5 Random Bizarre Facts

Dollar bills have hidden meaning and drugs.
History is filled with random bizarre facts, so instead of focusing on one fact for this article, we're going to cram five random facts into it. Everything from historical people to the bad habits people have with money is fodder for That is Bizarre. As long as people keep acting stupid and random stuff keeps happening, there will be plenty more of these facts articles to come.

Bizarre Fact #1: A Random Revolutionary Death

James Otis is arguably the man who popularized the idea of no taxation without representation in the years leading up the American Revolution. It was not necessarily his brainchild, but a speech he gave in a court case pointing out the unethical and unlawful use of Writs of Assistance put it in the forefront of the minds of his contemporaries.

After he gave that speech, James Otis started to get a little batty. This was made worse after he was beaten for his rebellious writings. He was forced to live under the care of his sister as a helpless insane person. However, this did not stop him from sneaking out of her house, stealing a rifle and walking to fight in the Battle of Bunker Hill. He survived the battle and walked home. In 1783, he was struck by lightning whilst standing in the doorway of a friend's house in Andover, Massachusetts.

Bizarre Fact #2: Hitler Was Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1938

Most people regard Time Magazine's Man of the Year (now Person of the Year) as an honor bestowed on heroes, particularly of the United States. These people typically have positive motivations, achievements and have done some good in this world. Such is not the case with the Man of the Year of 1938. The magazine chose rising dictator - the Fuhrer, as he was known then - Adolf Hitler.

Today, we would be shocked to see such a man's face on the cover of Time Magazine in what should be a place of honor, with an article that is decidedly ambiguous when it comes to the evil he was obviously capable of. At the time, he was not the virtually universally hated man that he is today. However, that is most likely not the real reason the article was ambiguous. We know that Adolph Hitler was an imposing figure of the time and the magazine was right in predicting that he would make "1939 a year to be remembered." They were wrong in their ambiguity, as nearly the whole of the United States was. He was a tyrant and monster, but the U.S. did not want to be involved. His bad habits, if they could be called such, were a taboo topic at the time. He was not painted in a good light by Time, but they weren't being completely honest, either.

Bizarre Fact #3: For Roughly 20 Years, Ivy League Students Were Made to Pose Nude for Photos upon Entering College

This one is a mystery. There are claims that the reason for this bizarre fact was that the schools were testing posture between the 40s and the 60s. That is kind of an odd excuse when you know what was in the pictures. Allow us to elaborate.

These photos, some which contain presidents, other political figures and famous people were of students completely nude. The only other noticeable thing about these photos is that the people pictured in them had pins sticking out of their backs, apparently to take note of their posture. The problem is, there are no pins from the waist down and they are not wearing underwear. Why the hell would they need to be nude for these photos? No straightforward answer has been forthcoming.

The first of these mysterious photos found after the fact were burned to protect the privacy of those involved. However, there were several Ivy League schools involved, meaning more photos. Who knows how many are out there from Harvard, Yale and others? It is embarrassing to think there could be nude pictures of U.S. Presidents out there, with pins sticking out of their backs, being forced by the very schools that molded them into presidents to stand thus while their pictures were taken.

Bizarre Fact #4: Hoarding Can Kill You

The Collyer brothers were hoarders who lived together in a mansion filled with what we would call junk. Both Homer and Langley Collyer were shut ins. They lived in New York together in their mansion, which eventually had no heat, no running water and boarded windows. Homer went blind over time and Langley took care of him.

These were no run of the mill hoarders, though. At least, Langley was not. Langley collected all of the junk in the house to keep other people out. He formed it into a maze that only he could navigate. Homer didn't need to, as Langley took care of him. He booby trapped it, making it so that no one could interfere with his quiet home life. However, it backfired on him. Homer was found starved to death in the mansion on March 21, 1947. The police had to find Langley, but first they had to remove a reported 19 tons of trash from the front hallway of the mansion. Among the trash in the mansion were such fine items as silk and 14 pianos. Nineteen days and more than 100 tons of trash later, Langley was found under a pile of debris after the odd combination of jackets, a burlap sack and other miscellaneous items he was wearing caught on one of his booby traps. He had died from either suffocation or the impact of the junk. He was spared that slow death that killed Homer.

Bizarre Fact #5: There is a lot of Cocaine Use in the United States

This fact is short and simple. A study showed that there are traces of cocaine on 90% of the United States' paper money. This most likely comes from people who have cocaine on their hands and handle money and from people using the bills to snort the illegal drug. Think twice about putting your hands near your mouth after touching money.

