A cow with antlers atop a power line pole. Wikipedia contains other images and articles that are similarly shocking or udderly amoosing.

Of the over six million articles in the English Wikipedia there are some articles that Wikipedians have identified as being somewhat unusual. These articles are verifiable, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia, but are a bit odd, whimsical, or something one 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 an article to this list, the article in question should preferably meet one or more of these criteria:

  • The article is something a reasonable person would not expect to find in a standard encyclopedia.
  • The subject is a highly unusual combination of concepts, such as cosmic latte, death from laughter, etc.
  • The subject is a clear anomaly—something that defies common sense, common expectations or common knowledge, such as Bir Tawil, Märket, Phineas Gage, Snow in Florida, etc.
  • 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.
  • The subject is a notorious hoax, such as the Sokal affair or Mary Toft.
  • The subject might be found amusing, though serious.
  • The subject is distinct amongst other similar ones.
  • The article is a list or collection of articles or subjects meeting the criteria above.

This definition is not precise or absolute; some articles could still be considered unusual even if they do not fit these guidelines.

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, and in large meeting Wikipedia's manual of style. For unusual contributions that are of greater levity, see Wikipedia:Silly Things.

In this list, a star () indicates a featured article. A plus () indicates a good article.

Places and infrastructure

Aphrodite's artistic nudity shows itself not far from Mount Olympus.
Good golly, Miss Molly – jus' love your folly!
This 1909 voyage was planned to include four separate stopovers on phantom islands.
Breast-shaped hill Laid bare in many places around the world. May have given their name to Manchester.
Eiffel Tower replicas and derivatives Not as unique as you might have thought.
Folly Buildings prized for their uselessness.
Gravity hill A hill that gives the illusion of objects rolling up it.
List of cities claimed to be built on seven hills Almost 100 different cities across all inhabited continents, trying to get the credibility of having something in common with Rome.
List of micronations Ever wanted to start your own country?
List of tautological place names Place names that contain truisms and say what they are.
Phantom island Like islands, but they don't exist.
Pizza farm All the ingredients of pizza, grown in one convenient location!
Recursive islands and lakes Islands in lakes in islands in lakes in islands...
Rocket garden Landscaping and rocketry, together at last.
Spite house Various houses built solely out of spite for their neighbors.
Valeriepieris circle You either live inside the circle or outside. Even though you live inside.


Crouching tiger - er, lake - hidden...not quite dragon, but maybe CO
The buildings are in Spain. The ground at the bottom is in Morocco. Confused yet?
  Akon City A 2000s R&B singer is planning his very own city in his native Senegal, based around his very own cryptocurrency which he calls "Akoin".
Bir Tawil One of the few places on Earth not claimed by any country. An American trekked there and claimed it in 2014 as the Kingdom of North Sudan so he could make his daughter a princess.
  Blue Desert Following the Egypt–Israel peace treaty, the United Nations gave several tons of blue paint to a Belgian artist, so he could commemorate it by painting a line of boulders in the Sinai Desert blue.
  Boulders Beach A beach on the Southern African coast, near an urban residential area, known for being home to a colony of several thousand penguins.
  Congo Pedicle What happens when a tyrannical king decides he wants to hunt game in a swamp.
  Dallol (hydrothermal system) A region surrounding a volcano in Ethiopia, known for its alien-looking bright colours, and populated by vast salt plains and extremely hot acidic sulfur-emitting hot springs, that according to some studies, are absent of even the smallest microbes. There is a now-abandoned town of the same name nearby, which formerly held the record of the hottest inhabited place on Earth.
  Gaet'ale Pond A small lake in Ethiopia that was created in 2005 after an earthquake. It's not bitter, it's just really, really salty.
  Jacob's Ladder It's all very downhill from here.
  Kalakuta Republic A compound housing Fela Kuti - a famous Nigerian musician - his family, band musicians and recording studio, which he declared independent and used to criticize the Nigerian military junta of the 1970s. They responded by raiding it with over a thousand soldiers, setting it alight, and throwing Fela's mother out of the window.
  Lake Nyos A lake in northwestern Cameroon that released gas in 1986, killing 1,746 people. One of 2 known gassy lakes, the other being Lake Monoun.
  Mauritania Railway Mauritania's entire national rail network consists of a single line connecting the centre of the country's iron mining industry with the port city of Nouadhibou. Said line is also home to the world's longest and heaviest trains, filled with iron ore and as long as 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) in length.
  Oklo Mine The former site of the world's only natural nuclear fission reactors.
  Palácio de Ferro A bright yellow iron building in Luanda dating back to the colonial era, that is noted for the fact that there is no record of who or why it was built - although legend has it that it was designed by Gustave Eiffel, architect of the Eiffel Tower.
  Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera A rock on the Moroccan coast connected to the mainland by an 80-metre-wide (260 ft) tombolo; it is owned by Spain. In 2012, four Moroccan irredentists attempted to storm and take over the territory.
  Republic of Benin (1967) One of the shortest-lived states in history, it was independent for only seven hours (07:00 to 14:00 on 19 September 1967).
  Socotra A Yemeni island that is geographically part of Africa, and is known as "the most alien-looking place on Earth" due to its strange flora. This includes the "dragon blood tree" and a tree which produces cucumbers.
    La Tante DC10 Restaurant A grounded McDonnell Douglas DC-10 passenger aircraft in Accra that has been converted into a giant plane-shaped restaurant.
  Tromelin Island An island near Madagascar that is famous for being the site of a major humanitarian disaster in the 18th century.
  The Owl House Not the acclaimed animated LGBT fantasy cartoon that aired on Disney Channel; this is an outdoor museum that was created by a reclusive outsider artist who decorated her inherited house with over 300 glass and concrete sculptures of owls, camels, peacocks, pyramids, and other forms.
  Umoja, Kenya An entire women's-only village in Kenya established in response to violence against women in Samburu tribal society.


Blood Falls, with its distinctive "bleeding" ice.
  Blood Falls A naturally occurring plume of saltwater that is blood red thanks to its high iron oxide content.
  Mawson Peak The tallest mountain in the Commonwealth of Australia is not on the mainland, but on a barren, uninhabited island more than 3,800 kilometres (2,400 mi) away.
  McMurdo Dry Valleys An area of Antarctica that a) contains an extremely saline body of water, and b) has not experienced rainfall for over two million years.
  Marie Byrd Land The largest unclaimed territory in the world. Notable for being bigger than Mongolia, having one of Antarctica's biggest human bases, and being the setting of The Thing.
  New Swabia The Nazi territory in Antarctica.
  Pole of Inaccessibility research station A short-lived Soviet research station in Antarctica that is now completely covered by snow - save for a small bust of Vladimir Lenin peeking out the ground.
  Villa Las Estrellas One of only two civilian settlements in Antarctica.


