MIAMI, Florida -- Underwatertimes.com ends 2011 with this year's top 10 wildest, weirdest, and strangest stories from the underwater world. Be sure to check out the Underweird section for many more strange underwater stories.
In June, scientists from France and Scotland revealed that the tiny water boatman is the loudest animal on Earth relative to its body size. The insect makes the loud sound by rubbing its penis against its abdomen in hopes of attracting a mate. The researchers said they were "very surprised" such a small insect could make such a loud sound.
In February, a 16-year-old burglar poisoned three goldfish in a house he was robbing because he "didn't want to leave any witnesses." Police charged the boy with burglary and animal cruelty. "It's a little disturbing," remarked one of the arresting officers.
<a href= http://www.nationaljeweler.com/nj/colored-stones/a/~25670-Precious-gems-found-in-Detroit" target="_blank">Precious Gems Found in Detroit Fish Tank
In January, an old fish tank stored at a Detroit auction house was found to contain more than $100,000 of faceted and uncut gems. The gems included two emeralds and a sapphire that could be more than 100 years old. No one knows why the gems were being stored in the tank or who might have owned them.
In June, a female Russian diver shed all her clothes to dive with Beluga whales in the Artic. Natalia Avseenko, 36, was trying to prove that beluga whales do not like to be touched by artificial materials like diving suits. The belugas seemed to enjoy their frolic with the naked freediver and photographers were happy to be on hand to document the experiment.
In February, a Chinese magician sparked controversy over allegations that he used magnets inside of goldfish to perform a synchronized swimming trick. Fu Yangdong's magic trick was seen by hundreds of millions on a Chinese TV broadcast. Fu responded to the controversy saying the fish were happy and healthy. Animal rights activists disagree.
In October, scientist confirmed that a one-eyed albino 'cyclops' shark was indeed a real specimen. When pictures emerged earlier in the year of the strange shark landed by Mexican fisherman, speculation abounded that the shark was really a prop or the pictures had been manipulated. A Mexican biologist called the deformed shark "extremely rare."
In September, a couple walking their dog on a beach on Canada's Price Edward Island were shocked to witness a group of seals swarm their dog after it had gone in for a swim. The seals kept the dog from coming ashore and after two hours of treading water, "Dipstick" the dog drowned.
Authorities in southwestern British Columbia are appealing to the public to help identify a severed foot that washed ashore Sasmat Lake. The foot is the ninth found in southwestern B.C. in the past four years. The latest foot is the first found in fresh water.
As a last ditch effort to protect coral reefs from fish bombers, local officials in northeastern Bohol decided to sink statues of the baby Jesus and Virgin Mary among the reefs. While conservation laws didn't stop the illegal fishermen, officials hope the sunken icons will deter the locals who are particularly devout.
In October, Saudi divers participating in an underwater cleanup stumbled across 22 talismans and other magic items, which were promptly handed over to the religious police. The local "anti-magic committee" examined the items, found some still "active" and determined the items had been dumped there for "magic work". The committee neutralized and destroyed all the items.
Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of UnderwaterTimes.com, its staff or its advertisers.