This week in 1513, around the time of Easter, Juan Ponce de León became the first European to land on the Florida peninsula, which he claimed for Spain and named after the Pascua Florida — the Spanish term for the Easter season. It’s fitting that the Spanish explorer was actually searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth, since there is certainly something otherworldly about the land that later became the State of Florida — or at least there’s something in the water. Whatever it is, people do things differently in the Sunshine State — whether we’re talking about attacks by cannibals or by Taco Bell burritos, state-sanctioned python hunting or rogue manatee surfing. So sit back, picture yourself under a palm tree, and soak in the 15 freakiest stories of the past year from one of the most extraordinary states in the union.
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