Top 10 Bizarre Relationships in Children’s Media

Ahh… love… it’s everywhere, and children’s media is no exception, in fact, sometimes the couples that are in love in these pieces of children’s media are as weird as they come. I’ve taken the liberty of sorting out some of the weirdest ones and listing them here with ten being the least weird of the group and one being totally insane. Some of these couples are more well known than others, while others are ones you probably have never heard of before. Keep in mind, I only included one couple per movie or franchise, for those that included more than one crazy couple I chose the one that was more crazy or had more success than the other.

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Premiering in 2000, Dinosaur was a revolutionary film in terms of animation. It’s the first film EVER to put computer animated characters in front of live action backgrounds. But that aspect is not what we are talking about what we are talking about is the romance in this film. Aladar is a male iguanadon that grew up with a family of lemurs… not seeing any of his kind whatsoever until he’s a full grown adult. When he does, one of the first he meets is the female iguanadon Neera. He has to get through her brother Kron before he can win over her heart but he eventually does win her over when Kron is tragically killed by a carnotaur by giving her some comfort. At the end of the film audiences were treated to seeing Aladar and Neera’s batch of eggs, as Aladar’s lemur family greets his newly hatched son into the world. This isn’t necessarily a really crazy couple but the fact that Aladar hadn’t met any of his kind until adulthood puts them on this list.

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While Manny premiered in the 2002 Ice Age Movie, Ellie didn’t come until Ice Age: The Meltdown in 2006 (a big year for this list) These two are both Woolly Mammoths so it doesn’t seem that this couple is that incredibly strange unless you consider the fact that Ellie is Manny’s second mate! That’s right Manny had a mate before Ellie but she passed away a while before the first movie, a quick review of the beautiful cavepainting scene in the 2002 film will expand on this. Another factor that earned this duo’s spot on this list is the fact that for a big chunk of Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ellie who was raised by a family of possums, firmly believes that she IS a possum. It’s not until, out of the blue, she remembers  her possum mom finding  her that she realizes that she is a mammoth. Even still she is extremely close to her possum “brother’s” Crash and Eddie, and the three are basically a package deal for Manny. Another bonus for this couple, in the 2009 film Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Manny and Ellie welcomed their daughter Peaches into the world.

Stitch And Angel Sig By Gabziechan

Even aliens need love and Stitch is no exception, in fact, Disney took the liberty of creating a character just for the sole reason of being his girlfriend. Meet Angel experiment #624, who premiered in the 2004 “Angel” episode of Lilo and Stitch the Series. She basically looks just like Stitch but is pink with longer antennas which look uncannily like long hair. Her best talent however is her singing which she frequently uses to convince the other experiments to be either good or bad, even though she premiered in 2004 it took until the 2006 “Snafu” episode for the two to get together. The reason that these two have made it onto this list is simple… Stitch and Angel are cousins! I dunno if there are any hillbillies in Hawaii but it seems like these two pretty much mastered that area. Even so, “Angel” was voted number one best episode of the series when Disney Channel had fans of the series vote on the official website… and we wonder why we let our kids watch these shows.

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Those who enjoyed the first Brother Bear movie in 2003 were in for a shocker when they sat down in front of their tvs to enjoy this straight to dvd movie that came out in 2006. In the film it is spring, the season of love and noone is immune to it’s calls, not even good old Kenai, voiced by none other than Patrick Dempsey of Greys Anatomy fame. When Kenai runs into his old pal Nita he is thrilled to say the least, until he realizes that she only wants his help to return a necklace he gave her when they were little that apparently bound them together, meaning they could only be with each other. Of course, Kenai’s ‘McDreamy’ charm wins her over and at the end of the movie she ends up dumping the other guy, and changing herself into a bear so that she could be with him. This girl literally changed into a different species so that she could be with this guy! That’s not the weirdest part of this film though, anyone who has seen this movie won’t soon forget the literal bear wedding that is featured at the end of the film.

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This is the only double couple in the list, but I couldn’t list two of them without the their best friends. Everyone knows of Scooby Doo and his owner Norville “Shaggy” Rogers or Shaggy for short. Crystal and Amber on the other hand are characters that not too many people know of. In the film Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders which was released in 2000 (one of the two big years for this list) Shaggy and Scooby are sure that they have met their true loves in Crystal, an attractive female human who wears tye-dyed outfits and her pet golden retriever, Amber. They spend a great majority of the film together investigating recent reports of ‘alien activity’ in the local desert, and it seems that everything is going great until audiences were shocked with the reveal that Crystal and Amber were not what anyone thought they were, first they say that they are nature photographers, sweet! Then they say that they are not nature photographers but that they work for the government, investigating the alien reports, even more sweet! Then they say that yeah, they work for the government but not for any government on this planet… that’s right, Crystal and Amber are freaking aliens, not sweet! As Velma says “I always said everyone has somebody out there… but I never thought I meant out there.” It becomes quite obvious once this is revealed that it’s not going to work out since well long distance relationships never work out. The four part ways sadly and that was the last we saw of the groovy alien girls.

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I’m not talking about the original Teen Titans comics here, I’m talking about the Cartoon Network TV show that started in 2003. Throughout the duration of this show which got canceled in early 2006 the fandom for these two was INSANE to say the least. It took until the TV movie Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo in late 2006 for the couple to actually become an item. You might be asking why in the world are these two on this list? Ok, think about this, Robin is a human… and Starfire, well, she is an alien, a Tamaranian to be exact, a Tamaranian princess to be even more exact. This is a couple made up of a mere human boy and an alien princess! They’ve made it to number five on this list because not only are they an interspecies couple (a big trend in children’s media these days as you will see with the rest of the list) but I’m sure that most male readers would love to be on the Robin side of this equation.

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While they were both featured in the 2005 Madagascar movie, this wacky twosome didn’t become an official item until Madagascar 2 in 2008, making them the newest couple on this list. Audiences had no idea that it was coming until, about fifteen minutes into the second film Melman blurts out of nowhere that “I love you Gloria, I always have!” and the drama ensues. Completely oblivious to her best friend’s affections, Gloria goes off and finds a buff hippo guy to cozy up to by the name of Moto Moto (Which literally translates from Swahili into “Hot Hot”) who apparently only likes her for being “Big and Chunky”. It didn’t end sad for the tall guy however, because good old Melman Mankiewicz the third (yes, that is his real name, feel free to laugh all you want) finally managed to win Gloria over by attempting to sacrifice himself to the fire gods by jumping into a volcano… how romantic.

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Like Melman and Gloria, this interspecies couple consists of a giraffe, but that’s about where the similarities end. This time around the female, Bridget is the giraffe and the male, Benny is… a squirrel. This strange couple who premiered in the 2006 film The Wild did not start off smoothly. Benny at the beginning of the film is obviously interested in Bridget, who seems to have no interest at all in having a relationship with a squirrel. Amazingly enough, by the end of the film after going through crazy adventures helping their pal Samson the lion retrieve his son Ryan, Benny is able to win Bridget over, actually earning a kiss from her! Apparently in this movie, more commonly known as Disney’s cheap version of the much more successful Madagascar series that Dreamworks created that kind of stuff happens. But hey, at least these two beat Melman and Gloria on this list… although the two couples next on the list are certainly much more bizarre.

Horton Gertrude

This couple made up of two characters who have been around for around 50 years premiered in the 2000 broadway play based off of Dr. Seuss’s works. Horton is the well-known elephant from the “Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg” books and Gertrude is the little known blue bird from one of the ‘other stories’ in “Yertle The Turtle and Other Stories”. The writers of this play however decided to be a bit daring and pair the two up anyway. In the show Gertrude McFuzz (yes, that is her real name) has been living next door to Horton for a while and has found that well… she kinda is head over heels in love with the guy. The issue? She only has a one feather tail, which she is sure is a turn off, so she goes to the doctor of the jungle and literally gets “pillberries” to make it grow. Of course, Horton takes no notice and when he is kidnapped by the circus while he is watching over Mayzie’s egg she finds that the tail is too long to allow her to fly! Gertrude gives in and gets the tail plucked and goes through (I am not kidding here) being attacked by a dog, hurting her foot and being the victim of a hit and run among other things in order to find him at the circus and rescue him. This wins Horton over and when the egg hatches the two decide to raise the Elephant Bird inside together. Oh, and by the way, this play closed on broadway after only seven months, apparently the plot was too complicated, go figure.

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This could quite possibly be the most well known couple on this list. This crazy couple made up of a talking donkey and a fire-breathing dragon first premiered in the 2001 film Shrek and are going strong. Like Horton and Gertrude, Bridget and Benny and Melman and Gloria above, they are an interspecies couple. However, Donkey and Dragon have 5 little things that shot them up to this number one spot, Their names are Peanut, Parfait, Coco, Bananas and Debbie and they are Dronkeys. That’s right, Donkey and Dragon somehow managed to mate and produce a litter of 6 kids who premiered in Shrek 2 in 2004. Note that I only said five names though, sadly enough one of the six mysteriously disappeared between Shrek 2 and Shrek the third which premiered with only 5 Dronkeys in 2007. Don’t ask how they managed to have kids though, even Donkey has no idea. In Shrek The Third when Shrek mentions that he knows how Fiona got pregnant, he just can’t believe it happened, Donkey responds with a serious “How does it happen?”

Honorable Mentions: Shrek/Fiona from the Shrek Franchise, Doppler/Amelia from Treasure Planet, Skipper/Bobblehead Doll from the Madagascar Franchise.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2009/12/12/top-10-bizarre-relationships-in-childrens-media/

10 Crazy Courtship Rituals Around The World

Being in love can make people do the strangest things. It just goes to show that animals aren’t the only ones capable of exhibiting bizarre courting behavior—not by a long shot. In the tradition of Valentine’s Day, let’s look at some cultures around the world—and the crazy stuff people do for love.

10Night Hunting

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Love can make boys do crazy stuff, like sneaking up into a girl’s room in the dead of night—all the while risking arrest or a shotgun to the face by an angry father. For the men of Bhutan, this tradition has been ingrained in their culture for the longest time—a form of courtship known as “night hunting.”

