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Top 10 most bizarre news stories of 2022

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Handout photo of two protesters who have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work “Sunflowers” in London.

Handout photo issued by Just Stop Oil of two protesters who have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London, Friday Oct. 14, 2022.

Just Stop Oil via Associated Press

2022 was a weird year, and we’ve got the stories to prove it.

From mysterious ghost towns to inspiring survival stories, the Deseret News covered some of the strangest news stories of the year.

Here are 10 of those stories:

The Latter-day Saint ghost town that keeps emerging from Lake Mead

Foundation remains at St. Thomas.

Foundation remains at St. Thomas.

Andrew Cattoir, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Severe drought conditions revealed a ghost town settled by Latter-say Saint pioneers that had been underwater for years.

St. Thomas in Nevada was settled in the 1860s, before it was flooded in the 1930s to create Lake Mead. Residents were forced to abandon their homes, farms and businesses as the water rose.

Now, nearly a century later, the water levels have dropped so low that the town has once again emerged.

Read the full story here.

Terrifying footage shows China Eastern plane nosediving before crash

In this image taken from video footage run by China’s CCTV, rescuers and soldiers conduct search operations at the site of a plane crash in Tengxian County in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

In this image taken from video footage run by China’s CCTV, rescuers and soldiers conduct search operations at the site of a plane crash in Tengxian County in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

CCTV via AP Video

A plane with at least 130 people on board crashed in southern China on March 21, and the footage of the crash went viral.

The video shows the China Eastern Boeing 737 airplane nosediving before crashing into a mountain.

The plane fell 25,000 feet in two minutes.

Read the full story here.

Is a bee a fish? California court says it could be

Two bumblebees almost collide as they fly to a poppy flower on a field in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, June 1, 2017. A Sacramento appeals court ruled on May 31 that some bumblebees can legally be considered fish under the California Endangered Species Act.

Two bumblebees almost collide as they fly to a poppy flower on a field in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, June 1, 2017. A Sacramento appeals court ruled on May 31 that some bumblebees can legally be considered fish under the California Endangered Species Act.

Michael Probst, Associated Press

In May, a California court ruled that bumblebees can legally be considered fish under the California Endangered Species Act.

Insects apparently aren’t protected under the state’s Endangered Species Act but fish are. So environmental interest groups argued that bees technically fit under the act’s definition of “fish,” which they defined as an “invertebrate.”

Read the full story here.

Why does the U.S. government have 1.4 billion pounds of cheese stored in a cave underneath Springfield, Missouri?

This Feb. 15, 2007, photo shows Gruyere cheese with a cup of coffee. The U.S. government has a cheese stockpile of 1.4 billion pounds. This started in the 1970s during Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

This Feb. 15, 2007, photo shows Gruyere cheese with a cup of coffee. The U.S. government has a cheese stockpile of 1.4 billion pounds. This started in the 1970s during Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

Larry Crowe, Associated Press

In February, Deseret News writer Gitanjali Poonia wrote about a surprising, little-known fact: The U.S. government is storing 1.4 billion pounds of cheese in a cave in Missouri.

Apparently the government has been storing away cheese for decades ever since the 1970s, when former President Jimmy Carter offered dairy farmers a break by having the government buy and store cheese from farmers.

Read the full story here.

An asteroid flew by Earth and people watched it live

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft onboard, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft onboard, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021.

Michael Peterson/U.S. Space Force via Associated Press

On Jan. 18, a massive asteroid flew by Earth, with plenty of people watching the asteroid live.

The asteroid, which was about twice the height of New York’s Empire State Building, passed by Earth a little over 1 million miles away.

Read the full story here.

What did this college wrestler do when his teammate was attacked by a grizzly bear?

College students Brady Lowry, left, and Kendell Cummings, right, were injured in a bear attack in Cody, Wyoming.

College students Brady Lowry, left, and Kendell Cummings, right, were injured in a bear attack in Cody, Wyoming.

Courtesy photo

Two college wrestlers from Cedar City, Utah, and Evanston, Wyoming, survived a surprise attack by a grizzly bear in Wyoming in October.

When Brady Lowry was attacked by the bear, his teammate tried to disrupt the attack by throwing things at it and grabbing its fur. The bear turned on him, attacking him as well.

For some reason, the attacks stopped and Lowry was able to climb a ridge to find cell service and called 911 for help.

Read the full story here.

SpaceX debris lands on Australia sheep farm

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule approaches the International Space Station for docking on Saturday, April 24, 2021. The Australian Space Agency confirmed that a piece of space junk that landed on a sheep farm came from a SpaceX rocket.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule approaches the International Space Station for docking on Saturday, April 24, 2021. The Australian Space Agency confirmed that a piece of space junk that landed on a sheep farm came from a SpaceX rocket.

NASA via Associated Press

In July 2022, space debris from a SpaceX rocket landed on a sheep paddock in Australia. Don’t worry, though — no sheep were harmed.

An Australian sheep farmer discovered a 10-foot charred object, which would later be identified as the largest piece of space junk to land in Australia since 1979.

Read the full story here.

‘Tough’ and ‘brave’ 9-year-old girl is recovering after fighting off a cougar attack

Lily A. Kryzhanivskyy, 9, in the hospital with Sgt. Tony Leonetti.

Lily A. Kryzhanivskyy, 9, with Sgt. Tony Leonetti.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

In May, a 9-year-old girl was able to successfully fight off a cougar attack in Washington.

Lily A. Kryzhanivskyy was playing hide-and-seek on a trail at a kids camp when a young male cougar attacked her. She fought off the cougar, sustaining several injuries.

Read the full story here.

Are people naming their babies after Ikea product names?

Ikea storefront

Ikea storefront

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

In June, the furniture store Ikea offered its catalogue as a way to come up with new baby names.

Following an uptick in births in Norway since 2020, some parents may need help with deciding a name, so Ikea Norway offered to help.

“After all these years, (Ikea) has built up a large ‘catalog’ to pick from,” a spokesperson said.

Read the full story here.

Activists threw Heinz soup on a Van Gogh painting in climate protest

Handout photo of two protesters who have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work “Sunflowers” in London.

Handout photo issued by Just Stop Oil of two protesters who have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London, Friday Oct. 14, 2022.

Just Stop Oil via Associated Press

This year was full of stories of climate activists throwing food on paintings. From a cake attack on the Mona Lisa to mashed potatoes launched at a Monet, no painting was safe.

But the one that made the biggest splash occurred in October, when two climate activists threw Heinz tomato soup at a Van Gogh painting in London’s National Gallery before gluing themselves to the wall.

Read the full story here.