Wikipedia:Unusual articles

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A cow with antlers atop a pole near electrical cabling. Wikipedia contains other images and articles that are similarly shocking and/or udderly amoosing.

This page is for Wikipedians to list articles that seem unusual. These articles are valuable contributions to the encyclopedia, but are a bit odd, whimsical, or something you would not expect to find in Encyclopædia Britannica. We should take special care to meet the highest standards of an encyclopedia with these articles lest they make Wikipedia appear idiosyncratic. If you wish to add articles to this list, the article in question should preferably meet one or more of these criteria:

  1. The article is something you would not expect to find in a standard encyclopedia.
  2. The subject is an unusual combination of concepts, such as cosmic latte, death from laughter etc.
  3. The subject is an anomaly: something that defies common sense, common expectations or common knowledge, such as Bir Tawil, Märket, Phineas Gage, List of snow events in Florida etc.
  4. The subject is well-documented for unexpected notoriety or an unplanned cult following at extreme levels, such as Ampelmännchen or All your base are belong to us.
  5. The subject is a hoax of significant success, such as Sokal affair or Mary Toft.
  6. The subject might be found amusing, though serious.
  7. The article is a list or collection of articles/subjects meeting the criteria above.

This definition is not precise. Some articles may still be considered unusual even if they do not fit these guidelines.

To keep the list of interest to readers, each entry on this list should be an article on its own (not merely a section in a less unusual article) and of decent quality, in large meeting Wikipedia's manual of style. For unusual contributions that are less worthwhile, see Wikipedia:Silly Things. A star (Featured article) indicates a featured article. A plus () indicates a good article.


Places and infrastructure[edit]

Good golly, Miss Molly – jus' love your folly!
Folly Buildings prized for their uselessness.
Gravity hill A hill that gives the illusion of objects rolling up it.
List of Eiffel Tower replicas Not as unique as you might have thought.
List of fictional island nations These islands have not been mistaken for submarines.
List of tautological place names Place names that contain truisms and say what they are.
Pizza farm All the ingredients of pizza, grown in one convenient location!
Spite house Various houses built solely out of spite for their neighbors.
Nail house A tiny house completely surrounded by a hole in the ground from a massive construction project.

Americas[edit]

A welcome to Centralia, Pennsylvania (that's no longer offered).
Mill Ends Park,
the smallest park in the world.
A postman's labor of love.
Agloe, New York A fictional town in New York.
Avenue Road Is this thoroughfare in Toronto an avenue or is it a road?
Badlands Guardian A natural topographic feature in Canada, which, when viewed from above, looks remarkably like a human wearing a Native American headdress and earphones.
Beatosu and Goblu Two non-existent Ohio towns that appeared on Michigan's official highway map as a reference to the University of Michigan and their rivals, Ohio State University.
Bubbly Creek The branch of the Chicago River that is so contaminated with blood from the Stock Yards that it bubbles to this day.
Centralia, Pennsylvania A town that's been on fire since 1962.
Clinton Road (New Jersey) In addition to having the longest traffic light in the country, the road is also notorious for its ample occurrences of paranormal activity.
Dixie Square Mall A shopping mall that stood abandoned for over twice as long as it was in business, until it was finally demolished in 2012. It was featured in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers and became a popular target for urban explorers.
Florence Y'all Water Tower A Northern Kentucky town's unique "welcome" sign.
Former counties, cities, and towns of Virginia All the places that are no longer found in Virginia, USA, such as Illinois County, and a few that never were (including Walton's Mountain).
Free Stamp A really big stamp in Cleveland, Ohio.
Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport Consists entirely of a deeply rutted unmanned strip of soil/gravel and a windsock.
Interstate 180 (Wyoming) An Interstate Highway that isn't really a highway at all.
Republic of Indian Stream An area of land in northern New Hampshire, USA, that was an independent country from 1832 to 1835.
Island of California The third largest U.S. State was formerly an island – on paper.
Jackass Mountain Named--probably--for a muletrain that fell off the edge of the canyon.
Jerimoth Hill The highest natural point in Rhode Island. For years, one of the toughest highpoints in the U.S. to scale, not because of its (812-foot) height, but because of an angry old man who lived nearby.
List of Las Vegas casinos that never opened Quite a few projects have never come to fruition there.
Featured article M-185 (Michigan highway) The only state highway in the country that bans motor vehicles.
Mary Ellis grave A grave that found itself in the middle of a movie theater parking lot.
Michigan left Directions are more complicated in Michigan.
Mill Ends Park The smallest park in the world – 452 in² (0.3 m²) – located in Portland, Oregon.
Mojave phone booth A public phone booth that stood for several years in the middle of a desert, miles away from any roads or other structures.
Mollie's Nipple There are at least seven of them.
Pyramid mausoleums in North America Arizona Governor George Hunt will hereafter be addressed as "Pharaoh George I".
Republic of Molossia A one-person micronation in Nevada, USA which takes the meaning of the phrase "a man's home is his castle" to new extremes.
Monowi A village in Nebraska with a population of one. Hi, Elsie!
New York City Subway chaining For obscure political reasons a third of the NYC Subway is measured from the point where a tangent line from 6th Ave at West 4th St. intersects the New Jersey border in Raritan Bay.
Nitt Witt Ridge A house in California, built out of beer cans, abalone shells, car parts, and other garbage previously tossed out by local residents, is now a historic landmark.
Point Roberts, Washington When defining international boundaries, sometimes a straight line isn't the best solution.
Raising of Chicago During the 1850s, the city was raised on jacks, building by building.
Rio Rico, Texas A city that was ceded by the United States to Mexico in 1977 due to an earlier diversion of the Rio Grande.
Rough and Ready, California A currently populated, unincorporated mining town in the United States that seceded from the Union in 1850, forming the "Great Republic of Rough and Ready." Secession was rescinded less than three months later when its citizens noticed that they could not celebrate US independence.
Sam Kee Building Known as the world's narrowest commercial building.
S.N.P.J., Pennsylvania A municipality consisting solely of a Slovenian fraternity's recreation center, established (in part) to get around liquor laws.
Spiral Island An artificial island, now destroyed, built from thousands of empty floating plastic bottles.
Tower of Wooden Pallets Now replaced by an apartment building, its site remains City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #184.
Wedge It's harder than you think to construct the state of Delaware with a ruler and compass.
World's littlest skyscraper The result of a fraudulent investment scheme, it's a four-story brick building constructed in 1920 in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, that has only one room on each of its four floors.
Winchester Mystery House A house believed to be haunted by the ghosts of individuals killed by Winchester rifles.

Africa[edit]

Bir Tawil One of the few places on Earth not claimed by any country. An American claimed it in 2014 as the Kingdom of North Sudan so he could make his daughter a princess.
Republic of Benin (1967) The shortest-lived state in history; it was independent for only seven hours (07:00 to 14:00 on 19 September 1967).

Antarctica[edit]

Emilio Palma An Argentine national who is the first person known to be born on the continent of Antarctica.
Religion in Antarctica There's more of it than you might suspect, including five churches.
Scouting in the Antarctic Always prepared for glaciers and penguins.

Asia and Oceania[edit]

Watch your step around Coober Pedy.
A skyscraper with en-suite highway.
Baldwin Street, Dunedin A short suburban road in Dunedin, New Zealand, reputedly the world's steepest street.
Camp Bonifas The bunkers on this golf course feature machine-guns and landmines.
Cardrona Bra Fence An eccentric tourist attraction in New Zealand.
Coober Pedy, South Australia A mining town where most of the residents live underground.
Gate Tower Building A skyscraper in Japan that has a highway passing through its fifth, sixth and seventh floors.
Jewish Autonomous Oblast In the depth of Eastern Siberia there's a place with street names in Yiddish, even though 95% of its population is not Jewish.
Kowloon Walled City A former Chinese enclave in Hong Kong, known for its extremely high population density, food courts which served dog meat, and claustrophobic dwellings.
Love Land An erotic-themed sculpture park on Jeju island in South Korea.
Ryugyong Hotel Once, it would have been the world's tallest hotel – except it lacked windows, fittings, or fixtures for over twenty years.
Sansha, China The city that contains almost an entire sea.
Shingō, Aomori Did you know that Jesus escaped his crucifixion and raised a family in Japan?
Urlayeva Eshankulova A statue of a large pineapple in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, dedicated to the successful cultivation of Pineapple plants, a venture that failed 4 months later.
Wonderland Amusement Park (Beijing) The largest abandoned amusement park in Asia.
X-Seed 4000 The tallest building ever designed, standing 4 kilometers (2.485 miles) tall and housing 500 thousand to one million people on 800 floors. It is, however, "never meant to be built".
San Serriffe A lesser known island in the Indian Ocean, subject of the April 1st, 1977 Guardian newspaper edition.

Europe[edit]

Careful where you put that lighthouse, Eugene...
Welcome to the Principality of Sealand.
A chandelier, decorating the Sedlec Ossuary, made from human bones.
Argleton A non-existent town in Lancashire, England, that appeared on Google Maps.
Baarle-Hertog A municipality of Belgium, consisting in part of twenty-three exclaves within the Netherlands, some of which in turn contain Netherlands exclaves. (Some houses and shops are in both Belgium and the Netherlands.)
Baarle-Nassau A municipality of the Netherlands, containing small exclaves of Belgium, which in turn contain even smaller exclaves of the Netherlands. (The borders mean that there are houses and companies which are in both Belgium and the Netherlands.)
Barcelona Supercomputing Center A supercomputer in a medieval chapel.
Bielefeld Conspiracy The Bielefeld-Verschwörung tries to hide the horrible truth about a city in Westphalia, Germany that doesn't exist... well, maybe.
Brennender Berg A German coal mine on fire since 1688.
Büsingen am Hochrhein A German town that is fully contained within Switzerland.
Carpatho-Ukraine The second shortest-lived state in history (see Benin Republic in Nigeria); it was independent for only 24 hours.
Colletto Fava A 5,000-foot hill with a 200-foot stuffed pink bunny on top.
Ebenezer Place, Wick The world's shortest street.
Fallen Monument Park A Russian park best known for its toppled statues.
Ferdinand Cheval A postman, who, for thirty-three years, collected stones while making his rounds and used them to build a surreal Palais Idéal ("Ideal Palace") of astonishing proportions and intricate detail.
Forest swastika A gigantic swastika made of larch trees that went unnoticed for nearly sixty years.
Graham Island (Sicily) An island that was mistaken for a submarine and attacked with depth charges.
Featured article Gropecunt Lane A street name found in English towns and cities during the Middle Ages.
Featured article Icelandic Phallological Museum A museum in Iceland solely devoted to the collection of penis specimens and penis-related art.
JASON reactor The only nuclear reactor in a 17th-century building.
Magic Roundabout Only in the United Kingdom would you find a large roundabout with five mini-roundabouts. (Not to be confused with the "Magic Roundabout"s in Colchester, Hemel Hempstead or High Wycombe – or, for that matter, this "Magic Roundabout".)
Märket A lighthouse built on this island led to a redefinition of the border between Sweden and Finland.
Monte Kaolino A ski resort without snow.
Neutral Moresnet A tiny European region (approx. 3.5 km²) that existed for a century as neutral territory between Germany and Belgium.
Other World Kingdom A micronation and BDSM resort whose ultimate goal is "absolute matriarchy" – for all men to be enslaved by women.
Pole and Hungarian cousins be A two-nation proverb often cited, usually while drinking, in both Poland and Hungary.
Principality of Sealand A micronation located six miles (10 km) off the coast of Suffolk, England, whose population rarely exceeds ten.
Reality Checkpoint A lamp-post with its own name.
Sedlec Ossuary A Christian chapel decorated by the bones of approximately 40,000 people.
Shit Brook A culverted stream in Much Wenlock, England.
Shitterton A hamlet in England with a formerly collectible sign.
Smallest House in Great Britain Only 5.49 square metres (59.1 ft2) in size.
Spreuerhofstraße The world's narrowest street.
UFO-Memorial Ängelholm A memorial to a reputed UFO landing in Sweden.
Weißwurstäquator The "White Sausage Equator" in Germany.
See also


History[edit]

The infrastructural shortcomings of Faraday's times proved especially overpowering in the summer of 1858.
Daughter of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei A female monarch existed in Chinese history before Wu Zetian?
Emu War Australian farmers and soldiers unite to take on a massive emu migratory wave with rifles and machineguns, albeit with little success.
The Great Stink An actual 19th century event in the history of London, where the stench of human stool emanating from the River Thames was so overpowering, that it interfered with the work of the House of Commons and is claimed to have ground the city to a halt. Kickstarted the London sewerage system.
Yang Kyoungjong The Korean of Normandy
Tank Man An unidentified man who achieved widespread recognition after standing in front, and blocking the procession of a column of tanks, the morning after the bloody suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.


Mathematics and numbers[edit]

"BEGhIL0S", "hELL0", "B00BLESS", etc – there are many words that can be spelled on a calculator.
The day Sweden turned to the right side.
−0 Zero has a negative flavor in the worlds of computing, experimental science and statistical mechanics.
Featured article 0.999... An infinitely long way to write 1.
2 + 2 = 5 ...or perhaps it equals 1984...
Calculator spelling Remember this from school..?
The Complexity of Songs A treatise on the computational complexity of songs by venerable computer scientist Donald Knuth.
Erdős–Bacon number A combination of the degrees of separation from actor Kevin Bacon and mathematician Paul Erdős.
Extravagant number Don't take it shopping. Not very friendly with the frugal number either.
Graham's number A number so large that the observable universe is not big enough to write it in full.
Happy number Not just a cheery song on the radio.
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia For beastly people bored of triskaidekaphobia.
Illegal prime Does the government forbid knowledge of the existence of certain prime numbers?
Indiana Pi Bill A notorious attempt to legislate the value of pi.
Infinite monkey theorem An infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters will produce all possible written texts.
Interesting number paradox Either all natural numbers are interesting or else none of them are.
Look-and-say sequence Also known as the Cuckoo's Egg.
Mathematical fallacy Trying to prove that 2 = 1 or that 1 < 0.
Monty Hall problem The counter-intuitive way to prevail when playing Let's Make a Deal.
Narcissistic number The pluperfect digital invariant says "Count me in"!
Nothing up my sleeve number A number which is "above suspicion".
Numbers station [Six bars of The Lincolnshire Poacher play]  "¡Atención! ¡Atención! One, four, seventeen, twenty-four..."
Minkowski's question mark function A function with an unusual notation and possessing unusual fractal properties.
Spaghetti sort An algorithm for sorting rods of spaghetti.
Triskaidekaphobia Fear of the number 13.
Ulam spiral A bored mathematician discovers an unusual numerical pattern while doodling.
Undecimber In Java, the thirteenth month of the year.
Vampire number Integers with real bite; some even have multiple pairs of fangs.
Will Rogers phenomenon When moving an element from one set to another set raises – counter-intuitively – the average values of both sets. Also known as the Will Rogers paradox.
Zeroth An ordinal number popular in computing and related cultures.

Dates and timekeeping[edit]

A soon-to-be bye-bye pi pie.
Don't panic – it's Towel Day.
Ruth Belville She followed her parents in the business of selling people Greenwich Mean Time.
Chrismukkah A fictional Christmas-Hanukkah hybrid, popularized by the television show The O.C.
February 30 Not as fictional as you might think.
Festivus December 23: Holiday celebrated by the Costanza family on the television show Seinfeld, since appropriated by many.
International Talk Like a Pirate Day Shiver my timbers (a-harrr!) every September 19.
January 0 Thought the day before New Year's Day would be in the previous year? Think again...
Manhattanhenge Twice every year, the setting sun aligns with Manhattan's street grid.
Phantom time hypothesis A theory by Heribert Illig that the Early Middle Ages (614–911) never occurred. Therefore, it is now 1717 rather than 2014.
Pi Day The day – March 14 – on which the constant π is celebrated.
Square Root Day Any date when the day and month are both the square root of the last two digits of the year (the next being 4th April 2016).
Towel Day Don't forget to bring a towel, terrible or otherwise.
Winterval A word created as an alternative name for all the holidays at the end of a calendar year. It came to prominence after Birmingham City Council (the English city) used it in 1998.
Year 2038 problem The computing problem that will arise due to the Unix time representation used in many computers.
Year 10,000 problem The collective name for all potential software bugs that will emerge as the need to express years with five digits arises.
Year zero Was there a year between 1 BC and AD 1?