Well, we have learned not to let crazy men stand in doorways, that even bad men make good press, that you should not let your college make you pose nude, no matter how ivy their league is, that you shouldn't booby trap your own house and that you have probably touched cocaine, whether you like it or not. Oh, and for those of you who like it, you will not get high from sniffing at your money, so don't try it. It is also illegal to destroy currency, in some cases, so don't do that trying to get at the drug, either. In fact, it is best if you stop using cocaine so the rest of us don't have to hand our children drug-laced milk money.

The Longest and Most Bizarre Diary in the World

Robert Shields wrote his diary on several typewriters.

Robert Shields is the author of what is assumed to be the world's longest diary. It may also have the most words with an estimated 37 million of them. He kept this diary for roughly 25 years, writing in it every five minutes. There is nothing bizarre about the fact that this man kept a diary, though his diligence was rather strange. There is also nothing seedy, lurid or horrible in the diary. However, the contents of the diary are what make this diary so bizarre.

Every five minutes, for 25 years, Robert Shields wrote down everything he did, seriously, everything. He wrote about his shopping, his mail, his health and even about using the toilet. He kept track of his temperature, his blood pressure and even taped such strange things as nose hair into the diary. Slowly, but surely, his diary became what is very probably a very boring, very long tome. He thought, perhaps narcissistically, that his diary would somehow be useful to scientists. More on that in a minute.

Robert Shields started his diary in 1972. Ten years before his death in October of 2007, he was forced to stop by a stroke. For a while, he convinced his long-suffering wife to continue the odd habit for him. She kindly complied, but tired of it quickly. Spouses get enough of their significant others without having to write about them every five minutes. Seriously, imagine that you have to write about what your spouse is doing every five minutes. That is enough to ruin your marriage. It is bad enough having to watch someone do mundane things without having it then dictated to you while you write it down. Can you say purgatory?

So, back to the nose hair science. A few years before he died, Robert Shields donated his diary to the University of Washington. For some reason, they took it. However, there was a stipulation. The diary cannot be read or the words within counted for 50 years. He commented at one point that scientists in the future may want to do DNA tests on his nose hair. Washington University has received requests from scientists all over the world to be the first to test the nose hair, in case it reveals something about humans that was heretofore unknown. All right, that last bit was sarcasm.

Bizarre Video: Defies Explanation

This is That is Bizarre's first bizarre video. You will be happy to know that it is not in English. All right, maybe you won't be happy, because if you can read this, you speak English. I have no idea what language is being spoken in this video. Yes, I realize I could easily find out, but what is the fun in that? Besides, the bizarreness of this video transcends language. At one point, I am pretty sure a carton person is beating up a bowl of cereal. If you have any interpretations of just what is going on in this bizarre video, please tell me in the comments. Enjoy.

Bizarre Creatures: Hairy Frogs

By Gustavocarra
Hairy frogs, also known as "horror frogs" are African frogs that possess two very bizarre physical attributes. Nearly every member of the frog genus Astylosternus possesses these bizarre features. Science has yet to explain either of them fully.

Male hairy frogs produce strange masses of arteries and skin when they are breeding. These snarls of gross yuck appear on external parts of their bodies and look like hair. They seem to have some connection with the biological function of breeding. However, it is uncertain what that connection is. Scientists who study hairy frogs have postulated that they may be mechanisms to increase oxygen intake during breeding time. It may also be to help them breathe underwater.

The second bizarre attribute of hairy frogs is what got them the epithet "horror frogs." These frogs have claws on their back feet that look like cat claws. However, it appears that they are very different. When the frog has need of these claws, bones break and release the claws, which puncture the skin on their way out. Furthermore, they are purely bone, which cat claws are not.

Unfortunately, at this time, frogs are going through mass extinctions. Thus far, no one has come up with a plan to stop it or even a reason that it is happening on such a large scale. If we want to study hairy frogs further to find out why they have these strange features, we have to protect them. Just how we are going to do that is anyone's guess.


"Horror Frog" Breaks Own Bones to Produce Claws, retrieved 5/23/11, newscientist.com/article/dn13991-horror-frog-breaks-own-bones-to-produce-claws.html

The Jedi Census Phenomenon

In 2001, a strange, rebellious movement began via email. People were encouraged to put "Jedi" on their census forms under religion. Most of these emails claimed that a certain number of people writing Jedi on their census forms would make Jediism an official religion. This is only partially true. It does not make it an official religion according to the government. It simply means that the census bureaus in country's where this would take place would be forced to allow Jedi as an option or find some other way of classifying these people. As it turned out, it worked and census bureaus had to figure out the problem.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.K., Scotland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand marked themselves down as Jedi. Jedi had the fourth largest number of followers according to the census in the United Kingdom. Just why so many people marked their religion down as such is not entirely clear. It may have been in protest to the census itself or in protest to having to mark down a religion. To some, it may have just been a joke. Whatever it was, it has made an impact on census' in English-speaking countries ever since.


