updated 12/17/2008 5:57:09 PM ET 2008-12-17T22:57:09

One of the most popular features of are those wacky, strange stories from around the world that have readers saying "Gee whiz" — and e-mailing them to friends and family.

We call them our Weird News. But which ones are — drum roll, please — the weirdest? The Most Peculiar of the Year?

Well, the tally from our weekly polls is in, and here are the Top 20 Most Peculiar Stories of 2008, as voted on by our users:


The envelope, please:

1: And the winner, with an 80 percent vote, is:

Woman sits on boyfriend's toilet for 2 years


2: Coming in second, with a 59 percent score:

Homeless woman lived in man's closet for year


3: Death is always a favorite (in this case, at 42 percent):

Man's coffin kills wife on way to cemetery


4: At 35 percent, a story that made headlines everywhere:

Cops: Man shot by friend so he could skip work


5: And at just under 35 percent, one that made us say "Ahhh!":

Babies born 8/8/08 at 8:08; 8 lbs., 8 oz.


6: Also at 35 percent, more proof that death makes headlines:

Sheriff: Family cremated mom on barbecue


7: At 34 percent, this story has “What?!?!” written all over it:

Dead man stands throughout 3-day wake


8: And, at 33 percent, a Halloween treat:

Boo! Supporting Obama? No treats for you


9: At 31 percent, more spookiness:

Burglar: I was held captive by ghost for 3 days


10: At 30 percent, no comment needed:

What's a penis worth? $795,000, court rules


11: And, also at 30 percent, death scores again:

Woman kills husband with pull-out couch
(Note: This story has expired on our site, but you can find it here on Reuters' site.)


12: Another 30 percenter, this time concerning animal-caffeine craziness:

Woman gets extra coffee jolt: Fresh bat


13: And, at 26 percent, animal-legal madness:

Driver kills dog, then sues owners for damage


14: Also at 26 percent, death scores again:

Illinois man orders custom beer-can coffin


15: And another 26 percenter, a Goldilocks-type tale:

Mom finds hungry stranger snoring in son's bed


16: At 25 percent, this, um, hair-raising story:

Stylist accused of shooting client who complained about haircut


17: Also at 25 percent, another toilet tale:

Crews rescue naked man stuck in portable potty


18: Another 25 percenter, this time from Poland:

Man spots his wife during visit to brothel
(Note: This story has expired on our site, but you can find it here on Reuters' site.)


19: A 24 percent, an irresistible animal story:

Lost parrot tells veterinarian his address


20: And finally, at 23 percent, another bird-centered tale:

Cops kick in door over bird's cries for help

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