Language[edit]

Which of these typefaces do you think Hitler preferred?
George here wouldn't like it.
Toynbee tiles found in downtown Washington, D.C.
The Voynich manuscript is written in an undeciphered script.
Antiqua–Fraktur dispute A dispute over which typeface was more "German". At first, the Nazis were for Fraktur...
Apples and oranges According to scholars, comparing the two may be easier than previously thought.
Arcaicam Esperantom How do you make things look "old" in an artificial language? By inventing a new one!
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo
buffalo Buffalo buffalo
.
A meaningful, grammatical construction that has inspired linguists to talk about bullying amongst New York's bison population.
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously A sentence contrived by Noam Chomsky to demonstrate that a sentence can be grammatical yet nonsensical.
Controversies about the word "niggardly" How a simple word can cause so much controversy.
Cryptophasia The secret language of identical twins, also called idioglossia.
Disambiguation (disambiguation) For when you're really not sure what you mean. [disambiguation needed]
Dord A nonexistent English word, supposedly meaning "density", which was listed in the second edition of Webster's New International Dictionary from 1935 to 1939.
The Dozens A usually good-natured African American ritual in which two competitors, usually male, exchange trash-talk until one has no comeback.
Engrish Attempts by East Asian people – especially the Japanese – to construct English words and phrases.
Etaoin shrdlu Cryptic echoes from the days of hot metal typesetting.
Faggin-Nazzi alphabet What? That's its real name. What did you think it was about?
Faux Cyrillic Give text some of that Яussiaи flavour.
Fictitious entry The content may be fictitious, but the entry is a fact.
Fnord Deliberately misleading, irrelevant or false information meant to suggest conspiracy. A popular word among Discordians.
Ghoti As good an argument as any for English spelling reform.
How now brown cow A way to greet those well versed in rhetoric.
Hyphen War A dash between communism and independence.
Inherently funny word Some influential comedians have long regarded certain words in the English language as humorous because of their sound or resemblance to other words. Poodle, wankel, ni...
Intentionally blank page The self-refuting meta-reference that is "This page intentionally left blank".
James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher Repetition gone wrong.
Latin profanity Latin for the profane.
Featured article List of English words containing Q not followed by U A Scrabbler's dream article.
List of ethnic slurs Ever wondered why they got so angry at you?
List of lists of lists Lists which list lists, also list lists.
List of English words without rhymes Does anything rhyme with orange? Or silver?
List of words that comprise a single sound Uttering a single sound may sometimes suffice to express an entire idea.
Longest word in English Floccinaucinihilipilification, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and other contenders.
Mamihlapinatapai The Guinness World Record holder for the "most succinct word".
Martian language Chinese language + Internet = new language.
Maternal insult What is this article about? Your Mom!
Metal umlaut Gïvë thë lögö för ÿöür hëävy mëtäl bänd ä töügh Gërmänïc fëël.
Phaistos Disc Ancient spirals of undeciphered hieroglyphs.
Placeholder name You know, thingamajigs, doohickeys, whatchamacallits...
Pompatus All Steve Miller's fault.
RAS syndrome ...which is itself an example of RAS.
Russenorsk A Slavic-Scandinavian hybrid that lasted only 150 years.
Robert Shields You think you are hooked on recording every detail of your life..?
San Serriffe A nation, conceived by a British newspaper, made up of two islands – Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse – whose capital city is Bodoni and which features two ports: Clarendon and Baskerville.
Shit happens A statement of philosophical existentialism boiled down to two words.
Thinking about the immortality of the crab A colorful Spanish idiom for daydreaming; try using this one if your teacher notices you becoming inattentive in class.
Toynbee tiles Tiles found embedded in asphalt, usually sporting cryptic messages.
Unknown unknown Things that we don't know we don't know.
Voynich manuscript An undeciphered illustrated book written six hundred or so years ago, by an anonymous author using an unidentified alphabet.

Names of weird people[edit]

Saoirse Marie Woods In the end it is not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away.
Jack Lynch once thought a horse would eat a baby when its parents weren't looking .
Praise-God Barebone Christened Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barebone; not to be confused with Nicholas If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon.
Cesar Chavez Formerly Scott Fistler, this white, right-wing, pro-business politician change his name to match the hispanic, left-wing labor activist in an attempt to get more votes
Mansfield The first head of MI6, whose name became appropriate as he promoted the use of semen as invisible ink.
Cox–Zucker machine Algorithm named after its inventors.
Deportivo Wanka An unfortunately named Peruvian football team whose strips are remarkably popular in Britain.
Dona An officials' association in pre-war Vienna, Austria of a shipping company for transporting passengers and cargo on the Danube.
John le Fucker His surname probably didn't mean what you think it might mean.
Argélico Fucks A Brazilian footballer with a socially problematic last name. An unforgettable newspaper headline once declared "Fucks Off to Benfica".
Gregor Fučka A Slovenian-born Italian basketball player with a similar problem.
Gaylord Silly A long-distance runner from the Seychelles who also works as a tree surgeon.
Tiny Kox A Dutch politician.
Jennifer 8. Lee A former New York Times reporter whose middle name is the number eight.
[[Leone Sextus".
List of examples of Stigler's law Bode didn't discover Bode's Law, Pascal didn't discover Pascal's Triangle and Arabic numerals aren't Arabic.
List of people with reduplicated names ...such as Boutros Boutros-Ghali‎ and (see below) Neville Neville.
Seán Dublin Bay Rockall Loftus An Irish politician who changes his name to emphasize political affiliations.
Mannanafnanefnd A committee in Iceland that determines whether a name is suitable for integration into the Icelandic language. Apparently voted yes about themselves.
Neville Neville The father of English footballers Phil Neville and Gary Neville.
Richard Plantagenet A warning to us all about taking double-barrelled surnames too far...
States Rights Gist A Confederate general during the US Civil War.
Thursday October Christian I The son of Fletcher Christian, leader of the mutiny on the Bounty.
Wolfe+585, Senior Longest name ever given.


Science[edit]

Archaeoacoustics Can ancient pottery be used to play back recorded voices from the distant past?
Ota Benga The tragic story of a Pygmy man from the Belgian Congo who was briefly exhibited in the Bronx Zoo.
Buttered toast phenomenon But only if you're eating at a table.
Buttered cat paradox If a cat always lands on its feet and toast always lands buttered-side-down, what if...?
Vladimir Demikhov Eminent Soviet biologist and father of the canine head transplant.
Natasha Demkina Russian girl who claims to have X-ray vision.
Drake's Plate of Brass A forgery-related practical joke that went horribly awry.
Elvis taxon A taxon (species, genus, family etc.) that is believed to be extinct but is falsely claimed by someone to still exist.
Lazarus taxon Leaping Lazarus! Somewhat like Monty Python's Dead Parrot, it's not really dead, it's just resting.
List of Ig Nobel Prize winners Nobel Prize meets Weird Science. Result: Award-winning papers like "Injuries Due to Falling Coconuts" and "Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans".
'Pataphysics A parody of science that purports to study what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics.
Pathological science A pejorative term for scientific ideas that will simply not "go away", long after they are given up on as wrong by the majority of scientists in the field.
Project Steve A wildly successful list of scientists in which all signatories (1) support evolution, (2) oppose intelligent design, and (3) are named Steve or a variation of that name (Steven, Stephan, etc).
Raven paradox First, you'll grant that all ravens are black, yes...?
Sokal affair Physicist Alan Sokal demonstrates that at least some postmodernists can't see an emperor with no clothes.

Physics[edit]

This blue-looking noise is actually pink.
"Sh**! It's Mr. Pauliosote! Quick, pack that stuff away!"
Colors of noise Including white, pink, purple, blue...
David Hahn A 17 year-old, known as the Radioactive Boy Scout, who irradiated his back yard attempting to build a nuclear breeder reactor from spare parts.
Demon core A two-time radioactive killer.
Fictional elements, isotopes and atomic particles Not actual periodic elements. Many end in '-ite'. Some of the elements may indeed be minerals.
Flying ice cube They happen to live inside the computers of scientists trying to simulate molecules.
The Hum A phenomenon involving a persistent and invasive low-frequency noise of a humming character and unknown origin, not audible to all people, reported in various geographical locations.
List of unusual units of measurement Fortnights and nibbles, super feet and Sagans.
Magic smoke An alternative theory of integrated circuits: once the smoke is released they no longer work.
Pauli effect Something in the lab not working? Technical difficulties? Blame this guy.
Quantum suicide and immortality An infinite number of parallel universes means that any one person will always live forever.
Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube What happens when you blow in a hole in a tube? Hot air comes out one end and cold air comes out the other. No consensus reached on why it happens yet.
Smoot A strange unit of distance used to measure the Harvard Bridge.
Sound of fingernails scraping chalkboard Urrrgggh!

Earth sciences[edit]

"It's flat and that's all there is to it."
Aachenosaurus A fossil plant that was mistakenly identified as a dinosaur.
Bloop Does a mystery sound from the bottom of the sea indicate that Cthulhu may awake...?
Expanding Earth A theory that the Earth is growing.
Flat Earth Society A society, originally British, that holds the belief that the Earth is flat, not spherical.
Featured article Snow in Florida Yes, snow is not unknown in the "Sunshine State".
Mumbai "sweet" seawater incident Salty creek becomes sweet for one tide cycle.
Raining animals When it's literally raining cats and dogs.
Red rain in Kerala Did blood rain from the sky?
Reversed map A reversed map of the world, against conventional projections which have north at the top.
Featured article S. A. Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 An ill-fated attempt to reach the North Pole.
Roy Sullivan An unlucky park ranger who was hit by lightning on seven separate occasions. He survived them all, but came to his own tragic end.
Waffle House Index The U.S. government's alternative measure of disaster impact.

Chemistry and material science[edit]

Warning: It's LETHAL.
Thankfully this is now done in specialised reactors, but at first
At last – the look of BO. Sounds fishy?
Dihydrogen monoxide A commonly used chemical that can be deadly to all forms of plant and animal life, contributing to global warming, erosion, acid rain, and countless other maladies.
Hall–Héroult process Invented in a wooden shed, uses temperatures over 2000 °C.
List of chemical compounds with unusual names Some a consequence of their constituents or origins, others simply the work of whimsical chemists.
Mole Day A day in celebration of Avogadro's number, 6.02×1023.
Thomas Midgley, Jr. Inventor of two of the world's most severe pollutants – and a machine that killed him.
Nanoputian A series of organic molecules having a structure that looks human.
New car smell Ahh, that new car smell.
Pykrete A bullet-resistant frozen-water compound.
Thiotimoline A fictional chemical which dissolves before it comes into contact with water.
Trimethylaminuria Do you smell something fishy? It may be you!
Unobtainium A term used to describe any material with properties that are unlikely or impossible for any real material to possess.

Space and astronomy[edit]

"Of course, it never reached the Moon..."
Cosmic latte The colour of the Universe: a slightly beige white.
Embryo space colonization A proposal for colonizing space using embryos raised by robots.
Extraterrestrial real estate Want to buy a housing plot on the Moon?
Fallen Astronaut A small statuette which is the only sculpture on the moon.
List of hypothetical Solar System objects The planets that could have been. You think Pluto had it rough? At least it got its fifteen minutes of astronomical fame.
Lunarcrete Perfect for building your own cut-price moon base.
Matrioshka brain Planet-sized computer.
Milkdromeda The birth of a future galaxy, and the death of our own.
The Moon is made of green cheese Scientific consensus says it isn't, but are there people who think so?
Moon landing conspiracy theories Fake photos, slow-motion cameras and secret studios. All directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Moon Museum Only two people have ever seen its exhibits in person.
Nazi UFOs Did the Luftwaffe, in fact, explore the final frontier and make contact with alien races? Whether the secret Nazi base is on the Moon or in Antarctica, the truth is apparently out there.
Sex in space And when you've exhausted the list, here's something new to try!
Space advertising Plans to launch giant billboards into space.
Solway Firth Spaceman "Wasn't there when I took the pic – honest!"
Sylacauga (meteorite) The first fallen meteorite in recorded history to have verifiably injured a human.
Timekeeping on Mars How Martians know when they are.
Writing in space Pens or pencils?

Medicine and health[edit]

"Can you see it now, Mr John?". At least two other articles on the brown stuff also made it onto the list here.
Well, stone me...
Don't blanch – you may need these little fellas one day.
Quick – grab a tissue!
Got one of those headaches that just won't go away?
Abigail and Brittany Hensel Conjoined twins with separate heads but joined bodies
Accessory breast Some people have more than two.
Alien hand syndrome An unusual neurological disorder, also known as "Dr. Strangelove syndrome", whereby one of the sufferer's hands seems to take on a life of its own.
Autofellatio Acts of oral self-stimulation.
Bristol stool scale Taking a close look at a toilet bowl for the sake of science. The scale was inspired by eye charts.
Cello scrotum Don't worry, boys, it's a hoax.
ChIA-PET Chromatin Interaction Analysis by Paired-End Tag Sequencing, that is.
Dimples of Venus For fans of those dimples you don't find on a face.
Eigengrau The color seen by the eye in perfect darkness.
Fart lighting The act of igniting gases produced by human flatulence.
Five-second rule The belief that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat only as long as it's picked up within five seconds.
Gerbilling An urban legend about a sexual practice purportedly observed by some male celebrities.
Gynecomastia Also known as "man boobs" or "moobs".
Hair-grooming syncope Who knew that brushing your hair could be deadly?
Hamster zona-free ovum test A test – sometimes called a "hamster test" – involving human semen, hamster eggs and a petri dish.
Human–animal breastfeeding If you have breast milk to spare, a puppy, piglet or monkey would like to hear from you.
Human penis size Scientific data on average size, racial variations, surgical enlargement and urban legends.
Hypertrichosis Also known as "Human Werewolf Syndrome".
Hypoalgesic effect of swearing As Redd Foxx once observed, "if you've never said 'shit', come back with me after the show and I'll slam my car door on your hand'". And you will feel better.
Jenkem Huffing the gas from fermented human feces for a hallucinating effect.
Koro A condition where one (mistakenly) believes that his or her genitals are slowly disappearing.
Lithopedion The rare condition of an unborn fetus transforming to stone.
Mad Gasser of Mattoon A figure said to have terrorized the town of Mattoon, Illinois in 1944.
Maggot therapy The use of fly larvae in medical practice.
Male lactation Given the right conditions, just about any male can do it. Fancy a try, boys?
Male pregnancy For now, it's just a seahorse thing, but...
Maple syrup urine disease For once, a sweet smell you don't want your infants exuding.
Medical students' disease A condition frequently reported in medical students who perceive themselves to be experiencing the symptoms of the diseases they are studying.
Lina Medina A Peruvian girl who gave birth to a son when she was five years old, becoming the youngest human mother on record.
Mellified Man A legendary medicinal substance from Arabia.
Möbius syndrome A disease, most envied by poker players, that makes facial expressions impossible.
Mucophagy The consumption of mucus.
Nacirema An obscure New World tribe with some interesting practices.
National Masturbation Day There is a day dedicated to protect the right to masturbate!
Navel lint A study proves that most belly button fluff is blue and that women are less likely to have it.
Nasal sebum Yes, that stuff on the surface of your nose.
Chandre Oram A man in India with a 13-inch tail.
Osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis A tooth in the eye (is worth two in the foot?).
Paleofeces Our ancestors' poop. Worth a close look, apparently.
Parasitic twin A medical condition where one of two conjoined twins lacks essential organs and must rely on the other for survival, often leeching its blood. An especially rare variant of this, fetus in fetu, involves one partially formed fetus developing within the body of the other.
Persistent genital arousal disorder Not as funny as it may sound.
Photic sneeze reflex People who sneeze when suddenly exposed to bright light.
Puppy pregnancy syndrome A condition found in remote regions of India in which people believe they have conceived a puppy shortly after being bitten by a dog.
Rapunzel syndrome Chewing on your hair is one thing, but actually eating it can have some untoward results.
Retained surgical instruments Instruments, that is, which surgeons say patients "keep" after operations.
Schmidt sting pain index An entomologist is stung by just about everything known to sting and, en route, describes the pain involved in terms of a four-point comparative scale.
Thumb twiddling Maybe this is unusual to you.
Featured article Mary Toft An English woman who hoaxed doctors into believing that she had given birth to rabbits.
Trepanation A form of surgery where a hole is drilled or scraped into the skull. It was thought that such a procedure could cure problems like epilepsy or allow a person to enter into a higher state of consciousness.
Uncombable hair syndrome Not just a bad hair day.