Formally known as “bomena,” night hunting started in the eastern rural areas of Bhutan, and involved a man who would sneak up into a girl’s room and spend the night there. If caught, he would have to either marry the girl or work it off on the girl’s family’s fields. In the worst-case scenario, the man would leave the girl after he impregnated her.

Night hunting continues to be observed today, especially by the eastern folks of Bhutan. To combat this, DNA testing and several laws were put into place to afford women protection. Also, families have now secured their homes with steel locks in order to prevent a hunter from entering. Debates are still ongoing as to the moral and ethical aspects of the practice. Whether night hunting will continue or dies out remains to be seen.

9Fighting With Pandanus Leaves

People of the Balinese village of Tenganan have taken fighting for love up a notch with their highly ritualized Usaba Sambah Festival. The event, which happens every May, is also a sort of coming-of-age rite for all the unmarried men of the village—and the perfect chance for them to attract the ladies. The men fight inside an arena, armed with the thorny leaves of the pandanus plant, and with only a bamboo shield to protect them. As one might surmise, blood flows freely among the combatants.

Meanwhile, the unmarried girls—far from being squeamish—are usually eagerly watching the action. To ensure they get the best view, the girls are placed on a foot-powered Ferris wheel (you read that right) that stops turning only when all the men have finished fighting—a process that takes several hours. If it’s any consolation to the guy powering the Ferris wheel, sometimes there are zero single ladies in the village.

8Japanese Matchmaking

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For the notoriously self-effacing Japanese, finding a spouse could be a bit troublesome. Thankfully, that problem has been remedied with the time-honored practice of omiai. Although to outsiders omiai means nothing more than an arranged marriage, the practice itself is far more elaborate. Before any meet-ups, the matchmaker conducts a comprehensive background check of the man and woman, as well as their families. An exchange of pictures between the candidates and their families also occurs. The stringent cross-examination ensures that the families are well-suited to each other and also lessens the chances of future conflict.

Omiai started during Japan’s feudal age and was utilized mostly for political alliances. The practice greatly declined after World War II, when the resulting Western influx influenced young Japanese couples to go out on dates. However, the practice of omiai is still used to a large extent by the Japanese, especially those in the upper tier of society. Even major corporations like Mitsubishi have used omiai, mainly to help their employees find a marriage partner.

7A Message Wrapped In Rice

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The girls of the Miao ethnic group in Southwest China have a very unique method of communicating their love. During their Sisters’ Meal Festival in April—which is their equivalent of Valentine’s Day—the girls dress ornately and cook lots of sticky rice in four different colors, with the colors representing the four main seasons of the year. They then give the rice, rolled in a handkerchief, to the suitors who serenaded them.

If the man wants to find out if he has landed a girl, he must unwrap the handkerchief and sift through the rice. If he finds two red chopsticks, then good news: It means the girl likes him back. If it’s only one chopstick, then the girl has politely turned him down. Woe to the man who finds a garlic or chili: It means the girl has just flat-out rejected him. A girl who hasn’t made up her mind will put in a pine needle. That signifies her intention to wait for the man—provided he gives her more gifts.

6Love Huts

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Unthinkable for most prudish fathers is the thought of their precious daughter having to spend the night alone with a suitor. For two ethnic groups, this has been a long-cherished tradition.

Let’s start with the Zulus. Although other parts of Africa practice it, the Zulus are especially noted for their bizarre take on the tradition. During the latter stages of the courtship phase, the father of the girl builds a separate hut, where she and her suitor can meet at night. Far from being liberal, the father is actually quite strict in doing this—by building the hut he does not allow the suitor into his home, nor does he acknowledge the courtship. It is only when he asks his daughter to get cattle from her suitor that the father finally recognizes his existence.

Fathers of the Kreung tribe in Cambodia’s northeast areas, on the other hand, are very liberal on that notion. Not only do they build love huts for their daughters, they also encourage them to take in as many boys as they want (sometimes on a single night), until they finally find their true love. While this may sound like a setting for a bad porn movie, incidences of rape are very low and divorce is virtually non-existent among the people. The Kreung actually value a long-lasting marriage—hence the search through so many suitors.

5Buying A Bride

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Thanks to technology, finding a lifetime partner has never been this easy, as highlighted by the innumerable mail-order brides and dating websites that have popped up on the Internet. However, the practice of buying love has long been entrenched in the Thai province of Chiang Rai.

The process starts innocently enough: A man comes up to a girl he’s interested in and starts flirting. If she likes him back, they go on a date to get to know each other better. At this point, the whole process gets fast-forwarded. The pair go to the woman’s house, where the man negotiates with the girl’s mother for her price and the length of time she gets to stay with him. After everything is settled, the girl can now stay with the man. Depending on the agreement, that stay can range from a few months to a whole year. If the man likes the girl enough, he can also opt to buy her for a lifetime of companionship.

4Men’s Beauty Pageant

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In the African tribe of Wodaabe, it is the men (and not the women) who dress to impress. Men of this tribe value beauty, and often spend most of their days grooming and adorning themselves, in order to appear attractive to the women. The preening takes on epic proportions, especially during their annual courtship festival, called “Gerewol.” In this week-long festival, the men dress to the nines and enter a dancing competition called the “Yaake.” In this dance, the competitors form a single line and dance away, while being watched by a mostly-female audience. The judging panel itself usually consists of three women, who choose the winners based on their dancing skills and overall good looks.

While it’s mostly fun and games for the women, the festival is no cakewalk for the men involved—the dance itself takes place in the sweltering heat, for several hours a day.

3Courtship Whistling

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While boys are usually taught that whistling at members of the opposite sex is bad manners, the Kickapoo tribe of Mexico have used it for decades to whisper sweet nothings to their lovers. The practice itself is relatively young (lovers used to communicate with a flute up until 1915). The whistling usually takes place inside the village, during dusk, and is a way for a couple to plan their meet-up for the evening.

To prevent any mix-ups, couples have their own unique tones that they can easily recognize. As anyone in the village can hear it, the couple must also code their whistles carefully to make sure that only they can understand the message. While the whistling itself is usually just a short message, full-length conversations can also take place between the couple. The practice itself isn’t in danger of dying out soon—the boy will often bring a younger brother along, so that he too can learn the art of whistling.

2Sweat-Scented Hankies

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If the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then for women it must be the nose—according to some very innovative lotharios. In some anecdotal accounts, European men (and a few others in different parts of the world) would wear handkerchiefs underneath their armpits before attending a dance. Afterwards, the man would use his sweat-scented hankie to wipe the perspiration off his love interest’s face. Presumably, the girl would find the scent irresistible and fall madly in love with the man.

If you think that’s gross, during the 19th century some women in the rural parts of Austria would feed their men an apple slice they had lodged in their armpits during a dance. Even the royal folks could not resist the allure of the other sex’s scent, as exemplified by one noble who fell in love with the owner of a sweaty chemise that he had mistakenly used as a towel. Clearly there’s something to this olfactory business.

1Dyngus Day

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For those looking to have fun and maybe get a date after a rigorous observance of Easter, Dyngus Day is the perfect day. In this post-Lent festival, boys and girls douse those they liked with water or perfume. Aside from that, the boys also gently whip the girls they fancy with pussy willows. Roots of this Slavic festival can be traced back to pre-Christian times, where the dousing and whipping signified cleansing and renewal. Later on, the dousing came to be associated with the baptism of the first Christian leader of Poland, Mieszko I.

Nowadays, Dyngus Day is celebrated in countries around the world with a large Polish population. The festival is especially popular in Buffalo, New York, where Polish immigrants brought the tradition five decades ago. It has since become the perfect excuse for people to go out and find their future mates—with some revelers coming in from faraway states to celebrate the festival.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2014/02/14/10-crazy-courtship-ritual-around-the-world/

Top 10 Incredible Recordings

Before I start on the list, I feel that I should advise that a couple of the items here are quite horrific and I would recommend that those who are weak of heart or who have a nervous disposition avoid them. The items I am referring to are marked in the text. The items are not in any particular order as it is very hard to rate the historical importance versus the just plain weird value.

The Castrati were men who were forcibly castrated at an early age in order to ensure that they would not experience the hormonal changes of puberty that lead to the lowering of the male voice. This meant that as adult men they sang like a modern soprano (they retained their boy soprano voices). After the Catholic Church ensured that all nations banned the practise, Pope Leo XIII took the remaining Castrati into the care of the Sistine Chapel Choir to guarantee them a quiet life (at the time they had become the subject of ridicule). Moreschi is the only castrato to be recorded solo. In this recording he is over 50 years old and had lost much of the quality of his voice – nevertheless the resulting recording is incredibly eerie.

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This amazing French singer has one of the highest recorded notes in classical music. You must listen to the whole song – the last note is unbelievable! Put your crystal in a safe place! I have done some research and various sources give her highest note as either a B above Top C, or a D above top C, which, if I recall my theory classes correctly, would be B7 and D7 respectively. This is the last octave on a classical piano and is only three octaves lower than G10 (dog whistle pitch), the point at which humans can no longer hear the note. The highest recorded singer is Georgia Brown who is reported (by the Guiness Book of Records) to have reached G10.

Believe it or not, Florence managed, despite being famously awful, to sell out an entire concert at Carnegie Hall. She had many admirers (among them Enrico Caruso). This has to be heard to be believed. As a particular point of interest, after she recorded this song, she told the sound engineer that no second try was needed as it was perfect. See for yourself. (She is singing Queen of the Night by Mozart, incidentally).

Pope Leo XIII (patron of Moreschi) was the first Pope in history to be recorded. He was the 256th Pope and reigned from 1878 – 1903 and is probably most famous as the Pope who declared Anglican religious orders invalid (ie, he said Anglican priests and Bishops are laymen). He also strongly promoted the study of the Bible in the home and was known as the Pope of the People. In this recording he chants the Ave Maria (Hail Mary).

