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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 1, 2014 at 6:00 AM

The world’s largest flea, and other weird stories you might have missed this week

1 The world’s largest flea lives here

The giant flea, or Hystrichopsylla schefferi, left, next to a regular flea taken from a cat. There was no authenticated photograph of a live giant flea until recently. Its head alone is the size of a cat flea or dog flea. (Photo by Merrill Peterson / The New York Times)

The giant flea, or Hystrichopsylla schefferi, left, next to a regular flea taken from a cat. Its head alone is the size of a cat flea or dog flea. There was no authenticated photograph of a live giant flea until recently. (Photo by Merrill Peterson / The New York Times)

Straight from your nightmares to this blog post: a super-sized insect living right here in the Pacific Northwest.

At almost half an inch long, this flea is a behemoth, at least when compared to other fleas. In any case, it’s big enough to creep me right the heck out.

It lives on the mountain beaver, which is an abundant species, but it had not been photographed until recently.

2 ‘Superhero’ becomes one of the bad guys

A man in a Spider-Man suit is accused of punching a police officer in New York’s Times Square.

The cop had stepped in when the man demanded a bigger tip from a woman who took a photo with him. Spidey said to “mind your own (expletive) business.”

When the costumed man didn’t produce any ID — presumably, it would have blown his cover, as his name isn’t Peter Parker — the cop tried to arrest him and got slugged in the face, according to the NYPD.

3 Suspect caught with pants, and everything else, down

An injured, naked auto-theft suspect was found near this SUV after a rollover accident. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol)

An injured, naked auto-theft suspect was found near this SUV after a rollover accident. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol)

State troopers responding to a rollover crash on Interstate 5 found the driver in need of both clothes and handcuffs.

The naked, unconscious man — taken to Harborview Medical Center before likely being booked into Snohomish County Jail — was suspected of breaking into several Lynnwood businesses that morning.

Troopers did not know why he was naked.

4 Road-raging man run over by his own truck

Perhaps he was blinded by (road) rage — or perhaps he was just blind drunk.

A man who drove into the car in front of him got out of his truck to bang on the other driver’s window… but he forgot to put the truck in park.

The other driver got scared and drove away. With nothing to hold it in place, the truck rolled into its owner, fracturing his hand and foot.

More instant car-ma: Last week, a car thief crashed the Mustang he was drunkenly joyriding — and rolled to a stop right in front of Seattle police headquarters.

5 The ’80s version of Instagramming your beach vacay

A highlight from our Picture This blog

This 1985 photo is from our occasional feature “Postcards from the Past.”

No doubt today these guys would instead be tweeting photos with #alki #seattlesummers #blessed or something, rather than engaged in actual out-loud phone conversations about the gorgeous weather. Maybe the ladies on the sand would be sending submissions to Hot Dogs or Legs, one of the silliest beach trends the Internet hath wrought.

Dave Black, of Seattle, left, and Dan Hotes, of Hermosa Beach, Calif called their friends to tell them how nice it was at Alki Beach in West Seattle. Hotes said he called a friend in Hermosa Beach to tell him how nice the weather was up here, how much fun he is having." Hotes said he was just here on vacation but would stay a little longer. (Photo by Paul Miller / The Seattle Times, 1985)

Dave Black, of Seattle, left, and Dan Hotes, of Hermosa Beach, Calif called their friends to tell them how nice it was at Alki Beach in West Seattle. Hotes said he called a friend in Hermosa Beach to tell him how nice the weather was up here, how much fun he is having.” Hotes said he was just here on vacation but would stay a little longer. (Photo by Paul Miller / The Seattle Times, 1985)

Have a more contemporary summer photo to share with us? Post it here or here. Or just tweet it at us — you know, the old-fashioned way.

Comments | More in List, Roundups, Weird news | Topics: Alki, assault on a police officer, beavers

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