Nervous system and behaviour[edit]

This skull's owner didn't even get a headache – but he was a changed man.
Anton-Babinski syndrome People who are blind but convinced they can see.
Bananadine Exactly how psychedelic are those dried banana peels?
Capgras delusion When you're sure a friend or loved one is an impostor.
Charles Bonnet syndrome Millions of perfectly sane people are having freakish hallucinations – and just not admitting it.
Cotard delusion Suffered by people, very much alive, who believe they're dead.
Dancing mania Unknown forces cause large groups of people to dance hysterically until dropping from exhaustion in multiple incidents in Europe from the 13th to 17th centuries.
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity For those allergic to Wi-Fi.
Exploding head syndrome Ever woken up after an hour or two of sleep thinking you've just heard a massive explosion?
Female hysteria A once-common diagnosis of a range of symptoms in women, cured through masturbation to orgasm.
Foreign accent syndrome A rare medical condition whereby sufferers speak their native language with a foreign accent.
Fregoli delusion The belief that different people are actually one person in disguise.
Phineas Gage A 19th-century construction worker who survived a three-foot-long tamping iron going through his skull. His resultant behavioral changes have made him an important figure in the development of neuroscience.
Homicidal sleepwalking A real parasomnia that has been successfully used as a defence in court.
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Like Tourette's syndrome, but more Gallic.
Klüver–Bucy syndrome A behavioral disorder with some very odd symptoms, including "hypersexuality" and a desire to examine objects with the mouth. Named after two doctors who gave psychotropic drugs to lobotomized monkeys.
MK-ULTRA When a late-night radio host claims to have been brainwashed by the CIA, you may want to think twice.
Paris Syndrome Particularly common among Japanese tourists. Not to be confused with Jerusalem Syndrome or Stockholm Syndrome.
Penis panic A colloquial term referring to a type of mass hysteria or panic where males grow fearful of removal or shrinking of the penis.
Rosenhan experiment Sane mental patients.
Sleep sex A form of parasomnia (similar to sleepwalking) that causes people to engage in sexual acts while they are asleep.
Stendhal syndrome A psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art or natural beauty.
Tanganyika laughter epidemic What happens when contagious laughter becomes an actual epidemic.
Target fixation To become so fixated on an object you are trying to avoid that you collide with it.
Tip of the tongue A memory-related phenomenon familiar to us all.
The Truman Show delusion Those afflicted feel they are being watched all the time by a television audience, like Jim Carrey in the 1998 movie The Truman Show.

Animals[edit]

To boldly go where no monkey has gone before. Well, where a few monkeys have gone before.
Santa's little underwater worms.
Adactylidium A mite with a very unusual life cycle.
Animals in space An annotated list of the various animals used in space programs.
Apophallation Can't extract your penis? Amputate and deploy your spare.
Bird strike One of the more unusual aviation hazards.
Bobbit worm "Armed with sharp teeth, it is known to attack with such speeds that its prey is sometimes sliced in half."
Candiru A small parasitic freshwater catfish that swims into the gill openings of other aquatic species – or human penises.
Christmas tree worm A worm that looks like... a Christmas tree.
Depopulation of cockroaches in the ex-USSR countries A great ecological problem indeed.
Elysia chlorotica A sea slug that can photosynthesise and has stolen various genes required to do so from algae.
Emerald cockroach wasp Insects can be cowboys?
Epomis A beetle larva that lure predators by making prey-like movements in order to eat its predator.
Exploding toads An as-yet unexplained phenomenon observed in April 2005 in districts of Hamburg, Germany and near a lake at Låsby, Denmark.
Exploding whale The next time a whale washes on shore in one Oregon county, the authorities will leave the dynamite at home.
Ichthyoallyeinotoxism Some fish produce a toxin with hallucinatory effects.
List of animals displaying homosexual behavior Everything from salmon to seagulls to dragonflies.
List of animals with fraudulent diplomas Your pet may be smarter than you.
London Underground mosquito A species of mosquito that lives only in underground railways
Love dart Hermaphroditic snails play Cupid.
Nightingale excrement as facial Droppings of a nightingale variety used in facials. Some claim that it helps with acne.
Orbiting Frog Otolith A NASA frog experiment, sending two bullfrogs into space to test their sense of balance.
Paracerceis sculpta A species of isopod that has some males that mimic females and others that mimic juveniles, allowing them to mate without the alpha males realising.
Pasilalinic-sympathetic compass The snail telegraph hoax.
Penis fencing A l̶i̶t̶e̶r̶a̶l̶ figurative variety of cockfighting between some species of flatworm.
Prostitution among animals Did you know that prostitution exists among animals?
Pseudis paradoxa A shrinking frog.
Stephens Island Wren Made extinct by feral cats, possibly the offspring of one pregnant female.
Stray animals at Indian airports Talk about wild protesters!
Supernumerary body part Having an extra body part, be it as simple as an eleventh finger or as extreme as a second head!
Surinam toad The mother's back is where the eggs are embedded and where they develop.
Thagomizer A feature of Stegosaurus anatomy named after a Far Side comic strip.
Tongue-eating louse A parasitic crustacean that, when female (they are hermaphroditic), attaches to and then destroys a fish's tongue, hooks itself to the remaining stub and becomes the fish's new tongue.
Traumatic insemination A form of mating in invertebrates in which the male stabs the female in the abdomen with his penis, and injects his sperm through the wound.
Worm charming No spade? No worries! There's a better way to get hold of earthworms.

Chickens[edit]

Chicken eyeglasses Tiny spectacles for chooks, to stop them from seeing red.
Chicken gun Valuable for the mitigation of damage from bird strikes. The chicken carcass must be thawed first, though.
Chicken hypnotism Have you ever wanted to hypnotize a chicken? If not, why not?
Chicken or the egg Which came first?
Chicken sexer A person who has been specially trained to determine the sex of chicken hatchlings.
Chicken Powered Nuclear Bomb A British project to lay nuclear mines in West Germany during the Cold War
Hollywood Freeway chickens A colony of feral chickens that have been living underneath a highway off-ramp since 1970.
Mike the Headless Chicken A rooster that lived for 18 months with its head cut off.
Tastes like chicken But baked, grilled, or fried?

Mammals[edit]

Dried deer penis.
Flash photograph of an odd-eyed cat.
Berserk llama syndrome The result of being too friendly with llamas.
Featured article Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office ...otherwise known as the cat who lives at the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Cow magnet A plastic-coated magnet fed to cows to prevent gut damage by ingested bits of metal, aka hardware disease.
Cow tipping The act of pushing over sleeping cows.
Deer penis It is said to enhance sexual potency in men and was banned by the Chinese government from the 2008 Olympics.
Diving horse A short-lived attraction during the 1880s.
Domesticated silver fox Soviet Russia subsidizes the breeding of silver foxes.
Exploding whale Real whales exploded in Oregon in 1970 and Taiwan in 2004.
Fainting goat A breed of goat whose muscles freeze for about 10 seconds when it is startled.
Globster Blobs of organic matter found washed up on beaches, which are frequently as mysterious as they are disgusting.
Guided rat Implanted electrodes let researchers "steer the animal over an obstacle course, making it twist, turn and even jump on demand".
Hardware disease A condition in bovines caused by ingesting stray bits of metal.
Odd-eyed cat One of the national treasures of Turkey. As owned by Muhammad.
Panda pornography Pornographic movies created to achieve sexual arousal for Giant pandas, which have been proven to be unaffected by the popular drug Viagra.
Street dogs in Moscow Some of them have figured out how to commute using the subway system.
The dog ate my homework Instead of a pathetic excuse for an article, an article about a pathetic excuse.
Weasel war dance The behavior of extremely excited ferrets who are enjoying themselves too much.

Individual animals[edit]

Colonel-in-Chief Sir Nils Olav.
Adwaita Possibly the oldest creature of modern times, this 255 year-old tortoise was the former pet of Robert Clive of the British East India Company.
Benson A fish. A big fish. Called Benson.
Jack Black Queen Victoria's officially appointed rat-catcher and mole destroyer.
Bubbles A chimpanzee who used human toilet facilities, moonwalked, and (allegedly) attempted suicide.
Bummer and Lazarus Two stray dogs that roamed the streets of San Francisco, California in the early 1860s and were exempted from local ordinances.
Casper A cat famed for traveling on a bus around Plymouth, England.
Cat Mandu The late co-leader of one of Britain's more unusual political parties.
Courtaud Even the city walls aren't safe. Wolves and the medieval psyche.
Domino Day 2005 sparrow A sparrow that ruined a Domino exhibition, was killed and became a legal case.
Dusty the Klepto Kitty Redefining the term "cat burglar".
Enumclaw horse sex case An unfortunate case of a horse riding a man, as opposed to a man riding a horse.
George A lobster weighing 20 pounds, estimated to be 140 years old.
Handsome Dan The various incarnations of Yale University's athletic mascot. "In personal appearance he seemed like a cross between an alligator and a horned frog...".
Henry the Hexapus An octopus missing two arms due to an unfortunate birth defect.
Hoover the talking seal Hoover. A seal. Which talked.
Jenny Haniver A grotesque-looking sea monster made from the corpse of a ray.
Khanzir Possibly the world's loneliest pig. Even more lonely during the swine flu outbreak.
Lily Flagg A Jersey cow who made a lot of butter and got a sizable neighborhood named for her.
Lin Wang A Taiwanese elephant made famous for his participation in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Mary Makes the phrase "hung like an elephant" take on a whole new meaning.
Nigger A black dog whose portrayal in The Dam Busters (1955) somehow had to be edited out, overdubbed, or renamed. Nigger's grave remains unredacted, though.
Nils Olav A King Penguin who is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Norwegian Guard.
Nim Chimpsky A chimpanzee, subject of long-running studies into animal language acquisition, named punningly for linguist Noam Chomsky.
Oscar the Cat A hospice cat who was featured in the New England Journal of Medicine for his purported ability to predict the impending death of terminally ill patients.
Osama bin Laden (elephant) An elusive elephant who terrorized the jungle of Assam. He was eventually shot, but there are those who question the official story of his death. Much like his famous namesake. (Please do not judge all elephants based on the behavior of this one rogue specimen.)
Owen and Mzee Hippo and tortoise that befriended each other after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Paul A now-deceased psychic octopus who could predict the winner of football games, notably during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Ravens of the Tower of London Ravens used as soldiers in the Tower of London
River Thames whale In 2006, a Northern Bottlenose swam into London and on to the front pages of the British newspapers.
Rose A goat that was married to a Sudanese man in 2006.
St Guinefort A 13th-century French dog unofficially venerated as a saint until the 1930s.
Tama The official station master of a railway station in Japan.
Tamworth Two In 1998, two pigs escaped from an abattoir in Wiltshire and made news, both in the United Kingdom and worldwide. (Their story was turned into a TV movie in 2003.)
Tillamook Cheddar The world's most successful and widely shown animal artist.
Timothy A tortoise that was present during the bombardment of Sevastopol during the Crimean War in 1854 and survived until 2004.
Tirpitz A pig who survived the sinking of one warship, to become the mascot on one of the ships that had sunk his first home. Tragically he was then auctioned off and eaten.
Topsy (elephant) An elephant that was electrocuted, as the event was filmed by the Edison Manufacturing Company.
William Windsor A Cashmere goat that is a lance corporal in the British Army's 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh infantry.
Wojtek A soldier of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps who also happened to be a Syrian Brown Bear. He enjoyed beer and cigarettes.
Yvonne A runaway cow with a 10,000 € bounty.

Names in biology[edit]

Anophthalmus hitleri Rare blind beetle named after Adolf Hitler, poached by collectors of Hitler memorabilia.
Aptostichus stephencolberti A trapdoor spider named after Stephen Colbert. Naturally, because he asked for it.
Bill Gates' flower fly A flower fly, Eristalis gatesi, named after Bill Gates.
GoldenPalace.com Monkey A new species of monkey that was officially named after the GoldenPalace.com internet casino.
List of names for the Wild Turkey Not included: "the Wild Turkey".
Mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 3 Actually, it's a polypeptide.
Pikachurin An extracellular matrix-like retinal protein named after Pikachu.
Scrotum humanum Nothing to do with trouser snakes, but lizards of an entirely different scale.
Setaceous Hebrew Character A European moth with wing markings bearing a chance resemblance to a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
You may snicker now, but if you had any of these, I guarantee you wouldn't be laughing much.
Sonic hedgehog A protein in the vertebrate hedgehog family that was officially named after Sega's video game character Sonic the Hedgehog.
Spongiforma squarepantsii A type of mushroom named after SpongeBob SquarePants
Strigiphilus garylarsoni A biting louse named for cartoonist Gary Larson of Far Side fame.
Zombie taxon Paleontology of the undead.
Zyzyxia lundellii and Zyzzyva The last plant name and animal name in the dictionary, respectively.
See also

Plants[edit]

The Queens Giant – the oldest living thing in the New York metropolitan area.
Arbre du Ténéré A solitary acacia that was once the most isolated tree on Earth before being run over by a drunken Libyan truck driver.
Gernikako Arbola The Basque national tree, centre of a number of political disputes, once put under armed guard.
Axe murder incident A poplar tree once nearly caused a war between North and South Korea.
Chandelier Tree A 300ft tall redwood with a giant hole cut through the middle for cars to drive through.
Moon trees Trees planted from seeds that were taken into space by Apollo 14.
Nepenthes lowii A plant that lures animals to release their droppings into a pitcher.
Penis Plant A cactus the Germans call Frauenglück, or "Women's Joy".
Queens Giant A tulip tree located in northeastern Queens, New York City, that is confirmed to be the oldest living thing in the New York metropolitan area, as well as the tallest tree in the NY metro area. As of 2005, it is up to 450 years old and 134 feet tall. It was alive before the birth of Shakespeare.
Tree of Knowledge (Australia) Killed by ignorance.
Tree That Owns Itself An oak tree in Athens, Georgia which is popularly regarded as owning itself.
See also


Technology, inventions and products[edit]

World War I pigeon photography.
Cower, you leeches, in the presence of the Tempest Prognosticator!
Antikythera mechanism An analog computer built in Ancient Greece.
Centennial Light A hundred-year-old light bulb that has been burning nonstop for 30 years.
Clocky An alarm clock that hides from its owner.
Canard Digérateur Or "Digesting Duck", an automaton built to simulate a duck eating, digesting, and excreting.
Digital sundial Unlike an analog sundial, a clock that indicates the current time with numerals formed by the sunlight striking it.
Dreamachine A device made with a light bulb and a record turntable that reportedly induces lucid dreaming. (And you thought the makers of Die Another Day made it up. There's still no news about invisible Aston Martin V12 Vanquishes.)
Electronic voice phenomenon Alleged spiritual voices heard in white noise and radio interference.
Marvin Heemeyer Why it's always a bad idea to put the guy next door out of business if he has a ten-ton armor-plated bulldozer in his garage.
History of perpetual motion machines The concept has eluded and baffled the greatest minds for thousands of years – and will continue to elude anyone who tries to build one.
Klerksdorp sphere Spheres with three parallel grooves dated to be three billion years old... Evidence of ancient intelligent life? An unusual natural phenomenon? Who knows...
Knork In contrast to the spork (see below), here's a knife/fork combo.
Hedy Lamarr Film actress co-invents communication system later used in cell phones, Wi-Fi and other forms of wireless technologies.
List of inventors killed by their own inventions Perilous parachutes, lethal lighthouses and murderous motorcycles!
Method of exercising a cat A rather unusual patent; some say it's pointless.
The Mississauga Blob A flaming object that fell from the heavens onto a back-yard picnic table in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada in 1979. The mystery of its true nature drew worldwide attention and speculation. Turns out it was a frisbee.
Mosquito laser A bug zapper with a difference.
One red paperclip A man's small piece of metal turns out to be worth more than expected.
Parking chair Using household objects to reserve parking spaces.
Percussive maintenance The reverse of "I just touched it and it broke."
Featured articlePigeon photography Pigeons were used by the Germans for aerial surveillance in World War I, and apparently also in World War II. Not to forget the CIA's own pigeon camera.
Project Cybersyn Chilean robo-socialism control chamber invented by a Brit with a gigantic beard.
Royal Mail rubber band One billion are used every year and often seen littering the streets of UK cities.
Russian floating nuclear power station Self-contained, low-capacity, floating nuclear power plants.
Spork A cross between a spoon and a fork. Not to be confused with a knork.
Tempest Prognosticator Meteorology by frightened annelid.
Turboencabulator A device whose sole function is to expose technological ignorance.
Uncanny valley How to measure your emotional response to androids.
Wheat lamp A type of lamp used by miners that is unrelated to wheat.
Wrap rage Ever been driven mad by packaging that just won't open?
Xianxingzhe A Chinese robot, according to the Japanese, that will save its country from corporate capitalism with its crotch cannon.