William Joyce (or Lord Hawhaw has he more well known) was a fascist politician who worked for the Nazi’s during the war as a propagandist. His distinctly “posh” English accent is the cause of him receiving his mocking nickname. Joyce broadcast propaganda from radio stations in Berlin, Hamburg, and Luxembourg. Whilst it was not illegal to listen to his broadcasts in England, it was frowned upon. Nevertheless his recordings were very popular with the public as a source of amusement. He became a hated and ridiculed figure. He escaped after the war but an English soldier overheard him talking at a cafe and recognised his voice. He was arrested and executed for treason. This recording is a snippet of one of his propaganda broadcasts and it begins with his signature “Germany calling, Germany calling”.

Number Stations (shortwave radio stations of unknown origin) have been reported since World War I and continue to this day. No one knows what their reason is though many people suspect they are coded messages used for espionage (though no country has admitted this). The broadcasts are usually a female voice (though male voices have been heard) and they generally broadcast streams of numbers, words, or letters. They are sometimes apparently random, and other times organised. In the 90′s, amateur radio enthusiasts tracked the source of one number station to a US military base. The FCC refused to comment. You can read a much more indepth article on number stations here.

Florence Nightingale was the first person to recognise that hygiene and food were important in the care of patients (up until her time, hospitals did not worry about hygienic conditions). She is considered to be the mother of modern nursing. She lived from 1820 – 1910. She is also sometimes referred to as the Lady of the Lamp. This recording is one of three she made in 1890 to people she had known during her work in the war effort.

Exorcism is the ritual used by the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church to cast devils out of a possessed person. Throughout this Russian exorcism you can hear the voice of the priest reciting the prayers of the ritual while the afflicted (I can not tell if it is a male or female) person screams in a variety of voices. It is quite horrifying to listen to and I would not advise it for people who have a nervous disposition.

Jim Jones was the American founder of the People’s Temple group. The group became infamous after the November 18 1978 mass suicide/murder in Guyana where the group had moved after rising tensions in the USA. Nine-hundred-and-nine people drank cyanide after Jim Jones ordered his men to kill visiting Congressman Leo Ryan and numerous members of his entourage. In this horrifying recording you hear the last 30-45 minutes of Jones directing his followers to poison their children and then themselves. At one point one of the female voices on the tape is heard to say “It’s okay – they aren’t crying because of pain – it is just because of the bitter taste). Some of the bodies found had died of forced cyanide injection or gunshots. Jones was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head. Discretion is advised in listening to this recording. If the recording piques your interest, I would recommend buying the excellent recent documentary on the tragedy called Jonestown – The Life & Death of Peoples Temple. The DVD was just released in April, 2007.

Frank Lambert was a French – American inventor. Lambert was born in Lyon, France and then moved to the United States in 1876 and became a citizen in 1893. Lambert is currently in the Guinness World Book of Records for the oldest playable recording on a machine called the Phonograph. Lambert was also famous for inventing the modern typewriter. This is the first recording of a human voice in history from 1878.

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Okay, I know this is a top ten list, but there has been so much demand from reddit to add the Sounds of Hell recording that I have added it. The background is that a group of Russian scientists were digging in Siberia when their drill started spinning wildly (usually indicative of hitting a pocket of air). They lowered microphones into the hole (apparently this is normal as the sounds can help to determine what the physiological makeup is of the area they have drilled to). When they listened to the resulting recording, it appeared to be sounds coming straight from Hell. This is, in fact, a hoax. It has gained great popularity on the internet and does have some basis in fact – but the bit about hell is, well, not true.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2007/07/15/top-10-incredible-recordings/

Top 10 Unbelievable Miniatures

There was once an excellent collection of miniatures displayed in a Southern California themepark (not Disneyland) that was known as Mott’s Miniatures. Sadly, that marvelous collection has been auctioned out to others and all that remains is a poor substitute, by way of photos, on the Mott’s website. The readers at ListVerse have a hunger for the odd and unusual, yet there is no list here that covers the subject of miniatures. This list is a salute to the world of the tiny, both man-made and those that nature has seen fit to create.

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Not to be confused with microscopic plankton and diatoms, these are indeed fully formed seashells on a minuscule scale. A great many gem and mineral societies world-wide have divisions devoted to the study and worship of these tiny homes that can be found in sand samples from around the world. And remember that impossibly tiny as these shells are, the original inhabitants were even smaller, as they had to fit within. There is no evidence, so far, of any species of hermit crab that may have used these microshells as a borrowed home.

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Nanotechnology, nanorobotics, nanomachines. An ever expanding field of science and technology expected to revolutionize the world as we know it. The simplest, (though hardly simple), of nano machines are being constructed for biological study to better understand the mechanics of the cell, and all it’s natural capabilities. The hope is that humans may be able to replicate some of these functions, towards the better health of mankind in the future. Science envisions great strides in the fields of molecular biology, medicine, chemistry, physics, and nanocomputers through the development of these microscopic motors. Many of these machines are as small as 1/2 the width of a human hair and others are so small several hundred would fit in the space of the period at the end of this sentence.

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In 2007 nanotechnology was pushed to another extreme when Technion inscribed the entire Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible onto a space less than half the size of a grain of sugar. The team etched the 300,000 words of the Bible onto a tiny silicone surface less than .5 mm square by blasting the silicone with gallium ions.

The previous smallest, known, copy of the Bible measured 2.8 x 3.4 x 1 centimeters (1.1 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches), weighing 11.75 grams (0.4 ounces) and containing 1,514 pages, according to Guinness World Records spokeswoman Amarilis Espinoza. The tiny text, obtained by an Indian professor in November, 2001, is believed to have originated in Australia.

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There are ancients stone tablets from the city of Ur that observe the natural flying power of the common housefly. The ancient Egyptians mused about how the housefly’s powers may provide insight to the Pharaoh’s journey into the Afterlife. Even the great Nikola Tesla had a curiosity about insect power, as excerpted here.

“His sixteen-bug-power motor was, likewise, not an unqualified success. This was a light contrivance made of splinters forming a windmill, with a spindle and pulley attached to live June bugs. When the glued insects beat their wings, as they did desperately, the bug-power engine prepared to take off. This line of research was forever abandoned however when a young friend dropped by who fancied the taste of June bugs. Noticing a jarful standing near, he began cramming them into his mouth. The youthful inventor threw up.” Adopted from “Tesla: Man out of time”, by Margaret Cheney, 1981.

Dr. Richard Brewer is given credit with manufacturing the first prototype fly powered airplane in 1949, constructed of balsa wood and the cellophane from a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes. Reportedly Dr. Brewers prototype plane was delivered to the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum during the 1960′s. Insect powered aircraft have become quite a well followed hobby with many websites devoted to blueprints and instructions to construct miniature planes that utilize houseflies or flying beetles as their motors.

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Called Quasihesma, these minutely small bees come from Cape York in Queensland. Known as the smallest species of bee, these little guys are only 2mm long. That’s approximately the size of the head of a pin. They come from the family Colletidae, and are often referred to collectively as plasterer bees, due to the method of smoothing the walls of their nest cells with secretions applied with their mouthparts; these secretions dry into a cellophane-like lining. Another distinction of this group of bees is that they are solitary bees. Although they have been known to build nest in groups, they do not manufacture hives.

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One of the many “humble” art mediums, matchsticks have been used to create a cavalcade of various structures and masterpieces. Commonly referred to as folkart, matchstick miniatures have also been classed as another form of “prisonart”, although the creators of such hardly need to have served time behind bars. The amount of art developed in this medium is immense, with artists each having their own vision of what they would like to produce, whether it be stick carvings, match head sculptures, or homages to the engineering feats of mankind from every culture and civilization, created from minute lumber, one stick at a time.

Interesting trivia: The origin of matchsticks can well be dated back to 3500 BC. The Egyptians developed a small pinewood stick with a coating of a combustible sulfur mixture.

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What to do with those pesky pits that we find in our everyday foods. For centuries those pits from peaches, plums, cherries and olives have been thrown away with the garbage. But for quite of few folks with the ache to create, and with an extremely steady hand, those very pits are the “core” of their calling. The inspiration for this list, Mott’s Miniature’s had quite a “large” collection of pit carvings that can be viewed at their website. The American artist Bob Shamey has been featured by Ripley’s Believe It or Not not just once, but twice, for his carvings. At the National Palace Museum in Taiwan there is an olive pit carving of a tiny boat, with working shutters and facial expressions on all eight passengers.

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Guinness World Record for the smallest handmade chess set was awarded in 2006, and goes to M. Manikandan of Srivilliputtur, Tamil Nadu, India. His incredible creation has a chess board only 24 mm square. As for the playing pieces themselves, the largest piece is 10 mm high and the smallest is half that at 5 mm. A further search for mini chess sets revealed a beautiful solid gold set for sale on E-bay that also measured 24 x 24 mm. The owner has used slightly over 6 grams of 22 carat gold for which he is seeking 100,000 rupees. Though that may sound like a king’s ransom, converted into US dollars, the amount comes down to a less staggering $2,175, or 1560 Euros.

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Long considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity throughout the Asian world, rice has always held a position of high esteem and respect, not to mention being a daily staple food source around the world. It’s only natural that respect for this most humble of grains would evolve into it’s own field of art. Rice writing originated in ancient Turkey and India, and one of the oldest known examples of this art is housed to this day in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. To have a grain of rice with your name written on it is still thought to be quite a lucky charm, so many companies have made a small fortune by providing such services. Most of these tiny art pieces are suspended in small glass vials filled with mineral oil, to help magnify the writing on the minuscule grain.

Wigan

The pinnacle of handmade miniatures would have to be sculptures that are smaller than the eye of a needle. The hands down master of the art currently is Willard Wigan MBE. An artist who started his career at only 5 years old when he decided to start building homes for ants, he has continued to impress the world with his micro creations, the artist is often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. Wigan works primarily through the night, as even traffic noise from outside can destroy a piece he is working on. Using micro tools on a microscopic work field, he must control not only his pulse rate, but his breathing, as he has inhaled a few of his masterpieces, due to a poorly timed inhale.

