In Brief

A terrifying feature could be lurking in your Xmas tree

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Beware when buying your Christmas trees: it could have a surprise feature, Birmingham Live warns. It is sometimes assumed that brown, knotty clumps among the branches of the festive trees are pine cones but they might be sacs containing up to 200 praying mantis eggs. With centrally-heated living room a perfect environment for the creepy crawlies to hatch, you could have more guests than you catered for.

Phallic fish wash up in California  

Thousands of phallic fish have washed up on a California beach. The pink sausage-shaped marine worms, widely referred to as “penis fish”, were found washed ashore at Drake’s Beach, north of San Francisco. The saucily-shaped fish are popular in South Korea for their aphrodisiac effects.

Smell test warning in office toilet  

A workplace has placed a notice in a toilet informing employees they must adhere to a strict time limit or else face a “smell check”. The sign, a bid to deter workers from simply sitting in the loo to scroll on their phones, was posted on the bathroom door of an unidentified place of business, was shared on Reddit.

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