Weird week: A maggot storm, Tooth Fairy inflation, and more

The week offered up a fungi-friendly frog, a powerful new TikTok influencer, and then some.

  • No one is safe from inflation, not even the Tooth Fairy. The average payout for a lost tooth hit a record $6.23 in 2023, up from $5.36 in 2022, according to a recent poll. Some 20% of kids reportedly receive cash and a gift, with some parents doling out video games, jewelry, and even iPhones. Pushing the trend? Parents trying to keep up with other parents. Fun fact for those of them who seem to need a reminder: kids lose all 20 of their teeth.
  • New fear unlocked: Maggots rained down on a woman mid-flight. A Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit was forced to turn around following the nightmarish incident, with one witness claiming he saw at least 12 fall onto the unfortunate passenger. The source? A carry-on item that contained a rotting fish wrapped in newspaper. The owner of the nasty bag was detained and traumatized passengers were compensated, but many questions remain: How did it get through security? Why pack a rotten fish? What else was in the bag? And simply, why?
  • A tiny mushroom was found growing on a tiny frog. A river and wetlands specialist, while searching for amphibians in western India, noticed the unusual growth sprouting from the side of a golden-backed frog. Though fungus can grow on various surfaces, our skin included, mushrooms are only produced if mycelia is able to find enough nutrients. And while parasitic fungus can hijack the brains and bodies of insects like ants, the shroom in question seems to be a harmless hitchhiker — a “fungi,” some may say.
  • TikTok’s newest influencer is Joe Biden. The Biden administration used hundreds of TikTok creators to reach young voters in 2020, per the Washington Post. Now, the president is employing a similar strategy for the upcoming 2024 election, joining the platform himself. Since Sunday, the new account has posted 14 videos with clever and relatable captions like, “lol hey guys” and “lol.” The account bio reads, “Grows the economy,” when it should really say, “How do you do, fellow kids?
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