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2019 in review: The strangest things that happened in Florida

A lot of strange things happened in Florida in 2019.
A lot of strange things happened in Florida in 2019. (News 6)

The beginning of a new year: It’s a time to reflect, look back and bury your face in shame at all the embarrassing things that happened in Florida in 2019.

On a scale of one to 10 with one being completely normal and 10 being totally insane, I’d say we at least got to a 9.73 this year.

There were alligators. There was meth. There were alligators and meth in the same headline.

Before I give away any spoilers, let’s take a look back at some of the wackiest things that made news in Florida in 2019.

Who is it?

Remember that weird period when it seemed like doorbell lickers were wreaking havoc across the country? Well, Florida was in no way immune to this weird trend. One vomit-inducing video shows a man in a stained T-shirt licking a Ring doorbell as if he were trying to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. It must have tasted good, too, because he started to walk away but then came back for seconds. Watch for yourself if you don’t have a weak stomach.

Bad hare day

The Easter bunny is supposed to hide eggs and pass out candy, not windmill punch strangers in the middle of downtown Orlando. But that was exactly what happened in April when one man decided to put on a furry white suit and go out for some drinks Easter weekend. According to the man behind the mask, he was defending a woman from another man who was getting handsy but because this is Florida, the would-be cotton-tailed crusader was actually a wanted criminal. Read on to find out why authorities in New Jersey were looking to take him into custody.

Let it go

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The things people do behind closed doors should stay behind closed doors. Apparently this guy accused of “dry humping” a stuffed Olaf doll at a St. Petersberg Target didn’t get that memo. Even worse, the suspect allegedly put the “Frozen” toy back on the shelf after he was done with the dirty deed. Yes, it was as gross as it sounds.

Again, not the time or the place

Nassau County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Aaron Thomas and Megan Mondanaro shown on an image taken from the cruiser's dashcam video.
Nassau County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Aaron Thomas and Megan Mondanaro shown on an image taken from the cruiser's dashcam video.

That whole closed-door spiel I mentioned above applies here as well. This couple was in the back of a patrol car, already facing charges when they allegedly thought it’d be a good idea to strip down and start having sex in plain view of the dashcam. The act was quickly put to a stop but one of the lovers tried to flee. Can you guess which one?

That’s not what they mean by ‘growler’

Sharing some brewskies with the boys is fine. Sharing some brewskies with a baby alligator is not. Wildlife agents say two men captured the scaly reptile, enticed it to bite then poured some Coors Light down its throat as if they were at some college fraternity party. To make matters worse for themselves, they filmed the wild encounter. Why’d they do it? I genuinely have no idea.

Kinka-what?

A Florida man was attacked by a kinkajou in Lake Worth Beach.
A Florida man was attacked by a kinkajou in Lake Worth Beach. (News 6)

Alligators aren’t the only thing Floridians have to worry about. In fact, there are a lot of animals here that could kill you but you wouldn’t expect an attack from something so cute. In Fort Worth Beach, the wide-eyed rainforest mammal barged into a home and bit and scratched a man’s ankles. Judging from the pictures, the attack wasn’t that bad but this story likely went viral because most people had no idea what a kinkajou was. Get a closer look at the man’s battle wounds.

How deep exactly?

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When people stash drugs inside their bodies, there are a few places it normally ends up but this man set a new standard when he allegedly hid meth “deep” in his belly button. I honestly don’t think the world is ready to know how deep it was but apparently it wasn’t hidden enough to keep authorities from finding it. The suspect did have an excuse, albeit not a good one.

Sounds like a scandal

Finding your engagement ring on another woman’s finger would normally be enough to call off a wedding except, in this case, the groom-to-be hadn’t even popped the question. A Lake County couple reported the white gold diamond bling was stolen from a vehicle on Valentine’s Day and as the deputies put the pieces together, the investigation led them straight to a man whose girlfriend had the exact piece on her finger. At least the guy sort of apologized.

I now pronounce you Florida man and wife

Something tells me the last couple wasn’t planning to have a wedding like this. A lovely lady donned a bright white bikini and said “I do” to her overalls-clad beau in the back of pickup truck. The pictures went viral with many wondering if this was, perhaps, the most Florida wedding of all time. The couple did something dirty after the nuptials, but it’s not what you think.

What would Jesus do? Not this

Interstate 4 is scary enough without drivers pulling feats like this. Troopers say a man stuck basically the entire top half of his body out of a sunroof while driving on I-4. You read that right: He was not the passenger, even though he claimed the car “drives itself.” When asked why he was standing and driving, the man said he thought “it would be a nice way to praise God for a minute.” Someone needs to pray for this guy.

Another strange sight behind the wheel

The most noteworthy thing about this story is probably the fact that the dog can drive better than most Floridians. A black Labrador in Port St. Lucie hopped into the driver’s seat of his owner’s vehicle, put the car into drive and did donuts for an hour before anyone was able to stop him. If he was trying to take himself to the dog park he certainly failed but the video is impressive nonetheless.

Talk about a smart idea

In this Sept. 3, 2019 photo provided by Jessica Eldridge, her husband's Smart car is parked in their kitchen in Jacksonville, Fla. Patrick Eldridge parked his Smart car in his kitchen to protect it from Hurricane Dorian. In a Facebook post, Jessica Eldridge said her husband was "afraid his car might blow away" so he parked it in their Jacksonville home's kitchen. The story was among Florida's top odd stories for 2019. (Jessica Eldridge via AP)
In this Sept. 3, 2019 photo provided by Jessica Eldridge, her husband's Smart car is parked in their kitchen in Jacksonville, Fla. Patrick Eldridge parked his Smart car in his kitchen to protect it from Hurricane Dorian. In a Facebook post, Jessica Eldridge said her husband was "afraid his car might blow away" so he parked it in their Jacksonville home's kitchen. The story was among Florida's top odd stories for 2019. (Jessica Eldridge via AP) (Jessica Eldridge)

Next time a hurricane threatens the Sunshine State, remember to board your windows, stock up on water and drive your Smart car into your kitchen. One Florida man was so worried his little black car would fly away during Hurricane Dorian, he opted to park it inside the house. I’m just jealous I didn’t think of this first.

The devil went down to Florida

And he gave us all the heebie jeebies. The internet collectively went wild when a Florida woman posted pictures of a thing in her back yard. Truth be told, the expert theory on what the mystery creature was actually made sense, but the bizarre theories were a lot more fun to read. Check it out for yourself and even vote in the News 6 poll.

I feel like we’ve covered a lot of crazy in a short amount of time, but I also want to give a shout out to some honorable mentions:

Florida woman accused of picking nose, sticking fingers in ice cream

Castration catastrophe: Florida man arrested in botched procedure

Florida man tied up wife’s lover, cut off penis, deputies say

Florida man, 71, accused of firing pee-filled squirt gun at woman

Oh, deer! Video shows animal kicking woman at gas station

#FloridaManChallenge: What trouble did Florida Man get into on your birthday?

‘He lets me pet him:’ Video shows Daytona Beach man feeding large gator

Florida woman bites 600-pound camel’s testicles after it sat on her

Deputies: Man arrested after taking a shower, hanging out naked in family’s home

Man who tackled pelican jailed in Florida

Florida man busted for singing dirty song to neighbor

Florida man steals pool floats for sex, police say

Watch: Raccoon named Hank Williams hangs out car window on Florida highway

Florida man ends standoff for slice of pizza, police say

What will 2020 have in store for us? Subscribe to the Strange Florida newsletter to find out.


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