaped from somewhere nearby, and decided to chill out in a field.
Despite the fact that police helicopters, armed with the latest heat-detecting equipment, noticed that the animal didn’t give off a heat signature (presumably because white tigers are just that cool) local animal control experts were called in anyway, and the area was put into lockdown.
The tiger, as it so happens, was just a simple stuffed toy. So what tipped them off, the fact no white tigers were in any of the local zoos? The fact it gave off no heat? Nope; it was when the helicopter stalking it blew it over. A true testament to the British stiff upper lip is the fact some locals were still playing cricket in full view of the “tiger”, and only left when told to by the police, much to their annoyance.
A group of people walking past a charity clothes bank heard something that made their heart sink: a cat’s meow from inside. Heroically, they ignored all logic, like the fact it was apparently impossible for any animal to get inside. If they could, clothes banks would be positively teeming with snakes. Nevertheless, the entire town came to a standstill.
Police and fire teams attended the scene, and eventually decided to turn the bin into a giant tin and cut it open but, alas, they couldn’t. So they transported the entire structure 20 miles to a local engineering yard and used steel cutting equipment to crack it open. When they did, the police, fire and civilians present came face to face with, you guessed it, a toy cat. To be fair to the locals, several cats had gone missing in the local area, so they could be forgiven for making the mistake. The real victory here, though, is for the makers of that toy because, damn, that meowing must have been realistic as Hell.
Now bomb threats are no laughing matter, or they normally wouldn’t be if they weren’t being caused by a stuffed horse. Yes, in what is perhaps one of the most surreal moments ever captured on the news, a man in full bomb-disposal gear had to investigate a small stuffed horse.
This example makes the list purely for the fact it allows me to type what I think is the best sentence I’ve ever had the pleasure to lay my eyes upon: the police, after careful consideration, decided that the best possible course of action was to detonate the horse.
However all of this leaves just one question unanswered: the horse wasn’t a bomb at all, and this threat was just outside of a school, so who’s was it? This means that it’s incredibly likely that somewhere out there, a parent had to explain to their child that their beloved toy horse just exploded.
The police in Germany were preparing to settle in for an uneventful Christmas Eve when they got a phone call. A man claimed he could see a leopard floating in the center of a local lake; not being known for their sense of humor, the German officers reacted how you’d expect, by asking if the man was drunk. He then proceed to stake his reputation on his claim, stating he was an expert hunter.
Groggily attending the scene, the officers noticed a distinct lack of hunter, but a total abundance of leopard floating in lake. Realizing the weather was too unforgiving to enter the lake, the police instead decided to treat the leopard with all the dignity it deserved: by throwing cordon tape at it until it became suitably entangled, then reeling it in. The leopard turned out to be a toy, something the police would have no doubt loved to have pointed out to the local hunter, if he would have stuck around.
A woman was walking alone to her car in a dark parking garage, when she noticed a terrifying site: a stranger sat on her seat, so engrossed in plotting some terrible crime that he was too preoccupied to, you know, duck or something. Fleeing the scene, she called the police, who were quickly on the scene.
Strolling up to the car with all the confidence a badge and gun can afford you, a German officer pointed his light into the car and came face-to-face with a large stuffed beaver. As you’d expect from the same people who played leopard hoopla, the police response was less than enthusiastic and were reported to have said they “struggled to see how the toy, which has two over-sized front teeth, could have been mistaken for a person.” The more important question though, is even if this woman made this mistake, someone placed that beaver there. Either that or she just had a really, really bad memory.
4. Tiger Part II
One thing that quickly becomes apparent on this list is that, when people ring the police and report they’ve seen a deadly animal, it’s probably a stuffed toy. In this case, it was a stuffed tiger that somehow wound up on a ledge in Houston, Texas.
They should really think about putting an extra piece of training into the police and fire service that states, “if someone calls you up reporting a live, wild animal on the loose, ask them the following questions:
Is it moving?
Are you sure?
No really, is it moving because, if we get there and this thing is another toy, we’re going to get all police brutality on you”.
3. Leopard Part II
Now all of the other entries on this list are kind of harmless; the animals don’t really do much, what with being stuffed and all, but now we have one who’s an accomplice.
In Minneapolis, a man entered the airport, looking a little suspicious. A guard asked him for some ID, and the man quickly shoved a stuffed toy into the guard’s face, “stating this is all you need to see,” before fleeing.
Seeing as this was an airport, and the man was clearly insane, they started a search for him to make sure he wasn’t trying to punch a plane or something. However, the really beautiful part is how this story has been reported; virtually every source claims the man held a “a leopard-print stuffed animal,” which says a lot for the effectiveness of the guard’s descriptive abilities when he can’t, with any real certainty, state what animal the toy with LEOPARD print was supposed to be. Yeah, good luck getting your man.
That isn’t to say the police don’t ever get their man.
In what was dubbed a Minsk toy protest, protesters circumvented the harsh penalties for openly protesting by letting some stuffed bears do it for them. The police, upon getting to the scene, found that the bears had a serious set of bear stones and were openly, defiantly still protesting.
So the police arrested them. Although to be fair, arresting was more or less just picking them up and taking them to the police station. It should be noted that not a single one of the bears was allowed to call a lawyer.
1. Islamic Bear
No other tale on this list is quite as odd and terrifying than that of Mohammad the bear.
British school teacher Gillian Gibbons found herself receiving death threats, spending two weeks in prison, and staring down the threat of forty lashes for her act of naming a bear Mohammad. The bear was named after one of Gillian’s students, who just so happened to have one of the world’s most popular names. However, this was seen as a massive insult to the Islam religion, as apparently you can name your kids after the Prophet, but not their toys.
The case caused a huge amount of controversy; how much controversy, you ask? It’s got its own Wikipedia page which, according to scientists, is about as controversial as something can get without it setting something on fire.
Written By Karl Smallwood