As a reformed journalist, I have a lifelong fascination with weird news—an addiction that a single state tries hard to satisfy.
Every. Single. DAY.
No other state can hold a candle to Florida.
It’s the only state with its own Fark tag, with so many weird news headlines starting with “Florida man” there’s a Twitter handle that endlessly tweets out insane stories starting with those two words.
I could not love Florida more for this.
Here’s a sample of recent Florida headlines, lovingly curated by fark.com:
All this craziness packed into a single state begs the question: Why does Florida Man live in Florida?
Theory # 1: Deadly wild animals up the wazoo
Alligators, sharks, pythons invading the Everglades—and those are just the apex predators. You’ll find crazy stories about rabid racoons, bat infestations and all sorts of animal disasters and shenanigans. Yes, that’s the proper spelling. Take note.
Few other states boast the biodiversity needed to generate this much mayhem.
Theory # 2: Dumb criminals
A weird news story’s power gets squared when a stable genius criminal does something truly idiotic only to have karma delivered by the local wildlife.
One great example: man commits a robbery at night and the cops chase him … so he makes the brilliant move of hiding in a nearby pond, where an alligator has him as a midnight snack.
Theory # 3: Paaaaarty time
Florida is seen as a tropical getaway, a place where you go to party on spring break or to retire in the sunshine.
Alcohol and drugs are a common ingredient in weird news stories. Florida gets far more than its fair share of dumb criminals doing dumb things after getting hammered or high. Sometimes both.
Theory # 4: The power of convergence
Every great weird story is a combination of factors, usually (1) men who are (2) drunk or high, doing something risky involving (3) crime, (4) firearms, (5) explosives or (6) wild animals who can kill you.
It’s like baking a cake. Even if most states have an ingredient or two, they don’t have all six, not in the quantities that Florida does. It’s a giant state, one of the biggest, with more people moving there all the time and all those pythons in the Everglades busy laying eggs when they’re not fighting alligators. The weird news will only grow with time.
Florida is an interesting, dynamic place, a semi-tropical paradise that also happens to be home to some of the craziest stories you’ll ever see. We love you, Florida Man—don’t change a thing.