10 of the weirdest things that happened in the Netherlands in 2020 (that weren’t coronavirus)

Throughout most of 2020, coronavirus has ruled the headlines. But for a few brief moments in between, a handful of other stories shone through to capture our curiosities.

So before we wrap up 2020 with the big ugly bow it deserves, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane. We’ve rounded up ten of the weirdest and most distinctly Dutch headlines, as a reminder that there was more to this year than a 1.5-metre society (there was also live goldfish swallowing).

Break-in at escape room: thieves crack safe but find only riddles

After much effort, a couple of burglars managed to break into an antique safe at an escape room but didn’t find the loot they were hoping for. “…these were certainly not smart people,” said the escape room owner.

Drama unfolds in the Dutch queer penguin community

A gay penguin couple with a reputation for making trouble stole an entire nest of eggs from their neighbours (a lesbian penguin couple) at the Amersfoort Zoo — and it wasn’t the first time for these egg-snatchers.

Man drives car into canal, ends up doing laughing gas on its roof

After driving his car into a canal in The Hague, rather than swim to safety, the unphased man casually climbed on top of his car and inhaled laughing gas from a balloon. (I mean, wouldn’t you?)

Dutch man fights for 85 cents in Supreme Court

An Eindhoven man has argued in three courts (so far) that he is entitled to 85 cents due to a years-old municipal tax calculation error. However, three judges (so far) have ruled otherwise. Undeterred, the persistent man is next taking his fight to the high court.

Live goldfish swallowing: why do the Dutch do it?

While sitting on a cafe terrace, a man (a fully grown, middle-aged man) impressed his friends by chugging down a live goldfish along with his beer. “I was disgusted,” said the cafe owner.

Dutch surgeons warn against dangers of “avocado injuries”

So many people in the Netherlands are giving themselves serious hand injuries from improperly cutting avocados that surgeons had to make a public service announcement: use a spoon. 

Mystery metal monolith arrives in the Netherlands

In typical mysterious metal monolith fashion, the tall metal structure showed up out of the blue in an empty Frisian field one day. Not much is known about its origins because, you know, it’s a mysterious metal monolith.

American man loves Albert Heijn so much he tattoos logo on his face

Many people have a fondness for Albert Heijn the quintessentially Dutch supermarket you can find on just about every corner in the country — but one American man loves it the most. And he proved it. With a face tattoo.

Dutch police raid “weed” farm — but only find vegetables

Police followed a hot tip for an illegal marijuana growing operation but when they arrived on scene they found something quite unexpected hiding in the basement — buckets and buckets of chicory.

Dutch metro misses end of the line, balances on sculpture 10 metres high

When a runaway metro shot through a buffer stop at the end of the line, it was caught by a fortuitously placed sculpture of a whale’s tail. Balancing high above the ground, the metro and its driver (the only person aboard) were miraculously unharmed.

So there you have our ten most bizarre headlines of the year. What were some of the weirdest stories you came across this year? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Rakicevic/Pexels

Brin Andrewshttp://brinandrews.com
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.

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