A skyscraper with en suite highway.
How did Jumbo Jets land here and not crash?
A village with the (previous) tallest flagpole in the world... population: 0.
Roughly 50,000 people lived in that.
The roof is the floor is the roof is the floor...
  798 Art Zone How an abandoned complex of military factory buildings became the heart of Beijing's modern art scene.
  Aoshima, Ehime An island where cats outnumber humans 36:1. Weirdly not the only cat island in Japan (see: Tashirojima).
  Artsvashen An Armenian town surrounded and controlled by Azerbaijan. One of a number of similar towns on this border; others include Yukhari Askipara, Barxudarlı and Karki.
  Atar, Padang Ganting An Indonesian village with a monument resembling a photocopier.
  Bust of Ferdinand Marcos A Mount Rushmore in the Philippines, right down to displacing its indigenous inhabitants. It was mercifully blown up by rebels in 2002.
  Camp Bonifas The bunkers on this golf course feature machine-guns and landmines.
  Chao Mae Tuptim shrine A shrine dedicated to penises in Bangkok, built in the early 20th century by a Thai businessman, on the edge of his property.
  Christmas Island A small island and external territory of Australia close to Indonesia that is mainly known for having up to 100 million crabs migrate to spawn there every year.
  Dahala Khagrabari India inside Bangladesh inside India inside Bangladesh. Formerly the only third-order enclave in the world.
  Darvaza gas crater A flaming, 70 m (230 ft) wide, 30 m (98 ft) deep crater in the middle of the Karakum Desert, on fire since 1971.
  Dhekelia Power Station A Cypriot power station that provides power to a British military base that surrounds it.
Diomede Islands Two islands in the Bering Strait separated by 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) and 21 hours' time difference.
  Gangkhar Puensum The tallest mountain nobody has ever summitted, as the Bhutanese government has prohibited mountaineering since 2003.
  Gate Tower Building A skyscraper in Japan that has a highway offramp passing through its fifth, sixth and seventh floors.
  Hallstatt (China) An ongoing replica construction of a town in Austria.
  Haesindang Park Also known as "Penis Park", this is a park on the Korean coast, known for being full of wooden statues of penises, apparently to do with local shamanic folklore.
  Hanazono Room An indoor swimming pool in Japan used as the site for many pornographic films.
  Hằng Nga Guesthouse Vietnam's most fantastical building?
  Imsil Cheese Theme Park I dunno, this place seems a little cheesy to me.
  Jackson Hole, China A planned resort town outside of Beijing that is based off a small town in Wyoming.
  Jatinga The Bermuda Triangle of birds.
  Jaxa (state) A 17th-century microstate located on the Amur River between the Tsardom of Russia and Qing China, with a population mostly consisting of Polish and Ukrainians.
  Jewish Autonomous Oblast In the depths of Eastern Siberia there's a place with street names in Yiddish, even though 99% of its population is not Jewish.
  Kabul synagogue The last synagogue in Kabul was inhabited by two men, who both ended up being imprisoned by the Taliban because they got annoyed by the two constantly complaining about each other, before later being converted by one of the men into a kebab restaurant.
  Kai Tak Airport A major international airport closed in 1998 where planes literally almost crashed constantly into the city due to a right-hand turn over the city.
  Karni Mata Temple A marble temple famous for 25,000 revered black rats that live in the temple who are considered the ancestors of Charans.
  Kijong-dong Two unique Korean villages, separated by the DMZ and notable for their arms race of giant flagpoles. The North Korean village contains a propaganda-blasting loudspeaker and zero residents to hear it. Meanwhile its Southern counterpart forbids residency except to families that have been there since before the War, and grows "DMZ rice" that makes the farmers exceptionally wealthy.
  Korea Central Zoo A zoo with such wondrous animals as a chimpanzee with a smoking habit, a parrot that sings the praises of Kim Il-sung, and dogs.
    Kowloon Walled City A former enclave in the city of Hong Kong, known for lawlessness and extremely cramped conditions before it was destroyed and turned into a park.
  Li's field A supposed forcefield that explains why tropical cyclones swerve away from Hong Kong.
  Living root bridge Double-decker suspension bridges formed of living plant aerial roots of rubber fig trees by tree shaping common in the southern part of the Northeast Indian state of Meghalaya.
  Love Land An erotic-themed sculpture park on Jeju island in South Korea.
  Maijishan Grottoes A massive complex of hundreds of man-made caves, stairways and thousands of Buddhist sculptures carved into the side of a mountain in the fifth century, high above the surface.
  Masuleh A village built on the side of a mountain in such a way that most of the walkable space in the village is on the rooftops of the buildings of the layer below.
  Missing Post Office Where all the world's undeliverable post goes.
  Nahwa One of only eight counter-enclaves (enclaves of enclaves).
  Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic A landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan (it is surrounded by three different countries rather than only one, so it is not an enclave).
  Nanjie A settlement in Henan Province that is often described as "China's last Maoist village", maintaining a collectively-owned economy and public displays and statues of historic Marxist-Leninist leaders.
  National Fisheries Development Board building Another example of mimetic architecture, this time in Hyderabad, in the form of a building shaped like a humongous fish.
  North Sentinel Island A small island in the Bay of Bengal, known for being inhabited by a virtually uncontacted isolationist tribe who attack all outsiders who attempt to land on their island. The Indian government leaves them alone, outlawing all travel to the island - although that hasn't stopped some foolish travellers from trying.
  National Route 339 A national highway with a staircase in the middle.
  Neutrality Monument A massive legged arch built in the capital of Turkmenistan by the eccentric former dictator to commemorate the fact that Turkmenistan is officially neutral. Also used to feature a gold-plated statue of him on top that constantly rotated so that it always faced the sun.
  Okinoshima (Fukuoka) An entire island that is considered a kami in the Shinto religion, and is continuously inhabited by lone Shinto priests who spend ten-day shifts guarding the shrine on the island. Women are prohibited due to their menstruation, as blood is considered impure in Shinto.
  Ōkunoshima An island between the Japanese home islands of Honshu and Shikoku formerly home to a chemical weapons plant in WW2, now home to a huge population of feral but largely tame rabbits.
  Om Banna An Indian shrine dedicated to a supposedly-sentient motorbike.
  Omsk Metro A metro system with only one station and a total length of zero kilometres.
  Peanut Hole A delightfully named patch of ocean in the Sea of Okhotsk that is totally surrounded by Russia's EEZ but not inside it. Often the subject of foreign overfishing.
  Porcelain Palace China's largest and most lavish palace - that is dedicated to the humble public toilet.
  Rednaxela Terrace A street in Hong Kong, whose name was reportedly reversed due to a clerical error.
    Robot Building That's not a giant robot looming in Bangkok; it's just a bank's headquarters.
  Roopkund A small lake in the Himalayas known for mysteriously having hundreds of ancient human skeletons along its edges.
    Ryugyong Hotel Once, it would have been the world's tallest hotel – except it lacked windows, fittings, or fixtures for over twenty years.
San Serriffe A lesser-known island in the Indian Ocean, subject of the April 1, 1977 Guardian.
  Sansha A disputed prefecture-level city in Hainan consisting of a collection of atolls and reefs throughout the South China Sea.
  Kingdom of Sedang In the 1880s, a French adventurer created a kingdom in Vietnam.
  Seikan Tunnel Tappi Shakō Line The closed funicular that connects an underground train station inside the Seikan Tunnel with a museum.
  Shani Shingnapur A holy Hindu village that doesn't have any doors.
  Shingō, Aomori A town in Japan that is (supposedly) home to the tomb of Jesus. The story behind the supposed tomb is even odder.
  Snake Temple A Chinese temple most notable for having snakes (alive) within its compounds. It also has a snake breeding area.
  Sokh District An exclave of Uzbekistan enclaved within Kyrgyzstan with a 99% Tajik population.
  Tashirojima An island in Japan notable for being full of cats. Weirdly not the only cat island in Japan (see: Aoshima, Ehime).
  Thames Town An entire replica English-style town built as an upscale planned community near Shanghai. Mostly empty, but a popular destination for wedding photography.
  Thimmamma Marrimanu A single tree with a canopy that covers 19,107 m2, and consequently is considered sacred among followers of several Indian religions.
  Tomb of Suleyman Shah One of the burial sites of the first Ottoman emperor's grandfather is part of Turkey despite being 27 kilometres (17 mi) south of the country's border with Syria.
  Trunyan A village in Bali where residents openly lay corpses on the ground and wait for them to decompose instead of cremating or burying them.
  Tsu Station By kana, the tersest railway station in Japan, serving the capital of an almost as terse prefecture. By stroke count, the tersest in the world. By transliteration, only second-tersest.
  Underground City (Beijing) A massive complex of tunnels underneath Beijing, built in the Cold War as a nuclear bomb shelter, fitted with facilities such as schools, clinics, factories and even an ice rink.
  Villaggio Mall A Qatari shopping mall built to resemble an Italian town, with Venetian canals and gondolas. Also notorious for being the site of a deadly nursery fire in 2012.
  Wonderland Amusement Park The largest abandoned amusement park in Asia.
  X-Seed 4000 The tallest building ever designed, standing 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) tall and housing 500,000 to 1,000,000 people on 800 floors. It is, however, "never meant to be built".
  Yongning Pagoda A 6th-century pagoda that was possibly the tallest structure in the world until it was destroyed by lightning 18 years after its completion.
  Zhangye National Geopark A national park known for its mountains with natural multicoloured stripes.
  Zheltuga Republic An illegal gold mining settlement that developed into a thriving unrecognised country, only surviving because the Chinese government was unaware that it existed.


