We kicked off the year wearing face masks to protect us from bushfire smoke, only to end it wearing them to protect us from a once in a century pandemic. It’s safe to say that few of us will look back on the last twelve months fondly. But before we slam the door shut on 2020 once and for all, let’s take one last look at some of the weirdest moments from the weirdest year ever.
Australian bushfire smoke travelled all the way to South America
Last summer, Australia experienced the worst bushfire season on record. For months, ash and smoke blanketed Sydney, and checking the Air Quality Index site each morning became the norm. But by the second week of January, it wasn’t a local problem anymore— international news outlets began reporting that the smoke had drifted some 11,000 kilometres to South America, turning the sky grey in Chile and the sunset red in Buenos Aires.
Tom Hanks tests positive for Covid-19 in Australia
At the beginning of March, little was known about the virus that would soon take over the world, but one man changed all that. On March 12, Tom Hanks took to Instagram to announce he and his wife Rita had tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in QLD to begin filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic. As one of the first celebrities to contract the virus, Hanks suddenly made the whole thing feel real. If he wasn’t safe, no one was. But thanks to Castaway, he had no qualms getting through the 14-day quarantine.
The Great TP Crisis of 2020
Ah, the great TP crisis of 2020. Who could forget? One day, you’re buying a 24 pack on special for $10, the next you’re bidding against a stranger by the name of Doom_prepper_19 on eBay for a 1-ply roll. As the impending lockdown loomed, Australians inexplicably took their panic out on the humble toilet tissue, leaving the country without a square to spare. Supermarkets had to impose limits on customers, hoping to curb fights like the infamous Bankstown Woolies brawl from breaking out.
Elon Musk named his baby X Æ A-12
By May, the coronavirus had well and truly captured our attention, and Elon Musk must’ve been feeling a bit neglected. What better way to get people to start talking about you again than by taking to Twitter to announce the name of your newborn son, X Æ A-12. He further elaborated that the correct pronunciation was X-Ash-A-12, like that makes it any better.
In July, everyone’s (least) favourite egomaniac, Kanye West, announced he would be running for president despite only qualifying for ballot access in 12 states. He suspended his campaign the day after the election after receiving a total of 60k votes in those 12 states. Unsurprisingly, Kanye’s failed presidential run wasn’t even the weirdest thing he did last year. In fact, just a week before the election, Kanye presented Kim Kardashian with a talking hologram of her late father, Robert Kardashian, who passed away in 2003. Kanye wrote the script for Robert’s hologram to read, which included the quote, “You married the most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world, Kanye West.” Yikes.
Macaulay Culkin turned 40
And his tweet announcing the occasion summed it up pretty perfectly: “Hey guys, wanna feel old? I’m 40. You’re welcome.”
A Qantas flight to nowhere sold out instantly
By September, our collective cabin fever was so intense that people were itching to travel anywhere—or more specifically, nowhere. Seats on an October 10 scenic flight over Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and other Australian landmarks sold out in under 10 minutes, making the seven-hour Qantas flight with no destination the fastest selling in the airline’s history. Some paid $2,765 just to experience the illusion of a long-haul flight once more.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping
No matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on, the Trump campaign’s Four Season’s Total Landscaping press conference blunder was a hilarious reminder to always read the fine print. On November 7, Trump took to Twitter to announce a press conference at “Four Seasons”, assuming it was the upscale Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. Shortly after, he clarified it was at “Four Seasons Total Landscaping”, in a parking lot between a sex shop and a crematorium. Rudy Giuliani strikes again!
Hilaria Baldwin Pretends to be Spanish
Just days before we thought 2020 was done with us, the internet tossed one last spanner in the works (or should we say ‘trabajos’). A random tweet reading “You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person” went viral, and web sleuths went to town uncovering evidence of her faking her Spanish accent and heritage. We soon learnt Hilaria’s real name was actually Hillary, that she was born and raised in Boston by her American parents, and that she had been lying in interviews for years. Among the treasure trove of evidence uncovered, nothing is more damning than a 2015 appearance on the Today Show where she pretends to forget the English word for cucumber. For a delicious compilation of her deceit, watch this. Your move, 2021.