Jedi Makes the Census List, news.bbc.co.uk/2//hi/uk-news/1589133

Bizarre Sounds: The Taos Hum

Imagine if you woke up one day and there was a distracting background humming noise invading your ears. Imagine that only you, or a select few, can hear it. Imagine that doctors can find no problem with your hearing or ears. That is what people who can hear the so-called Taos Hum have to deal with. They hear a sound that can interfere with their lives, making it difficult to sleep and think. The worst part is that no one knows where the sound is coming from or how to stop it.

The Taos Hum is named after Taos, New Mexico. Some people there can hear the noise, but it is not relegated to Taos alone. In fact, there are numerous places around the world where the noise plagues a select few people who can hear it. While the noise can come and go, it is relentless when it is affecting "hearers."

The sound of the Taos Hum has been described as the far away sound of a diesel engine. People who have lived near a highway know that this sound may seem distant enough to be ignored, but that is not the case when you are trying to sleep or concentrate. Imagine doing your taxes with the sound of diesel engines in the background.

While it is generally accepted that the Taos Hum is not caused by mass hysteria, it goes unrecorded and unexplained. People who hear the noise do not hear it everywhere. They hear it in the area where they live and in outlying areas. It gets worse when they are indoors or in a vehicle. There is not much research on people passing through hum areas, but it is possible that some sensitive people pick it up on their travels. Hopefully, these people will lend insight into whether it is best for people who suffer from the Taos Hum simply to move to another area.

Deep-Sea Mystery: The Bloop

In 1997, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA recorded a loud noise in the South Pacific. The sound had never been heard before by man or machine. It came from an area roughly 1, 750 miles west of Chile. The average depth of water in the area is more than 2 miles. Researchers were able to record the sound from more than 3,000 miles away. There are no islands in the area and no known animals make a sound particularly like that. Fourteen years later, the sound is known as The Bloop and we still do not have a clue what makes it.

Listen to The Bloop here. When you think about the magnitude and mystery of the sound, it can give you the chills. Remember, the sound is actually longer because the released version was sped up to 16 times its speed.

As far as we can tell, the NOAA has made no claim as to what The Bloop is. Of course, they are not the only ones talking about it, so we do have some crazy theories, most which run along the lines of a gigantic cryptid (heretofore undiscovered creature) living in the depths of the Pacific. Yes, the Pacific Ocean is rather vast and there probably is room for such a creature in the Earth's oceans. However, we know that there is not one of anything and being that big makes it hard to hide. So, where are the rest of the gigantic bloop-makers? Yeah, there probably are not any. Is this disappointing? Hardly. There is still a very loud mysterious sound coming out of the ocean. We do not need gigantic creatures to make it awesome.

The best story regarding the gigantic bloop creature is that it is none other than H.P. Lovecraft's very fictional Cthulhu. In that case, R'lyeh must be located somewhere in the South Pacific. Well, L. Ron Hubbard has Scientology and he is, well, L. Ron Hubbard. H.P. Lovecraft is much cooler, so it stands to reason that he should have his own little following of people who think Cthulhu is really sleeping in the ocean and that the NOAA has recorded his snores.

At this point, there is no suitable hypothesis regarding the origin of the bloop. So, just do what pseudo-scientists and science-fiction fans are doing. Make up a cool story to explain the bloop and tell it to everyone on the internet.

Read an important update from the NOAA here.

Bizarre Creatures: Camel Spiders

Copyright Aur-Aelion

This planet is virtually chock full of strange creatures - humans included. Today, we are going to talk about a creature that has come into the spotlight since the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom began. Soldier came back from the desert with tales of these disgustingly huge, eerily fast and utterly creepy looking creatures. What we are talking about here is the camel spider.

Camel spiders are also known as solifugae. This is not one species of spider, but many, each bizarre enough to be worthy of terrifying legends. The truth is they can have up to a 6-inch leg span. Sure, that does not sound like much, but do you want to encounter an arachnid (they technically are not spiders) that is bigger than your hand? I thought not. They can run up to 10 miles per hour. That might not sound fast, but your top speed is probably around 14 miles per hour. A small child probably could not outrun them. However . . .

Stories have circulated that camel spiders have powerful venom and that they eat chunks of human flesh. This is not true. Yes, they can bite you and it probably hurts like a son of a gun, but they have no venom. That is right. There is nothing to fear from these bizarre creatures excepting their horrendous, phobia worthy appearances.