Workers of the galaxy, unite!
A postman's labor of love.
Make sure you're covered.
Careful where you put that lighthouse, Eugene...
Borders, courtesy of Pablo Picasso.
Welcome to the Principality of Sealand.
A chandelier, decorating the Sedlec Ossuary, made from human bones.
A mosaic of 4.6 million seashells. Who built it? When? For what purpose?
The name Shitterton, proudly displayed in stone.
The UK's northernmost and best-decorated bus shelter.
  Abode of Chaos An artist buys an old scenic house in a rural town and transforms it into a replica warzone that serves as an open-air museum of radical avant-garde art, angering locals enough to sue him in France's supreme court.
    Ängelholm UFO memorial A memorial to a reputed UFO landing in Sweden.
  Argleton A non-existent town in Lancashire, England that appeared on Google Maps.
  Baarle-Hertog Two municipalities, one of Belgium and one of the Netherlands, that surround each other twice and many times over. Some houses and shops are in both countries.
  Barack Obama Plaza A motorway service area in County Tipperary, Ireland celebrating the work and Irish heritage of U.S. President Barack Obama.
  Barcelona Supercomputing Center A supercomputer in a medieval chapel.
  Barentsburg A completely Russian town, inhabited by Russians, with Russian buildings, supported financially by the Russian government, located in Norway.
  Barra Airport An airport that only operates when the tide allows.
  Battersea Power Station tube station A train station named after a non-train station.
  Beans and Bacon mine With such little ventilation, visitors may want to avoid any source of ignition. Nearby mines are not to be outdone and have the following names: Mule Spinner, Frogs Hole, Cackle Mackle, and Wanton Legs.
  Berlin Brandenburg Airport An airport in Berlin whose construction is finished but which is unfinished in other areas. Construction was finished in 2012; however, the opening date was repeatedly pushed back as the fire suppression system was installed incorrectly. It finally opened in October 2020.
  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 1668.
  The Broomway Perhaps the most dangerous path in the world. Would you join the hundred others who died walking the invisible path?
  Brusio spiral viaduct The title says it all, really.
  Bucket Lake A lake that only exists thanks to the wanton misuse of a plastic bucket.
    Bunkers in Albania Enver Hoxha loved them so much he decided to fill his country with over 173,000 of them.
  Büsingen am Hochrhein A German town that is fully contained within Switzerland.
  Butt Hole Road A tiny residential street in the UK that was so infamous for its name that it became a tourist attraction.
  Buzludzha monument A futurist monument built by the Bulgarian Communist Party that looks like a communist spaceship – especially on the inside.
  Carpatho-Ukraine The third-shortest-lived state in history (see Benin Republic in Nigeria); it was independent for only 24 hours.
    Cerne Abbas Giant An indecent chalk man in the English countryside.
  Clachan Bridge Walk across the Atlantic in just 30 seconds!
Couto Misto A de facto independent microstate on the border between Spain and Portugal that existed until the 19th century.
  Crinkley Bottom An unsuccessful series of three theme parks built across England, devoted to a grotesque and horrifying BBC children's TV character from the 90s. One of them collapsed within four months of opening due to a massive and costly legal dispute with the local council over funding and liquor permits, while the abandoned site of another was demolished after it was used to host illegal raves.
  The Crooked House A pub along the Staffordshire/Black Country border which was at an angle due to ground subsidence as a result of local mining activity, causing bottles rolled along tables to appear to roll uphill. It was destroyed in suspicious circumstances in August 2023.
  Crooked Forest A grove of pine trees that are all bent in the same direction just as they emerge from the ground, before going straight back up again as normal. Nobody knows why this is the case.
  Dancing House Also known as "Ginger and Fred" for its resemblance to a pair of dancers.
  Dartmouth railway station A train station that has been open since 1864 despite no trains ever stopping there.
  Dumb Woman's Lane A lane in East Sussex with a humorous name. Spike Milligan used to live there, and Paul McCartney wrote a poem about it.
  Eichener See A lake in southern Germany that only occasionally contains water.
  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.
  Colletto Fava A 1,500-metre (4,900 ft) hill with a 61-metre (200 ft) 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.
  Father Pat Noise plaque O'Connell Bridge bears a tribute to a priest who was as dearly remembered as he was completely fictional.
    Ferdinandea Island The island that disappeared. And rose again. And sank again. And rose again. And sank again.
  Flannan Isles Lighthouse Located on Eilean Mór, this lighthouse to the west of Scotland is the subject of an enduring mystery over the disappearance of its keepers in 1900.
  Forest swastika A gigantic swastika made of larch trees that went unnoticed for nearly sixty years.
  Fugging, Upper Austria A village in Austria that used to be called "Fucking", but changed its profane-sounding name after years of torment in the form of stolen road signs (some of which had to be enstoned in concrete) to something that still sounds kind of profane.
  Galešnjak An island off the coast of Croatia that is naturally shaped like a heart symbol.
  Gammalsvenskby A Swedish village, populated by Swedes, who speak an ancient Swedish dialect, in Ukraine.
  Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue A giant artificial palm tree created to remind everyone of the name of the street it's on.
    Gropecunt Lane A street name found in English towns and cities during the Middle Ages.
  Grūtas Park Alternatively known as Stalin World, this park answers the little-asked question of "what should we do with all these Soviet-era statues and monuments from our oppressive past?" Won its creator, mushroom magnate Viliumas Malinauskas, the 2001 Ig Nobel Prize.
    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.
  Kielce Bus Station A Polish bus station that was deliberately designed to look like a UFO.
    Kőbánya cellar system Budapest has an expansive underground complex of beer and wine cellars that is so large it totals around 200,000 square metres (2,200,000 sq ft) in area.
  Krzywy Domek The most interesting house in Poland.
  Kursdorf A village that was abandoned after being gradually encircled after a nearby major aiport, resulting in an average sound level of nearly 60 decibels. It earned the title of "the loudest village in Germany".
  Leaning Tower of Suurhusen Beating the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa by 1.22 degrees.
  List of destroyed landmarks in Spain Over 60 interesting buildings, including larger castles, royal palaces, leaning towers, city gates which were completely or partially demolished and no longer exist, with their respective articles and images.
Listenbourg The European country most Americans can't point out on a map (because it doesn't exist).
  Llandegley International Airport When is an international airport not an international airport? When it's not an airport at all.
  Llanfairpwllgwyngyll Or Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, if you want to get technical.
  Lupanar A brothel preserved underneath the ashes of Pompeii, complete with 2000-year-old lewd grafitti.
  Magic Roundabout Only in the United Kingdom would you find a large roundabout with six mini-roundabouts. (Not to be confused with the "Magic Roundabout"s in Colchester, Swindon or High Wycombe – or, for that matter, this "Magic Roundabout".)
  Manneken Pis A statue in Brussels depicting a urinating child.
Märket A lighthouse built on this island led to a redefinition of the border between Sweden and Finland.
  Metro-2 A purported secret metro line in Moscow.
  Monte Kaolino A ski resort without snow.
  Mount Athos An autonomous polity in Greece home to 20 monasteries, notable for being the only political subdivision in the world in which women (as well as female animals) are prohibited from entering for any reason.
  Municipalities of Liechtenstein The blotchy, angular borders between these divisions seem almost arbitrarily strange. The UAE's are similarly weird.
  Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb is home to this collection of things left behind by break-ups.
    Nelson's Pillar Dublin used to have its own version of Nelson's Column, that ended up serving as a symbol of British imperialism up until the 1960s, when it was blown up by Irish republicans, leading to the creation of several celebratory folk songs.
  Neutral Moresnet A tiny European region – approximately 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) – that existed for a century as neutral territory between Germany and Belgium.
    Newhaven Marine railway station A railway station that was technically open between 2006 and 2020, despite (a) no passenger trains serving the station during that time, (b) an inability to buy tickets to the station and (c) the station itself being demolished in 2017.
  Other World Kingdom A micronation and BDSM resort whose ultimate goal is "absolute matriarchy" – for all men to be enslaved by women.
  Paradiskullen A ski jumping hill with a landing area that goes under one of Sweden's busiest railroads.
Pheasant Island An uninhabited river island which switches sovereignty between France and Spain every six months.
    Pierre-sur-Haute military radio station An unassuming military station in France became a cause célèbre after French Intelligence tried to threaten Wikipedia into deleting its article on it.
  Principality of Sealand A micronation located 6 miles (9.7 km) off the coast of Suffolk, England whose population rarely exceeds ten.
  Reality Checkpoint A lamppost with its own name.
  Röstigraben The "Coarsely Grated Potato Ditch" in Switzerland, dividing Swiss-German and Swiss-French cuisine.
  Saatse Boot A piece of Russian territory through which a 900-metre (3,000 ft) stretch of Estonian road passes. Although people are allowed to drive on the road without a permit or visa, it is prohibited to travel on foot, or to stop the vehicle for any reason.
  Schwerbelastungskörper A piece of Nazi architecture in Berlin, built with the sole purpose of being heavy.
  Scottish Court in the Netherlands A former Dutch NATO base called Camp Zeist was briefly ceded to Scotland to enable the trial of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombers.
  Sedlec Ossuary A Christian chapel decorated by the bones of approximately 40,000 people.
  Sexi (Phoenician colony) An ancient ruins, also known as Sex or Ex, with several Roman-era suburbs, including Pænis, Socordia and Villa Fatuus Maximus.
  Shell Grotto, Margate A grotto with a mosaic of 4.6 million seashells, hidden underneath a backyard. Nobody knows who built it, when, or for what purpose.
  Shit Museum Don't worry, it's actually a good museum. For looking at excrement.
  Shitterton Its sign got stolen so often, they bought a 1.5 tonne stone with the town's name engraved in it. (Surprisingly, that rude name really does mean what you'd think.)
  Smallest House in Great Britain Only 5.49 square metres (59.1 sq ft) in size, in North Wales.
  Sovereign Military Order of Malta A sovereign state with no land? How is that possible?
  Spreuerhofstraße The world's narrowest street.
  Svalbard Global Seed Vault If a global famine occurs, you better hope you live in Svalbard.
  Transnistria An unrecognized state that broke away from Moldova during the fall of the Soviet Union due to ethnic tensions and has remained in limbo ever since, retaining Soviet-era aesthetics and even a hammer and sickle on its flag.
  Uffington White Horse A giant chalk figure that has to be hit with hammers regularly to maintain it.
  Unst Bus Shelter The only of its kind on the island of Unst, Shetland. It is periodically refurnished and contains a sofa and TV.
  Uppland Runic Inscription 53 An 11th century runestone which got accidental fame by being scavenged for the foundation of a 17th century building in the middle of Stockholm.
    Vatican Railway It consists of a 680-metre (2,230 ft) branch line and was constructed as a direct result of the Vatican's recognition as a country.
  Vennbahn A disused railway in Belgium which separates five pieces of Germany from the rest of Germany.
  Veyshnoria A nonexistent border country of Belarus invented for a Union State military exercise and adopted by the Internet. It's totally coincidental that the territory of this "enemy state" corresponds to the most Catholic, most anti-Lukashenko, and least Russian-speaking regions of Belarus, honest.
  Victor Noir A young journalist killed by the cousin of the French Emperor, who subsequently became a symbol of resistance prior to the fall of the regime... who also got a statue of himself with a massive bulge in his crotch that subsequently became a fertility symbol, with the bulge becoming rusted due to having been fondled by so many members of the public.
  Weißwurstäquator The "White Sausage Equator" in Germany.
  White's London's oldest and most famous gentleman's club had several famous people as members, including King Charles III, Prince William, former prime minister David Cameron and so on. The club is pretty much top secret, so yes, the English illuminati definitely aren't lurking and drinking tea there. Also, no girls are allowed.
  Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate And the best street name has to go to this street in York, England. Also said to be the shortest street in the city too!
  Wooden Spoons Museum A museum with the largest collection of wooden spoons in the world, ranging from 3,500 to over 6,000. Ladles and 500 erasers can also be found!
  Wrocław's dwarfs Gotta catch 'em all!
  Zeitpyramide To celebrate the 1200th anniversary of a Bavarian town, one artist decided to stack concrete blocks for 1200 years. The next block is scheduled for 2033.
  Željava Air Base An abandoned air base, located on the border between Croatia and Bosnia, that's almost entirely underground.
  Zone rouge A series of areas in northeastern France that were so devastated by unexploded ordinance and toxins during World War I that they remain unihabitable a century later.

