Funny old world: The week's offbeat news

Musa Hasahya pack away notebooks containing details about his family history including all names of his 102 children and their dates of birth while sitting outside their family home in Butaleja district in Eastern Uganda, on January 17, 2023. PHOTO / AFP

What you need to know:

  • Musa Hasahya Kasera is still in rude good health, but he is drawing the line after fathering 102 children.

From a bear on Mars to males going forth to multiply... Your weekly roundup of offbeat stories from around the world.

  Japan reels from 'sushi terror' 
Japan is being shaken by a wave of "sushi terrorism" with teenagers posting videos of themselves fingering food as it passes on restaurant conveyor belts and licking the tops of shared soy sauce bottles.

In a country obsessed with hygiene, pranksters running their tongues along the rims of cups and putting them back on shelves has caused a wave of revulsion. "I can't go to conveyor belt sushi restaurants anymore," one sickened customer wrote on Twitter.

But with so many people put off eating out, photographer Tetsuya Haneda told AFP that at least "I won't need to make a reservation anymore to go and eat, even on the weekend."

 Dying for love 
Male northern quolls have only one thing on their minds -- and it will be the death of them.

The pointy-nosed Australian marsupials may look unbearably cute, but the lusty little fellows are so driven to reproduce that they die exhausted after a single, frenetic breeding season.

When the urge hits them, the cat-sized critters "forgo the basic instincts for survival to mate with as many females as possible" before expiring, said researchers at Queensland's University of the Sunshine Coast.

No wonder they are endangered.

 Father of 102 
Musa Hasahya Kasera is still in rude good health, but he is drawing the line after fathering 102 children.

"I have learnt from my irresponsible act of producing so many children that I can't look after," Hasahya -- who has 578 grandchildren -- told AFP.

Two of the Ugandan villager's 12 wives have left him because he cannot afford to feed his enormous family.

Hasahya admitted that can't "recall the names" of all his children -- "it's the mothers who help me to identify them" -- and that he even has trouble remembering some of his wives.

His third wife Zabina said if she had known he had other wives, she would never have married him. "Even when I came and resigned myself to my fate... he brought the fourth, the fifth until he reached 12," she added.

"They all love me," Hasahya, 68, insisted.

 Ted talk 
Once there was the Man on the Moon. Now there's a bear on Mars. 

The beaming face of a cute-looking teddy bear has been looking down on us from the Red Planet all this time without us knowing until the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter passed over last month.

Scientists at the University of Arizona believe the bear's origins are probably volcanic rather than a piece of intergalactic graffiti left by passing aliens.

Researchers have previously spotted something that looked like the Starfleet logo from "Star Trek" on Mars' surface.

But after 10 years of looking, so far there is no sign of little green men.

 Dead Fred casts Groundhog shadow 
In an ominous augury for the climate, the Canadian groundhog who predicts the coming of spring was found dead hours before he was due to pronounce.

Fred la Marmotte showed "no signs of life" when organisers of the annual "Groundhog Day" jamboree in Quebec's Val-d'Espoir (Valley of Hope in English) tried to wake him from his hibernation.

If Fred had seen his shadow and scurried back inside his burrow, it would have been a portent of chilly weather to come. 

Further south in Pennsylvania, another famous furry weather forecaster, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of the cold. 


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