Hygiene and sanitation[edit]

Toilets in Japan have some special features.
"Darkie" toothpaste Racist toothpaste from Taiwan.
Groom of the Stool The most intimate Royal office.
Hotel toilet-paper folding Ever wondered why it was so?
Interactive Urinal Communicator A talking urinal made for advertising purposes.
iLoo Microsoft's attempt to bring you the internetz at the portable public loo.
Japanese toilet The most advanced toilets in the world with computers, nozzles and flashing lights.
Lloyds Bank turd Possibly the largest example of fossilised human feces ever found, discovered under the future site of a Lloyds Bank in England.
Stainless steel soap Metallic soap that removes odours from the hands.
Toilet-related injury Not all injuries and deaths linked to toilets are urban legends.
Toilet paper orientation On the pros and cons of letting toilet paper hang over or under the roll.
Whizzinator A fake penis used to beat drug tests (complete with dried urine, heater, syringe). Comes in white, tan, latino, brown, and black

Clothing and accessories[edit]

Koteka An unusual traditional garment of western New Guinea, also known as the "penis gourd".
Meat dress of Lady Gaga A dress made of flank steak. Currently preserved as jerky in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Muffin top A marketing mishap, many well-meaning young women, and vanity came together to form this demographic.
Shoe tossing The practice of throwing footwear, whether for humorous or political purposes.
Sweater curse Think your loved one will be pleased if you knit them a sweater? Think again.
Three Wolf Moon A T-shirt with wolves howling at the moon that gained popularity after one person wrote a sarcastic review for it at Amazon.com.
Tin foil hat Headgear that allegedly prevents a person from having their minds read or controlled.

Transport[edit]

East German Ampelmännchen.
Not so snail-mail after all, eh?
"Sinking? We're not sinking!"
Don't reach for that sick bag 'til you're back on the floor.
Ampelmännchen The East German "traffic-light little-man" ("Ampel männchen").
British Rail flying saucer Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the 10:13 to Venus.
Dagen H September 3, 1967: The day that Sweden changed its traffic directionality.
Dymaxion car A 1933 concept car with 3 wheels. It was 20 feet (6.1 m) long, carried up to 11 passengers, could go at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour (190 km/h), and had a steering wheel that turned the car in the opposite direction.
Experiment A boat with eight horse-powers. Literally.
Gimli Glider A confusion over units leads to a Boeing 767 plane running out of fuel mid-flight and becoming a glider.
Human mail Why buy an expensive ticket when you can go by mail?
Iron Dobbin A mechanical horse made in 1933 for the Italian Fascist Youth Movement.
Jesus nut Not your local Bible-thumping preacher but the bolt on the top of a helicopter that connects it to the rotor blades.
Loose wheel nut indicator Yes, those little yellow tags you see on truck wheels really do have a purpose.
Mile High Club Soaring members.
Mehran Karimi Nasseri An Iranian refugee who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport from 1988 until 2006.
Miss Belvedere A car buried in a time capsule in 1957 and unearthed in 2007, only to discover that it had suffered 50 years of water damage underground and wouldn't start.
Passenger train toilets Why passengers must be discouraged from flushing or using toilets while the train is at a station.
Peel P50 The world's smallest production car.
Reliant Regal A three-wheeled car formerly manufactured in England that could be driven with a motorcycle license.
Rocket mail The delivery of mail by rocket or missile, attempted by various organisations in many different countries, with varying levels of success.
RP FLIP A manned ship designed to be capsized at a 90° angle for weeks on end.
School bus yellow A color especially formulated for use on school buses in the United States.
Screw-propelled vehicle Get there by screwing.
Shipping container architecture The concept and art of using intermodal containers to build stuff.
Society for the Prevention of Calling Sleeping Car Porters "George" An association formed to oppose the custom of addressing railway sleeping car porters as "George" regardless of their actual name.
South Pointing Chariot An ancient Chinese mechanical compass which took a millennium to reproduce.
Unused highway Lost highways, unloved and unused.
Vomit Comet Lack of gravity is not good for the stomach.
Wallsend Metro station All railroads lead to Rome. With "no smoking" signs, although tobacco was unknown to ancient Romans...

Computing[edit]

Could a unicycle balance itself?
Blinkenlights DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN!
The Book of Mozilla A well-known computer Easter egg found in the Netscape and Mozilla series of browsers.
Brainfuck Not what you think it is – unless, maybe, you're a computer geek...
Brian's Brain He's so smart, he has his own cellular automaton.
Bush hid the facts Revelations of a vast right-wing conspiracy, or just a glitch?
Chudnovsky brothers A pair of mathematicians who built a supercomputer out of spare parts.
Esoteric programming language Refers to programming languages designed as a test of the boundaries of computer programming language design, as a proof of concept, or as jokes, and not with the intention of being adopted for real-world programming.
Guru Meditation error If you thought the blue screen of death was bad, this computer error would hamper your quest to reach Nirvana.
Heartbleed Hearts bled around the world's secure servers… on a little memory bug.
I Am Rich You must be if you could afford this US$999.99 iPhone application that did, well, not very much of anything.
iFart Mobile Setting the precedent for useless iPhone apps everywhere.
IP over Avian Carriers An Internet protocol for sending data packets using homing pigeons.
iSmell A computer peripheral designed to emit smells for websites and emails, later named one of the "Worst Tech Products" by PC Magazine.
Leet T3h 1@ngu/\&e 0f H@xx0rz.
Lenna How an image of a nude Playboy model became the industry-standard digital image compression test subject.
lp0 on fire Want to panic a Unix user? Display an error that their printer is on fire.
MacQuarium Vintage Macintosh computers-turned-fishtanks.
MONIAC Computer A water-based analogue computer used to model the United Kingdom economy, bringing a new meaning to the term liquidity.
On the Cruelty of Really Teaching Computer Science A 1990 academic paper which argues that computer programming should be understood as a branch of mathematics, and that the formal provability of a program is a major criterion for correctness.
Reality distortion field Surely an obscure quantum-physics phenomenon? Nope!
Scunthorpe problem Spam filtering based on text strings can cause problems. Just ask the residents of S****horpe.
Self-balancing unicycle The ongoing academic effort to teach robots to ride unicycles.
Trojan room coffee pot The fascinating target of the world's first webcam: a coffee machine at the computer science department of Cambridge University.
Utah teapot A 3D model which has become a standard reference object (and something of an in-joke) in the computer graphics community.


Popular culture, entertainment and the arts[edit]

Ha ha ha... ha... gulp.
C'est Le Pétomane – who "performed" for royalty.
How far would you go to save yourself?
The Aristocrats A joke considered to be both "the world's funniest" and "the world's worst". Also a 2005 documentary of the same name.
Bigipedia A unique experiment in "broadwebcasting", Bigipedia is the website on your radio. In association with Chianto—"Officially recognised by the EU as a wine-type product or by-product".
Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them! controversy T-shirt slogan aimed towards young women, rocks aimed towards young men.
George P. Burdell A fictitious student officially enrolled at Georgia Tech in 1927, and, except for his "service" in World War II, has been continuously enrolled at the school ever since.
Featured article The Bus Uncle A Hong Kong resident gets into an uncomfortably tense argument with a fellow passenger—all caught on video.
Conan the Librarian A perennial parody of Conan the Barbarian that has appeared in film, television, comics, and fan fiction.
Croydon facelift A hairstyle peculiar to parts of England.
Cultural depictions of Napoleon Fictional characters believing they are Napoleon are often used to suggest mental ill health.
Cuteness in Japanese culture It's not just Hello Kitty and Pikachu.
Donkey punch Allegedly a sex move involving punching one's partner in the back of the head during intercourse.
Evil clown A recent development in American popular culture in which the playful trope of the clown is rendered as disturbing through the use of dark humor and horror elements.
Evil Overlord List How to avoid the movie clichés.
Flash mob Wherein a group of people quickly meet up, engage in a random action such as a pillow fight, then disappear just as quickly.
Fuck for Forest Do your bit to save the rainforest—have an orgy!
Ghost-riding One of the latest trends to be popularized by hyphy culture.
Gurn A Western term for creating odd appearances of the face.
Human rainbow A huge gathering of colours.
Issei Sagawa Writer, commentator, minor celebrity, murderer, and cannibal.
Kayfabe In professional wrestling, the portrayal of events within the industry as real.
Killer toys When children's toys attack!
Love padlocks A fence in the southern Hungarian town of Pécs where lovers clamp padlocks.
Masturbate-a-thon It's okay – it's for charity!
Meta-joke A joke that refers to itself as the joke.
Metafiction Fiction about fiction.
Mooning the Cog Bad weather isn't the only reason to avoid the summit of Mount Washington.
Nazi chic The approving use of Nazi-era style, imagery, and paraphernalia in clothing and popular culture.
No soap radio A prank joke intended to fool one of its listeners into believing that it is a joke.
Obay A fictional mind-control drug that's at the center of a viral marketing campaign.
Pen spinning An activity in which assorted tricks are used to manipulate a pen in aesthetically pleasing ways.
Le Pétomane A French entertainer famous in Victorian times for being able to break wind at will. Practitioners of this... art are called flatulists.
Aron Ralston One tough guy who, to escape from death, cut off his own arm with a dull knife after a boulder fell on it.
Real-life superhero All you need is a cape and a dream.
Sardarji jokes Popular jokes in India, based on stereotypes of Sikhs.
List of school pranks Have you tried them all out?
Treacle mining The fictitious mining of treacle (molasses) in a raw form similar to coal.
Larry Walters Successfully piloted a lawn chair to 16,000 feet over Los Angeles.
The World Famous Bushman A street entertainer in San Francisco who makes a living by pretending to be a bush.
You kids get off my lawn! I'm gonna call your parents, you kids!

Art[edit]

"Lucy in the Field with Flowers", with original frame – the first work in the Museum of Bad Art's collection.
Artist's Shit A quite literal and humorous meta-art.
Banksy A graffiti artist who smuggles his works into world-class museums.
Bog Standard Gallery It's a museum... inside a portable toilet.
Boll Weevil Monument The only known monument built to honor an agricultural pest.
Bottle Rack A modern art piece created by Dada artist Marcel Duchamp. His sister, who mistook it for trash, threw it out.
Chamber of Art and Curiosities A cabinet of curiousities created by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria in the 16th century.
Earring Magic Ken How Barbie's boyfriend, in an attempt to look cooler, became a gay icon.
Dinny the Dinosaur A larger-than-life, 150 ton sculpture of a brontosaurus in the desert of Southern California west of Palm Springs. Dinny's companion is "Mr. Rex," a 150 ton sculpture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square The horse is missing.
Garden gnome liberationists Vive la révolution des gnomes!
Gävle goat A giant straw Yuletide goat that is the target of frequent arson attacks and vandalism.
Hahn/Cock A giant blue cock in Trafalgar Square.
The Headington Shark Oxford man has had a 25-foot (7.6 m) long sculpture of a shark embedded headfirst into the roof of his unassuming house since 1986.
Howard Hallis An artist who attempted to draw the "Picture of Everything", a massive painting containing drawings of thousands of people and items, both real and imaginary.
Katrina refrigerator Loot this! Free meal inside!
Knitta Please NY Hip hop graffiti knitters.
La Princesse A 13-metre mechanical spider which stomped about Liverpool in 2008.
Le Rêve A Picasso painting that purportedly would have sold for a record price had its owner, Steve Wynn, not accidentally poked a hole in it.
Largest photographs in the world Includes information on print and digital photos that are reputedly the world's largest.
Mexican Perforation A French artistic movement that expresses itself in underground places.
Featured article Museum of Bad Art A Museum "dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of really awful artwork".
Paintings by Adolf Hitler The Nazi dictator and perpetrator of one of the worst genocides was also a painter.
Pink Lady In 1966, a woman secretly painted a 60-foot tall portrait of a nude woman over a tunnel and sued when the county tried to take it down.
Abel Ramírez Águilar A Mexican sculptor who made a name for himself in ice and snow sculpture after winning gold at the 1992 Winter Olympics.
Roundabout dog Seen any dog on the loose while out driving lately? Chances are it's a roundabout dog.
Sacred Cod There's also a "Holy Mackerel", Batman.
Scandinavian Institute of Comparative Vandalism Mine is better than yours.
Superlambanana A statue in Liverpool that's half-lamb, half-banana.
Tillie An odd painting of a grinning face, that used to be on the Palace Amusements building in Asbury Park, New Jersey before it was demolished.

Comics and animation[edit]

Jenny Everywhere – at your service and in your hands.
Acme Corporation Their products have been used and endorsed by all the best cartoon characters.
Afghanis-tan Central Asian history has never been cuter. (Osama bin Laden makes an appearance as a turban-wearing stray cat.)
Archie Meets the Punisher The team-up you thought would never happen....
Arseface A comic book character from none other than DC Comics.
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Name of a Japanese manga (comic) whose subject matter is as surreal as its title.
Cartoon physics In animation, humour takes precedence over the ordinary laws of physics.
Censored Eleven A group of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons pulled from syndication due to their racist depictions of black people.
Clan McDuck A fictional family in the style of a Scottish clan, from which a great number of Walt Disney Company's comic book characters held their origin..
Comic book death Comic book characters have a tendency to rarely, if ever, stay dead.
Goofy holler A stock Disney sound effect.
Gorillas in comics A curious abundance of gorillas in comic book plots during the Silver Age of Comics.
Homosexuality in the Batman franchise For half a century, Batman and Dick Grayson have been rumored to have a relationship.
Jenny Everywhere An open-source webcomic character.
The Metric Marvels Nothing says 1970s in the USA more than a spinoff of Schoolhouse Rock with superheroes who teach the metric system.
Moe anthropomorphism In this time and age even a washing machine can be the girl of your dreams.
Mr. Immortal A Marvel Comics superhero with no special powers except immortality, who has been killed in ways including crushing, burning, self-impalement on giant novelty scissors, bear trap, cannon, chainsaw, piranhas, ferrets, spear, and python, and alcohol poisoning (three times). Prone to fits of rage upon returning to life.
Tentacle erotica Human-cephalopod sexual relations, popular in hentai.
Uncle Grandpa An animated series. About everyone in the world's magical uncle and grandpa. Think about that.

Literature[edit]

"Shíshì shīshì Shī Shì, shì shī, shì shí shí shī... help!!
Reading this list is its own reward.
112 Gripes About the French A handbook produced to help American soldiers understand the French.
Aldiborontiphoskyphorniostikos Published in 1825 as a Victorian children's book and described as "a round game for merry parties", the object of the game was to quickly recite alphabetical tongue-twisting mock-Latin gibberish.
Anthropodermic bibliopegy The practice of binding books in human skin.
Atlanta Nights A group of science fiction authors get together and deliberately write an absolutely horrible novel to fool and embarrass a "vanity publisher".
The Book of Heroic Failures A book which glorifies failure. Started off The Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain. The book was a success and thus declared a "failure as a failure".
Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year Who can forget such classics as Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, How to Avoid Huge Ships or Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Power: How to Increase the Other 90% of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breasts?
La Bougie du Sapeur A French newspaper published every February 29th.
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest A contest to find "the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels".
Lyttle Lytton Contest Like the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, but "Lyttler"
Death poem The urge to have famous last words, taken to its logical, carefully rewritten extreme.
Fart Proudly An essay written by Benjamin Franklin about flatulence.
Henry Darger Writer of a 15,000-page manuscript along with several thousand watercolor paintings and other drawings illustrating the story, who went to Mass several times daily.
Early American editions of The Hobbit Now collectors' items because of their printing differences.
English As She Is Spoke A 19th-century PortugueseEnglish conversational guide and phrase book that is regarded as a classic of unintentional humour since it was apparently the product of translating a Portuguese–French phrase book by non-English-speaking Portuguese with the help of a French–English phrase book.
Evil laugh "Mua-ha-haha-ha-haaa" and the like.
The Eye of Argon An infamously bad heroic fantasy novella, written in 1970 by Jim Theis and circulated anonymously in science fiction fandom since then.
The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women A 1558 diatribe by John Knox against Mary, Queen of Scots and Mary Tudor.
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn" Supposedly the shortest story possible in the English language. But Ernest Hemingway had nothing to do with it
Gadsby A 50,110-word long book famous for not using the letter "e".
Grammarians' War At the start of the 16th century, British schoolmasters were insulting one another. In Latin, of course.
I, Libertine A non-existent novel that was the subject of a hoax intended to criticize the manner in which best-seller lists are determined.
Lecherous Limericks Dirty limericks... by Isaac Asimov.
Lesbian vampire They don't bite...necks.
"Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den" A poem written by a Chinese poet in Classical Chinese. It can be read and understood by all who understand the language, even though it consists entirely of the word "shi" repeated 92 times in different tones.
List of works with the subtitle "Virtue Rewarded" For some reason the "Virtue Punished" books never sell....
Lobby Lud "You are ____ and I claim my five pounds".
Magical negro A racist stock character who helps out white protagonists.
Marlovian theory A theory which states that Christopher Marlowe's unnatural death was a hoax and that he continued to write and publish under the pseudonym "William Shakespeare".
William McGonagall A writer widely held to be the worst poet in the English language.
Naked Came the Stranger Journalists prove a point when their intentionally awful sex novel becomes a bestseller.
Order of the Occult Hand "It was as if an occult hand had edited this Wikipedia article."
On Bullshit A very serious essay by Harry Frankfurt sketching a philosophical theory of, well, bullshit.
Philip M. Parker Writer of “The 2007-2012 Outlook for Tufted Washable Scatter Rugs, Bathmats and Sets That Measure 6-Feet by 9-Feet or Smaller in India” and thousands of other works... by means of a computer program.
Saddam Hussein's novels Crimes against literature?
Shakespearean authorship A great conspiracy that concealed the identity of the true author of "Shakespeare's" works, implying that all contemporary references to Shakespeare's authorship were fraudulent or mistaken.
Shakespeare Apocrypha Anti-Stratfordians can take heart that there really are works attributed to Shakespeare that weren't written by him!
Striking and Picturesque Delineations of the Grand, Beautiful, Wonderful, and Interesting Scenery Around Loch-Earn Angus McDiarmad, a native Scots-Gaelic speaker, writes a book on a Scottish Highland area with the help of an English dictionary to great comic effect and is termed "the world's worst author".
Le Train de Nulle Part A French novel, 233 pages long, written without verbs.