Latin America and the Caribbean

A desert with water in it. Or is it a lagoon with a desert in it? Hmmmm...
Americana, São Paulo.
Capital status + no people = Plymouth, Montserrat!
  Americana, São Paulo A town in Brazil founded by Confederate farmers and soldiers in the aftermath of the American Civil War.
  Cancún Underwater Museum A place where works of art are kept several metres beneath sea level.
  Cherán A Mexican town where the residents decided to abolish their own local government and police force in 2011 due to rampant corruption and ties to organized crime. They don't appear to have any regrets.
  Colonia Dignidad A rural community in Chile that has a story that not even the most insane writer could think of.
Darién Gap This journey is impossible with the modes you have selected.
  Devil's Island A notorious penal colony off the coast of French Guiana.
  Ernst Thälmann Island An island off the coast of Cuba that was (sort of) ceded to East Germany and thus (sort of) remains part of East Germany, which doesn't exist anymore (sort of).
  Guarapari A Brazilian town with beaches that are naturally radioactive.
The Guianas If you think about it, three extremely sparsely-populated South American nations that are culturally part of the Caribbean, with a population of Amerindians, Indians, Africans, Maroons, mixed-race Indo-Africans, Javanese, Chinese, Hmongs, Portuguese, Lebanese, Haitians, and Brazilians, is pretty weird.
  Fordlândia The man himself was not without his abject failures in Brazil.
Friendship Park (San Diego–Tijuana) Where people can shake hands and interact across the Mexico–United States border.
  Hacienda Nápoles The luxurious estate of the deceased drug lord Pablo Escobar that may lead to an invasive hippopotamus population in Colombia.
  Isla Apipé An Argentine island in the Paraná River surrounded by Paraguayan waters.
  Island of the Dolls Located in Mexico City, this is an island full of broken and deteriorated dolls of various styles and colors, originally placed by the former owner of the island.
  John Lennon Park A park with a statue of John Lennon, in a country that used to ban his music in the 60s as it was a Western bloc cultural import. Also noteworthy for the fact that his statue doesn't normally wear glasses, as the glasses on the statue keep getting removed or vandalized, although the park now has a security guard whose job is to hang around near the statue and give him a pair of glasses upon request.
  Lençóis Maranhenses National Park Wait, deserts don't seasonally flood. They just don't. Or do they?
  Nazca Lines A line museum, exhibited outdoors in southern Peru.
  El Ojo An almost perfectly circular, constantly rotating island in the marshes of Argentina. Its name is Spanish for "The Eye".
  Parícutin A volcano that suddenly erupted out of a farmer's cornfield.
  Pig Beach A place where you can swim with pigs.
  Plymouth, Montserrat A national capital with zero population, as it was abandoned due to a volcanic eruption.
  Presidente Hayes Department What happens when a U.S. President is vastly more famous in a South American country than in the actual United States.
  Río Rico, Tamaulipas A city that was ceded by the United States to Mexico in 1977 due to an earlier diversion of the Rio Grande.
  Santa Cruz del Islote A tiny artifical island off the coast of Colombia that is said to be the most crowded island on Earth, with its own school, restaurant and other amenities, but without any crime nor police.
  Spiral Island An artificial island, now destroyed, built from thousands of empty floating plastic bottles.
  Y Wladfa A group of settlements in Argentine Patagonia home to the largest Welsh-speaking population outside of the British Isles, and the location of the Patagonian Welsh dialect.
  Yungas Road An incredibly deadly mountainside road in Bolivia, only 3 meters wide in places and with no guardrails.

North America

This bridge is a bit low, isn't it?
Oh no, this windowless skyscraper is definitely not a massive surveillance centre!
"That says "MALL"... doesn't it...?"
When California hadn't quite joined the United States.
"Are you sure you want to build here?"
Wait a minute...This isn't the River Thames...
Mill Ends Park,
the smallest park in the world.
This lake hides many islands. And lakes in those islands. And islands in those lakes.
It's about reaching out, closing up the distance.
A laboratory beneath the waves.
  11 foot 8+8 Bridge Also known has the "Can Opener", this is a bridge that slices the roof off of trucks that have fallen victim to it.
  33 Thomas Street A windowless skyscraper in New York and suspected NSA mass surveillance hub. Not suspicious at all.
  A Mountain Also known as Sentinel Peak, this hill in Tucson, Arizona literally has a big letter "A" on it.
  Agloe, New York A fictional town in New York. Originally a phantom settlement, created as a copyright trap for a mapmaker, that ended up developing into an actual landmark.
  Alcohol and Drug Abuse Lake Supposedly named after the treatment center nearby.
  Aroma of Tacoma "What an incredible smell you've discovered" could have been this Washington city's motto.
  Aquarius Reef Base A real-live underwater laboratory.
  Badlands Guardian A natural topographic feature in Alberta, Canada, which, when viewed from above, looks remarkably like a human wearing a Native American headdress and earbuds.
  Beatosu and Goblu Two non-existent towns that appeared on Michigan's official highway map as a reference to the University of Michigan and its rival, Ohio State University.
  Borscht Belt For those who love borscht and find the Bible Belt and Rust Belt too boring.
  Big Blue Bug Officially named Nibbles Woodaway, this 58-foot long termite overlooking I-95 is a Providence landmark and is claimed to be the world's largest artificial bug.
  Bishop Castle A rocky castle in the Rocky Mountains! This fire-breathing construction project seems to endlessly... drag on.
  Bubblegum Alley 70 feet of alleyway with its walls covered in used chewing gum.
  Bubbly Creek The branch of the Chicago River that was so contaminated with blood from the Stock Yards that it gained this appetizing moniker.
  Bullfrog County, Nevada A former county in Nevada established around a mountain which was to become a radioactive waste disposal site. As of 2022, it is the only uninhabited county-equivalent to ever be created in the United States.
  Busta Rhymes Island Otherwise unnamed island because it had "rope-swinging, blueberries, and ... stuff Busta would enjoy."
Canusa Street A road that's in both Canada and USA.
    Capitol Hill mystery soda machine A machine that offered rare drinks with nobody knowing who operated it. It was in operation from the 1990s to 2018, when it disappeared and a note was left saying: "Went for a walk".
  Cat Girl Manor A manor described as "the Playboy Mansion of the kitten play community".
  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 reported occurrences of paranormal activity.
  Colma, California A town where the dead outnumber the living by 1000 to 1.
  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 $1 billion in foreign aid.
  Corporation Trust Center A small single-story building where over 285,000 companies, or over 15% of all companies in the United States, are legally based.
  Crush, Texas A temporary "city" established as the site of an 1896 publicity stunt, a staged train wreck. The wreck unexpectedly caused two deaths and numerous injuries among spectators.
  Crazy Horse Memorial The Native American answer to Mount Rushmore, started in 1948 and still nowhere near completed.
  Cuyahoga River Environmentalism in the United States essentially started because a river in Cleveland kept on catching fire.
  Dave Thomas Circle A six-way intersection in Northeast D.C. with a Wendy's restaurant located in the middle until 2021. The site of numerous traffic fatalities, it's currently being converted into a city park.
  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.
  Donald J. Trump State Park The most tremendous, fantastic, amazing state park you've ever seen. The media wants to say it has poor upkeep, it should be renamed, that it's not even a real state park; but they're all liars and very bad people, believe me.
  Dorset, Minnesota A town that, on multiple occasions, has had a child as their "mayor".
  Dude Chilling Park Originally a sign placed in a Vancouver park as a prank, now officially recognized public art.
  Fenelon Place Elevator The shortest and steepest railroad in the world, (supposedly) located in a town of around 60,000 people.
  Florence Y'all Water Tower A Northern Kentucky town's unique "welcome" sign.
  List of former counties, cities, and towns of Virginia All the places that are no longer found in Virginia, such as Illinois County, and a few that never were (including Walton's Mountain).
  Gann Valley, South Dakota The county seat of Buffalo County, South Dakota, despite nearby Fort Thompson having a population more than 120 times larger than Gann Valley.
  Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport Consists entirely of a deeply rutted unmanned strip of soil/gravel and a windsock.
  Gum Wall A brick wall in Seattle burdened by chewing gum. Cleaned in 2015, only to be turned into a memorial for Paris.
  Habitat 67 A futuristic residential complex built in the 1960s that resembles a mass of cuboids haphazardly balanced on top of each other.
   Hans Island A deserted Arctic island fought over by Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark for decades. The 2022 settlement created a land border between a North American and a European country.
  Hawaii 2 A quaint island in Maine purchased by Cards Against Humanity in 2014.
  Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Life lesson: if you see hunters chasing buffalo off a cliff, don't stand at the bottom.
  Hess triangle This used to be part of a bigger plot of land but a road destroyed it but the planners couldn't plan correctly so it left this piece of land.
  Horace Burgess's Treehouse A tree house built by a minister who claimed to have received a vision from God.
  Interstate 180 (Wyoming) An Interstate Highway that isn't really a freeway at all.
  Interstate 19 The only U.S. highway marked in metric units, a relic of a historical push for metrication.
  Island of California The third-largest U.S. state was formerly an island – at least on paper.
  Jackass Flats The aptly named test site for the world's first and only nuclear-powered rocket engines.
  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 (247 m) height, but because of an angry old man who lived nearby.
  Just Room Enough Island This island is about one-thirteenth of an acre in size but that didn't stop the Sizeland family from building a house on it.
  Landsat Island A lonesome island with a frankly humorous tale.
  List of gaps in Interstate Highways Traffic-lighted intersections, drawbridges, and other oddities in the Interstate Highway System which violate the standards.
  List of Las Vegas casinos that never opened What happened on the drawing board stayed on the drawing board.
  London Bridge An over century year old authentic English bridge...that now resides in the middle of the desert.
    M-185 (Michigan highway) The only state highway in the country that bans motor vehicles. It's also the only state highway to not have an accident until 2005.
  Mary Ellis grave A grave that found itself in the middle of a movie theater parking lot.
  Memphis Pyramid The tenth-largest pyramid in the world, located in Memphis, Tennessee, and home to a Bass Pro Shops megastore.
  Michigan left Directions are more complicated in Michigan.
  Mickey pylon A powerline pylon with a shape reminiscent of a certain fictional rodent.
  Mill Ends Park The smallest park in the world – 452 in2 (0.292 m2) – in Portland, Oregon.
  Mojave phone booth A public phone booth that stood for several decades in the middle of a desert, miles away from any roads or other structures.
  Mountain Home Air Force Base A Singaporean air force base in Idaho.
  Mollie's Nipple The name of multiple places in Utah... including at least one butte.
  Monowi A village in Nebraska with a population of one. Hi, Elsie!
  Mr. Trash Wheel A trash interceptor with giant googly eyes that patrols the Baltimore Inner Harbor, consuming trash. Has its own Instagram page.
  Murder Kroger A supermarket with a dark story.
  Nataqua Territory A failed U.S. territory that was, quite literally, beside itself.
  National Raisin Reserve Created after World War II to control raisin prices. Run by the Raisin Administrative Committee, of course.
  Nettilling Lake Located on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. It's the largest lake on an island and also contains the largest lake on an island on a lake on an island, which in turn contains the world's largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island.
  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.
  Northeast Greenland National Park The world's largest national park consists of over a quarter of Greenland's total land area, is larger than 166 sovereign states, and has no permanent human population.
  Peter Camani A (now retired) Canadian art teacher who built a massive complex of sculptures of screaming faces on his property in his spare time, and converted his house into a castle with a turret of a screaming face.
  Point Roberts, Washington When defining international boundaries, sometimes a straight line isn't the best solution.
  Polar Bear Holding Facility A prison for polar bears.
  Prada Marfa, Texas For your luxury shopping bug, a Prada store in the desert.
Pyramid mausoleums in North America Arizona Governor George Hunt will hereafter be addressed as "Pharaoh George I".
  Rabbit Hash, Kentucky A town whose mayors, since 1998, have all been dogs.
  Raising of Chicago During the 1850s, the city was raised on jacks, building by building.
  Rainbow Farm The only place where gay married couples could guard their marijuana plants with guns. Notably visited by Merle Haggard and Tommy Chong.
  Republic of Indian Stream An area of land in northern New Hampshire that was an independent country from 1832 to 1835.
  Republic of Molossia A 34-person micronation in Nevada which takes the meaning of the phrase "a man's home is his castle" to new extremes.
    Rock N Roll McDonald's A rock 'n roll-themed McDonald's restaurant located in Chicago, famous for being the subject of a song by outsider musician Wesley Willis.
  Rough and Ready, California This mining town seceded from the Union in 1850, but came back three months later because they realised they couldn't celebrate Independence Day.
  Santa Claus, Arizona In Mohave County, visit an abandoned tourist trap deep in the desert where Santa Claus, of all people, allegedly resides!
  Sam Kee Building Known as the world's narrowest commercial building.
  Slab City, California A massive off-the-grid trailer park on a former military base in the Sonoran Desert, that became a large-scale alternative community of misfits and wanderers that has persisted for decades, complete with various displays of colourful experimental sculptures made from whatever the residents can get their hands on.
  S.N.P.J., Pennsylvania A municipality consisting solely of a Slovenian fraternity's recreation center, established (in part) to get around liquor laws.
  State of Franklin A proposed state in Eastern Tennessee that tried its hand at independence and fell into debt to Spain.
  State of Scott Scott County in northern Tennessee seceded and formed its own state in opposition to Tennessee joining the Confederacy. It remained this way for over a century until it rejoined Tennessee in 1986.
    Statue of Lenin (Seattle) How a statue of Lenin made its way from Czechoslovakia to Seattle's Fremont neighborhood.
  Texas State Highway 165 The only state highway in the country specifically designated to serve a cemetery...and nothing more. It's also the only state highway in the country to be partially closed every night.
  Track 61 (New York City) A secret train platform located below the Waldorf Astoria New York designed for use by U.S. Presidents when they would visit the hotel.
  U Thant Island An island in the East River with a surprisingly in-depth history for only being 2,000 square feet (190 m2) in area.
  U.S. Route 19 Truck (Pittsburgh) A road in Pittsburgh that features a number of wrong way concurrencies, including one with itself.
  Truth or Consequences, New Mexico A New Mexico town that chose to rename itself after the Truth or Consequences game show in 1950, then never bothered changing back.
  War of the Roses The historical rivalry between Lancaster and York. Not to be confused with Wars of the Roses, the historical rivalry between Lancaster and York.
  Weather Station Kurt That time when the Nazis landed in North America.
  Wedge It's harder than you think to construct the state of Delaware with a ruler and compass.
  Whittier, Alaska A city in Alaska where (almost) all of its residents live in one building: Begich Towers.
  Winchester Mystery House A house believed to be haunted by the ghosts of individuals killed by Winchester rifles.
    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.
  Zilwaukee, Michigan "Is this Milwaukee?" "Uh...yeah, it sure is!"
  Zone of Death The part of Yellowstone National Park in Idaho, where any crime can technically be committed without punishment – but don't tempt fate!