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The Barbados Thread Snake was recently discovered in 2008. Recognized as the world’s smallest snake, the tiny reptile will only reach a maximum size of 10 cm long. (about 4 inches.), and are reported to be “as thin as spaghetti”. Due to it’s extreme tininess, females only lay one egg, which hatches out at half the size of the adult. A larger clutch of eggs would produce such small offspring that it would be near impossible for the snakelings to find sustenance.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2010/02/06/top-10-unbelievable-miniatures/

10 Things You Didn’t Think Still Existed

Like your first pet, your favorite bike, and your first kiss, there are some things you thought were gone forever. But some relics from the past have survived the forward marches of time and technology. The 10 items on this list will probably surprise you, since most of us haven’t heard of them in decades. The good news is that, unlike your first kiss, they can still be experienced again. Are you ready to feel younger?

10 Corporal Punishment In Schools

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If you think we left corporal punishment behind with segregation and McCarthyism, you couldn’t be more wrong. Hundreds of thousands of American children still get flogged, legally, in public schools every year. In 1977, the Supreme Court declared the practice lawful “where it has not been explicitly outlawed by local authorities.”

And in 19 states—mostly in the South and Midwest—your duties as a teacher or administrator may still include smacking students’ behinds with a wooden or fiberglass paddle. In 2012, 39,000 floggings took place in Mississippi alone—often for minor transgressions such as tardiness, talking in class, and untucked shirts.

9 The World’s Fair

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A World’s Fair (aka Universal Expo) has been thrown somewhere on Earth every 1–4 years since 1851. The next is in Milan, Italy, in 2015. But since the U.S. hasn’t hosted one since 1984, many Americans assume it isn’t held anymore.

The World’s Fair was once a huge deal, with attendance numbers exceeding a third of the entire US population. For the 1890 event, Paris built the Eiffel Tower. America answered back in 1893 by debuting electric lighting and the Ferris wheel. Ice cream cones, dishwashers, the Ford Mustang, and the Space Needle all came to us in this way.

However, attendance was so poor at the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans that it became the only exposition to declare bankruptcy while still open. Since no one wanted to stage a follow-up, the US withdrew from the Paris-based World’s Fair organizing body in 2001.

8 The Star Wars Set

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The Force is still with us—though apparently not for much longer. About 20 structures used to represent Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine still stand in the Sahara desert in Tunisia, North Africa. Most were built for 1999′s The Phantom Menace, but some date back to the original 1976 shoot.

Although remotely located in harsh terrain, the set has been such a major source of fanboy tourism that Tunisia asked George Lucas to leave it intact during his last visit. Alas, Tatooine is about to enter a losing battle with the ultimate phantom menace: a large sand dune, moving at a rate of five centimeters (2 in) per day, that is almost sure to swallow it whole in a few more years.

7 The Very First Website

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A little more than 20 years ago, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) published a mission statement for a new electronic platform invented by British physicist Tim Berners-Lee and hosted on a NeXT computer at Steve Jobs’ startup company.

The statement described the “WorldWideWeb” as “a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.” (Can you repeat that from memory?) It also begged nerds to “put up some data.” Oh, and Al Gore was not in the room.

The first website—more accurately described as a 1992 copy of the first website—has continued to exist on CERN’s servers. However, until a recent reconstruction for Internet history buffs, its original URL redirected to the root CERN site. It has since been restored to its original glory.

6 Tab Cola

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Tab was introduced in 1963 to imitate the success of Royal Crown’s Diet Rite cola (its name referred to the tabs that drinkers could now keep on their weight). The pink can with the chemical taste was everywhere in the ’60s and ’70s, before its sweetener, saccharin, came under fire as a possible carcinogen.

When Coca-Cola launched Diet Coke in 1982, adding the newly introduced aspartame a year later, most people naturally assumed that it replaced Tab. Instead, it simply drove it underground. Tab is now a niche Coke product still available on Amazon and in a handful of US markets.

5 The Original MGM Grand

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The hotel where a 1980 fire killed 85 people was repaired and reopened eight months later, and since 1986 it has operated under its current name: Bally’s. Most tourists—and even some travel guides—assume that the third-worst hotel fire in modern US history occurred at the site of the current MGM Grand, which had to be rebuilt from the ground up. And it’s a good bet that Bally’s current owner, Caesars Corporation, wants you thinking that, too. But it’s just not true.

The hotel—the most modern on the Strip at the time—suffered fire damage that was only internal and mostly confined to the lobby. And so it was merely remodeled, outfitted with sprinklers in every room, and, eventually, sold. Which means that, for the past 31 years, people have slept in the same upper-floor rooms where many of the victims died of smoke inhalation.

4 Telegrams

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Telegrams never completely came to a stop, which is good news if transmitting mail electronically is something you feel the need to pay for. Western Union popularized the telegram beginning in 1856. The concept—exploiting the hot, new technology of telegraph machines—was so successful that it single-handedly killed the Pony Express and survived all the way up to 2006.

But even though Western Union quit sending them, telegrams still exist. If you want urgent news delivered to someone who isn’t online, several entrepreneurial companies—such as Telegram.us, SendATelegram, and American Telegram—have swooped in to fill the void. But it’s going to cost you a pretty penny—overnight delivery of a two-sentence message costs about $15.

3 Phone Booths

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From the first time we saw Superman leap into a phone booth for a wardrobe change, the image has been thoroughly engraved in our minds—even for those who are too young to have ever used one personally. The mobile revolution has not been kind to the call-placing enclosure designed by William Gray and first installed in a Connecticut bank in 1889. They’re still around—four in Manhattan alone—but the companies who operate America’s 300,000 pay phones (yes, they still exist too) consider most of them a nuisance and are removing them.

What’s being lost is more than just a symbol of outmoded technology, however. We’re also losing one of the last bastions of public privacy. Phone booths are more effective even than bathrooms at shutting out the world for a little privacy on the phone.

2 Milk Men

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In 1963, according to the Department of Agriculture, nearly 30 percent of US households had cow-to-door delivery, a number that slid steadily downhill once milk became easier and cheaper to buy in grocery stores. By 2005, only .4 percent of the population was getting milk delivered to them.

But the move toward natural, local food—spurred largely by concern over milk antibiotics, hormones, and storage issues—has lured dozens of farms (including Denver’s Royal Crest Dairy, Washington State’s Smith Brothers Farms and Maryland’s South Mountain Creamery) back into the old-timey practice. Most use glass bottles; some even employ drivers in white uniforms and caps purely for the nostalgia value.

1 Pagers

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In the pre-cell phone era, pagers were used only by doctors, drug dealers, and A Tribe Called Quest. While everyone else moved on to cell phones, doctors are hard at work making sure this dead horse keeps kicking. The alphanumeric radio broadcasting devices—first used in 1949 by doctors at Manhattan’s now-defunct Jewish Memorial Hospital—are more useful in hospitals, where cell phones are prohibited around sensitive medical equipment and their reception isn’t as good anyway.

Also, recharging phones takes time and requires electricity, which may not be an option in emergencies. In fact, the entire SMS cell phone system may not be available during a public panic, which is also why firefighters and EMTs favor pagers.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2014/01/24/10-things-you-didn39t-think-still-existed/

Top 10 Bizarre Phobias

From Wikipedia: “A phobia is an irrational, persistent fear of certain situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one’s control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.” Here are the top 10 Bizarre phobias!

1. Ithyphallophobia – Fear of Erections [Answers.com]

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Defined as “a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of an erect penis”, each year this surprisingly common phobia causes countless people needless distress. To add insult to an already distressing condition, most fear of erection therapies take months or years and sometimes even require the patient to be exposed repeatedly to their fear. Known by a number of names – Medorthophobia, Phallophobia, Ithyphallophobia, and Fear of an Erect Penis being the most common – the problem often significantly impacts the quality of life. It can cause panic attacks and keep people apart from loved ones and business associates.

2. Ephebophobia – Fear of Youths [Wikipedia]

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The psychological and social fear of youth. The effects of ephebiphobia appear to cause damage throughout society. At least one major economist has proposed that the fear of youth can have grave effects on the economic health of nations. Coinage is attributed to a 1994 article by Kirk Astroth published in Phi Delta Kappan. Today, common usage occurs internationally by sociologists, government agencies, and youth advocacy organizations that define ephebiphobia as an abnormal or irrational and persistent fear and/or loathing of teenagers or adolescence.

3. Coulrophobia – Fear of Clowns [Wikipedia]

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Coulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns. It is not uncommon among children, but is also sometimes found in teenagers and adults as well. Sufferers sometimes acquire a fear of clowns after having a bad experience with one personally, or seeing a sinister portrayal of one in the media. The weird appearance of the clowns, swollen red noses and unnatural hair colors makes these persons look so mysterious and treacherous. Adults who are victims of coulrophobia know what they fear is completely irrational and illogical, but they can’t escape the circumstance.

4. Ergasiophobia – Fear of Work [Wikipedia]

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Ergasiophobia can be a persistent and debilitating disorder in some people, causing significant psychological disability and dysfunction. These individuals may actually be suffering from an underlying mental health problem such as depression or Attention Deficit Disorder.

5. Gymnophobia – Fear of Nudity [Wikipedia]

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Gymnophobia is a fear or anxiety about being seen naked, and/or about seeing others naked, even in situations where it is socially acceptable. Gymnophobes may experience their fear of nudity before all people, or only certain people, and may regard their fear as irrational. This phobia often arises from a feeling of inadequacy that their bodies are physically inferior, particularly due to comparison with idealized images portrayed in the media. The fear may also stem from anxiety about sexuality in general, or from a persistent feeling of vulnerability associated with the thought that those who have seen the gymnophobe naked will continue to imagine the gymnophobe nude.

6. Neophobia – Fear of Newness [Wikipedia]

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Neophobia is the fear of new things or experiences. It is also called cainotophobia. In psychology, neophobia is defined as the persistent and abnormal fear of anything new. In its milder form, it can manifest as the unwillingness to try new things or break from routine. The term is also used to describe anger, frustration or trepidation toward new things and toward change in general. Some conservative and reactionary groups are often described as neophobic, in their attempts to preserve traditions or revert society to a perceived past form. Technophobia can be seen as a specialized form of neophobia, by fearing new technology.