Bizarre ways to ensure the well-being of your family: Alien abduction insurance

Terrified that E.T. is going to "beam you up" and take you through a "Wrinkle in Time?" Afraid that Will Smith will not have a handy black suit or fighter jet on the day the grey men show up for the "War of the Worlds?" Want to make sure your family will be covered when you have one of those "Close Encounters of the Third Kind?" Well, have no fear. Some, rather unscrupulous, insurance companies have your back. Cough up the dough for an alien abduction insurance policy and you will be all set while Mulder and Sully are on vacation.

To most people, the very idea of purchasing insurance for something as difficult to prove, unlikely and nuts sounding as an alien abduction is bizarre. Well, of course it is bizarre. Why else would we mention it here? The thing is it is also true, which is the only other rule for content on That is Bizarre. According to various sources, the Saint Lawrence Agency was the first company greedy or insightful enough to offer this type of insurance. Oddly enough, they had takers.

According to this article on the NASA website, a whole group of people purchased alien abduction insurance policies before committing suicide - together. You might have heard of this group of suicidal alien doomsdayers. They were known as the Heaven's Gate Cult. If you have not heard of them, you must read their story before considering purchasing alien abduction insurance. Let us just say it was a huge waste of 10,000 dollars.

For those of you who are more concerned about getting pregnant or probed by an alien, do not worry. Some insurance companies offer these options. If you can't find one, you might be able to find an insurance company willing to start for you. After all, what insurance policy can resist those kind of odds?

Bizarre fact: If you hold your pee for too long, you can die!

The knucklehead of whom we speak.
Urine is a liquid that comes from the kidneys and must be expelled by urinating. This seems like an idiot-proof process, but there are those who manage to mess it up by holding their pee for too long. Bizarrely enough, this can lead to death by uremia, so yes; you can hold your pee for so long that you die.

Most people would not be able to resist the urge to urinate for long enough to cause a problem. However, if you are able to hold it long enough, you can damage bladder and kidney functioning, making it matter very little if you finally bother to use the toilet. Gradual loss of kidney function will then lead to kidney failure, also known as renal failure.

You might be thinking, who would be so daft as to hold their urine for long enough that they die? You might also be thinking, who the hell would be able to do that without pissing himself? Surprisingly, that is bizarre has an answer. His name was Tycho Brahe.

Tycho Brahe was an upper class 16th century astronomer who was actually rather intelligent, in some ways. In other ways, he was a little on the nutty side. He kept an elk as a pet, but it died when it went to a party, got drunk and fell down the stairs. He lost his nose to a sword, though sources vary regarding how exactly that happened. Regardless, he wore a prosthetic metal nose most of his days thereafter. He needed his nose to keep up with all of his stargazing and partying.

One day in 1601, Tycho was attending a banquet when his body told him he should go take a leak. He ignored it . . ., ignored it . . ., and ignored it. He later claimed that he did not want to be rude by leaving the table. Well, he ruined his chances at taking another healthy piss for the rest of his life. At first, he could not urinate at all and he got sicker and sicker. Later, he could pee only a little and it was not comfortable. Then, he died, presumably from uremia.

There you have it - the bizarre story of the man who held it to death. Those of you who have seen "Liar, Liar" with Jim Carrey know that holding it can damage the prostate. Now you know you have bigger things to worry about. Next time you feel like you have to go, do it. Do it in your pants if you have to. Call it self-defense against your kidneys.

Bizarre stories: The world's youngest mother

In honor of Mother's Day, which is tomorrow, as of the time of this writing, here is a story of a very bizarre birth. It is a little horrifying as well, so if you are sensitive, we do not mind if you click away and check out something bizarre, but less nauseating. This is the story of the world's youngest mother.

Lina Medina of Peru holds the distinction of being the youngest mother to give birth in recorded history. She was a shocking five-years-old when she had her son in May of 1939. She is an old woman now, but she must have been a little trooper to have survived an ordeal that has brought much older women to the brink of insanity - or so their husband's claim. So, Lina Medina, as bizarre as your story is, we salute you and your tough, younger self.

Sadly, what is bizarre about Lina's story is not that she was having sexual relations at the age of four or five. That is all too common. What is bizarre is that she was actually impregnated. She must have hit puberty very early. Five is young for even precocious puberty. Furthermore, for her little body to have carried the baby to term and have delivered a healthy baby is astonishing. To this day, she refuses to say who the boy's father was.

Leeroy Jenkins and his bizarre battle cry

This bizarre video comes from those obsessive World of Warcraft players. It is an oldie, but a goodie. In the video, a group of gamers carefully plans a raid. That is not bizarre. What is bizarre is that Leeroy Jenkins humorously and unwittingly botches the raid for all of the hardcore gamers with him. He then goes on to become famous for it. Yes, seriously. He even has his own Wikipedia page.