Music[edit]

Have some time on your hands?
Example of an instrument recently added to the inventory.
Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music – joke, grudge or conceptual art? All three, probably.
If you don't do it My Way, I will kill you!
Purveyor of the worst music of all time?
4′33″ A three-piece movement composed by John Cage in which the instruments are instructed not to play a single note
Animutation The practice of taking lyrics of foreign songs, "mishearing" them into English, and producing a Flash video to go along with it.
As Slow As Possible A piece of music by John Cage to be performed until 2640.
The Boy Bands Have Won Actually, this album's full title is "The Boy Bands Have Won" followed by a further 151 words. As of August 2009, it holds the record for the longest album title.
Rosemary Brown A spiritualist who claimed that dead composers dictated new musical works to her.
Cat organ A keyboard instrument in which the keys cause cats to miaow.
Rodolfo Chikilicuatre A Spanish comedian's most popular character who, thanks to a TV network and an online voting system, managed to make it to the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 finals with his parody song "Baila el Chiki-chiki".
Cigarettes and Valentines An entire record by Green Day whose master tracks were stolen.
Curse of the ninth The superstition that any composer of symphonies, from Beethoven onwards, will die soon after writing their own Ninth Symphony.
The Dalton Brothers Not to be confused with the Dalton Gang, this fake country group that opened for U2 in the late 1980s was actually U2 themselves. (Similarly, "The Folksmen", featured in the film A Mighty Wind, is a fake country and folk group supporting Spinal Tap whose members are Spinal Tap themselves.)
Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Present: Dark Night of the Soul Due to a legal dispute, this album was released with a blank CD-R.
Dark Side of the Rainbow What happens when you mix Pink Floyd and The Wizard of Oz?
Das erste Wiener Gemüseorchester An Austrian orchestra whose musical instruments are made solely from vegetables.
Earworm It's got a hook in you.
Electroencephalophone A musical instrument controlled by brainwaves.
Escopetarra The Colombian gun-guitar.
Elvis sightings There are many who still believe.
Elvis's Greatest Shit Not the one he was trying to pass the night he allegedly died.
Euro-Vision The Belgian entry of the Eurovision Song Contest 1980 whose lyrics spoke precisely of the event in which they took part.
Hatebeak The thing that should not beak.
Greenlandic hip hop Yes. Greenlandic hip hop.
Joyce Hatto A pianist who had many doctored recordings falsely attributed to her long after she stopped performing in public.
Helikopter-Streichquartett A string quartet by Karlheinz Stockhausen that must be played in four circling helicopters, the sound remixed, chopper sounds and all, for an audience on the ground.
"Hitler Has Only Got One Ball" Was der Führer only half a man?
Industrial musical A musical production performed for the employees of a business, intended to create a feeling of being part of a team, and/or to educate and motivate the management and salespeople to improve sales and profit.
Jandek A prolific and pseudonymous singer/songwriter active since 1978 who only grants the occasional interview and has never provided any biographical information.
"Jeg har set en rigtig negermand" A Danish #1 single from 1970, extolling the virtues of racial equality while calling a "negro man" "black as a bucket of tar".
Florence Foster Jenkins An American soprano famous for her singing ability or lack thereof.
Leck mich im Arsch A canon, whose title translates as "Lick Me in the Ass", by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The Lillywhite Sessions Never officially released, and yet fans and critics can argue that it's the best "album" by the Dave Matthews Band.
List of musical works in unusual time signatures What's the most absurd time signature you can imagine? 59/48? ⅔/2? How about 32/2/4?
List of songs topping polls for worst songs We built this city on not being very good.
Literal music video What happens when you replace the lyrics in a music video with lyrics that describe what's actually happening in the music video? Hilarity ensues.
Loudness war Why recorded music is getting "louder" over time.
Manualism The little-known art of playing music by squeezing air through the hands.
Metal Machine Music A 1974 album by Lou Reed that consists of 64 minutes of audio feedback, widely believed to have either been an elaborate joke, or an attempt by Reed to escape from a record label contract.
The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief A three-sided LP
More cowbell I got a fever, and the only prescription... is more cowbell!
The Most Unwanted Song Featuring operatic rapping, a children's choir urging listeners to go to Wal-Mart, bagpipes, cowboy music, and political slogans shouted through a bullhorn.
MP4 Rock music and politics do mix.
Musical saw The least favourite instrument of Ronnie Wood, The Hollies and The Screaming Trees.
Musikalisches Würfelspiel A system written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in which the musical piece is decided randomly by playing dice.
My Way killings You can get killed for singing Frank Sinatra's signature tune in the Philippines.
P Funk mythology The whimsical universe surrounding the P Funk all stars.
Paul is dead Was Paul McCartney replaced by a lookalike in the 1960s?
Pink Floyd pigs The band's recurring props and references.
PopMart Tour Take an unfinished studio album, hold a press conference at Kmart, and put on a show in countries around the world, complete with a spinning mirrorball lemon, a giant martini olive, a large golden arch, and the largest video screen ever toured. That would be U2's 1997–98 tour in a nutshell.
Publius Enigma A mystery wrapped in an enigma related to Pink Floyd, which has remained unsolved since it appeared on Usenet in 1994.
Ready 'N Steady A song mentioned in a top songs list of a notable magazine, that is believed by some to be non-existent because collectors are known to have been unable to find a recording or further information on it.
The Shaggs None of this band's members really wanted to form a band, nor did they really have any musical talent, but hey, a fortune teller predicted success, so off they went...
William Shatner's musical career His rendition of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds regularly wins radio station competitions to find the "worst music of all time".
William Stirrat A man who claimed to have written "Unchained Melody" under the pen name Hy Zaret, despite the fact that Zaret was an actual person who did write the song.
Thai Elephant Orchestra An orchestra of elephants playing specially designed instruments.
"To Anacreon in Heaven" An 18th-century drinking song whose melody was later adopted for "The Star-Spangled Banner".
Tromboon An unusual instrument, with an even more unusual About this sound sound .
Ugly stick An instrument in Newfoundland, an insult everywhere else.
Up to eleven This article is one louder.
"Ventolin" Abrasive single by Cornish electronic musician Richard D. James, otherwise known as Aphex Twin.
"You Suffer" At a full 1.316 seconds in length, the shortest song of all time.
The Zimmers A rock band made up of elderly musicians. The lead singer is 90 years old.
Zombeatles Paul is undead.

Film[edit]

Now starring in a horror film not near you.
"[yawn]... Yup, it's still there."
An Alan Smithee Film Burn Hollywood Burn A movie about a director who makes a bad movie, but can't remove his name from the credits because his real name is Alan Smithee. In reality, the movie about the movie was so bad that director Arthur Hiller was credited as Alan Smithee to disguise himself from the production.
Big Dumb Object A mysterious object (usually of extraterrestrial origin) in a film that is there simply to cause a sense of wonder.
Blue Harvest The best way to keep away the paparazzi away from your movie: give the movie a fake title, like this one used by George Lucas for Return of the Jedi.
The Canadian Conspiracy A mockumentary released in 1985 that asserts that Canada is subverting the United States by taking over its media.
Conspiracy 58 A mockumentary that claimed that the 1958 World Cup was never actually held. Despite being revealed as a hoax at the end, people still believed it.
The Cure for Insomnia A movie that runs for 85 hours. Not the longest movie ever screened, however.
The Day the Clown Cried A notorious unreleased film about the Holocaust – hey, it's a comedy!
Dump months Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer's favorite time of the year
Empire A film by Andy Warhol consisting entirely of eight hours of still footage of the Empire State Building.
First on the Moon Proof that the Soviets got there, thirty years before Armstrong and Aldrin didn't.
Jerry Haleva A political lobbyist who got a film acting career solely based on his resemblance to Saddam Hussein.
Kin-yan Lee A Hong Kong actor repeatedly cast in Stephen Chow films as a nose-picking, bearded transvestite.
The Longest Most Meaningless Movie in the World A movie that runs for 48 hours. Despite its title, it isn't the world's longest movie, but the jury's still out on whether it's the most meaningless....
Manos: The Hands of Fate A low-budget film created by a fertilizer salesman from Texas, which is largely considered to be the worst film of all time.
Monster a Go-Go The film that was released to drive-ins when it was only halfway completed. In order to get around this, the ending consists of narration explaining what happened to the main characters and the titular monster.
Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D As if that wasn't bad enough, it spawned a sequel.
Pulgasari A Godzilla-esque film, supposedly an allegory for unchecked capitalism, created by Kim Jong-il and a director whom he kidnapped.
Roundhay Garden Scene The first ever moving picture, which lasted for an epic two seconds.
Shaken, not stirred Why 007 prefers his martini shaken.
Space Nazis "Take me to your Führer!"
Spaghetti trees Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.
SSSSSSS Dirk Benedict and snakes. Long before the day of Samuel L. Jackson.
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Large marshmallow mascot seen in the film Ghostbusters.
Stinking badges Something nobody needs. Possibly the most frequently quoted and misquoted line from a movie ever.
Taylor Mead's Ass A film consisting entirely 70 minutes of Taylor Mead's buttocks.
Wilhelm scream A stock sound effect first recorded in 1951 and used in dozens of films (including all six Star Wars films, two Lord of the Rings films and Kill Bill).

Television[edit]

The end of you(r sitcom) looms.
The Mull of Kintyre. Almost indecent, apparently.
Awww... that was my favorite cable TV channel...
Al Murray's Compete for the Meat A British game show where the top prize is a frozen chicken and the second prize is some sausages.
Alternative 3 An April Fools joke by an ITV science show leads many to believe that scientists were being kidnapped to prepare for the colonization of Mars.
Anti-Barney Humor An article for all Barney & Friends haters.
Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos Forget Turn-On – this never even made it to the end of its only episode.
Good article "Dennō Senshi Porygon" An episode of the "harmless" Pokémon cartoon that caused seizures in almost 700 children.
Flemish Secession hoax Our regular programming is now interrupted to declare independence from Belgium.
Friday night death slot Where TV shows go to die.
Guy Goma A man who came to the BBC for a job interview is instead interviewed on its news channel about the Apple Corps v. Apple Computer lawsuit.
Greg Packer A man on the street, no matter which street you're talking about.
Jumping the shark Metaphor for the point at which one can speak of a TV show as having had its best days behind it.
K Foundation Burn a Million Quid Why did the K Foundation burn a million pounds in cash?
Michael Larson A man who won over $100,000 in an American quiz show because he was able to notice a pattern in the flashing lights on the "Big Board."
Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion incident TV signals in Chicago are twice overpowered on 22 November 1987 by broadcasts featuring a person disguised as the 1980s virtual TV character Max Headroom. The source of the broadcasts and the people involved remain unknown. Ten years previously, the sound during a broadcast by the UK's Southern Television is replaced by a voice claiming to be an extraterrestrial named "Vrillon".
Monkey Tennis Hypothetically, the worst television programme it is possible to make.
Mull of Kintyre test When can a human penis be shown on British television?
The Puppy Channel This cable television channel had a simple premise: nothing but puppies, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Smell-O-Vision A system designed to enhance films with odors. Used once for the 1960 film Scent of Mystery and never again.
Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome A tragic condition suffered by some young characters on soap operas.
Tomorrow's Pioneers A Palestinian children's show produced by Hamas and co-hosted by various costumed characters, including one resembling Mickey Mouse. Most of said costumed characters are killed by Jews in some violent manner.
Turn-On An ABC comedy series that was cancelled even before the first episode had finished.
Very special episode A genre of television episodes with controversial life lessons interweaved into the storyline, popularized by Blossom.
Wank Week A Channel 4 project for all those who think there aren't enough jerks on TV.
Tommy Westphall How a child with autism, and Detective Munch, are responsible for more than 200 TV series.
TV pickup Britons regularly cause massive power surges by simultaneously making tea during program breaks.
Steve Wiebe The star of a film about him setting the world's high score... for Donkey Kong.
Who's your Daddy? To win $100,000 adoptees have to pick their biological father out of twenty five men.

Video games[edit]

ET and Pac-Man's final resting-place?
Atari video game burial Are your video games not selling? Why not do what Atari did—bury them in a New Mexican landfill?
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing A racing video game that is considered one of the worst of all time due to its opponents that don't move, the ability to drive through buildings and accelerate infinitely, and a notorious "YOU'RE WINNER !" [sic] message after each race.
Boss key A special key or key combination used in computer games to quickly hide the game from superiors or coworkers.
Communist Mutants from Space A Cold War Space Invaders clone in which you do battle with the Mother Creature, driven mad by radioactive vodka.
Don't Buy This A rare example of truth in advertising.
Gibs The little bits of gore you get when someone or something in a video game explodes.
Great Giana Sisters A game that was withdrawn from the shelves virtually as soon as it went on them.
Hong Kong 97 A video game where the dead Deng Xiaoping is a weapon of mass destruction.
JFK: Reloaded A video game released in 2004 where the player gets to assassinate president John F. Kennedy.
Good article Kanye Zone Can you keep the disembodied head of rapper Kanye West out of his "zone"?
Featured article MissingNo. A Pokémon species that only appears as the result of a glitch, and has since been the subject of many sociological studies.
Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors A compendium of computer games all created to allow the owner to scam his or her friends. Includes "Desert Bus": a painstakingly realistic 8 hour bus journey from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas through a featureless desert in real time.
Polybius An arcade game that supposedly causes its players to go insane.
Video games notable for negative reception And we were so sure Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis would be a hit!

Internet memes and online culture[edit]

All your base are belong to us A phrase that originated in the 1989 video game Zero Wing and sparked an Internet phenomenon in 2001 and 2002.
Boobquake Female users of social networking websites agree to determine whether their scandalous clothing can cause earthquakes.
Carstuckgirls.com An erotic(?) website devoted to women trying to free their cars from various obstacles.
Cute cat theory of digital activism "Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research papers. Web 2.0 was created to allow people to share pictures of cute cats." — Ethan Zuckerman
Every time you masturbate... God kills a kitten If that's not a good enough reason why you shouldn't, I don't know what is.
The Hampster Dance A web page featuring dancing hamsters set to music. The music (itself a sample) was sampled in a song, and made No.4 in the United Kingdom in 1999.
How does one patch KDE2 under FreeBSD? An Internet meme in Russian internet culture. Various heads of state at Internet press conferences were asked this question – here are their answers.
Internet Watch Foundation and Wikipedia Talk about a major violation of WP:CENSOR and WP:POINT...
Numa Numa Or how a fat kid dancing to the O-Zone song "Dragostea din tei" in front of his computer became very popular.
O RLY? The sarcastic owl image that is becoming increasingly ubiquitous on the 'net.
OS-tan A small Internet phenomenon where certain types of software (including various Microsoft and Linux operating systems) are depicted as young anime women.
Polandball A comic genre with balls and other bits for different countries doing what real countries do.
Rickrolling Careful: that link you're about to click on might take you to a video of Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up.
Mark V Shaney A fake Usenet user whose computer-generated postings were created using Markov chain techniques.
Shock site Don't look! (No, really.)
John Titor The name of a purported time traveller from the year 2036. He posted on several time travel-related Internet bulletin boards during 2000/2001.
Tourist guy The picture of a Hungarian man on 9/11.
Unusual eBay listings Those strange things people sell on the Internet...
Very erotic very violent How erotic and violent would it be?