7. Paraskavedekatriaphobia – Fear of Friday the 13th [Wikipedia]

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A Friday occurring on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in English, German, Polish, Bulgarian and Portuguese-speaking cultures around the globe. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word that is derived from the concatenation of the Greek words ?????????, ?????????, and ?????, meaning Friday, thirteen, and phobia respectively; alternative spellings include paskevodekatriaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia, and is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a phobia (fear) of the number thirteen.

8. Panphobia – Fear of Everything [Wikipedia]

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Panphobia, also called omniphobia, Pantophobia or Panophobia, is a medical condition known as a “non-specific fear”; the sufferer finds themselves in a state of fear but with no known target, and therefore no easy remedy. It has been described as “a vague and persistent dread of some unknown evil”. This fear is often seen as a secondary condition to schizophrenia.

9. Taphophobia – Fear of being Buried Alive [Wikipedia]

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Fear of being buried alive is the fear of being placed in a grave while still alive as a result of being incorrectly pronounced dead. The abnormal, psychopathological version of this fear is referred to as taphophobia. Before the advent of modern medicine the fear was not entirely irrational. Throughout history there have been numerous cases of people being accidentally buried alive.

10. Pteronophobia – Fear of being Tickled by Feathers [Wikipedia]

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Pteronophobia is the irrational fear of being tickled by feathers. Certain childhood events, such as tickling a baby, can lead to this fear as the child may feel trapped. It is related to the fear of tickling.

Bonus: Luposlipaphobia

The fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly-waxed floor. This is actually a fictional phobia which was created by Gary Larson – author of the Far Side comics.

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Read more: http://listverse.com/2007/08/20/top-10-bizarre-phobias/

Top 10 Strange Topics That Need More Explanation

The world if full of mysterious objects, people, places, and events that need more research. In the last 30 years, humans have made some incredible scientific advancement in the area of archeology, astronomy, computer technology, radar, physics, chemistry, biology, and statistics. People are beginning to understand more about how the Earth was made and have identified anomalies that exist in space. Some of the research has opened up questions about historic events and scientific theories. We can only hope that people will evolve and gain a better understanding of bizarre historical events, instead of moving in the opposite direction. This article will examine ten strange topics that need a bit more explanation by world governments.

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On the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza, dozens of people captured photographic evidence of the murder. The most important evidence was taken by Abraham Zapruder and shows Kennedy’s fatal head shot. In order to determine exactly what happened that day, government officials have examined and scrutinized every angle of the videos. In some cases, mysterious people of interest have been identified. One of the most famous examples is the Babushka Lady, who was witnessed filming near the assassination, but never identified by the police.

Another mysterious figure that was seen during the JFK assassination is the umbrella man. The umbrella man can be seen in several videotapes and photographs of the assassination, including the Zapruder film. He is the only person in Dealey Plaza with an umbrella, which has been deemed unusual because it was a clear day. In the videos, the umbrella man can be seen opening his umbrella and lifting it high above his head as JFK’s limousine approached. He then spun the umbrella clockwise as the limo slowed down and JFK was shot.

In the aftermath of the assassination, the umbrella man sat down on the sidewalk next to the Stemmons Freeway sign. He then got up and walked towards the Texas School Book Depository. The true identity of the umbrella man has never been discovered. His actions have been at the center of multiple movies that examine the JFK conspiracy theory, including Oliver Stone’s film. The theory suggests that the man used the umbrella to signal the shooters. More specifically, he could have been signaling Kennedy’s driver, who was ordered to slow the vehicle. Many people who witnessed the assassination said that Kennedy’s limo came to an almost complete stop in the middle of the street before he was shot.

A less common theory is that the umbrella man used a poison dart to immobilize JFK during the assassination. Another person of interest is the dark-skinned man that is seen standing next to the umbrella man. During the Zapruder film, the dark-skinned man is witnessed making sudden movements toward JFK at frame 202. It almost looks like he makes a Nazi salute motion towards the president. The same dark-skinned man was photographed speaking into a walkie-talkie in Dealey Plaza.

In 1978, after an appeal to the public by the U.S. Committee on Assassinations, a man named Louie Steven Witt came forward and claimed he was the umbrella man. Witt says he brought the umbrella to Dealey Plaza in order to heckle Kennedy. Another theory is that the umbrella man was Cuban American Manuel Artime, who had a close relationship with E. Howard Hunt. Artime died mysteriously in 1977, which is the same time the U.S. assassination committee was investigating the umbrella man.

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There is a bizarre set of ancient walls that exist in the hills along the East Bay of San Francisco. Little has been written about the walls and their origin. The walls are constructed from closely fit basalt boulders, which serve as the foundation of the structures. The rocks are deeply embedded in the soil and weigh up to 1 ton. The walls extend for many miles along the hill crests from Berkeley to Milpitas and beyond, even all the way to San Jose, which is located 50 miles south. Some of the walls have been destroyed over the years, but large stretches still exist. In some places, the walls twist and turn abruptly and climb large hills. However, they don’t appear to enclose anything or serve a practical purpose.

The walls surround mountains and extend to Mt. Diablo, where people have discovered a strange stone circle that is 30 feet (9.1 meters) in diameter. The best preserved sections of the walls can be found on Monument Peak, which is east of Milpitas, California. In some places the walls have been known to reach the height of 6 feet (1.8 meters) and the width of 3 feet (0.9 meters). In one location the walls form a spiral that is 200 feet (60.9 meters) wide and circles into a boulder. The construction looks old, but no research has been done to determine their precise age. Before Europeans arrived in San Francisco Bay, the Ohlone Indians populated the region, but they didn’t use stone construction.

To the west of San Francisco Bay, there is another rock wall anomaly in Point Reyes that has drawn some attention. It consists of over 400 carefully laid stones that bisect the Tomales Point peninsula. It is currently unclear who created the Berkeley mystery walls, but some feel the structures were used as a defensive stronghold or line between Indian tribes. In 1904, UC-Berkeley professor John Fryer suggested that the walls were made by migrant Chinese, who traveled to California before the Europeans. Some specialists have noted that the walls look similar to other ancient structures found in rural Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. Some sections of the Berkeley mystery walls have been torn apart by acorns that fell within cracks, sprouted and became mature trees, and then died and decayed, which indicates the structures have been around for a long time.

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It can be argued that the most important video in the history of man is missing. On July 21, 1969, the live broadcast of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon was broadcast around the world. Six hundred million people, or one fifth of mankind at the time, watched the event. The video was extremely blurry because of the technological limitations of the time. In 1969, only limited bandwidth was available to transmit the video signal, which needed to be multiplexed back to the Earth, so the video of the Apollo 11 moonwalk was transmitted in a SSTV format of 10 frames per second at 320 lines of resolution.

Originally, the SSTV format was incompatible with existing NTSC, PAL, and SECAM television standards, so the tapes were converted to a different format. During the conversion, the live signal was sent to a high-quality video monitor and the screen was simply re-recorded with a conventional television camera and broadcast to the world. The optical limitations of the monitor and the camera significantly lowered contrast, brightness, and resolution of the original SSTV video. It also put a huge amount of noise in the broadcast.

You would think that NASA would have recognized the huge significance of the original analog tapes in SSTV format and kept them in a temperature controlled and safe environment, but this is not the case. In 2006, the story broke that NASA had lost 700 boxes of magnetic data tapes, including the original SSTV recordings of the moonwalk. The mistake was huge because modern technology could easily allow for the SSTV tapes to be transformed into a higher quality video of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The mistake has only fueled conspiracy theorists who claim the moonwalk was staged.

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According to NASA, G1.9 can be explained as the youngest known supernova remnant (SNR) in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is said to be only 140 years old, which is extremely young for a SNR. The dating of G1.9 has caused some Russian scientists to question the fact because there is no record of a visible supernova during the 1860s. However, NASA maintains that a substantial increase in the brightness of the object over the last 25 years means it is extremely young. The discovery of G1.9 was announced on May 14, 2008 at a NASA press conference. In the days leading up to the conference, NASA said that it would be “announcing the discovery of an object in our Galaxy astronomers have been hunting for more than 50 years.”

This statement caused some people to infer that G1.9 might be a brown dwarf that is related to Planet X or Nibiru, partly because of the objects elongated orbit which is representative of Nibiru. G1.9 was also originally discovered in 1984, which is the same year that conspiracy theorists claim an abnormal planet was found by the U.S. government. In 2012, a story emerged that a group of Spanish astronomers named the StarViewer Team had discovered an object almost twice the size of Jupiter sitting just beyond Pluto. According to the group, the brown dwarf appeared to have planets or large satellites encircling it. It was referred to as G1.9.

StarViewer reported that the object was formed in the same way as the Sun. The group connected the history of the object to Nemesis, which is a hypothetical hard-to-detect star that was originally postulated in 1984. The Spanish team reported that the brown dwarf is orbiting the Sun at a distance of about 95,000 AU (1.5 light-years) beyond the Oort cloud. In November 2010, the scientific journal Icarus published a paper by astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, which proposed the existence of a binary companion to our Sun, larger than Jupiter, in the Oort cloud. The researchers used the name “Tyche” to describe the planet.

Spanish astronomers have reported that they tracked G1.9 with great interest because of the recent gravitational anomalies in the Oort cloud. In 2010, it was reported that Pluto had recently undergone a change in color, which may be caused by a massive heating event on the former planet. In the past two years, NASA has discovered two new moons around Pluto, which suggests that the system is more crowded than originally thought. These facts have sparked interest from Spanish scientists who suggest G1.9 is influencing Pluto. For the record, according to author Zecharia Sitchin, whatever Nibiru is, won’t get close to Earth before 2030.

Malta-Cart-Tracks.3793.Large Slideshow

Misrah Ghar il-Kbir (Malta cart tracks) is a prehistoric site located near the Dingli Cliffs on the west coast of Malta. Malta is a Southern European country situated in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, some 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily. One of the greatest mysteries of Malta is the cart ruts, which are a complex network of tracks that have been carved into the rock. The earliest reference to the tracks was made by Gian Francesco Abela in 1647, who suggested that they were used to transport stones from quarries to the sea for exportation to Africa.

