Calling 911 is a scary thought. Most of us have never had to do it, and hopefully we won’t ever have to. However, there is a group of people who think that 911 is a basic help line to call in any form of made-up emergency, like when social media goes down. You’d be surprised to learn just what people

Social Media

We understand that social media has integrated itself into our daily lives. We communicate with it daily, check it hourly, and it’s probably the last thing you look at before going to sleep at night. However, it should not be a life threatening matter when it goes down. You’d think that would be common knowledge, but shockingly, it is not.

image
iStock

The major social media apps and sites don’t go down often, but when they do, a jump in calls come in to local police stations about the social media powerhouses going down. When one of them went down for an extended period of time a couple years ago, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department actually had to send out a tweet about it: “#[socialmedia] is not a Law Enforcement issue, please don’t call us about it being down, we don’t know when [socialmedia] will be back up!”

image
sarahkana10/WordPress

And while you may think it’s just Los Angeles, since everyone there is just so social media obsessed, these calls have also happened in San Francisco and across the pond in England as well.

image
Dave Lee/BBC

So, if you ever try to log in and see that your page is down, take that rare opportunity to perhaps go outside. Or just get on Tinder.

Cattle on the Run

Okay, this call at least makes some sense but still shocking at how common it seems to be. We have all seen videos of this as well: random cattle running the streets of suburbia as they try to escape slaughter. It sounds like a thriller film like Get Out or The Purge except it’s cattle running for their lives. Kind of depressing.

But really, we’d probably call 911 or at least the Humane Society if we saw an 800-pound cow running across four lanes of traffic. One of the most recent cattle break-outs happened in St. Louis, Missouri, when six cows broke loose from a nearby slaughterhouse and ran around for several hours until they could be contained.

image
David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Seeing the cattle literally run for their lives brought up some real feelings for people including Susie Coston, the director of Farm Sanctuary, a New York–based animal rescue organization. “It’s just so incredibly sad. They’re just running for their life,” Coston said; she even offered to keep the animals on their farm.

image
Farm Sanctuary

The problem is, cows cost money—quite a bit of it, in fact. The owner of the slaughterhouse said he would be fine with selling them, but they cost around $1,800 a piece. One St. Louis resident opened a GoFundMe page in hopes of giving the desperate cows their freedom. And to end on a good note, they raised the money and actually saved all six cattle!

Policing People’s Farts

We are not sure what to say about this one. Maybe we just need to take a moment and pray for humanity. Yet, here we are.

In Australia, they have recorded calls of people who can’t pass gas and therefore think it is a life or death emergency and call their local 911 number (which is actually 000 in Australia, just FYI).

In England, on the other hand, they’ve had 999 calls for the opposite, where people are asking how to stop passing so much gas all the time.

While it seems completely trivial to receive that phone call, the operators really can’t take any chances as a spokesperson for their emergency services said, “It would be morally indefensible to gamble on the condition of a patient where we are not 100 percent certain that not responding is the appropriate thing to do.”

image
iStock

That makes sense, especially if they were to get a call like emergency services got in Michigan. A woman reported loud screams going on at their neighbors house and seemed like someone was frightened. The police arrive only to discover the woman was screaming at her boyfriend to stop farting so much.

image
iStock

However, there is one reported case of a woman in Sweden trying to press charges against a man due to his horrible gas. It got thrown out because they couldn’t prove he was trying to hurt her. Watch out the next time you try to Dutch oven someone though…

Empty Building Stakeouts

Another call that has some substance to it but ultimately ends up being a waste of time is reports of criminals being holed up in a certain location, house, or apartment. The police have to do their job and investigate the claim, which usually means officers will sit outside the location and keep an eye on it to see if there is any suspicious activity.

image
iStock

If they’re right, that’s fantastic, but more times then not it’s a wild goose chase and they end up watching an empty apartment. Like in West Palm Beach, Florida, when two carjackers were supposedly inside an apartment—the cops waited, threw in some tear gas and stormed in, only to find the place completely vacant.

image
iStock

Maybe it’s a good move if you’re the criminal and you want to divert the police, but otherwise it is a waste of taxpayer’s money. In Dallas, police had a six-hour standoff outside a house where they thought criminals were hiding. The house was empty. The same thing happened in Michigan, where the cops waited outside only to discover the suspects had fled and were already on the run.

Being Mistaken for a “Dancer”

We have seen it in movies and television shows, but it also happens in real life. An English officer in his mid-twenties saw a pub that should have been closed that had its doors open; he did his due diligence as an officer of the law and went in for a look around.

image
iStock

To his surprise, there were a group of women there who excitedly approached him thinking he was their exotic dancer for the evening. While he was flattered, he assured them we was an actual officer and then left, passing the real entertainment on the way.

It’s not always so simple though, as another man mistook one woman for an exotic dancer, but she was actually part of a real SWAT team, the man said in an interview. “I’d had a few … so I first thought it was another [dancer] but when I saw police dogs and the helicopter overhead and they started asking about John Heald I knew it was serious.” Heald was a suspected murderer in the area, so the joke became instantly less funny.

Adult Toys

This has to be one of the most embarrassing reasons for calling 911, but hey, it happens. We’ve all heard the urban legend of someone going through airport security as their, well, you know, goes off, causing security to investigate the vibrating electrical device. Well, the same thing apparently really does happen in public places as well.

image
iStock

In Germany, a bomb squad was sent to an arcade because people observed a trashcan vibrating. Upon investigation, there wasn’t a bomb in the trashcan, but instead, a fully functional adult toy. The police didn’t think it was an accident and believed that someone left the device in the trash can, on full power, on purpose.

image
iStock

In the States, a scare happened right outside a daycare when people reported several noises coming from some bags of trash. The brigade showed up with police, a K-9 unit, a bomb squad, and one of those robot bomb deactivators we’ve all seen in movies. The police discovered it was safe a couple hours later when they found the reason for all the vibrating sounds. Someone left a box of adult toys in the garbage and they somehow were all turned on.

image
iStock

While it is funny, the police say the person who called did the right thing. Better to be safe than sorry.