See also List of Internet memes.

Festivals[edit]

One from Schroeder's collection?
Testicle Festival "Would you like to supersize those?"
Toy piano festival A concerto of toy pianos.
Mexico City Alebrije Parade Parade and contest of giant alebrijes ("colorful monsters").
See also


Food[edit]

Nom nom nom burp nom nom nom nom...
No durians. (But no fine if you have some anyway?)
Engastration – here in the form of turducken.
Fried spiders on sale.
(May include excrement.)
Meal time at a Modern Toilet restaurant.
Did William here eat them all?
Ayds Ayds was a great way to lose weight, until the mid-1980s...
Banana production in Iceland More weird than Björk?
Bird's nest soup Asian delicacy.
Boneless Fish A frozen fish scaled, gutted and deboned, then glued to its original shape using a food-grade enzyme.
British Rail sandwich A culinary match to the quality of the train service.
Cannabis foods Various foods containing cannabis.
Carmine A common food dye manufactured from insects.
Casu marzu Italian "maggot cheese" – cheese designed to be eaten while it is infested with cheese fly larvae.
Century egg A Chinese dish which involves preserving a duck, chicken or quail egg for several weeks to several months before eating.
Chubby bunny A common (but sometimes lethal) game played with marshmallows.
Competitive eating In which the main goal is the quick and vast consumption of food.
Cockle bread Bread made by English women in the seventeenth century that involved kneading and pressing against the woman's vulva.
Deep-fried Mars bar A Scottish delicacy.
Deep-fried Twinkies America's answer to the above.
Featured article Charles Domery A Polish soldier noted for his unusually large appetite. While imprisoned in England, he remained ravenous despite being put on ten times the rations of other inmates, eating the prison cat, at least twenty rats and, on a regular basis, the prison candles.
Featured article Durian King of fruits. King of smells?
Engastration Dishes consisting of animals stuffed into each other. Turducken and whole stuffed camel are prominent examples.
Eyes (cheese) There are eyes in the cheese, but no cheese in the eyes.
Flies graveyard A delicacy in the United Kingdom.
Fried spider Exactly as it sounds – and a regional delicacy in Cambodia.
Hitler bacon Can it possibly be kosher?
Hufu For all you vegetarian cannibals out there, the tofu product designed to look and taste like human flesh.
Ketchup as a vegetable Makes junk food seem healthier.
Kosher locust Can Jews eat grasshoppers?
Luther burger Described as the "cardiologist's worst nightmare"
Michel Lotito Known as "Monsieur Mangetout" – "Mr Eat-all".
Milbenkäse A type of German cheese containing live mites, which are eaten along with the cheese.
Monkey brain A Chinese delicacy that has been made famous through films.
Pieing A slapstick stunt, or a kind of political protest.
Products produced from The Simpsons Fictional trademarks gone real.
Rhubarb Triangle A recipe or a dangerous area to fly through?
Roadkill cuisine Yes, Skunk a la Michelin sounds tasty to some people.
Sannakji Small octopuses eaten alive with sesame oil.
Sealed crustless sandwich A patented peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Spoo The most delicious foodstuff amongst all alien species of Babylon 5.
Stargazy pie A Cornish fish pie that looks back at you.
Stinky tofu Fermented soybean curd is apparently a delicacy for some people. One external link describes its scent as "a used tampon baking in the desert."
Surströmming A Swedish dish consisting of rotten herring, said to have the worst smell in the world.
Takeru Kobayashi A slightly built Japanese competitive eater. He has consumed 63 Nathan's Famous hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes and holds a host of eating records for other foods.
Featured article Tarrare A French showman and soldier noted for his unusual eating habits. Among other things, he ate a meal intended for 15 people in a single sitting, ate live cats, snakes, lizards and puppies, and swallowed an eel whole without chewing.
Tim Tam Slam An Australian method for drinking tea through Tim Tam biscuits.
Tomatina A gigantic food fight with a ham-topped greased pole as the start.
Sonya Thomas What weighs 105 pounds and eats more hot dogs in 12 minutes than most people do all summer?
United States military chocolate Originally designed to taste "little better than a boiled potato." Not much has changed.
Unusually shaped vegetable "While some examples are just oddly shaped, others are heralded for their amusing appearance, often representing a body part such as the buttocks."
Vegetarianism of Adolf Hitler Hitler believed that a vegetarian diet could both alleviate his personal health problems and spiritually renew the Aryan race.
Who Ate All the Pies? A chant sung by football fans in England and Scotland, aimed at supposedly overweight footballers, officials or opposing supporters.

Beverages[edit]

Some coffee, sir? ...... Coming right up out, sir.
Beer goggles Does drinking a certain beverage make other people more attractive to you?
Civet coffee Not coffee made from civets, but rather from ordinary coffee beans the civet has, well, excreted.
Cola wars A marketing battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Fucking Hell A German beer named after the Austrian village of Fucking.
Gay Fuel An energy drink marketed towards the gay community.
Grapefruit juice effect Be careful – that delicious food item could be dangerous to prescription-drug users.
H2NO Why drink tap water, when you can pay to have a cool, refreshing glass of Coca-Cola or freshly chilled bottled tap water?
If-by-whiskey A famous speech successfully both attacking and defending booze.
ISO 3103 The ISO standard cup of tea.
OpenCola The world's first open-source beverage.
Snake wine A type of Vietnamese wine that includes a whole venomous snake in the bottle.
Soda and candy eruption Diet Coke + Mentos = geyser.
Vodka eyeballing Here's looking at you, kid.

Restaurants[edit]

Conflict Kitchen A Pittsburgh take-out restaurant, exclusively serving ethnic foods from countries in which the United States is in conflict.
Cross Cafe A Hitler-themed Indian restaurant, formerly known as "Hitlers' Cross" [sic].
Dinner in the Sky Enjoy a delicious meal—suspended 150 feet (46 m) in the air.
Fortezza Medicea restaurant Eloquent, fine dining in a maximum security prison.
Hamburger University Where McDonald's employees learn their stuff.
Heart Attack Grill Noted for its 8,000-calorie "Quadruple Bypass Burger".
Ithaa The world's first underwater restaurant.
Kayabukiya Tavern A Japanese restaurant where guests are served by employed monkeys.
MaDonal A McDonald's knock-off in Iraq.
McDonald's urban legends Is that worm meat in your Big Mac?
Modern Toilet A restaurant chain whose furniture and decor is based on – yes – toilets.
Original Spanish Kitchen A Los Angeles restaurant that suddenly and unexpectedly closed in 1961, giving rise to an urban legend about the fate of its proprietors. The restaurant's contents – even as far as the place settings – remained untouched for decades.
Pyongyang A restaurant chain whose sole proprietor is the Government of North Korea.


Sports[edit]

Jump rabbit, jump rabbit, jump jump jump...
The "Estonian Carry". Mmm.
Australia 31–0 American Samoa The most lopsided match in football history since World War I.
Baseball metaphors for sex Basic Instinct..? No, Baseball Instinct.
Bladderball Yale University's contribution to the world of team sports.
Bog snorkelling The noble art of competitive snorkelling through cold, noxious bog water.
Bottle-kicking A ruleless drunken rugby-like sport played every Easter Monday since the 1700s in Hallaton, Leicestershire.
Butt fumble Be carefull where you run with that ball, Mark.
Buzkashi Something like rugby, played on horseback, with a dead goat.
Chess boxing A sport that alternates rounds of speed chess and boxing.
Conger cuddling The "most fun a person could have with a dead fish".
Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake An annual event held each May at Cooper's Hill near Gloucester.
Featured article Disco Demolition Night What could go wrong with encouraging people to bring unwanted disco albums to a baseball doubleheader and blowing up the records between games?
Dwarf tossing A humorous sporting competition where well-padded dwarfs are thrown by competitors.
Dwile flonking A sport that gives a new meaning to the term "drinking game".
Eton wall game A sport played annually on St. Andrew's Day on a 5-metre-by-110-metre field. The last goal was scored in 1909.
Extreme ironing A sport whereby participants take an ironing board to a remote location and iron a few items of clothing.
Egg tapping One holds a hard-boiled egg and taps the egg of another participant with one's own egg intending to break the other's, without breaking one's own.
Fair catch kick A little-known way to score points in American football left over from rugby. It was last used successfully in the pro game in 1976.
Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat Sydney's other Olympic mascot.
Fierljeppen A Frisian sport where the objective is to jump over a trench.
Ferret legging A sport that involves putting two live ferrets inside one's trousers with the cuffs and belt clinched firmly and no underpants worn. Current record is 5 hours 26 minutes.
Football tennis Wimbledon meets Wembley... in Czechoslovakia.
Fox tossing A popular sport in 17th and 18th century Europe that involved tossing foxes and other live animals as high as possible into the air.
Goose pulling Hang a live goose from a rope, gallop under it on a horse and pull its head off. What could be simpler?
Hamster racing A uniquely British response to foot and mouth disease.
Heidi game The last-minute comeback in this American football game wasn't seen by television viewers, as the network cut off the game to show the children's film Heidi.
Henley-on-Todd Regatta An Australian boat race that is canceled when there is water in the river.
International Rutabaga Curling Championship Rutabaga curling originated in the frosty December climes of Ithaca, New York.
Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships A record-breaking 11 hour, 5 minute tennis match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.
Kudu dung spitting Games for conservationists.
Lawn mower racing Leaves the lawn in a very poor condition.
Legend of the Octopus If you're going to an ice hockey game in Detroit, be sure to bring your octopus.
Lingerie Football League "Uniforms consist of helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, garter belts, bras, and panties." Renamed the Legends Football League in 2013, with the garters, bras, and panties replaced by slightly more modest performance sportswear.
Muggle Quidditch An international real-life sport, without magic objects.
Mythical national championship When is a champion not exactly a champion?
New Testament athletic metaphors Blessed are the healthy in heart...
Octopus wrestling A sport which once attracted crowds of thousands to watch free divers wrestle North Pacific Giant Octopus from the waters of the Puget Sound.
Pig Olympics An international contest between pigs.
Pillow Fight League The first rule of Pillow Fight League is that you do not discuss Pillow Fight League.
Plainfield Teacher's College Their football team was un-beaten, un-tied...and non-existent.
The Play Before going onto the field for your postgame musical performance, make sure the game is over.
Rabbit show jumping Watership up, Watership Down. Watership up, Watership Down. Watership...
Robot jockey Robots designed to ride dromedary camels.
Rocket Racing League A racing league intending to use rocket-powered aircraft to race a closed-circuit air racetrack.
Smiggin Holes 2010 Winter Olympic bid During the 2002 Winter Olympics, the two Australian comedians who gave the world Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat (see above) launched a bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics in New South Wales, Australia.
Snail racing Ready, steady, slow!
Sports-related curses A variety of excuses for bad performance.
Squirrel fishing A sport of skill and patience.
Teddy bear toss A Christmas tradition in minor league ice hockey.
Ten Cent Beer Night A Major League Baseball game that tried to attract fans with a beer promotion got progressively worse, until an all-out riot broke out at Cleveland Stadium.
Traditions and anecdotes associated with the Stanley Cup An ice hockey trophy with a long history of abuse, superstition, and tests of buoyancy.
Turkey bowling So much for "don't play with your food".
Underarm bowling incident of 1981 An infamous end to an international cricket match that was arguably not cricket at all.
Vinkenzetting Finch-singing in Belgium. More competitive than you might think.
Wife-carrying One need not carry one's own wife to take part, although you may want to run away as fast as possible afterwards.
Wooden spoon A Cambridge University tradition adopted by rugby league and rugby union, the Wooden Spoon is awarded to the last-placed team in a competition.
Yak racing A spectator sport held at traditional festivals in Tibet and Mongolia, among other places.
Yukigassen Competitive snowball fighting.
Zui Quan An ancient martial art wherein one imitates the motions of a drunkard.

Athletes and sports teams[edit]

Beware the wrath!
Ironically, his team didn't finish as the best 1988 Winter Olympics bobsled team from the Caribbean.
"Hey, how are we doing this season?"
Ali Dia A guy who tricked his way into English soccer team Southampton F.C. by claiming he had won 12 caps for Senegal, was related to George Weah and had played for Paris St Germain. In 2007, The Times branded him the worst-ever player in top-flight soccer.
Paula Barila Bolopa A swimmer from Equatorial Guinea, who – much like Eric Moussambani below – competed in the Sydney Olympics. Her time in the 50m freestyle is apparently the longest in Olympic history.
Steve Bartman A Chicago Cubs fan best known as a scapegoat for the Cubs' failure to advance to the World Series in 2003.
Philip Boit How many other Kenyan skiiers can you name?
Curse of Billy Penn How a skyscraper in Philadelphia kept the city's sports teams from winning championships for over 20 years.
Curse of the Colonel Colonel Harland Sanders wreaks revenge from beyond the grave on a Japanese baseball team.
Dock Ellis Baseball pitcher who, among other things, threw a no-hitter while under influence of LSD, and once tried to hit every batter in the Cincinnati Reds lineup.
East Africa rugby union team Did this rugby team really select a future dictator to play for them?
Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards A British sportsman famous for coming last in the 1988 Winter Olympics ski-jump competition.
Eddie Gaedel A 3'7", 65-pound baseball player. Career on-base percentage: 1.000.
Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg A blue blooded Alpine skier, from the frozen wastes of Mexico City.
Jamaican bobsled team The real life inspiration for the film Cool Runnings.
Barry Larkin The man who made the Olympic Flame pants.
London Rippers A Canadian minor league baseball team that modeled its logo and mascot after Jack the Ripper. Local feminists were not amused.
Jeffrey Maier The twelve-year-old who helped the Yankees win the pennant.
Mendoza Line Baseball's standard for underperformance.
Eric Moussambani A swimmer from Equatorial Guinea who, in the Sydney Olympics, took twice as long as anyone else in the 100m freestyle.
Oorang Indians An all-Native American National Football League team put together as a marketing gimmick to sell Airedale Terriers and known more for its halftime dog shows than for its football play.
Sark national football team Also known as The Bad Lions, the only national team that failed to ever score a goal.
Fuahea Semi As though being a luger from Tonga wasn't unusual enough, he tricked the world's media and the International Luge Federation for more than two years into believing that he bore the same name as a German lingerie firm.
Shizo Kanakuri An Olympic marathon runner who took a 54-year detour.
Taro Tsujimoto An imaginary ice hockey player drafted because a manager was reportedly "fed up with the slow drafting process via the telephone".
Tropical nations at the Winter Olympics More than just Jamaican bobsledders.

Games and strategy contests[edit]

Careful where you place that stone – your innards may not approve.
Sloane Square…Bond Street…Mornington Crescent !
The Game A mind game in which players try not to think about The Game – which means that, by reading this, you just lost The Game.
Blood-vomiting game "Go" is serious business.
Guyball A game involving a topmiler; where you do not leave the parish; stickles can be random, orthodox or alternate; and you are encouraged to splice the Matterhorn.
Ghettopoly An unauthorized version of Monopoly that played on Black and other stereotypes. The NAACP was not amused.
Human chess Enacted by costumed "pieces" on a scaled-up chessboard.
Kancho A Japanese children's game that simulates anal probing.
Mornington Crescent (game) A deceptively tricky game of navigating the London Underground—don't be caught in knip!
Polybius (video game) A supposed arcade game that made players go insane. Symptoms included intense stress and anxiety, horrific nightmares, and even suicidal tendencies.
Poole versus HAL 9000 "I'm sorry, Frank, I think you missed it..."
Taikyoku shogi Japanese 'ultimate chess', with over 400 pieces per side.
USA Rock Paper Scissors League Organised finger sport.
War on Terror, The Boardgame A boardgame satire of the real "War on Terror" that has proved so popular, it has ended up in national museums, in a TV sitcom, as part of a military training simulation and as a teaching aid in higher education institutions.