It is currently unclear exactly how the tracks were formed or for what purpose. In general, most archeologists presume that the site was developed around the year 2000 BC when new settlers came from Sicily to Malta. The ruts can be found in a number of sites around Malta and on Gozo. However, near the Dingli Cliffs they form a “traffic jam” and move in all directions. On average, the grooves are up to 60 cm deep and have an average distance of 110 to 140 cm between them. In certain locations, the tracks cross to form a junction, which creates the illusion of a railway station switching yard. For this reason, the site was nicknamed Clapham Junction, after the station in London.

The Malta tracks produce parallel grooves in the bedrock. Some of the grooves extend for several hundred meters in length and travel into the water. In some areas, the tracks move around large rocks and natural formations. A collection of theories have been put forward to explain the ruts, including that they were formed by human sleds. Some have hypothesized that the tracks could be the remnant of an ancient irrigation system. Recent research has suggested that the Malta tracks could have been formed by wooden-wheeled carts that eroded the soft limestone. If true, the ruts could provide evidence for an ancient transportation network in Malta.

Craterul-Wilkes-Land-Din-Antarctica

Wilkes Land is a large district of land in eastern Antarctica that was named after Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, who commanded the 1838 United States Exploring Expedition. During the expedition, Wilkes discovered proof that Antarctica is a continent. In 1962, a man named R.A. Schmidt became the first person to propose the theory that a giant impact crater is located beneath the Wilkes Land ice sheet. He based the hypothesis on seismic and gravity anomalies in the area. In 2006, a team of researchers led by Ralph von Frese and Laramie Potts used gravity measurements by NASA’s GRACE satellites to prove that there is a 480 km (300 mi) wide Wilkes Land crater. The enormous crater is centered at 70°S 120°E and was probably formed about 250 million years ago.

The anomaly is centered within a larger ring structure that is visible with radar images. If the feature is an impact crater, then, based on the size of the ring structure, the crater would be four or five times wider than the one that is thought to have caused the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. The impact of the object has also been reported to have disturbed the rift valley that formed 100 million years ago when Australia moved away from the Gondwana supercontinent. For this reason, it has been hypothesized that the impact might have contributed to the massive separation by weakening the crust.

The dates surrounding the Wilkes Land Crater suggest that it might be associated with the Permian-Triassic extinction event, which occurred 250 million years ago and is believed to be the largest extinction event since the origin of complex life. People who doubt the impact theory have noted that there is a lack of an impact ejecta layer associated with the crater. In 2012, it was announced that samples taken from the core of Wilkes Land showed a tropical presence. Researchers were able to reconstruct the local vegetation on Antarctica and found that there were tropical and subtropical rainforests covering the coastal region 52 million years ago. The scientific evaluations showed that winter temperatures on the Wilkes Land coast were warmer than 50 degrees Fahrenheit approximately fifty million years ago.

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On June 19, 2011, a Swedish based diving team named Ocean X made a bizarre discovery in the Baltic Sea. The team specializes in the underwater retrieval of valuable artifacts. On the day in question, Ocean X used sonar equipment to identify a “very unusual 197 foot (exactly 60 meter) diameter cylinder shaped object at the depth of approximately 275 feet (83.8 meters).” The team captured a sonar image of the object and released it to the press, which caused some to compare the picture to the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

Ocean X founder Peter Lindberg responded by saying “First we thought this was only stone, but this is something else. Since no volcanic activity has ever been reported in the Baltic Sea, the find becomes even stranger.” In 2012, Ocean X returned to the site of the anomaly with a collection of 3D seabed scanners and submersible objects. After reaching the site, the team reported that all their electronic equipment, including a satellite phone would not work within 200 meters of the site. After closer examination, the anomaly was described as a “huge mushroom” with a thick pillar rising 8 meters (26 feet) out of the seabed with a 4 meter (13 foot) thick dome on the top. Ocean X says they observed wall-like features on the formation’s surface, straight lines, right angles, and circular shaped stones.

In July of 2012, it was suggested that the object may be a Nazi anti-submarine defense system that was used during the Second World War, which had wire mesh to confuse British and Russian submarine radar. If the anomaly is an anti-submarine defense system, the discovery could have historical significance. It could also help explain why electrical equipment has been known to not work near the area.

The story has been picked up by ufologists who claim the anomaly is an alien spacecraft or government facility. Initial reports said that the object contained a staircase, passageways, and a small opening. It has also been suggested that the anomaly sits at the end of a large runway. In 2012, a series of articles were published that claimed the object was a pile of rock, while others say it sits below a unique pattern of rocks. The story has been blurred, but many scientists have labeled the object a cluster of rocks or a sediment deposit. The location of the Baltic Sea Anomaly is secret. In 2012, it was reported by Ocean X that a series of U.S. and Russian military exercises were carried out near the anomaly.

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In 1960, a Norse settlement was found at L’Anse aux Meadows, which is located on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland, in what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The discovery provided evidence that the Vikings had entered sections of North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus. According to the Sagas of Icelanders, the great explorer Leif Ericson established a Norse settlement on North America named Vinland around the year 1000. Vinland is mentioned in the work of Adam of Bremen c. 1075 and in the Book of Icelanders compiled c. 1122 by Ari the Wise. According to the books, North America was sighted around 986 by Bjarni Herjolfsson, who was blown off course on a trip from Iceland to Greenland. His stories lured Leif Ericson to the area.

In 1957, news of the Vinland map was released to the world. The map is claimed to be a 15th-century world map that holds unique information about the Norse exploration of America. In addition to showing Africa, Asia, and Europe, the map depicts a landmass south-west of Greenland in the Atlantic Ocean labeled as Vinland. The discovery shocked historians who looked to explain the origin of the map. The parchment of the Vinland map shows a representative date of somewhere between 1423 and 1445. Since the map was found, some people have labeled it a forgery, while others have identified it as real.

In the late 1960s, it was announced that a chemical analyses of the map showed ink ingredients from the 20th-century. More specifically, the presence of anatase, which is a synthetic pigment used since the 1920s, however, natural anatase has been demonstrated in various Mediaeval manuscripts. The situation was made worse by the fact that the map was coated with an unknown substance in the 1950s, possibly created by nuclear tests on the document. To support claims for the map, it has been discovered that the wormholes match a medieval copy of volume 3 of Vincent of Beauvais’s encyclopedic Speculum historiale (“Historical Mirror”), which suggests that it may have been located in the book.

In a bizarre occurrence, the Vinland map depicts Greenland as an island with a remarkably close representation of the correct shape and orientation of the land. However, the depiction of Norway is wildly inaccurate. The map also shows an area that may represent Japan. It seems to not only show Honshu, but also Hokkaido and Sakhalin, which were omitted even from Oriental maps in the 15th century.

Many historians feel that the map might be a copy of one developed by Italian mariner Andrea Bianco in the 1430s. Some have placed the land of Vinland as far south as New England or Rhode Island. To date, the map is said to be real by its current owner, Yale University. Regardless of the controversy over its authenticity, the Vinland map has been valued at over $25,000,000. It might be the first map to show North America.

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In 1777, a man named John Williams, who was one of the earliest British geologists, described the phenomenon of vitrified forts. Vitrified forts are the name given to a type of crude stone enclosure or wall that shows signs of being subjected to intense heat. The structures have baffled geologists for centuries because people can’t figure out how the rocks were fused together. There is currently no accepted method for the vitrification of large scale objects. “The temperatures required to vitrify the entire fort structures are equal to those found in an atomic bomb detonation.” Hundreds of vitrified fort structures have been found across Europe and 80 such examples exist in Scotland. Some of the most remarkable include Dun Mac Sniachan, Benderloch, Ord Hill, Dun Creich, Castle Point, and Barra Hill.

The forts range in age from the Neolithic to Roman period. The structures are extremely broad and present the appearance of large embankments. The process used to develop the walls is thought to have involved extreme heat and many structures show signs of fire damage. However, vitrification is usually achieved by rapidly cooling a substance. It occurs when bonding between elementary particles becomes higher than a certain threshold. Thermal fluctuations break the bonds, therefore, the lower the temperature, the higher the degree of connectivity. The process of vitrification made headlines in 2012 when scientists used it to preserve organs and tissues at very low temperatures.

Many historians have argued that vitrified forts were subjected to carefully maintained fires to ensure they were hot enough to turn the rock to glass. In order to do this, the temperatures would have been maintained between 1050 and 1235°C, which would have been extremely difficult to do. It is also uncertain why people would have exposed the structures to such intense heat because when rock is superheated, the solid becomes significantly weaker and brittle. Some scientists have theorized that the vitrified forts were created by massive plasma events (solar flares). A plasma event occurs when ionized gas in the atmosphere takes the form of gigantic electrical outbursts, which can melt and vitrify rocks. During solar storms, the Sun is known to occasionally throw off massive spurts of plasma. As of 2012, vitrified forts remain one of the strangest anomalies on Earth.

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It is not fully understood what is causing the 2012 North American drought, but the bizarre weather patterns have started to impact daily life. The extreme weather started in March of 2012 when over 7,000 high temperature records were shattered in North America, mainly in the U.S. and Canada. At the same time, the western United States and parts of Canada experienced some severe cold weather patterns. In March of 2012, Oregon received a new record for snowfall, while in Chicago the temperatures were 30 degrees hotter than usual.

Mike Halpert, who is the deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Climate Prediction Center, called the record-breaking month of March “mind-boggling.” Global warming advocate Bill McKibben said: “it’s not just off the charts. It’s off the wall the charts are tacked to.”

In June of 2012, North America experienced the most deadly and destructive derecho (severe wind and thunderstorm system) in North American history. The derecho resulted in 22 deaths and 3.7 million people lost power for multiple days. In July and August of 2012, North America was thrown into another massive heat wave, which has caused close to 100 deaths in Canada and the U.S. The extreme weather has devastated crops and impacted world economies. In response, the United States has attempted to turn to Russia for help with grain export, but Russia is also experiencing an extreme drought and abnormal weather patterns. As a result, food prices will indefinably rise around the world.

