Between the marches, the hurricanes, the border, the wildfires, the bigotry, the Supreme Court, the notable deaths, the problems with Facebook and the whole Russia thing, there was no shortage of news in 2018.
It wasn’t all bad. “Black Panther” came out! We saw a royal wedding! They arrested a serial killer! That soccer team got rescued from a cave! The sheer volume of it all, though, has certainly felt overwhelming even to the most tuned-in among us. To underscore that point, here are some stories that you may have heard about but perhaps forgot happened in this one weird, long, jam-packed series of 365 days.
Without further ado, in 2018 ...
It rained iguanas
Kind of. Basically, January’s cold snap all along the East Coast caught our little scaly friends off guard. When iguanas get too cold, they enter a lethargic state until their bodies warm up again. And if they’re up in a tree when they become, essentially, lizard bricks, sometimes they fall. Which they did!
The government shut down two other times
While we are acutely aware of the current will-they-or-won’t-they funding crisis, a government shutdown happened on two previous occasions in the past year. Once in January for three days and another time in February for nine hours.
Vanessa Trump no longer wanted to be married to Donald Trump Jr.
Love died in March 2018.
Hundreds of teachers went on strike
Teachers protested low pay and substandard working conditions early this year in states such as West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona ― and some even got what they wanted.
Kim Kardashian had another baby
The reality star and her husband, Kanye West, welcomed their third child on Feb. 1. Baby Chicago West joins siblings Saint West and North West in this crazy thing we call life.
The Winter Olympics occurred
Athletes from 92 countries turned up last winter to ski, skate, snowboard, sled and curl in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Norway won the most medals, with Germany and Canada coming in second and third and the U.S. in fourth. Because of systemic doping at previous games, Russian athletes were barred from competing under their flag and placed 13th. No one won the games like this squirrel, though.
Net neutrality died
The Obama-era rules mandating that all internet content be treated equally ended officially in June.
A judge said the person who won a $560 million lottery jackpot could remain anonymous
In March, a New Hampshire woman was allowed to collect her winnings without making her identity known, so as to live a quiet life of wealth and decadence.
Yanny vs. Laurel
A video clip shared far and wide on the internet in May separated humanity into two tribes: those who heard “yanny” spoken in the clip and those who heard “laurel.” The New York Times made a cool thing to help explain why.
A guy sent a ballistic missile alert to people in Hawaii
A NASA robot recorded Martian wind
Behold the first sounds recorded on Mars that have been heard by human ears.
An aide wrote President Donald Trump notes for a meeting, and he inadvertently showed them to everyone
The president apparently needed a cheat sheet on expressing empathy during a meeting with survivors of the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting and their parents in February. Photographers captured him holding a note with some reminders. Point No. 5 read simply, “I hear you.”
A sinkhole formed on White House grounds
Mother Nature’s metaphor, perhaps.
Google’s Art & Culture app showed people their art history doppelgänger.
Some were better than others.
Elon Musk smoked weed
On a radio show! For the very first time! The U.S. Air Force, which holds contracts with his company SpaceX, was unamused.
A very expensive piece of art self-destructed
In October someone bought Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” for $1.4 million at a stuffy Sotheby’s auction house, and the work’s ornate frame turned out to be a functioning shredder.
The Brits made a ‘baby Trump’ blimp, complete with a diaper and an iPhone.
On a summer visit to the U.K., the U.S. leader skirted the capital, where huge protests were staged against him. Trump described his travel plans thus: “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London.”
North and South Korea vowed to end the Korean War
Although Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un got most of the attention, both Koreas pledged this year to denuclearize the peninsula, and it seems that’s starting to happen.
Claire’s filed for bankruptcy, and so did Sears
Forbes called Kylie Jenner the richest ‘self-made’ woman
As should be obvious, Jenner comes from a very wealthy family with significant exposure in the media, making the magazine’s “self-made” claim feel wholly disingenuous.
After the National Rifle Association spokeswoman introduced herself to prime time cable news audiences as a shamelessly unwavering believer in gun rights, Parkland survivors took her down several pegs at a CNN town hall.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a bad time at the Red Hen
The White House press secretary launched cable news pundits into a frantic debate over the discourse when she was politely asked to leave a Virginia restaurant in June because of her role defending the Trump administration.
India decriminalized gay sex
People did some nice things in 2018! Like this big step forward for the global gay rights movement.
Ireland repealed its Eighth Amendment
Here’s another nice thing: Swells of Irish voters turned out to ax an ’80s-era abortion ban considered one of the most restrictive in the Western world.
Scientists got closer to ending mosquitoes
U.K. researchers eradicated caged mosquitoes using genetic engineering this year. Their work could have a hugely positive impact on global malaria cases and this reporter’s likelihood of ever going camping again.
A White House official allegedly removed a major document from Trump’s desk, and he did not notice
Journalist Bob Woodward’s Fear, a look at the Trump White House, contained among some alarming anecdotes a claim that officials covertly moved to prevent Trump from handling a document withdrawing the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement. One official said he would “just take the paper off [the president’s] desk.”
We confirmed that Ben Affleck’s back tattoo is real
The Fyre Festival guy got a six-year prison sentence
Billy McFarland, the 26-year-old organizer of last year’s “luxury” island music festival that turned out to be nothing more than a beautiful mess, was sentenced in October.
All those local news anchors were forced to read the same Trumpian script
Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns nearly 200 local news stations, forced its journalists to read a script backing Trump’s war on the news media. It was creepy.
Trump supposedly has a ‘fear of being poisoned,’ and that’s why he likes McDonald’s so much
Michael Wolff’s Fire & Fury, the Trump administration tell-all that made waves in January, included a claim that the president likes eating “safely premade” food because of ― allegedly ― his paranoia.
Early this year, some teens thought it would be funny to film themselves doing the Tide Pod challenge, in which a person bites into a Tide Pod, a product that saves you the time it takes to pour laundry detergent into the washer. They may or may not have been inspired by a 2015 Onion article. Their exact numbers are not known, but members of the news media responded en masse with the kind of righteous finger-wagging that accompanies news that certain teens have done a certain stupid thing.