Baldwin Street, Dunedin.
Watch your step around Coober Pedy.
  American Samoa Despite having a functional legislature (the Fono) and a population of 46,366, American Samoa is considered an 'unincorporated unorganized' territory. It is also the only U.S. territory where people are not automatically born citizens, despite much of the population being involved in the military.
  Baldwin Street A short suburban road in Dunedin, New Zealand, reputedly the world's steepest street.
  Ball's Pyramid A nearly 600-metre-tall (2,000 ft) stone stack in the middle of the ocean.
  Banjawarn Station Did a Japanese apocalypse cult test a nuke in the middle of rural Australia?
  Bayswater Subway Bridge in Perth that has been hit by trucks 50 times between 2014 and 2020.
  Burning Mountain A straightforwardly named mountain that has been on fire for over 6000 years.
  Cardrona Bra Fence An eccentric tourist attraction in New Zealand.
  Coober Pedy A mining town where most of the residents live underground.
    Concrete bus shelters in Canberra These brutalist cylindrical bus shelters are an icon of Australia's capital city.
  Egmont National Park This national park's boundaries created a circular forest.
  Horizontal Falls This pair of Australian "waterfalls" appear to be falling straight across the land.
  Hundertwasser Toilets Why the town of Kawakawa is the world's best place for a rest stop.
  Hunga Tonga An island that was created in 2015 after a volcano erupted between two islands and connected them until another volcanic explosion in 2022 split them up again.
  Jellyfish Lake A lake where jellyfish have evolved without stingers due to a lack of predators.
   Jervis Bay Territory Briefly ceded to the ACT to give it access to the sea despite not bordering the ACT.
  Kalawao County, Hawaii The second-least populous county in the United States (after Loving County, Texas), with a population of 90 as of the 2010 United States Census. Established as a leper colony in 1866, it occupies a peninsula on Molokai and is not connected by road to the rest of the island.
  Kingman Reef It's designated as its own US overseas territory despite having an area of only 0.03 square kilometres (0.012 sq mi) and being almost entirely underwater during low tide.
  Macquarie Island The only place on earth where rocks from the Earth's mantle get exposed to the surface.
  Montague Street Bridge A bridge in Melbourne that has had so many trucks crash into it and get stuck under it, the government used millions of dollars to install prevention measures (it did nothing).
  Mount Wycheproof Considered a mountain when only 43 metres (141 ft) above surrounding terrain and 143 metres (469 ft) above sea level. There are parts of Sydney which have a higher elevation and are not considered a mountain.
   Murray Valley Highway A 671-kilometre (417 mi) road that has a road route number of B400 for 668 kilometres (415 mi) in the Victorian section and unmarked for 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) in the New South Wales section making the Victorian road network not connected to the New South Wales Network in that area.
  Nelson–Blenheim notional railway A road that was officially considered to be a railway by the New Zealand Government for 22 years.
  New Zealand State Highway 78 A road in Timaru, New Zealand, that is designated a highway despite being only 900 metres (3,000 ft) long.
  Ninety Mile Beach A 55-mile beach.
  Octopolis and Octlantis A pair of settlements built by octopuses, discovered on the seabed off the coast of the aforementioned Jervis Bay.
  Palmyra Atoll The United States' only 'incorporated unorganized' territory, despite there being no government and virtually no permanent residents for the Constitution to apply to...
  Pitcairn Islands A British Overseas Territory where the entire population is Seventh-day Adventist and descended from the mutineers from the HMS Bounty. The entire population moved to Norfolk Island for three years in the 1850s and is currently at risk of going extinct due to the high number of emigrants. Also the site of a scandal where 13 Pitcairn Islands men, almost a third of the islands' population, were convicted in a sex abuse scandal, giving the islands the highest rate of sex offenders in the world.
  Pink Lake A lake that is naturally pink, but suddenly turned blue in 2010.
    Princes Freeway (east) A freeway with houses, traffic lights, and a 60-kilometre-per-hour (37 mph) limit in some areas. What are VicRoads thinking?
  Carstensz Pyramid The tallest mountain in Australia is administrated by the Republic of Indonesia.
  Sandy Island An island which was shown on Google Maps satellite view until 2012 despite not existing.
  That Wānaka Tree A tree named after a hashtag on Instagram.
  Taumata With a full name consisting of 85 characters, this hill may be the longest place name in the world.
  Te Urewera A forested area in New Zealand that is also a legal person (see below).
  Whanganui River A river in New Zealand that is legally a person.
  Wedding Cake Rock A rock that looks exactly like a wedding cake.
  Whangamōmona A township in New Zealand that also happens to be a self-declared republic, whose past presidents include a goat and a poodle.



"0/10, would not buy again."
"That's a real coat of arms? Bollocks!"
  Bal des Ardents A masquerade ball in which the king and some noble dancers dress in wild man costumes and accidentally get set on fire by the king's drunk brother. The only dancers to survive are one who jumped into a wine vat and the king, after his aunt threw her skirt over him to protect him from the flames.
Burned house horizon The horizon which consumed cultures in the Balkans and around the Black Sea.
Cadaver Synod A deceased Pope was exhumed and put on trial!
  Cagots A group that were a persecuted minority in France and Spain into the 20th century, and nobody really knows why.
Complaint tablet to Ea-nāṣir The progenitor of the one-star Yelp review is a gripe about poor-quality copper.
Criterion of embarrassment You know it's true because it's too embarrassing for anyone to have made it up.
Daughter of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei A disputed first female monarch of Chinese history before Wu Zetian, whom the Empress Dowager Hu declared was a boy and was emperor for a day before being replaced by another infant.
Elagabalus The number one Syrian teenage sun cultist polygamist possibly-transgender Roman emperor!
Erfurt latrine disaster It's incredible how quickly someone's life can go to shit.
House of Colleoni A former Italian noble family whose arms included three pairs of testicles.
John the Posthumous King of France from the minute he was born to the minute he died (total: 5 days).
Kottabos The world's first drinking game. Care to play? All you need is a bronze "lamp stand" with a tiny statuette on top and some wine.
Máel Brigte of Moray A Pictish nobleman who somehow managed to bite a man to death despite being long-dead himself.
Nika riots Kind of like football hooliganism, except for chariot racing, and also if it resulted in tens of thousands dead, half of Constantinople being burnt to the ground and the Emperor nearly being lynched.
Onfim A 7 year-old medieval Russian boy whose homework tablets, complete with doodles of himself as a "wild beast", were preserved for 700 years before being excavated and becoming a primary source for life in the Novgorod Republic.
Phantom time conspiracy theory What if I tell you that almost 300 years of history were fabricated?
Pope Benedict IX He became pope at twenty, and later sold the papacy. He was pope three times.
Pre-Columbian transoceanic contact theories Native Americans are among the Ten Lost Tribes? The Zuni are related to Japanese peasants? This and more wild theories are found here.
Publius Afranius Potitus If you're going to say you'd trade your life for your sick emperor's, make sure he doesn't get better.
Roland The Farter If only we were all a jump, whistle & fart away from posterity!
Sacred Band of Thebes An elite fighting force consisting of a hand-picked groups of 150 pairs of male lovers.
Sanitation of the Indus Valley Civilisation The home of the first flush toilet, as it turns out, is Punjab.
  Sino-Roman relations These empires inched progressively closer to each other in the course of the Roman expansion into the ancient Near East and of the simultaneous Han Chinese military incursions into Central Asia. Mutual awareness remained low, and firm knowledge about each other was limited.