Folklore[edit]

Bird people The widely recurring motif in legends and fiction of birds who are people, or people who are birds.
Behind the sofa Where young British children hid from menacing scenes in sci-fi TV, now recalled humorously and nostalgically by British adults.
Bigfoot trap Believed to be the world's only Bigfoot trap.
Featured article Cottingley Fairies A successful photographic hoax in 1910s England.
Flying ointment A hallucinogenic ointment said to be used by witches in the Early Modern period.
Global Orgasm Make love, not war... all over the world!
Kaspar Hauser A German youth who claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell, and was once thought to be linked to the princely House of Baden.
Liver-Eating Johnson A 19th-century mountain man with a penchant for revenge and the consumption of livers.
Machine elf An entity that people claim they become aware of after having taken tryptamine based psychedelic drugs such as DMT.
Man-eating tree A cryptobotanical anomaly claimed to have been seen by early travellers to Madagascar and elsewhere.
Monkey-man of New Delhi Reports in 2001 of a strange monkey-like creature appearing in New Delhi at night and attacking people.
Phantom social workers Mysterious claims of "social workers" seeking to abduct infants and children.
Proverbs commonly attributed to be Chinese ...although they're probably not.
Reptilian humanoid A recurring theme in fiction, especially science fiction, pseudoscientific theories and conspiracy theories.
Rods Photographic anomalies which some think are undiscovered flying creatures or miniature UFOs.
Russian reversal In Russia, wikipedia edits YOU!
Spring Heeled Jack A mysterious character said to have existed in England during the Victorian age.
Tsukumogami According to Japanese folklore, if you keep your straw sandals (or any other household items) around for 100 years, they may become "alive and aware" and develop eyes and sharp teeth.
Vagina dentata The tooth, and nothing but the hole tooth.
Vampire pumpkins and watermelons A folk legend from the Balkan peninsula of south-eastern Europe based upon the idea that any inanimate object left outside during the night of a full moon will become a vampire.
Vril A belief that aliens controlled Nazi Germany and helped Hitler and others to escape to the South Pole when the war was lost.
Well to Hell A 9-mile borehole drilled by Soviet scientists uncovers the sounds of millions of damned souls. Hot stuff.

Cryptozoology and animal folklore[edit]

Looks a load of Bonnacon to me...
Pieter Dirkx's imagining of the Mongolian death worm.
That's either one fast-growing plant, or...
Bonnacon A mythical ox which flings burning dung at its enemies from its rear and horn.
Cattle mutilation The alleged killing and subsequent mutilation of cattle, sheep or horses by unknown perpetrators. Some say they may be aliens.
Chupacabra A cryptoid, generally reported in Latin America, that preys on livestock.
Dog spinning Do Bulgarians really twizzle their domestic canines to foretell prosperity? The British Green Party thinks so, and they're not happy about it.
Drop bear A fictitious Australian marsupial supposedly related to the koala.
Fearsome critters North American lumberjack folklore, with Axhandle hounds and jackalopes.
Flying pig The classic impossibility has been officially proved possible by the Internet Engineering Task Force: "With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."
Gef the talking mongoose A poltergeist-like creature which claimed to have been an 80-year-old Indian mongoose, alleged to have haunted a Manx cottage during the 1930s.
Humanzee A hypothetical(?) human/chimpanzee hybrid.
Jersey Devil A mythological creature said to inhabit the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
Liver bird A legendary cormorant or eagle that is the symbol of a major English city.
Lluvia de Peces It's raining fish in Honduras.
Mongolian death worm A large, bright red worm that kills using acid and electrical discharges – allegedly.
Montauk Monster Actually a decaying raccoon... or is it?
Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus An endangered creature, whose major predator is the sasquatch. Apparently.
Phantom kangaroos They're not just found in Australia.
Pickled dragon A publicity stunt that landed a contract.
Popobawa A bat-winged monster from Zanzibar said to sodomize people during election campaigns.
Featured article Pig-faced women A lesson to never compare a person's children to pigs when pregnant, lest you be cursed.
Rat king Not the rodent monarch familiar from The Nutcracker, but a rare (some say nonexistent) phenomenon in which a group of rats grow up with their tails tangled in a knot.
Rhinogradentia A fictitious mammal order documented by an equally fictitious German naturalist.
Sidehill gouger Fictional creatures said to inhabit the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and the southwestern sandhills of Saskatchewan.
Spherical cow "Consider a spherical cow in a vacuum..."
Vegetable Lamb of Tartary Money might not grow on trees, but maybe sheep do.


Society, economy and law[edit]

At the heart of an international incident.
Bagism A social ideology created by the Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono which involves wearing a bag over one's entire body to promote peace and equality.
Beard Liberation Front A British interest group which campaigns in support of beards and opposes discrimination against those who wear them.
Biotic Baking Brigade Pie-throwing anarchists.
Burning money Which can provide for behaviour modification, political notoriety and a warm fireplace. (See also K Foundation Burn a Million Quid in the "Television and film" section above.)
Fedspeak A deliberately confusing, carefully rehearsed cryptic language, whose delphic dialect is used to effectively prevent the understanding of Fed policy.
Fourth International Posadist Trotskyism and UFOs. Yes, really.
Guerrilla gardening "Quick... torch on... plant those carrots!"
Go Topless Day A day to advocate topfreedom for women
Let's trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle A television show produced by the communist government of North Korea intended to educate the public on good and bad hairstyles.
Đorđe Martinović How the insertion of a beer bottle into the rectum of a Serbian farmer caused a major ethnic and political controversy in Serbia in 1985 and contributed to the collapse of Yugoslavia.
Montreal-Philippines cutlery controversy A 7-year-old boy's eating habits became an international incident.
Featured article Emperor Norton Emperor Norton I, the man who claimed to be "Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico" in 1859.
Pink Pistols They're here, they're queer – and they're armed to the teeth.
Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks Amongst other insults and profanity, it supposedly told Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire to fuck his mother.
Sentinelese people An autonomous stone-age human tribe which completely avoids contact with the outside world.
Socialist Patients' Collective An organization that charged that diseases were caused by capitalism.
Featured article Voluntary Human Extinction Movement A movement that calls for the voluntary extinction of the human race.

Politics and government[edit]

All hail the Conch Republic !
Not a killer rabbit after all.
A senator uses an old debating trick.
A work by the "Kowloon emperor".
Featured article Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act An apparently innocuous piece of congressional legislation that became the subject of outrageous but widely believed conspiracy theories in 1956.
Animals as electoral candidates Why be ruled by some monkey when you can get a real chimp, rhino or pig into office?
Bald–hairy Russian leadership has alternated between bald and hairy leaders since 1825.
Ruth Ellen Brosseau An assistant bar manager who was elected to Canada's parliament from Quebec despite having never visited the district, barely speaking the language and spending part of the election campaign in Las Vegas.
Featured article Brown Dog affair Political scandal that resulted in police protection for the statue of a dog
Bushism Any of a number of peculiar words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, semantic or linguistic errors that have occurred in the public speaking of former United States President George W. Bush.
Conch Republic As a protest against the actions by the United States federal government, Key West in Florida seceded from and then declared war on the United States, surrendered one minute later and then applied for one billion dollars in foreign aid.
Donald Duck Party A non-existent political party, at occasions among the top ten parties in Swedish parliamentary elections.
Euromyth Paranoid and imaginative speculations about the bureaucratic excesses of the European Union.
Evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet What else would you call a Canadian politician?
Flatulence tax When you keep a lot of cattle, you're contributing significantly to the greenhouse effect ... aren't you?
Gatton by-election, 1803 Two candidates, only one ballot cast, in this by-election in one of the UK's most notorious rotten boroughs of the early 19th century.
Jón Gnarr An Icelandic comedian who started the satirical Best Party, and became the mayor of Reykjavik.
Greek Ecologists A Green party which uses nudity in its political campaigns.
Handedness of Presidents of the United States A statistically surprising proportion of recent U.S. presidents were lefties.
H'Angus A monkey football mascot who was elected mayor of Hartlepool, England, with a platform of "free bananas for all schoolchildren".
Ich bin ein Berliner President Kennedy did not call himself a jelly donut in front of a German audience.
Jakob Maria Mierscheid A fictitious politician in the German Bundestag since 1979, originally introduced in the 1920s by Weimar Social Democrats to avoid paying restaurant bills. Discovered the Mierscheid Law.
Jennifer Gale A homeless transgender woman who gained some measure of fame for repeatedly running for public office in Austin, Texas and for singing during city council meetings.
Jimmy Carter rabbit incident Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's scrape with a "killer" rabbit.
Kasongo Ilunga Although elected Minister of Foreign Trade for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, no one knows whether Ilunga exists or not.
Ku Klux Klan titles and vocabulary If you ever find yourself an alien in the Klavern and someone asks "AYAK?" remember to answer "AKIA". Its all "CABARK".
Pedro Lascuráin A President for less than an hour.
Legislative violence Where politicians actively fight for what they believe in.
List of Kim Jong-il's titles
Lord Bloody Wog Rolo Australian political personality and founder of the British Ultra Loyalist League Serving Historical Interests Today.
McGillicuddy Serious Party A satirical political party in New Zealand.
Merkel-Raute More than one German leader has been known for a distinctive hand gesture
Antanas Mockus The surprisingly effective mayor of Bogota, Colombia known for civically-targeted publicity pranks.
Niuas Nobles' constituency An electoral constituency consisting of just three voters, who elect one of their number to one of the twenty-six seats in the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.
New shoes on budget day One of Canada's less grand political traditions.
Official Monster Raving Loony Party Among other policies, this British political party advocates the banning of semicolons as "no-one knows how to use them".
Old Sarum A notorious rotten borough in Great Britain which, before 1832, was entitled to elect two members of Parliament even though it had only eleven voters and no residents.
Patrol 36 The most famous group of Neo-Nazi Israelis.
List of people who have lived at airports Wish you were here?
Polish Beer-Lovers' Party One of the major political powers in Poland in the early 1990s.
Resignation from the British House of Commons Illegal since 1624.
Rhinoceros Party of Canada (1963–1993) A former political party in Canada, which often promised outlandishly impossible schemes designed to amuse and entertain the voting public.
Richard Nixon mask One of the United States' most popular masks.
Screaming Lord Sutch British musician, founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Holds the record for losing all 40 elections in which he stood.
Shanghai Fugu Agreement A completely fictitious international treaty accepted by the German state of Hesse in 1985.
Statue of Lenin (Seattle) How a statue of Lenin made its way from Czechoslovakia to Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
Ilona Staller A Hungarian porn star elected to the Italian Parliament.
Featured article Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner A controversial performance, directed, amongst others, toward an uncomfortable President nearby.
Tsang Tsou Choi From the 1970s to his death, he claimed to be the "Kowloon emperor".
John C. Turmel With a record of no wins and seventy losses in campaigns since 1979, he's probably the world's least-successful would-be politician.
Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan A fictitious scientific study by J.G. Ballard supposedly circulated at the 1980 Republican Convention which, among other things, compared the face of Ronald Reagan to a penile erection.
Nicolás Zúñiga y Miranda Mexican eccentric who participated in the presidential elections no less than ten times. He always lost but claimed to be the victor, and considered himself to be the country's president for several decades.

Business and economics[edit]

Orion in the sky, EURion on your money.
... We're going to need a bigger wallet.
Alien abduction insurance As one insurance broker said, "Let’s face it – insurance is so tedious that if I can enlighten my dreary life..."
Big Mac Index Big Mac economics.
Billboard-Utilising Graffitists Against Unhealthy Promotions Or "BUGA-UP" for short. An Australian group of subversive artists who live up to their self-description by defacing tobacco and alcohol billboard advertisements to promote healthy living.
Ting Hai effect A sudden drop in the stock market that follows whenever Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng stars in a new TV show.
EURion constellations Not-so-secret recognition patterns you can find on banknotes.
Ghetto tourism And if you look to your left you will see an impoverished minority neighborhood.
Greenwashing This article is environmentally-friendly!
Men's Underwear Index An economic indicator popularised by Alan Greenspan.
Merchant marine of Switzerland A landlocked country with a significant commercial fleet.
Rai stones Stone money, some of which is 3 meters (10 ft) in diameter, and weighs 4 metric tons (8,800 lb).
Swastika Laundry A laundry service whose electric vans cheerfully displayed the notorious symbol around Dublin until the 1960s.
Tanganyika groundnut scheme A scheme, stymied by a lack of water, to grow peanuts where none had been grown before.
Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch! An ad campaign that figured the best way to sell cigarettes is to show all the consumers with black eyes.

Law, law enforcement and crime[edit]

An acoustic kitty. Well, almost.
Not my first thought when you said "armored personnel carrier".
A fruit or a vegetable?
A vegetable or a fruit?
A vegetable.
2007 Boston bomb scare A guerilla marketing campaign for an animated TV series that quickly became a homeland security issue.
Acoustic Kitty A failed CIA experiment at using a cat for covert surveillance.
Angie Sanclemente Valencia A former lingerie model alleged to have run one of the largest drug cartels in the world
A moron in a hurry A real legal doctrine used in passing-off law.
Animal trial Historically, the law in some areas of Europe subjected animals to criminal liability for their conduct.
Batman v. Commissioner Batman said his teenage son was his partner. The Commissioner wasn't having any of it.
Beard tax Used to be imposed in England and Russia.
Cicada 3301 Criminals or puzzle enthusiasts?
Free Bench An unusual English legal custom permitting a widow to inherit her deceased husband's land. In one version, she would have to ride into court backwards on a black ram while reciting a nonsense verse.
Glasgow Ice Cream Wars In 1984, violent conflicts between ice-cream vendors left six people dead.
Guano Islands Act This strange piece of legislation enables citizens of the U.S. to take possession of islands containing guano deposits.
Jarvis v Swans Tours Ltd A legal complaint about the lack of gemütlichkeit during a Swiss Christmas holiday.
Not proven A controversial Scots law verdict for those neither guilty nor innocent.
Lawsuits against the Devil C'mon - who do you think's going to have the best lawyers?
Lawsuits against God A notoriously apathetic defendant, he/she/it has never turned up for one of his/her/its hearings.
Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc. Would you expect to be able to swap 7 million points (worth $700,000) for a Harrier jump jet (worth $22 million)? This man did and took Pepsi to court when they failed to supply him one. Unsurprisingly – to everyone except him – he lost the case.
The Matrix defense A claim that the defendant committed a crime under the belief of being inside a simulated reality. The defense has been successful more than once.
Memoirs v. Massachusetts A U.S. Supreme Court case concerning whether the 1749 book Fanny Hill was entitled to First Amendment protection. One of the dissenting opinions contained an extensive discussion of the supposedly pornographic content.
McMartin preschool trial The most expensive trial in U.S. history, a sexual abuse trial in which hundreds of children made bizarre allegations of flying and killing giraffes, orgies at car washes, flying in hot-air balloons, and being flushed down toilets into secret underground rooms where they were abused. They also claimed Chuck Norris was a Satanic Cult leader.
Miles v. City Council of Augusta, Georgia Can a city require a business license for a talking cat, and does the cat have free-speech rights?
Nix v. Hedden The U.S. Supreme Court decides that the tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit.
Old Deluder Satan Law How 17th-century Massachusetts sought to rid itself of the Prince of Darkness.
Perry Mason moment "Mr. Menendez, did you know Big 5 stopped selling handguns in 1986?"
Prohibition of death There are really some places where death is illegal. (Although it is unknown what happens to anyone who breaks this law.)
Sada Abe Sensational journalism...from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Small penis rule A technique used by authors to avoid libel lawsuits.
Stambovsky v. Ackley Also known as the "Ghostbusters case", the court ruled that a house in Nyack, New York was legally haunted by ghosts.
Taxation of illegal income in the United States Don't worry: you can deduct your illegal activity expenses.
Keron Thomas In 1993, aged sixteen, he posed as a motorman on the New York City Subway and managed to operate a scheduled passenger train for over three hours.
Toy Biz v. United States Are the X-Men humans under U.S. law?
Trial of the Pyx Whence the British Pound lands in court every year.
Whipping Tom On seeing an unaccompanied woman, he would grab her, lift her dress, and slap her buttocks repeatedly before fleeing. He would sometimes accompany his attacks by shouting "Spanko!".
United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff Who has jurisdiction over Satan?
United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins The fins won a case that turned on whether buying something from someone counts as "aiding or assisting" them.

