The lights are on
There's no doubt about it: Pokémon Go has become a cultural phenomenon, and it's rapidly engrossing players worldwide. Because of its immense popularity and its ability to mesh into real life on such a wide scope, several surreal news stories have popped up, from armed robbers luring unsuspecting players to a PokéStop to a woman finding a dead body whilst playing. Here are the craziest stories surrounding Pokémon Go that have caught our attention so far.
Pokémon Go Player Crashes Into Cop CarIt should go without saying that driving and playing Pokémon Go is a disastrous combination, but this logic didn't hit home with everyone. A man from Baltimore was zooming down the street in his car and accidentally crashed into a parked cop car. Apparently, it was because he was too busy staring down at the game on his phone, which he admitted quickly to the cops standing nearby. Unfortunately for him, it was also all caught on camera.
Woman Gets Stuck In Tree While Searching For Pokémon In CemeteryA woman from New Jersey was reportedly playing Pokémon Go in a cemetery, and somehow ended up stuck in a tree there. Unable to get back down, she had to phone 911 to come and rescue her. Let's just hope she caught whatever Pokémon was hiding up there. Totally worth it, right?
Two Guys Fall Off A Cliff While PlayingPokémon Go can be incredibly engrossing, especially for two guys from Encinitas, California. The two were so distracted while playing the game that they fell off a cliff of between 75 to 100 feet. Both of them received injuries from their rough falls.
Editor Brian Shea Falls Down A Hill In Attempt To Catch MagikarpThe two guys above aren't alone in their misfortune. Our editor Brian Shea took a tumble when he was out looking for Pokémon as well. Unbeknownst to him, he was heading for a hill but his eyes were glued to his phone screen. As he attempted to capture a Magikarp (and, according to him he succeeded), he took a hard fall downward.
Man Mistakes Teens For Burglars And Shoots At ThemA man from Florida was awakened in his home following a large noise, and grabbed his handgun to go outside and investigate. He found a couple of teenagers sitting in a car outside his house in the middle of the night, and suspected they were scoping out the area to find a home to rob. He approached the front of the vehicle and pointed his handgun at them, demanding that they don't move a muscle. The two sped off in response, and he shot at the car as they did so. Luckily, no one was injured.
Teens Get Stuck 100 Feet Underground In CavesA group of teenagers made the dubious decision to enter some mines in search of Pokémon in Wiltshire, England, BBC reports. The underground journey went sour when the four boys realized they were trapped inside. They called for help when one of them "miraculously" found a cell phone signal. If it was this difficult to find a signal, I'd bet they didn't catch a whole lot.
Missouri Armed Robbers Lure Victims To PokéStopWith new technology comes new problems. A group of four men surrounded a secluded PokéStop in Missouri and added a bunch of lures to it, so that it would attract a handful of players in the dead of night. What these unsuspecting victims didn't realize was that they would be ambushed by these men and robbed at gunpoint. Fortunately, the perpetrators have been apprehended and charged since the string of incidents.
Woman Finds A Dead Body Instead Of A PokémonShayla Wiggins, a 19-year-old girl from Wyoming, just wanted to expand her collection of water Pokémon. Instead, she made a grisly discovery. As she approached a river near her home, she discovered the corpse of a man that was drifting in the water.
Saudi Arabia Instates Pokémon Go BanWhile Pokémon Go isn't officially available in Saudi Arabia, it hasn't stopped hoards of people downloading the game illegally. In response to the global Pokémon frenzy, the Middle Eastern country's clerics reintroduced a 2001 religious edict, known as a fatwa. The edict was expanded to prohibit Pokémon Go throughout the region, in belief that it promotes polytheism and evolution.
Tons Of Pokémon Appear At Holocaust MuseumPokéStops are often associated with landmarks and points of interest. Unfortunately, these don't always turn out to be the best places to pull out your phone and catch a Snorlax. The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., for example, encountered the problem of several visitors playing the game instead of paying their respects. The museum has asked attendees not to play while visiting, and reached out to Niantic so that it could be removed from the game.
Email the author Elise Favis, or follow on Game Informer.