Our weirdest stories of 2017

December 20, 2017
Alisson Clark
photographer: illustration by Michael McAleer

Fossil pandas. Twisted fairy tales. Cannibal snails. You might say 2017 was a good year for weird news. Here are the oddest stories UF News covered this year.

Meet the world's deadliest duo

A killer snail devours its own kind by tracking their slime trails with its handlebar moustache-shaped sensors. As if that's not bad enough, University of Florida malacologist John Slapcinsky and colleagues found there’s actually two lethal gastropod species on the loose. Read more.

What strange versions you have, Grandmother

Among the 400 versions of  "Little Red Riding Hood" at UF's Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature, a visiting researcher finds some deeply weird variations on the tale. Warning: You may never look at Little Red the same again. Read more.

Searching for red pandas in an elephant graveyard

Red Pandas illustration


Elephant-like tusks. A toe bone of an ancient condor. A snapping turtle with a smaller turtle coming out of its nose. That's not our science writer's Christmas list, but some of the discoveries from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s new dig site, where scientists are looking for red pandas in Florida. Read more.


You can build your bats a bat barn, but getting them to use it is another story. Inside the struggle and success of one of campus' top landmarks. Read more.

Mother of Bed Bugs

This Ph.D. student spends her days with some of nature's most horrifying creatures. Here's why you should thank her. Read more.

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