Early modern

Genetic perfection.
Affair of the Sausages One of the major events of the early Protestant Reformation in Switzerland was a religious dispute on wherever sausages could be eaten during Lent.
Architecture terrible An architectural style advocated by French architect Jacques-François Blondel.
Charles II of Spain The last Habsburg King of Spain, who was so severely inbred that he could barely rule his nation due to his constant health problems. Upon his death, his autopsy revealed internal organs so withered and atrophied that witchcraft was actually suspected.
Curonian colonisation A Latvian duchy's little-known colonial empire, consisting of bits of land along the Gambia River and the island of Tobago.
Dancing plague of 1518 In 1518, around 400 people took to dancing for days without rest, and, over the period of about one month, some of those affected died of heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.
Darien scheme An attempt to colonize the inhospitable Darién Gap, backed by the Kingdom of Scotland. The failure of the colony ruined the Scottish economy, and may have lead to the Union of England and Scotland.
Defenestrations of Prague When was the last time throwing someone out of a window started a war?
Timothy Dexter Genius businessman or loony?
False Dmitry A weird phenomenon in Russian history for all the fake kings that they once had. One, in reality, did become a ruler.
Glass delusion Believing oneself to be made of glass was quite in vogue among Renaissance-era European nobility.
Gilles de Rais Friend of Joan of Arc, and convicted serial killer.
  Loveday Can holding hands and going to church end a civil war? Turns out: no.
Makassan contact with Australia Over a century before Europeans made contact with Australia, Makassarese people from Sulawesi seeking sea cucumbers traded with the Aboriginal Australians of Kimberley and Arnhem land, bringing Islamic and Indonesian influence to the local culture, art, language, and lifestyle.
The Miracle of 1511 When the people of Brussels protested against their rulers by building satirical and pornographic snowmen.
  Mutiny on the Bounty The true story starting with a stern captain and a lustful crew on a Royal Navy ship and ending with the British-Polynesian Seventh-day Adventist culture of the Pitcairn Islands. Plenty of drama in-between.
Order of the Pug A fraternal order that existed for Roman Catholics in Bavaria in the 18th century.
George Psalmanazar A Frenchman who was so successful in convincing 18th-century Britain he was a Taiwanese man, that he wrote an elaborate and blatantly fictitious history of the island.
Crown Prince Sado To prevent him from becoming the new monarch of Joseon Korea, his father, the king, locked him in a rice chest for eight days, killing him through dehydration.
Yasuke An African man who ended up becoming a retainer for Oda Nobunaga, one of Japan's most important feudal lords, in 1581.

19th century

The infrastructural shortcomings of Faraday's times proved especially overpowering in the summer of 1858.
Watermelon Riot A deadly riot that unfolded over a stolen slice of watermelon.
Andrew Johnson's drunk vice-presidential inaugural address What happens when you start your important new job fortified by three full glasses of straight whiskey, filled to the brim, after spending the week leading up to it in (more or less) a drunken stupor.
Kinjirō Ashiwara Emperor of Japan, but only in his own mind.
John Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland A reclusive English nobleman who built a vast maze under his home.
Confederados A small group of white Brazilians with roots in the southern United States.
Drapetomania "Those slaves want to be free? They must be mentally ill!"
Dublin whiskey fire In 1875, a whiskey brewery warehouse in Dublin caught fire leading to the deaths of 13 people—not from the fire, but from alcohol poisoning as they drank free, undiluted whiskey from the streets.
Johann Georg August Galletti The early-19th-century master of the bizarre turn of phrase.
Great Moon Hoax An infamous article by The Sun that claimed that animals such as unicorns and bat-winged humans were found living on the moon.
  Great Stink A London summer so smelly it prompted government action.
Charles J. Guiteau The strangest man to ever assassinate a US President. Highlight: the self-penned poem from the point of view of a child that he wrote for his execution.
History of Liberia Probably the most interesting history that many historians don't study.
Jerome of Sandy Cove A man, unable to speak any language known to locals, was discovered on the beaches of Nova Scotia in 1861 with his legs cut off. He lived for fifty more years, but remains unidentified to this day.
Kentucky meat shower Not as sexy as you'd imagine it to be.
Knights of the Golden Circle A secret society of American slave masters that planned to invade lands in Latin America to spread their pro-slavery views.
  London Beer Flood Nine people drowned by a flood of over 300,000 gallons of beer.
Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême King of France for 20 minutes.
  Gregor MacGregor That's his real name. Possibly the only honest thing about him.
Nongqawuse During (and likely because of) colonization, a Xhosa teenager became an apocalyptic prophetess, ordering the Xhosa to destroy their own crops and livestock—which they did.
Heinrich Schliemann A pioneer of archaeology, but not for good reasons.
William Walker Trying to create new slave-holding colonies, he became president of Nicaragua for a year and inspired Latin America to come together for the first time (to oust him).

20th century

That's totally Israel! Just look at it!
Are There Men on the Moon? An essay written by Winston Churchill in 1942 about the possibility of alien life.
  Anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany Somehow, Nazi Germany was a pioneer of policies of this kind.
Eduard Bloch The Jewish doctor that treated Hitler's mother and was the only Jew that was protected by the dictator himself when Nazi Germany invaded Austria.
Burning of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala One of the most tragic episodes in the history of relations between the two countries.
Chewing gum sales ban in Singapore The curious case of the banning of gumballs in an Asian nation.
Christmas truce An unofficial armistice in WW1 where nations celebrated Christmas and played football (soccer).
COINTELPRO The FBI's name for their undercover operation of investigation, and at times disruption, of influential groups and people in the inland United States during the Cold War. Some of the most famous individuals observed in this operation include: Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, John Lennon, Charles Chaplin and Malcolm X.
Crocker Land Expedition An expedition to a non-existent island created to swindle a businessman.
Czechoslovak Togo A landlocked Eastern European country proposed getting a colony in Africa, to be administered by its troops in Siberia.
Đorđe Martinović incident A man goes to the emergency room with a bottle up his anus, and kicks off the collapse of Yugoslavia...
East Germany balloon escape One of the most famous cases of East Germans escaping to the West.
Elizabeth, Lady Hope A woman that became famous for creating a hoax where Charles Darwin renounced his theories of evolution at his final moments.
Dorothy Gibson An actress famous for surviving the Titanic sinking, and also for living a rather turbulent life afterwards.
Great Michigan Pizza Funeral "Ashes to ashes, crust to crust."
Great Molasses Flood A storage tank burst and flooded the streets of Boston with a 25-foot (7.6 m) high wave of molasses.
Mango cult It takes quite the cult of personality to have a fruit you gave as a gift be venerated.
Masabumi Hosono The only Japanese survivor of the Titanic sinking, and someone who wasn't welcomed in his home country after the disaster.
Violet Jessop An Argentinian nurse known for surviving three separate maritime disasters, including the sinkings of both the Titanic and the Britannic.
Charles Joughin Another Titanic survivor, famous for being so drunk that the freezing waters wouldn't kill him.
Kilroy Was Here A meme from World War II.
Bobby Leach Went over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survived, attempted to swim the rapids under it and survived... then died after slipping on an orange peel.
Li Guangchang A Chinese man who founded a cult and declared himself Emperor of China in the 1980s.
Madagascar Plan An abandoned Nazi plan to transport all of the Jewish population of Europe on to one little island.
Francisco Macías Nguema What happens when a mentally unstable, self-proclaimed "Hitlerian-Marxist" becomes the leader of a nation? Mary Hopkin's music getting played during a mass execution becomes one of the less strange events during a presidency.
MKUltra The CIA's dabblings in brainwashing, sensory deprivation and LSD experiments.
Moscow gold At the start of the Spanish Civil War, more than 70% of the Bank of Spain's gold reserves were transported to the Soviet Union by the Republican government. The controversy and mystery of where it went continues to echo through Spain.
Franz Nopcsa von Felső-Szilvás *takes a deep breath* He’s a baron, paleontologist, geologist, aristocrat, adventurer, scholar, albanologist, and one-time spy. Among other things, he was the first to postulate that certain dinosaurs got smaller on islands, was almost the king of Albania, and named a fossil turtle after his male lover’s arse.
North Hollywood shootout In 1997, two heavily armed men were involved in a bank robbery, which turned into a 44-minute shootout with police officers. 20 people were injured as a result, and only the criminals died.
Octobering In a country where Christianity has been banned as "counter-revolutionary", but still want to have a christening? No problem!
Kenzō Okuzaki A WW2 Imperial Japanese Army veteran whose determination to hold the Emperor responsible for the hardships of the war resulted in some particularly strange acts involving obscenity, murder and pachinko balls.
Operation Paperclip Whereby Nazi scientists (including "father of rocket science" Wernher von Braun) were granted amnesty by the US in exchange for their secrets.
Emilio Palma An Argentine national who was the first person to be born in Antarctica.
Assassination of Olof Palme The murder of a Swedish prime minister that became one of the country's most durable mysteries.
Punjabi Mexican Americans Two groups discriminated against in 1910s California intermarried, creating a unique, dynamic community and a delectable new fusion cuisine.
Puyi He became the last Emperor of China at the age of two and died as an ordinary citizen, ending 2,133 years of dynastic rule in China. In his twilight years, he also did community theater.
Radcliffe Line The real reason for the many conflicts between India and Pakistan? They gave one man who'd never been there five weeks to draw a border.
Rangoon bombing A relatively unknown case of North Korean violence aimed at South Korean representatives in Burma.
Reggio revolt A coalition of Christian democrats, fascists and anarchists started an armed revolt because the Italian government chose the wrong city as the regional capital.
Mathias Rust The West German who landed on a bridge in Moscow in 1987.
Satanic Verses controversy One book caused the death of thousands and put Middle Eastern relations with the West in the sorry state they are today. Also don’t forget about when the author of the book got stabbed.
Self-propelled barge T-36 A Soviet barge that floated all the way across the Pacific, with no casualties.
Khalid Sheldrake The story of an English pickle merchant who became a devout Muslim and was declared king by Uyghur rebels during the Chinese Warlord Era.
Shindo Renmei Japanese Brazilians who refused to believe Japan had surrendered and continued the cause... by killing other Japanese Brazilians.
Stanley Lord The captain of a ship that could've been the savior of the victims of the Titanic disaster.
Albert Stevens The most radioactive human ever.
Tanganyika laughter epidemic Not so funny.
Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln A Hungarian-Jewish man who was, at various times, a UK Member of Parliament, German World War I spy, Nazi collaborator and self-proclaimed Dalai Lama.
Tuskegee Syphilis Study One of the darkest and most bizarre biological experiments in US history, one which spanned decades.
Roman von Ungern-Sternberg During the Russian Civil War, an ultra-reactionary Baltic German general converted to Buddhism and tried to revive the Mongol Empire.
United States involvement in regime change Now, this is perhaps the most complicated and long article in this list. However, you'll find many surprises once you read it. See also Operation Condor.
West Papua Following intercontinental invasion from Indonesia, the region became the largest territory in United Nations administrative history and the only administration then transferred by the United Nations to an aggressor.
John Zegrus Turned up in Japan in 1959, claiming to be a war hero and a military recruiter for the UAR (and possibly also claimed to be from Africa). His true identity and motives are still a mystery.