Punishments[edit]

"Had a little too much to drink, have we, sir?"
Drunkard's cloak Attire for the village drunk.
Featured article Hanged, drawn and quartered Dark Ages punishment for high treason.
Rough music A form of vigilantism, more loud than violent.
Scold's bridle A muzzle for the nagging wife.
See also


Religion and spirituality[edit]

A John Frum cargo cult ceremonial flag raising.
Can be a hare-y matter in Wicca.
Sometimes Jerusalem can be too much.
A representation of Kolob (reference numeral 1).
"Thou shalt commit adultery." So says the Bible.
An artist's impression of one of Xenu's space planes.
As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. An oldie but a goodie from the Bible.
Asher yatzar A Jewish blessing, read to praise the ability to excrete urine or faeces.
Axinomancy Foretelling the future by looking at an axe or hatchet.
Banquet of Chestnuts Enough to make even the most committed and diehard Roman Catholic agree that the church was in a pretty poor state at the time of the Reformation.
Ben Hana A homeless man in Wellington, New Zealand who worshiped the Māori sun-god Ra (not to be confused with the ancient Egyptian sun-god Ra).
Bible errata A typesetter's complaint finds justification in Psalm 119.
Cadaver Synod In 897, Pope Stephen VI had the body of his predecessor Pope Formosus exhumed, dressed in papal vestments and then seated on a throne while he read charges against it and conducted a trial.
Caganer A traditional Catalan statue, similar to a garden gnome, that depicts a person defecating. Often included in Catalan nativity scenes or other Christmas decorations.
Cargo cult Tribal rites and rituals developed in the belief they will attract the goods, wealth and materials – the "cargo" – of a more technologically advanced and affluent culture.
Christmas in Nazi Germany The Nazi Party reinvented Christmas by removing a certain baby boy raised in the Jewish faith.
Criticism of Mother Teresa Seriously? Yep, seriously. Her detractors include Christopher Hitchens, Tariq Ali and devout Hindus.
Disconnection The result of a poor signal with Scientology.
Harold Davidson A 1930s Church of England clergyman, known as "The Prostitutes' Padre", who was defrocked and later died after being mauled by a toothless lion.
Descent from Adam and Eve Some living people actually claim to have traced their genealogy all the way back to Adam and Eve.
Flirty Fishing Sharing the Gospel through prostitution.
Fluffy bunny A controversial epithet in Wicca.
Flying Spaghetti Monster The basis of a satirical religion created to make fun of Intelligent Design.
Gambling on papal elections How much you wanna bet he's going to be Catholic?
Gang Bing After his act of self-castration, he became the patron saint of eunuchs.
The Great Disappointment Hundreds of people were convinced the world would end on a very specific date. Turns out they were wrong. Ahem.
Holy Prepuce One of several relics purported to be associated with Jesus. Also known as The Holy Foreskin. (See also Circumcision of Jesus.)
Homosexuality and voodoo Surely a troll, you say? No! A perfectly legitimate article!
Incident (Scientology) Bubble Gum Incident, Obscene Dog Incident, Bodies in pawn, blah, blah...
Islamic toilet etiquette The large number of rules to be followed by Muslims when relieving themselves.
Islamic views on anal sex There are fatwas for everything. Even Grand Ayatollah Sistani weighed in on the issue.
Jedi census phenomenon A phenomenon in which 390,000 British citizens listed their religion as "Jedi Knight" on a 2001 census form, which would've made it the fourth-largest religion in England and Wales.
Jerusalem Syndrome For some people, a visit there is just too much.
Jesus H. Christ Does it stand for Henry?
Jewish pope Andreas A Jewish pope..?
Johnson cult Was US President Lyndon B. Johnson worshiped as a god in Papua New Guinea?
Kachchhera Sikh underwear.
Kolob Which star does God live on?
List of UFO religions Our Father, which art in spaceship...
Love Jihad Where Muslim boys try to romance non-Muslim girls for conversion to Islam.
Matshishkapeu The "fart man" of Innu mythology. Don't cross him or he'll make you constipated.
The Miracle of the Sun 70,000 people in Portugal gather to witness a miracle and are treated to an inexplicable solar event.
Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible The Bible refers to lost books – even pagan ones – much more than you'd think.
Open source religion And we're not talking about the Church of Emacs either.
Pope Joan Medieval documents cite the existence of a female pope – proof of a Vatican cover up or a blasphemous slur?
Pope Michael Elected Pope in 1990 by a group of Conclavist or post-Sedevacantist Catholics to fill the vacancy they consider to have been caused by the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.
Prince Philip Movement A religious movement on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu which holds that Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is a divine being.
Pseudoskepticism The philosophical or scientific argument that tries to appear skeptical, but really is trying to prove a position, ie, "I don't see enough evidence that we landed on the moon."
Pornocracy The period of the papacy in the early 10th century, beginning with Pope Sergius III from 904 and ending with the death of Pope John XII in 963. During this period, the popes were under the influence of corrupt women (though not necessarily prostitutes), especially Theodora and her daughter, Marozia. This period is also called the "Rule of the Harlots."
Religion in Antarctica There's no continent on Earth without organized belief.
Reincarnation Application Must be filed by all living Buddha within the People's Republic of China before they are allowed to reincarnate.
Religious pareidolia A tendency to see religious imagery in the textures of corn chips, cinnamon rolls, toast, clouds, etc, etc, etc.
Rumspringa Amish Gone Wild.
St. Priapus Church A religion based on the worship of the phallus.
Space opera in Scientology scripture L. Ron Hubbard's history of the universe, including alien Invader Forces, "little orange-colored bombs that would talk" and brainwashing episodes in "a railway carriage quite like a British railway coach with compartments."
Taghairm A couple of uncomfortable methods of fortune telling.
Tiberius Iulius Abdes Pantera Was Jesus' father buried in Germany?
Turtles all the way down A myth about the nature of the universe, or perhaps a myth about a myth about the nature of the universe.
Unfulfilled religious predictions Doomsdays that didn't.
United Nation of Islam Royall, Allah in Person claims to have spent the 1980s in a spaceship with angels who informed him that he was God and instructed him on how to govern the world. Public records say he was a truck driver.
Universe people Specific cult in Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Who is a Jew? For those having trouble identifying a Jew.
Wicked Bible A 1631 reprint of the King James Bible, which contained an infamous printing mistake.
Featured article Xenu An ancient interstellar dictator who unleashed a genocide which created Christianity and psychiatry and whose story is "calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it."
Zipporah at the inn God apparently tries (and fails) to kill Moses.
See also


Military[edit]

An entire war in one diagram (and less than one hour).
For Gallantry – if you're an animal...
...such as Sergeant Stubby here, World War I's most decorated war dog.
Should the United States ever want to go to war against the British Empire...
3rd Dental Battalion Even Marines have to keep their teeth clean.
Adrian Carton de Wiart Fought in two World Wars, shot repeatedly, survived a plane crash, escaped a POW camp, married a countess, and amputated his own fingers when his doctor refused. Also looked like a pirate.
Featured article Anglo-Zanzibar War The world's shortest war. The Sultan of Zanzibar capitulated after forty-five minutes.
Bat bomb World War 2 experimental incendiary weapon employing bats as drones.
Battle for Castle Itter American and German soldiers team up against the Nazis in a battle for a medieval castle.
Bahia Incident Did you know that the American Civil War also took place in Brazil?.
Battle of Domažlice A Hussite army routs the twice as numerous crusading Holy Roman army with the power of singing.
Battle of Kiska In 1943, 7,800 American and Canadian troops invade the island of Kiska which had been occupied by Japan since 1942. Allied forces suffer over 300 dead, 2,500 injured and lose one destroyer due to mines, difficult terrain and friendly fire before realising that the Japanese had secretly abandoned the island two weeks prior.
Battle of Tanga A World War I battle where 8,000 British troops were defeated by a German-led force of 1,100 Askaris – aided by swarms of angry bees.
Boot Monument In celebration of Benedict Arnold's foot.
Jack Churchill A British soldier who fought through World War II armed with a bow and arrows and a claymore.
Devil Eyes A psychological warfare program designed by the CIA to distribute Osama bin Laden action figures throughout South Asia. The faces, when heated, were designed to peel off and reveal a demonic face underneath. They were made by Hasbro, the same company behind the G. I. Joe toys.
Dickin Medal Only awarded to animals.
Dreadnought hoax A practical joke at the expense of the Royal Navy, inspiring the influential Bloomsbury Group.
Emu War A military operation undertaken in Western Australia against hordes of emus.
Football war A six-day war fought between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969 that was triggered by a game of football (soccer).
Featured article If Day A simulated Nazi invasion of the Canadian city of Winnipeg, complete with book-burning, arrests of politicians, and newspaper censorship.
Line-crossing ceremony An initiation rite performed when a ship crosses the equator.
List of wartime crossdressers Because war demands proper fashion.
Miss Russian Army A beauty contest minus the swimsuit competition but plus the automatic weapons drills.
Montauk Project Real military science experiment or urban legend? Maybe the civilians who were in full view of the military base will be able to tell you.
Nebraska Admiral The landlocked U.S. state of Nebraska and its "Great Navy".
NORAD Tracks Santa A tradition with the American and Canadian military to track Santa Claus for children.
Hiroo Onoda A Japanese soldier who hid out in the Philippines during World War II, refusing to surrender until 1974.
Operation "Pig Bristle" A daring operation to transport 25 tonnes of pig bristles from Chongqing in China to Hong Kong during the Chinese Civil War. The bristles were shipped to Australia to be made into paint brushes.
Operation "Tamarisk" Claimed to be the most successful intelligence operation in the Cold War; emptying supplies of Soviet Union toilet paper, forcing them to use documents, and retrieving these documents after use.
Pastry War Looting a pastry shop? This means war!
Philadelphia Experiment An alleged experiment in 1943 involving electromagnetic technology to render vessels invisible.
Pig War A war between the United States and the British Empire that almost erupted over one dead pig.
Portuguese Fireplace A fireplace in the middle of the New Forest.
Sacred Band of Thebes An ancient Greek army consisting of homosexual couples.
Sergeant Stubby The only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat.
Siachen Glacier The world's highest battlefield, with very predictable terrain.
Stanislav Petrov Potentially averted a nuclear war.
The terrorists have won Or have they?
Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War A "war" that lasted 335 years without a single shot being fired, between the Netherlands and the tiny Isles of Scilly.
Featured articleToledo War A war between the State of Ohio and the Michigan Territory that resulted in one injury and over a century of bitterness.
Truelove Eyre A man who supposedly saved William the Conqueror's life during the Battle of Hastings.
Vasiliy Arkhipov Another guy who potentially averted nuclear war.
War of Jenkins' Ear A nine year war, started when Captain Robert Jenkins complained that the Spanish Coastguard had cut off his ear.
War of the Stray Dog Greek soldier chases his pooch across the Bulgaria border. Warfare nearly ensues.
War of the Insane Hmong revolt against taxing by the French colonial administration in Indochina lasting from 1918 to 1921.
War Plan Red U.S. war plans from the 1930s to invade Canada in the unlikely event of war with the United Kingdom. Also see the counterpart war plan Defence Scheme No. 1 (the Canadian war plan to invade the United States).

Weapons and military equipment[edit]

The Antonov A-40 flying tank.
The Bazooka Vespa – the ultimate in Mod warfare.
No pilot required?
Anti-tank dog Failed Soviet weapon of the Second World War.
Antonov A-40 The "flying tank", an experimental Soviet tank with wings and tailboom, meant to glide into the battlefield, ready for combat. Trials were unsuccessful.
Bat bomb A World War II plan to bomb Japan with bats carrying tiny incendiary bombs.
Bazooka Vespa Placing France at the cutting edge of weapons system design.
Bicycle infantry Soldiers have occasionally been trained to use the bicycle for military purposes.
Chicken-powered nuclear bomb In a cunningly misnamed project, domestic chickens were set to wage nuclear warfare.
Cornfield Bomber An F-106 jet fighter made a perfect gear-up landing in a farmer's field – after the pilot had ejected at 15,000 feet (4,600 m).
Double-barreled cannon A failed civil war era attempt to create a weapon of mass destruction. Now a monument in Athens, GA.
Explosive rat A World War II weapon designed to cause boiler explosions. Never used, yet still a success.
Gay bomb A speculative non-lethal chemical weapon that could be dropped on enemy troops to cause "homosexual behaviour". Not to be confused with the fag bomb.
Grand Panjandrum Britain's World War II Catherine wheel of death.
Human torpedo Secret naval weapons of World War II.
Most-wanted Iraqi playing cards A set of playing cards created by U.S. Army soldiers featuring the most-wanted Iraqis, with Saddam Hussein as the Ace of spades.
Project Habakkuk A British plan to construct an aircraft carrier out of ice (pykrete).
Project Pigeon Bombs guided by pigeon pecks.
Sticky bomb The most unpopular weapon the British soldier has ever been asked to use.
Tachanka Twentieth century chariot used in combat.
Tsar Tank An Imperial Russian tank designed as a tricycle with nine-metre wheels.
U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program A U.S. Navy program which studies the military use of Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions.
Who me? A top secret stench weapon designed to be unobtrusively sprayed on German officers by French Resistance members.
Zanbatō An enormous Japanese sword that does not exist.
See also


Death[edit]

All aboard the Necropolis line – at least, those that can.
Don't panic – you're in a safety coffin.
Vultures enjoying a sky burial.
One moment he was here, the next...
Boston Molasses Disaster Twenty-one people died in 1919 when a huge tank at a confectionery factory burst, sending a wave of molasses down the streets of Boston.
Collyer brothers When packratting was taken to a tragic extreme.
Death by coconut Coconuts can be fatal.
Death during consensual sex A fine product of GLAM Wiki Boot Camp DC 2013
Death from laughter Don't laugh – it's happened.
Death erection It is possible to die happy, even if you've lived a less-than-stellar life.
Defenestration The time-honoured tradition of throwing people out of windows.
Dyatlov Pass Incident A group of Russian hikers attempt to escape an unknown horror on "Death Mountain."
Euthanasia Coaster A roller coaster intended to kill its passengers.
Featured article Execution by elephant An unusual form of capital punishment used throughout history. (See also History of elephants in Europe.)
Fan death A persistent urban legend in South Korea, where the media – and even medical professionals – regularly report on people dying because they left a fan running in a closed room.
Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead An early catch phrase used on Saturday Night Live, based upon the dictator's lengthy death.
Ghost bike Bicycle rider in memoriam.
Hell bank note Apparently, the Chinese afterlife is subject to hyperinflation.
Jack the Stripper The other unidentified serial killer named Jack.
Joyce Vincent A woman who sat dead in her home with the TV and heater running for three years until her corpse was found.
Kick the bucket A heated argument lies behind the origin of this idiom.
Lal Bihari An Indian, who, among other things, ran for elected office despite the notable handicap of being officially dead.
List of expressions related to death "Go home in a box", "go bung", "hop the stick", ...
London Beer Flood Nine people drowned by a flood of over 300,000 gallons of beer.
London Necropolis railway station Single tickets only, unless you're a mourner or other visitor.
Lord Uxbridge's leg The grisly afterlife of a leg lost during the Battle of Waterloo, formerly owned by Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey.
Maschalismos The act of mutilating the dead to prevent them from rising again.
Michael Malloy A man who could not get killed by drinks.
Oliver Cromwell's head This English political leader's head has an interesting journey after its owner is posthumously executed.
Poe Toaster Not a kitchen appliance, but a mysterious figure who paid an annual tribute to American author Edgar Allan Poe.
Post-mortem photography Back in the early days of photography it was common to take pictures of recently deceased loved ones, propped up to look as if they were alive.
Republican marriage A form of execution in which a naked man and woman are tied together and drowned. (What did you think it was?)
Rookwood Cemetery railway line, Sydney A former railway line that served a cemetery near Sydney.
Richard Chase The only way to stop the Nazi-controlled UFOs from poisoning your macaroni and cheese is to inject yourself with animal blood and eat human brains.
Safety coffin Coffins manufactured just in case their tenant is not actually dead before being buried.
Salish Sea human foot discoveries Dismembered feet keep washing up.
Sky burial It's not really a form of burial. Also known as jhator which means "giving alms to the birds."
Sogen Kato Regarded as the oldest man in Tokyo, he turns out to have died at age 79.
Sokushinbutsu A practice of self-mummification among Buddhist monks.
Space burial Around 150 people have had their remains interred in space. Or would that be ex-terred?
Spontaneous human combustion The sudden burning of a person's body without any apparent source of ignition.
Suicide booth A common feature in the world of tomorrow.
Taman Shud Case A dead man is found on an Australian beach with no identification and a bizarre fragment of a book in his pocket. To this day, his identity and cause of death are still unknown.
Toilet-related injury As if constipation wasn't enough.
Valentich disappearance An Australian pilot disappeared in the ocean, having seen a strange object above his aircraft. No trace of either his body or the aircraft have been found.
Video-Enhanced Grave Marker Graves with video screens and speakers on them.
Featured article Voluntary Human Extinction Movement "May we live long and die out!"
See also


Questions[edit]

Wikipedia is not afraid to tackle the tough questions:

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? A proverbial question of theology.
If a tree falls in a forest Philosophy meets the logging industry.
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? Lady Marmalade wasn't the only one asking this.
Where's the beef? In 1984, people thought this was really funny for some reason.
Why did the chicken cross the road? People have asked this for over 150 years.


Unusual featured pictures[edit]

Wikipedia:Featured Pictures contains some unusual images.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]