1. Bullet-Bouncing Armadillos
When a person aims a gun at an animal and fires, the normal result is that the animal ends up dead. Except in weird news, where the exact opposite occurs. In the world of weird news, the bullet ricochets off the animal and hits a person — either the shooter or an innocent bystander. This happens often enough to be a recurring theme.
The most recent example of this phenomenon comes from Cass County, Texas, where early in the morning of July 30, 2015 a man saw an armadillo enter his yard.
Not wanting it there (Texans regard armadillos as pests), he grabbed his gun and fired a shot. The bullet ricocheted off the creature’s scaly armor and bounced right back at the shooter, grazing him on the jaw. The injury was serious enough that he needed medical care at a hospital.
At least, this is the story that most media outlets reported. But when the Huffington Post talked with Chief Deputy Roy Barker of the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, he told them that the bullet actually ricocheted off a rock. So the real event doesn’t seem to be quite as weird as the version that went viral.
Nevertheless, there has been a verified earlier case of a bullet-bouncing armadillo. In April 2015, Larry McElroy of Lee County, Georgia fired a 9 mm pistol at an armadillo in his yard. The bullet took a circuitous route before arriving at its final, unexpected destination. It hit the armadillo (killing it), then bounced off the creature’s armor, struck a fence, went through the back door of his mother-in-law’s mobile home, passed through a recliner, and struck the back of McElroy’s mother-in-law, who was sitting in the recliner.
She suffered only minor injuries, but in the words of Bill Smith, an investigator with the sheriff’s office, “The whole situation was unusual.”
Continue on with the rest of this slideshow to read about some other animals that have deflected bullets back at humans.
2. Bullet-Bouncing Woodchuck
In August 2013, 73-year-old Dorothy Sarnick pulled into the parking lot of Pennsylvania’s Solomon/Plains Memorial Junior High School. She had her window down. She heard a loud pop, noticed her arm was bleeding, and realized she had been shot. But where had the bullet come from? She had no idea.
The answer emerged two days later when a local man came forward to confess that he might have accidentally shot her, in a strange, roundabout way.
He explained that he had shot a woodchuck behind his home. He saw the creature tumble down, then scurry off into the woods. So he assumed he had hit it. But when he heard that a woman had been shot, he realized that the bullet must have “ricocheted off of the woodchuck” and then headed into the nearby parking lot, striking the woman.
He turned himself in to the police and was charged with recklessly endangering another person.
3. Bullet-Bouncing Boar
In January 2013, a a 68-year-old man was hunting in the Oise region of France. He was standing in a portable watchtower when he spotted a wild boar, several hundred meters away. He fired at it and hit it. And almost simultaneously, a motorist over a mile away was struck in the head by a bullet and died.
In an attempt to explain what had happened, the hunters concluded that the bullet must have hit the boar, then ricocheted off at almost a right angle, continued on for more than a mile, passed through the window of a moving car, and then hit the driver.
Prosecutors were conducting their own investigation.
4. Bullet-Bouncing Cows
Thanks to their thick skulls, cattle have been involved in multiple bullet-deflection incidents.
In 2012, a New Zealand slaughterman shot a cow in the head, but the bullet ricocheted off the cow’s head and hit an 18-year-old assistant in the shoulder. The cow was only knocked out by the bullet.
Similarly, in 1990 a steer broke out of a holding chute in a Washington state slaughter house.
An employee fired a .22-caliber rifle at it, but the bullet bounced off the steer’s head (knocking it out) and struck another employee in the arm.
5. Bullet-Bouncing Millipede
In 1996, Jason Heck of Oklahoma saw a millipede crawling into a hole, aimed his .22-caliber rifle at it, and shot. The bullet ricocheted out of the hole, bounced off a nearby railroad track, then smacked into the forehead of Antonio Martinez, fracturing his skull.
According to other witnesses at the scene, the millipede escaped unharmed. So technically, the bullet didn’t bounce off the millipede, but we’ll still give it credit for deflecting the bullet.
It was his hole, after all. And he hit a human with a bank shot off a railroad, no less.
Martinez was treated at a local hospital and survived his run-in with a millipede.
6. The Bullet-Bouncing Rubberado
According to Western folklore, the rubberado is a round, porcupine-like creature whose flesh is extremely rubbery. So rubbery, in fact, that this creature moves around by bouncing from place to place. It’s useless to shoot a rubberado, because bullets will bounce right off of it.
Perhaps the rubberado isn’t “real” per se, outside of tales told around campfires. But its legend reveals that nineteenth-century folk living on the frontier were certainly aware of the existence of bullet-deflecting animals.
And we suspect that all the previous animals on this list must have had a bit of rubberado in them.