Despite the extremely hot summer temperatures in most U.S. states, places like the Pacific Northwest in Washington State continue to have low temperatures. The bizarre weather patterns have caused some to revisit the Mayan apocalyptic theory. Numerous articles have been published with the suggestion that a very large planet or cluster of comets has started to impact weather on Earth.
The 2012 North American drought has caused catastrophic economic ramifications for the United States and Canada. It is expected to become the most costly disaster in United States history. In July of 2012, an estimated 97% of the top layer of the Greenland ice sheet thawed to some point. It was the largest extent of surface melting observed in three decades of satellite recording. Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory responded with the quote: “This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result. Was this real or was it due to a data error?” Scientists say that there is a strong correlation between the increased frequency of extreme weather events and the release of human greenhouse gases.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2012/08/19/top-10-strange-topics-that-need-more-explanation/

Another 10 Bizarre Videos

Because of the popularity of the top 10 bizarre videos post, I have put together a second list of bizarre videos. Warning: two of these videos contain images or sounds that may induce feelings of sickness (they are intended to). You have been warned – so on to the list!

1. An Homage to Antonin Artaud [Wikipedia | Encyclopaedia Britannica] – WARNING

Born in 1896 (died 1948), Artaud is one of the most unusual artists of the 20th century. He wrote poetry that was banned by the French government, assisted in some of the most bizarre films in history, and even wrote music. He had a small part in the film The Passion of Joan of Arc (hailed as the film with the most emotional performance ever captured on film by Maria Falconetti).

This video is an homage to Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, “a primitive ceremonial experience intended to liberate the human subconscious and reveal man to himself”. In the original show people threw up and had to leave because of the sounds and behaviour on the stage. The video is by Alice from morgu3.com.

2. Sickness Inducing Unnamed Video [Wikipedia] – WARNING

From youtube: “This is a weird scene that was floating about a bbs and apparently causing phsychotic reactions in some people who watched it with high quality headphones. There seems to be a variety of audio frequencies in use, primarily 17 and 19hz and the garbled speech could be from anywhere someone mentioned a reference to Hitler somewhere they thought.” There were also mentions of the brown note but it is unlikely that a computer could produce the sound required and it is not even likely that the brown note is anything more than a myth.

This is definitely a very odd video (suggested by Matt on the previous list of videos) and I have not been able to locate its origin. I did not listen with headphones so I am not sure about the quote on youtube. If anyone tries it and does feel sick, please mention it in the comments.

3. David Lynch Advert [Wikipedia]

David Lynch is a famous avant-garde film director who was born in Montana. After a very successful television series (Twin Peaks) Lynch wrote and directed Mulholland Drive which is probably his best known film after Blue Velvet. His latest film, Inland Empire, was recently released to theatres and should be out on DVD soon.

Many people are not aware that David Lynch has written and directed a large number of adverts for television. This video is an advert he made for Parisienne Cigarettes. It is typically lynch (in that it doesn’t really make any sense) and the entire thing runs backwards.

4. Gilbert and George [Wikipedia]

Gilbert Prousch (Italy born) and George Passmore (UK born) are artists who work exclusively as a pair. They started out as performance artists in the 1970s but are more well known for their large scale photo montages. In 1995 the title of their latest work “Naked Shit Pictures” caused a media stir. They have frequently used images of faeces, urine, and sperm in their artwork, as well as nudity.

This video clip is of one of their performance pieces in which they demonstrate the dance they invented called the bend-it. The colours in the background are very typical of Gilbert and George who like to work with bold colours. The pair own one of the most powerful graphic workstations in the UK as it is needed to manipulate the huge file sizes needed in their work.

5. Marcel Duchamp [Wikipedia | Encyclopaedia Britannica]

Duchamp was a French born artist who became an American Citizen in 1955. He is generally associated with Dadaism and Surrealism though he tended to work behind the scenes in those areas. After his experiments in American Dada he barely participated in Paris Dada. A playful man, Duchamp prodded thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much with words, but with actions such as dubbing a urinal “art” and naming it Fountain, and by “giving up” art to play chess. He produced relatively few artworks as he quickly moved through the avant-garde rhythms of his time.

This is a small short by Duchamp accompanied by the music of American pioneering composer John Cage. Both artists believed that the art was not just created by the artist, but also by the spectator. The piece of music is “Music for Marcel Duchamp” and it is performed on a prepared piano, in which one piece of rubber, 7 pieces of weather stripping, and one bolt have been added to the strings.

6. Russian Exorcism [Cogitz | Encyclopaedia Britannica | Catholic Encylopedia]

Exorcism is the ritual used by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches to case evil spirits (demons) out of a possessed person. The subject is a very popular one and has been the basis for at least two major motion pictures (The Exorcist, and the Exorcism of Emily Rose).

The exorcism in this video is being performed by a Russian Orthodox Priest. It is in Russian but you can get the gist of what is happening without needing to understand the language. You can also go here to find videos, audio, and images of exorcisms.

7. Der Struwwelpeter [Wikipedia | Encyclopaedia Britannica]

Der Struwwelpeter is a collection of 10 tales mostly about children written by Heinrich Hoffmann a German author. Each story has a clear moral that demonstrates the disastrous consequences of misbehaviour in an exaggerated way. The book was written in 1855.

In this video we see the sixth story Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher – little suck-a-thumb. In this story, a mother warns her son not to suck his thumbs. However, when she goes out of the house he resumes his thumb sucking, until a roving tailor appears and cuts off his thumbs with giant scissors.

8. Bill and Tony [Wikipedia | Encyclopaedia Britannica | IMDB]

William Burroughs, the author of this film, was an American writer of experimental novels that evoke, in deliberately erratic prose, a nightmarish, sometimes wildly humorous world. His sexual explicitness (he was an avowed and outspoken homosexual) and the frankness with which he dealt with his experiences as a drug addict won him a following among writers of the Beat movement.

Burroughs and Antony Balch are seated next to each other, looking directly at the camera. Their simple dialogue is roughly: “I’m Tony, who are you? I’m Bill. Where are you Tony? I’m in London, where are you? I’m in a 1920s movie.” First Bill speaks Tony’s lines, then later the entire dialogue is repeated with the correct people speaking the lines. It is repeated again later with Bill’s dialogue playing while Tony’s lips move and vice versa. There are other permutations as well.

9. Creepy Kids Television Program

There is nothing to cite for this one as I am not sure of its origins. It is a very strange kids programme that features an “angel” called Satan. It is very weird. If anyone can shed any light on it for me, please do so in the comments and I will update this description.

10. Speech Radios [Wikipedia | Encyclopaedia Britannica]

John Cage was an American avant-garde composer whose inventive compositions and unorthodox ideas profoundly influenced mid-20th-century music. He is most well known for his piece 4’33″ which is roughly 4 minutes and 33 seconds of non-performance in which the audience become the creators.

In this strange video you get to see John Cage directing the performance of his piece of music called Speech Radios. In this piece, the performers walk around with radios and turn them on and off, change stations, and basically make it all up as they go along. The funny thing is to see the seriousness with which this is all done. Some people actually cheer at the end.

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Read more: http://listverse.com/2007/07/30/another-10-bizarre-videos/

10 Bizarre Hoaxes Involving Nonexistent People

It requires a lot of time and effort to create and maintain a successful hoax. However, it takes a particularly crazy mentality to conduct a hoax which involves the fabrication of a person who does not even exist. As insane as it may sound, sometimes a prankster will go to the trouble of creating the persona of a completely fictitious individual and convince a lot of people that said individual is real. If the prankster has enough dedication, they can keep this illusion going for a long time before anyone figures out that they have become invested in the life of a nonexistent person.

10 Kodee Kennings

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In May 2003, Southern Illinois University student newspaper The Daily Egyptian published a letter from an 8-year-old girl named Kodee Kennings. Kodee claimed that her mother was deceased and that her father, Dan Kennings, was a solider with the 101st Airborne Division in the midst of being deployed to Iraq. Kodee expressed how worried she was about her dad and her letter garnered such a strong reaction that it would become a recurring feature in the newspaper. Over the next two years, they would publish Kodee’s letters on a frequent basis, as she provided updates about her life and her dad’s service overseas.

These letters were provided to The Daily Egyptian by a young woman named Colleen Hastings, who claimed to be Kodee’s caregiver. However, in the summer of 2005, everyone was shocked to discover that neither Kodee nor Dan Kennings existed. “Colleen Hastings” was actually an SIU student named Jaimie Reynolds, who wrote all of Kodee’s letters herself and deliberately included misspellings and grammatical errors to make them look like they written by a young girl.

Reynolds had friends of hers pretend to be Kodee and Dan Kennings for photographs and public appearances, telling them they were merely playing parts for a movie. Reynolds even went to the trouble of disguising her voice to impersonate Kodee during phone calls to the Egyptian’s newsroom. The hoax unraveled after Reynolds claimed that Kodee’s father was killed in action in Iraq, but a subsequent investigation found no record of a “Dan Kennings” ever having served in the 101st Airborne.

9 Anthony Godby Johnson

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In 1993, a memoir titled A Rock and a Hard Place: One Boy’s Triumphant Story was published, chronicling the troubled life of a 15-year-old boy named Anthony “Tony” Godby Johnson. Tony was repeatedly abused throughout his childhood by his parents, who allegedly ran a pedophile ring. He managed to escape and was cared for by his adoptive mother, a social worker named Vicki Johnson. Even though he had contracted AIDS, suffered a stroke, and had his leg amputated, Tony bravely told his story in A Rock and a Hard Place, which became an acclaimed best-seller.

Tony’s story even wound up being profiled by Oprah Winfrey in an Emmy-nominated television special about children overcoming adversity. However, over the years, people started realizing that no one else besides Vicki Johnson could ever confirm meeting Tony. Vicki always claimed that Tony was too ill to do any interviews or make public appearances, and that she had to keep him out of the spotlight to protect him from the pedophile ring. While Vicki did allow Tony to speak to people during phone calls, a voice analysis expert listened to a recording of one of the calls and determined that it was Vicki disguising her voice.