21st century

Don't panic, but... the butter's run out!
Cottage cheese boycott A protest against rising staple food prices in Israel.
Dean scream A presidential bid that was ended by a scream.
Rudi Dekkers How the September 11 attacks changed everything for the flying instructor of two of the hijackers.
Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist Thieves stole 3,000 tons of it! Is it really that valuable?
Uday Hussein Saddam Hussein's oldest son and a real-life Far Cry or James Bond villain. Among other things, he was a rapist and murderer, had a doppelganger named Latif Yahia, (whom Uday would send to torture) and also had the habit of kidnapping women at wedding celebrations.
Laser Kiwi flag The real New Zealand flag in all our hearts.
Norwegian butter crisis A massive inflation of butter prices caused illegal smuggling and an "emergency appeal" from a Danish television show.
John P. O'Neill As special agent in the FBI, he'd investigated Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden but quit due to internal politics. He then took up a job in the World Trade Center. In 2001. (Quote from his friend on hearing he'd taken that job: "At least they're not going to bomb it again".)
Pepsi fruit juice flood A PepsiCo warehouse collapse flooded the streets of Russia with an assortment of juices.
Stellar Wind The codename for a part of the President's Surveillance Program, the digital response of the Presidency of George W. Bush to 9/11. Internally, the FBI personnel responsible for the administration of this program often referenced Stellar Wind's cases as "pizza cases", because they often turned out to be simple food takeout orders.

Mathematics and numbers

Is this identical to one?
Be afraid.
Be very afraid.
Ceci n’est pas une cercle.
"BEGhIL0S", "hELL0", "B00BLESS", etc. – there are many words that can be spelled on a calculator.
See the spiral within?
−0 Zero has a negative flavor in the worlds of computing, experimental science and statistical mechanics.
  0.999... An infinitely long way to write 1.
2 + 2 = 5 ...or perhaps it equals 1984...
616 (number) The real number of the beast?
65537-gon This many-sided polygon can be constructed with a compass and straight edge... but then again, so can a circle, and it's not like you'd notice the 15 parts per billion of difference.
A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates A pioneering book that does exactly what it says on the cover. Somehow, not the only random number book either.
All horses are the same color Flawed mathematical induction proof that all horses are the same color.
Almost everywhere Does not refer to advertising or corrupt corporate practices, but is instead a term in measure theory.
Almost integer By a strange coincidence,   - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Almost periodic function Well, at least they tried.
Banach–Tarski paradox Tutorial to make two spheres from one.
Belphegor's prime 1 followed by 13 zeros followed by 666 followed by 13 zeros followed by 1.
Bertrand's postulate Despite now being a theorem, still conventionally called a postulate.
Calculator spelling 5318008!
The Complexity of Songs A treatise on the computational complexity of songs by venerable computer scientist Donald Knuth.
Cox–Zucker machine This machine does what?!
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.
Gabriel's horn A geometric figure with an infinite surface area but finite volume. So even if the horn was filled with paint, you could never paint its surface.
Graham's number A number so large that the observable universe is not big enough to write it in full in decimal notation or even scientific notation.
Hairy ball theorem Seriously... Couldn't you come up with a better name?!
Happy number Not just a cheery song on the radio.
Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel A fully occupied hotel cannot accommodate any more guests. Or can it? Or, once it can, can it not?
Illegal number Does the US government forbid knowledge of the existence of certain numbers?
Illumination Problem A room with a bit of a shadow.
Indiana Pi Bill A notorious attempt to legislate the value of pi as 3.2.
Infinite monkey theorem An infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters will (almost surely) produce all possible written texts.
Interesting number paradox Either all natural numbers are interesting or else none of them are.
Legendre's constant After 91 years and much effort, this legendary constant was found to be ... 1. Just 1.
Look-and-say sequence Also known as the Cuckoo's Egg.
Mathematical fallacy Trying to prove that 2 = 1 or that 1 < 0.
Mathematical joke Complex numbers are all fun and games until someone loses an i. That's when things get real.
Minkowski's question-mark function A function with an unusual notation and possessing unusual fractal properties.
Monty Hall problem The counter-intuitive way to prevail when playing Let's Make a Deal.
Moving sofa problem What is the largest area of a sofa that can be manoeuvred through an L-shaped corner?
Narcissistic number The pluperfect digital invariant says "Count me in"!
Nothing-up-my-sleeve number A number which is "above suspicion".
Number of the beast For beastly people bored of the number of unluckiness.
Numbers station [Six bars of The Lincolnshire Poacher play]  "¡Atención! ¡Atención! One, four, seventeen, twenty-four..."
Pi is 3 Did Japanese education guidelines shockingly redefine pi as exactly 3? No, they didn't, but where's the news story and public outcry in that?
Pointless topology Not as useless as it sounds.
Potato paradox If potatoes consisting of 99% water dry so that they are 98% water, they lose 50% of their weight.
Ramanujan summation What do you get when you add all positive integers, up to infinity? You get a negative fraction.
Schizophrenic number Can numbers have mental disorders?
Sexy prime Prime numbers that differ from each other by sex. Er... six.
Six nines in pi A mathematical coincidence, the sequence "999999" appears a mere 762 digits into the decimal expansion of pi.
Tarski's circle-squaring problem How to square the circle for real.
Spaghetti sort An algorithm for sorting rods of spaghetti.
Squircle Not quite a square, not quite a circle, definitely not a Pokémon either.
Taxicab number Never tell a Numberphile that a number is uninteresting.
Tetraphobia Sometimes found in conjunction with triskaidekaphobia (see below) in East Asian cultures. More prevalent in Japan, where 49 is associated with "suffering until death".
Titanic prime Surprisingly, not discovered by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Tits group The perfect sporadic group doesn't exi-
Triskaidekaphobia No, it's not related to the Code of Hammurabi. No, it's not always considered unlucky. Yes, space exploration has been touched by it.
Tupper's self-referential formula A formula that draws itself!
Ulam spiral A bored mathematician discovers an unusual numerical pattern while doodling.
Umbral calculus A mathematical method successfully used for over 100 years, despite the notable limitation of no one on Earth knowing exactly how or why it worked.
Unexpected hanging paradox If you're told you'll be hanged on a day you'll never expect it, you can prove logically that there's no day you can be hanged at all. Which, of course, means you won't expect it when the hanging does happen as planned.
Vacuous truth All pigs with wings speak Chinese.
Vampire number Integers with real bite; some even have multiple pairs of fangs.
Wheat and chessboard problem Do not mess with exponential growth, especially while agreeing to a suspiciously-low reward for a commoner.
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.
Zenzizenzizenzic You know how x3 is called "x cubed"? Well, x8 is called...
Zeroth An ordinal number popular in computing and related cultures.

