From the Tromp family’s bizarre road trip to the Bangladeshi boy who looks like an old man — the mysterious news stories of 2016 prove truth can be stranger than fiction.
Here are some of the most baffling tales.
The Tromp family
In August this year, Mark and Jacoba Tromp and their adult children Ella, Riana and Mitchell left their home in Silvan, east of Melbourne, taking cash but leaving behind bank cards and mobile phones.
Police found the house unlocked, with paperwork everywhere.
As they drove towards NSW, Mitchell’s phone was thrown out the car window.
One day later he left the family trip at Bathurst, describing his parents as scared, paranoid and worried they were being followed.
The two girls left their parents at Goulburn, where Riana was hospitalised with stress-related issues.
The family’s car was later pulled over in Wangaratta, after police received a report it was following another car, and a man, believed to be Mark, ran away into a nearby park.
Meanwhile, Mitchell and Ella had made their way back to Victoria to find police at their home.
Their mother Jacoba was found the next day in Yass — where she too was assessed for stress-related concerns.
The search for the family came to an end when Mark was found on a street near Wangaratta airport in “good health”.
Ella and Mitchell spoke to the media, saying their disappearance was “hard to explain” and referred to the situation as a “family matter”.
At the time, one police officer described it as “the most bizarre case in 30 years”.
The case, which made headlines around the world, remains a mystery, but theories have included drugs, financial troubles, mental illness and “shared delusions”.
Mysterious kangaroo deaths
Hundreds of kangaroos were found dead in far west New South Wales this year from what was described as a “mystery disease”.
Despite there being good feed and plenty of water around, something undetectable was knocking the roos off.
There were sightings of between 5-50 dead kangaroos at a time.
Former NSW Department of Primary Industry veterinarian Greg Curran suggested those figures indicated there were between 100-500 dead in any particular area.
“All the work we’ve done says it’s not a plant poisoning and it’s certainly not starvation,” he said.
“It’s possible it’s an infectious disease process, but so far we haven’t been able to pinpoint that.”
Earthquake lights in NZ
When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck near Christchurch in November, videos emerged that appeared to show the New Zealand sky lighting up in blue and green.