Some of the stories we covered this year made Germany seem like the Florida of Europe in terms of kooky news reports.
In no particular order, we bring you a sample of the stories that struck us as most astonishing this year.
1. Elite cops destroy offices in chainsaw tantrum
A Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) unit doing what they're supposed to. File photo: DPA
A group of special police didn't take the news that their unit would be dissolved too well, going on a destructive rampage that saw them ravage their own office space with a chainsaw.
File photo: francesco / Flickr Creative Commons.Things
It's always a nice surprise when you run into someone who haven't seen in a long time. But it's probably an entirely different feeling when that time frame is 31 years and that someone was declared dead.
This case left many puzzled as to how and why this woman remained missing for decades – and why a man confessed to murdering her.
Lady Gaga with owner Henrik Wille. Photo: DPA
Lady Gaga has won multiple Grammys, MTV awards and even set some Guinness World Records – but winning a German cow show competition was new territory this year.
A woman in Mecklenberg-Western Pomerania survived being accidentally shot in a hunting accident, because her bra somehow stopped the bullet.
Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel in July, only to discover a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. The tank proved a tad difficult to remove.
The German Chancellor's opposition to same-sex marriage is well known – and often mocked. But things are a little bit different in this lesbian magazine ad.
Much has changed in Dresden over the last 28 years. Communism collapsed, democracy blossomed and the city was reborn. But one thing has remained the same – a traffic light which has stayed red since 1987.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Two different men in Osnabrück found themselves in quite the literal bind when their “intimate rings” proved to tight for them to remove themselves, necessitating the help of local firefighters to rescue them.
A 23-year-old man in North Rhine-Westphalia admitted to giving his girlfriend a sedative so that he could keep playing video games with his buddy. Nevertheless, the couple are reportedly “working things out”.
Just kidding, she totally dumped him. And took him to court where he was fined €500.
File photo: DPA
In a surprising twist of both Germany's bureaucracy and rule-abiding culture, a teacher trying to right the wrong of swastika graffiti was actually the one left punished.