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Brazilian woman prayed to Lord of the Rings elf after mistaking for saint

A Brazilian woman has revealed on Facebook that her grandmother has been praying daily to a Lord of the Rings figurine after mistaking it for an icon of a saint. Beautician Gabriela Brandao, from Florianapolis, posted images of the three-inch figure of the half-elf character...

Royal palace haunted by friendly ghosts, Sweden’s Queen Silvia says

A palace used by Sweden's royal family is haunted, according to Queen Silvia. But the queen says there is nothing to be afraid of as the phantoms at their private residence Drottningholm Palace are "pretty friendly".Silvia told a TV documentary that "there are ghosts, many"...

Man survives six hours treading water after marlin drags him off boat

A man has survived treading water for six hours after being dragged out of his boat by a marlin off the coast of Western Australia. The fisherman, believed to be in his 20s, was in a boat on his own when the drama began.He hooked...

Hollywood sign is altered to read ‘Hollyweed’

Residents of Los Angeles woke up to a new year and a big change: their famous Hollywood sign reading "Hollyweed". A vandal, dressed all in black, scaled the sign around 3am and threw huge white and black tarpaulins over the Os to make them look like Es.LA police are...

Has consumerism sent an ancient Chinese tradition up in smoke?

The present-buying frenzy of the festive season often prompts questions about whether the true meaning of Christmas has been forgotten. But it's not just Christians who worry about religious traditions being diluted by consumerism.The ancient practice of burning joss paper as an offering to dead...

Prisoners burrow out of jail by removing loo

A manhunt is under way after six prisoners escaped from a US jail by removing a toilet and crawling though a hole behind it. The inmates escaped the prison in Cocke County, Tennessee, early on Christmas morning.Bolts holding the toilet had rusted and the prisoners were...

A sheep stuck in a traffic cone is among 2016’s strangest animal rescues

A sheep who got her head stuck in a traffic cone was among the most unusual animal rescues of 2016, according to the RSPCA. The ewe was spotted in a Hertfordshire field in early December and was unharmed when the cone was removed by RSPCA...

‘Godmother of surf’ Gwyn Haslock braves freezing waters at 71

Gwyn Haslock is Britain's first female surfing champion and at 71 years old, still plunges into Cornwall's icy winter waters. When she first started surfing in the 1960s, she was one of the only women competing and had to enter the men's categories. Five decades later,...

Stunning waterfalls on Uluru after freak storm hits the Australian rock

A freak storm has turned one of Australia's most famous and driest attractions into a series of spectacular waterfalls. Uluru in Central Australia normally gets on average just 22cm of rain a year.But a huge Christmas night storm saw more than 23cm fall in 24...

So what does Santa Claus get up to at Christmas?

It's been a busy day for Santa Claus... Sky News takes a look at some fun ways Christmas is being celebrated around the globe: (c) Sky News 2016: So what does Santa Claus get up to at Christmas?