Harry Potter book set to sell for £30,000

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

A first edition of the first Harry Potter novel, The Philosopher’s Stone, is expected to fetch around £30,000 at auction later this month after being bought for just £1 in a library sale. Jim Spencer of Hansons Auctioneers says the person who bought the edition of the J.K. Rowling book “had no idea” it could be worth so much money.

'Dead' man is almost buried alive

A man was almost buried alive after an accident. Mohammad Furqan, 20, was pronounced dead by medics at an Indian hospital. As his family made arrangements for the funeral, the body was driven to his family home. However, his brother noticed Mohammad’s limbs were moving. He was then taken back to hospital and put on ventilator support.

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Twenty-nine-hour football match breaks world record

A football game broke a Guinness World Record when it lasted for 29 hours. A nonprofit dedicated to empowering women in sports organised the game in Lyon alongside the Women’s World Cup. It featured 807 players, including several professional athletes. It ended with a spectacular scoreline of 404-369.

Personal trainers reveal their clients’ weirdest requests

Personal trainers have revealed the strangest requests they have received from clients, including nude training sessions and oiled-up bare-chested wrestling. In a survey by local servives website Bark, one respondent had been asked to hold a client’s face while they exercised, while another was smacked on the bottom. A third remembered how a client offered up very intimate details of an affair they were having.

The elephant in the (Edinburgh) room

Edinburgh City Archives has revealed that a man once kept an elephant in his flat in the Scottish capital. In 1705, a baker complained about the animal being housed above his shop. He said his premises and equipment were being destroyed by dung, and water was seeping through the roof. The elephant eventually moved to Dundee.

Chess piece sells for £735,000

A piece of a medieval chess set that had been missing for almost two centuries has sold at auction for £735,000. The rook was bought for £5 in 1964 by an antiques dealer, and passed down through the family, who had a very pleasant surprise when they took it to Sotheby’s auction house to be valued.

Woman embarrassed after claiming swimsuit was faulty

When a woman complained that her swimsuit fitted badly, leaving her “vagina hanging out” the manufacturer pointed out that she had made an awkward error. “I have had a look at the picture you have sent and believe you are wearing the swimsuit upside down,” said a customer services rep.

Competitive eater takes on cows’ brains

A competitive eater, who can swallow 62 slices of pizza in 12 minutes, or 337 chicken wings in a half hour, has taken to eating cow brains. Takeru Kobayashi ate 57 of them in 15 minutes. He will appear on a documentary called The Good, The Bad, The Hungry.

Man bites dog story - quite literally

A man in New Hampshire was arrested after he allegedly growled at and bit a police dog. Officers were called after Matthew Williams was reported to be “behaving erratically” in a hotel room. He was charged with resisting arrest, simple assault and wilful interference with police dogs.

Hail leaves six feet of ice as temperatures hit 27C

A freak hail storm has left a Mexican city covered in six feet of ice on the same day temperatures reached 27°C. The state governor said of the peculiar weather event: “I’ve never seen such scenes in Guadalajara. Then we ask ourselves if climate change is real. These are never-before-seen natural phenomena. It’s incredible.”

Couple flee home amid ‘children’s screams’

A terrified couple have abandoned their home in Wales after children's screams were heard from the basement. lan and Christine Tait have lived in a camper van since fleeing. They think the noise could be from human trafficking in a secret tunnel. Mrs Tait believes there are “quite a lot of people down there”.

Toddler buys $430 couch with one-click button

A mother is warning parents to lock their Amazon accounts after her two-year-old daughter bought a $430 couch with the one-click facility on the retailer’s app. “I thought, 'Did I buy a couch in my sleep?'” said Isabella McNeil. She is now trying to re-sell it online, as to return it would cost her a $79 restocking fee and shipping costs of $100.

Tea bags can solve smelly shoes, says ‘Queen of Clean’

A cleaning guru is advising people with smelly shoes to use tea bags to solve the problem. As summer kicks in, the “Queen of Clean” Lynsey Crombie says: “There is nothing worse than smelly shoes. Pop a few tea bags inside your smelly shoes to fight off bad odours that are caused by heat and bacteria.” Tea bags, which are highly absorbent, take in the moisture and odour from the shoes.

Human-eating snake loose in Cambridge

A huge snake that could eat a human was on the loose in Cambridge yesterday. Police were searching for the 2.7m (9ft) python after it was spotted near Lovell Road. The python is not venomous, and attacks on humans are rare. However, earlier this month, the body of a woman was found intact inside a python in Indonesia.

World War Two plane dug up in Ireland

A plane from the Second World War has been dug up in the Republic of Ireland. The remaining parts of the P-38 Lightning aircraft were recovered near Castleblayney, County Monaghan, close to the Northern Irish border. It crashed on 17 December 1942, forcing its American pilot, 2nd Lt Milo E Rundall, to eject.

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