In 2006, Vicki provided a photograph of Tony for a segment on the news program 20/20. However, a viewer came forward to say they recognized “Tony” as another child named Steve Tarabojika, who had been a former student of Vicki’s when she taught grade school under her real name, Joanne Vicki Fraginals. Tarabojika was soon confirmed to be living a normal, healthy adult life and knew nothing about Tony’s story. Today, the general consensus is that the memoir was a hoax and that Tony never existed.

8 John Adam

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In January 2005, a group of militants calling themselves the Mujahedeen Brigades released a statement on their website, claiming they had abducted an American military man serving in Iraq and were holding him hostage. They said the military man’s name was John Adam and posted a photo of a black soldier sitting up against the wall with his hands bound behind his back and a rifle pointed at his head. The militants stated they would behead Adam if certain Iraqi prisoners were not released by the US within 72 hours.

While this story managed to garner mainstream media attention, the US military was instantly suspicious, since none of their soldiers were known to be missing in Iraq. Furthermore, the kidnapped soldier in the photo looked strangely stiff and emotionless. The so-called “kidnapping” was finally exposed as a hoax by a most unlikely source: a representative from the American toy manufacturer, Dragon Models USA, Inc. He noticed that “John Adam” bore quite a striking resemblance to “Special Ops Cody,” a military action figure from their toy line. In other words, these militants had taken a photo of themselves pointing a toy rifle at the head of a toy doll and tried to pass it off as a hostage situation.

7 Martin Eisenstadt

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During the 2008 presidential campaign, many bloggers and mainstream media outlets followed the writings of a man named Martin Eisenstadt who claimed he worked as an adviser for Republican candidate John McCain. Eisenstadt first garnered notice in a YouTube video, where he was interviewed on Iraqi television and claimed that a casino was going to be built inside the Green Zone in Baghdad. Eisenstadt maintained a blog detailing his experience as a campaign adviser and it began to generate a strong following. After the election, word leaked out that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin thought that Africa was country, and Eisenstadt came forward to claim he was the source of that leak. Some mainstream outlets, including MSNBC and The Los Angeles Times, reported this as fact.

Not long afterwards, it was finally revealed that “Martin Eisenstadt” did not actually exist and was an elaborate hoax concocted by filmmakers Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin. Gorlin had portrayed Eisenstadt in the fabricated “interview” for Iraqi TV. Since some bloggers believed the interview was real, Eisenstadt’s comments about the casino in the Green Zone generated controversy, so the filmmakers decided to continue on with their hoax. While some people figured out that the Eisenstadt character was a work of satire, others reported his quotes as legitimate news. In essence, Martin Eisenstadt was devised as an experiment to expose the media’s tendency to report a story before checking the facts. After the hoax was revealed, Mirvish and Gorlin went on to publish a satirical fake memoir called I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans.

6 Taro Tsujimoto

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In 1974, George “Punch” Imlach was the general manager of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres. In June, Imlach was participating in the NHL’s annual amateur draft and things were moving at a very slow pace. By the time the draft reached the 11th round, Imlach was bored out of his mind, since the teams were mostly selecting players who had no chance of making it to the NHL. In order to relieve the tedium, Imlach decided to play a little prank and drafted Taro Tsujimoto, who played for the Tokyo Katanas of the Japanese Hockey League. Of course, neither the player nor the team actually existed.

Imlach decided to keep the joke going for the next several months, refusing to admit that Taro Tsujimoto wasn’t real. Tsujimoto was listed as an official draft pick by the NHL and Imlach kept telling everyone that this mysterious Japanese player was going to show up for the team’s training camp. Tsujimoto’s name made it into the Buffalo Sabres media guide and the team even went to the trouble of making him a uniform and assigning him a stall in the locker room. Imlach did not even tell Sabres’ owner Seymour Knox that the whole thing was a hoax and made him believe that Tsujimoto was going to be checking in at the team’s hotel. This led to an awkward situation where Knox stalked a random Japanese man through the lobby because he was thought it was Tsujimoto. To this day, “Taro Tsujimoto” remains a popular inside joke among Sabres fans and he even has his own fictitious trading card.

5 Nat Tate

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In 1998, a British novelist named William Boyd published a biography titled Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960. The book told the story of an abstract expressionist painter named Nat Tate, who worked in New York during the 1950s and produced some beautiful works of art. While he did achieve some modest success, Tate was also a depressed, irrational alcoholic who suddenly became very dissatisfied with his work. He wound up destroying 99 percent of his paintings before leaping to his death from the Staten Island ferry in 1960. Photos of Tate’s few remaining works of art were published in Boyd’s book.

However, Nat Tate never actually existed and the Boyd’s book was a complete fabrication. Tate’s supposed artwork in the book was actually painted by Boyd himself. Boyd even went to the trouble of recruiting some celebrity friends to help him with his elaborate prank. Gore Vidal and Picasso’s biographer, John Richardson, openly endorsed the book. David Bowie stated that Tate was one of his favorite artists and that he owned some of his surviving works. Bowie also held a launch party for the book and invited several prominent figures from the art world. Throughout the evening, no one in attendance acknowledged that they didn’t know who Nat Tate was, and some even claimed to have attended retrospectives of his work in the 1960s. Of course, no one seemed to notice that the launch party was held on April Fools’ Day, and the art community was left with egg on its face when the hoax was revealed one week later.

4 J.S. Dirr

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Over the course of several years, a man named J.S. Dirr acquired an Internet following by sharing his story on numerous social networks. J.S. claimed he was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and chronicled a life where he had numerous sexual encounters with different women and fathered 10 children. J.S. eventually married a surgeon named Dana, but his seventh child, Eli, was afflicted with leukemia. The couple set up a Facebook page for him called “Warrior Eli” and it garnered a huge outpouring of support for the child.

However, tragedy struck again in 2012 when J.S. announced on Facebook that his pregnant wife had been killed in a car accident. However, Dana managed to give birth to his 11th child just before she died. After this story went viral, people started to notice some suspicious inconsistencies, as there didn’t seem to be any news reports out there about Dana Dirr’s accident. It was eventually discovered that most of the photos of the Dirr family on the “Warrior Eli” page had been taken from other websites. In fact, the photos of “Eli” originated from the Flickr page of another boy undergoing cancer treatment in New Mexico.

Whenever supporters wanted to send donations to J.S., he always said that he couldn’t give out his address but told them to send everything to his sister, Emily, in Rootstown, Ohio. It turns out that Emily Dirr was actually a 22-year-old university student from Ohio who had fabricated J.S. Dirr’s entire story. She had gone to the trouble of creating over 70 fake Facebook accounts using hundreds of stolen photos. While she eventually apologized for her actions, her motivation for this elaborate hoax remains a mystery.

3 Reece James Dalton

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In 1998, Matthew Wojtowicz, a young Australian train station attendant, had a brief relationship with a woman from Beverly Hills named Debra Ann Dalton. After the relationship ended, they went their separate ways until Debra suddenly phoned up Matthew and told him she had just given birth to their child, a baby boy named Reece James Dalton. Debra said she planned to raise the child on her own and asked Matthew not to visit her at the hospital, but it wasn’t long before Debra contacted Matthew again to tell him that Reece needed treatment for a chronic kidney disorder, which would require child support payments.

Over the next two years, Matthew had no reason to doubt Debra’s story, as he was sent several invoices of payment from a child support agency. He also received documentation from a pediatric center in New York, confirming that Reece would need to seek treatment there. Matthew wound up paying over $23,000 in child support, causing himself great financial strain, but he was always denied access to Reece.

When he finally inquired about his legal rights, police decided to question Debra and were shocked to discover that she never had a child and that her whole story was a hoax. Reece James Dalton was not real and all the documentation confirming his existence had been fabricated by his “mother” in order to extort money from Matthew. Debra would be charged with fraud and sentenced to 400 hours of community service while Matthew took legal action to recover his so-called child support payments.

2 Jimmy, The Eight-Year-Old Heroin Addict

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On September 28, 1980, The Washington Post published an article titled “Jimmy’s World” that garnered instant acclaim as one of the most vivid and gripping stories they had ever done. The article was written by a relatively new journalist on the staff named Janet Cooke and chronicled the life of a poor eight-year-old African-American boy named Jimmy, who also happened to be a heroin addict. This harrowing story made such a strong impression on the public that Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry organized a police task force to find Jimmy and get him medical treatment. The following April, Janet Cooke was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.

However, an investigation could turn up no trace of Jimmy and there were allegations that the entire story was fraudulent. It was discovered that Cooke had lied about many of her academic credentials, and when Washington Post editors could find no record of her original meeting with Jimmy in Cooke’s files, they decided to question her. Cooke finally confessed that her article was fabricated and that “Jimmy” never actually existed. The Post would issue a public apology for the hoax, and only two days after receiving the Pulitzer Prize, Cooke would be forced to give it back and resign from the newspaper.

1 J.T. LeRoy

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In 1997, an anthology of memoirs called Close to the Bone was published, featuring a memorable story titled “Baby Doll.” Written by someone using the name “Terminator,” “Baby Doll” told the tale of a 12-year-old boy who lived an abusive lifestyle as a child prostitute and often dressed up in women’s clothing. Two years later, this same character would resurface in an acclaimed novel titled Sarah, which was written by an author named Jeremiah “Terminator” LeRoy. The story was allegedly an autobiographical one, based on J.T. Leroy’s own troubled childhood. After Leroy published some more autobiographical stories chronicling his experiences, the reclusive transgendered author finally came out of the shadows and started making public appearances.

However, in October 2005, it was revealed that all of these stories were penned by writer Laura Albert and that “JT LeRoy” did not actually exist. What about the person who was making public appearances and pretending to be Leroy? That actually turned out to be Savannah Koop, the half-sister of Albert’s partner, who wore a disguise in order to assume the J.T. Leroy persona. Even though the stories were fabricated, Albert described LeRoy as an “avatar” which allowed her to explore deeply personal issues that she couldn’t have written about on her own, but a lot of people were angered by her deception. Albert was actually sued for fraud and forced to pay damages after she had the nonexistent J.T. Leroy sign a contract granting a production company the film rights to his story.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2013/12/12/10-bizarre-hoaxes-involving-nonexistent-people/