Warning - this is not for the faint of heart - it's just WEIRD!
Okay, I have a bizarre sister. No one believes how strange she is. This story illustrates this.
Background - she lives in a religious community called a Bruderhof. They're Hutterite communal living groups, kind of like a kibbutz with a group business, communal kitchens, assigned housing, have their own schools, all that. (That isn't the strange part - you just need to picture it.) My sister and her husband have been there for about 20 years, and raised their 5 children there.
So - my sister had pet rats (the lab rat kind) for a long time. She's allergic to cats and dogs, thus the pet rats. Apparently, there was a very special rat that the kids, when they were young, became very fond of and attached to - and when said rat passed away (this is the weird part) my sister somehow managed to cremate the rat. (Don't imagine this part, or ask.)
She then took the rat ashes, and put them in a little tin - and mailed this to my father. Now, my sister lived at that time in upstate New York - and mailed the ratty ashes to my father in Washington state. Her children had their hearts set on burying the rat at sea - and since our father is a professor of coastal geology, my sister sent the ashes with the request that he toss the ashes into the ocean. So when my father took his graduate seminar to a beach for an onsite lecture about some coastal process, he took the container of rat ashes, told his students that his 5 grandchildren wanted him to bury the rat at sea, and said if any students laughed they'd fail the class. So they stood there looking serious while he tossed in the ashes.
Now, I realize this really is very funny. But when my dad was visiting, and told us this story, I just sat there with my jaw dropped and my hands on my cheeks - WHO IN THE WORLD cremates a pet rat??????? Then mails the ashes 3000 miles to be "buried" at sea, when they live less than 30 miles from the Hudson River, which FEEDS INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN!?!?!?!
I realize that this is incredibly funny - trust me, I know this - but I'm also beyond appalled that anyone, no matter how bizarre, would actually do this!!!!