Here are some of the weirdest news stories from 2016

From a Chewbacca video that went viral to a gorilla escaping from London Zoo, there have been plenty of unusual news stories this year.

Here is a look at some of the quirky, weird and wonderful stories that 2016 had to offer.


Jeremy Corbyn’s twitter account was hijacked by a hacker who sent a series of bizarre messages. In one post, the hacker mocked the then Prime Minister David Cameron, by writing: “davey cameron is a pie”. The account was quickly recovered by Corbyn’s team.


David Beckham surprised a paramedic and her elderly patient with hot drinks when he spotted them waiting for an ambulance in the cold. Senior paramedic Catherine Maynard had been called out to help the pensioner who had fallen ill in London. Beckham even stopped to pose for a picture with Maynard.


When the Natural Environment Research Council asked people to choose a name for their new polar research vessel, more than 124,000 people voted for poll winner Boaty McBoatface. However, the boat was eventually named RRS Sir David Attenborough, which the organisation deemed “more suitable”. One of the remotely controlled submersibles aboard the ship was given the public’s chosen name instead.


As the EU referendum debate heated up in April, campaigners used condoms to compete for young votes. Branded condoms were produced by student groups campaigning on both sides of the debate and distributed at universities in a bid to sway undecided voters.


Leigh Herbert jumping
(Jonathan Brady/PA)


When Leicester City surprised most by winning the Premier League, one lucky fan reaped the rewards of a loyal bet. Leigh Herbert placed a £5 stake on his team winning at odds of 5000/1 in August last year. When the Foxes secured the title, the 39-year-old bagged £20,600.


Candace Payne with Chewbacca


Candace Payne’s wildly popular video of her hysterically laughing while wearing Hasbro’s toy Chewbacca mask gained more than eight million views on YouTube. The toymaker gave her an action figure with her head on Chewbacca’s body and a Florida university offered her a scholarship.


Pokemon Go player out and about
(David Mirzoeff/PA)


At the height of the global Pokemon Go craze, a Scottish taxi firm offered a helping hand to players. Edinburgh-based Central Taxis devised a route through the city for gaming enthusiasts to boost their chances of capturing a large number of digital characters within a short space of time.


Someone using a mobile phone
(Philip Toscano/PA)


People scrambled to find their old mobile phones when scientists at the University of Edinburgh discovered a simple method to extract gold from the devices. The research team said the new technique will help to salvage hundreds of tonnes of the precious metal from electronic scrap.


Claire Lomas
(Owen Humphreys/PA)


A paralysed, pregnant mother crossed the Great North Run finish line wearing a “bionic suit”. Claire Lomas, 36, from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was paralysed in a horse-riding accident nine years earlier and has no feeling below her chest. She used a ReWalk robotic exoskeleton to complete the Newcastle-to-South-Shields course.


Silverback gorilla Kumbuka
(Victoria Jones/PA)


Silverback gorilla Kumbuka sent ZSL London Zoo into lockdown when he made an “opportunistic” exit through two unlocked doors into a corridor where a keeper was working. Kumbuka glugged down five litres of undiluted blackcurrant squash, but was kept calm by a member of staff with whom he had a “close bond”, the zoo said.


Forget ice buckets, jumping or planking, the latest viral phenomenon sweeping the internet consisted of people standing still as part of the “mannequin challenge”. Celebrities holding poses included Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul McCartney and Hillary Clinton. The videos are set to the song Black Beatles by rap duo Rae Sremmurd.


Theresa May
(Stefan Wermuth/PA)


Theresa May ordered a crackdown on unauthorised leaks by ministers and civil servants with a warning that culprits would face instant dismissal if they were caught … but the memo was quickly leaked. Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood wrote to senior officials informing them the Prime Minister had demanded urgent action to tighten security in Whitehall but, embarrassingly for No 10, his note was leaked to The Mail on Sunday within days.

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