Dates and timekeeping

A soon-to-be bye-bye pi pie.
Don't panic – it's Towel Day.
Abolition of time zones No more asking "So what time is it there?"
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..
Cinnamon Roll Day A day too good for this world, too pure.
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.
List of non-standard dates Including, among other things, January 0, February 30, and May 35.
Manhattanhenge Twice every year, the setting sun aligns with Manhattan's street grid.
Mole Day The Avogadro constant is celebrated on October 23rd starting at exactly 6:02 am.
Phantom time hypothesis A theory by Heribert Illig that the Early Middle Ages (614–911) never occurred. Therefore, it is now 1727 rather than 2024.
Pi Day The day – March 14 – on which the constant π is celebrated.
Pocky & Pretz Day A day in Japan celebrating long, thin biscuits. Due to their shape, it is celebrated on 11/11.
Singles' Day One is the loneliest number. 11/11 makes an appropriate date to celebrate being single.
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 5th May 2025).
Star Wars Day May the 4th be with you.
Steak and Blowjob Day
Cake and Cunnilingus Day
Male alternative to Valentine's Day and female response to that day.
Swatch Internet Time In 1998, Swatch tried to reshape our timing system.
Thanksgivukkah A Thanksgiving-Hanukkah hybrid when the two overlap in November in the US; maybe your Hanukkah present can be a Thanksgiving Dinner.
Towel Day Don't forget to bring a towel, terrible or otherwise.
Undecimber In Java, the thirteenth month of the year.
Winterval An attempt to erase Christmas? No, just a word for Birmingham City Council's collective festive plans, but that didn't stop the UK media from going wild.
Year 2000 problem A possible computing problem in the 1990's that was supposed to have occurred when the 21st century and 3rd millennium arrived. Of course, that never happened.
Year 2038 problem The computing problem that will arise due to the Unix time representation used in many computers.
Year zero Was there a year between 1 BC and AD 1?


A volcanussy on Herbert Island
Which of these typefaces do you think Hitler preferred?
"Which këÿs för this heävy plästic müsïc?"
The Phaistos Disc.
Toynbee tiles found in downtown Washington, D.C.
The Voynich manuscript is written in an undeciphered script.
-ussy Yes, it means what you think it does.
2002 renaming of Turkmen months and days of week For almost six years, the months and days of the week in the Turkmen language had their names changed at the order of Turkmenistan's despotic President for Life.
Académie de la Carpette anglaise A satirical French organisation that awards prizes to "members of the French élite who distinguish themselves by relentlessly promoting the domination of the English language over the French language in France and in European institutions".
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.
Belarusian Arabic alphabet Turns out, a Slavic-based language can also be written in the Arabic script.
A Book from the Sky A must-see for connoisseurs of gibberish.
Bouba/kiki effect You instinctively know exactly which is which, no matter what language you speak.
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo
buffalo Buffalo buffalo
A meaningful, grammatical construction that has inspired linguists to talk about bullying amongst Western New York's bison population.
The Chaos The poem that mocks English spelling and pronunciation. Try to read it out loud!
Chinese characters of Empress Wu Ever needed to be taken seriously so hard that you invented completely new characters and forced people to use them?
Chinese word for "crisis" More notable among Americans than among the Chinese, apparently.
Codex Seraphinianus A made-up enigmatic text released in 1981.
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously A sentence contrived by Noam Chomsky to demonstrate that a sentence can be grammatical yet nonsensical.
Comparative illusion More people have researched these nonsensical sentences than I have. [sic]
Controversies about the word niggardly How a simple word can cause so much controversy.
Crazy English "Li Yang's unconventional method of teaching English includes screaming popular and random English phrases at a rapid pace and occasionally, involves hand movements in patterns that reflect the word's pronunciation."
Cryptophasia The secret language of identical twins, also called idioglossia.
Disambiguation (disambiguation) Sometimes people do dumb things.
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 game in which two competitors, usually male, exchange trash-talk until one has no comeback.
Duck test A humorous abductive reasoning test based on the activities of a duck.
English as She Is Spoke A 19th century Portuguese-English phrasebook that became legendary for its overtly literal and inaccurate translations.
Engrish Attempts by East Asian people – especially the Japanese – to construct English words and phrases.
Eskimo words for snow The claim that Eskimo languages have an unusually large number of words for "snow".
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.
Garden-path sentence A sentence that doesn't seem grammatically correct, but that's because it tricks you into thinking the verb isn't where it is. It's very easy to catch yourself doing double takes when reading this article.
Ghoti As good an argument as any for English-language spelling reform.
Glossary of Wobbly terms Would you see the beanmaster fry a couple eggs on the banjo?
Hamburgevons Literally all you need to know if a typeface is any good.
Hopi time controversy A long-lived academic debate about the concept of time in the Hopi language.
How now brown cow A way to greet those well-versed in rhetoric.
Hyphen War A dash between communism and independence.
Ingressive sound In many languages and dialects around the world, a loud inhalation means "yes".
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".
Irony punctuation Is your irony too subtle?
Irreversible binomial Or, why it's fish and chips and not chips and fish.
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.
Law of holes If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!
La plume de ma tante (phrase) One of the first phrases stereotypicaly learned in French, and one of the least likely to ever actually be used.
Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den A 92-character poem written in Classical Chinese, in which every syllable has the sound "shi" (in different tones) when read in modern Mandarin Chinese.
List of common false etymologies of English words Believe it or not, "crap" did not originate from Thomas Crapper.
  List of English words containing Q not followed by U A Scrabbler's dream article.
List of English words without rhymes Does anything rhyme with orange? Or silver?
List of ethnic slurs Ever wondered why they got so angry at you?
List of proposed etymologies of OK There's more than you think, OK?
List of shorthand systems Featuring Gregg, Pitman, and other quickly-written but only-theoretically-readable scripts.
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!
May you live in interesting times The worst curse you can put on someone. Probably not Chinese in origin.
Metal umlaut Gïvë thë lögö för ÿöür hëävÿ mëtäl bänd ä töügh Gërmänïc fëël.
My postillion has been struck by lightning A perfectly normal thing to say, as recommended by 19th century multilingual phrasebooks.
Newton's flaming laser sword Not an actual weapon, but a philosophical razor created by an Australian mathematician.
Nucular Enough people have mispronounced nuclear that it's apparently a real word now.
Phaistos Disc Ancient spirals of undeciphered hieroglyphs.
Placeholder name You know, thingamajigs, doohickeys, whatchamacallits...
Pompatus All Steve Miller's fault.
Potrzebie A Polish word best known to American readers of MAD magazine.
  Pronunciation of GIF Remember when the internet spent most of 2014 arguing about this? Good times.
RAS syndrome ...which is itself an example of RAS.
Response to sneezing Achoo! A great fortunate occurrence!
Robert Shields You think you are hooked on recording every detail of your life...?
Rohonc Codex A mysterious book found in Hungary that to this day remains unsolved.
Scientific wild-ass guess Please excuse my SWAG.
Scots Wikipedia What happens when an American man writes 23,000 articles in a language he has no idea how to speak?
Shavian alphabet A new (well, 1960s) alphabet made exclusively for English.
Shibboleth A type of slang used to identify an individual with a very specific region, usually with accompanied value judgments. Also, a funny word.
Shit happens A statement of philosophical existentialism boiled down to two words.
Shm-reduplication Ah, Wikipedia-shmikipedia.
Spelling of Shakespeare's name What is the correct spelling of the famous English playwright?
Taito A kanji with 84 strokes, the most for any CJK character by some distance.
Talk to the hand ...'cause the face ain't listening.
Tenevil Chukchi man who independently created his own writing system for the Chukchi language.
Thagomizer The word referring to those spikes on the tails of Stegosauria originated from the same guy that made "Cow tools".
That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is Punctuation matters, people.
The Moon is made of green cheese Is it really made out of cheese?
There is no sex in the USSR Did you know that?
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.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana Another example of syntactic ambiguity.
Toynbee tiles Tiles found embedded in asphalt, usually sporting cryptic messages.
Tsundoku Buy a book and then don't read it.
Unknown unknowns Things that we don't know we don't know, as immortalised by Donald Rumsfeld.
Voynich manuscript An undeciphered illustrated book written six hundred or so years ago by an anonymous author using an unidentified alphabet.
Wine-dark sea Homer's epithet that raises a theory that Greeks of Homer's time were color blind.
Yan tan tethera The proper, Brythonic way to count sheep oop North.
  Zhemao hoaxes An editor on Chinese Wikipedia created over 200 articles about fake Russian history, making it one of the largest hoaxes on Wikipedia.
Zzxjoanw A fictional word that really confused linguists.

Specific languages, dialects, and pidgins

The same diversity that created Norsk kebab created Kebabnorsk.
A whole tenth of a language. Yes, really.
Abercraf English How an all-new variety of English has developed in a single Welsh village since World War II.
Algonquian–Basque pidgin The linguistic fruit of the travels of Basque whalers.
Basque–Icelandic pidgin
Anāl language Its phonemic inventory, sadly, doesn't include the voiced anal fricative.
Andalusian language movement A group of people have attempted to promote Andalusian Spanish as a distinct language. They have successfully created an Andalusian version of Minecraft.
Antarctic English Not spoken by penguins.
Arcaicam Esperantom How do you make things look "old" in a constructed language? By inventing a new one!
Boontling Bet it seems pretty crazeek to harp boont to a kimmie Brightlighter like you, huh?
Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin A pidgin formed in 20th century Western Australia from Aboriginal Australian English, Japanese, and Kupang Malay to facilitate communication between the variety of groups working on pearling boats in the Kimberley region.
Cia-Cia A language in Indonesia that came to use the Korean script.
DoggoLingo Hoomanz wrote thiz cool article about mai language!
Dravido-Korean languages A discarded and mostly-forgotten hypothesis that Korean and the Dravidian languages of Southern India made up a single language family, despite being thousands of kilometres apart and sharing very little common history.
E-Prime A form of English without the verb 'to be'.
High Tider Some people in rural coastal areas of North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland still speak a dialect derived from the English spoken over 300 years ago.
Ithkuil Try learning this in a weekend!
Jamaican Maroon Spirit Possession Language A creole language with Akan vocabulary that is spoken by Jamaican Maroons in rituals involving spiritual possession.
Kebabnorsk The delicious-sounding ethnolect prevalent in multi-ethnic Oslo.
Lojban A constructed language based on predicate logic.
Mediterranean Lingua Franca The original lingua franca. Spoken from the 11th to the 19th centuries with substratum from Venetian, Genoese, Catalan, Occitan, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Berber, Greek, Sicilian, Galician, and many more.
Nicaraguan Sign Language In the 1980s, Nicaragua's first ever school for the deaf was opened, but rather than teaching them a sign language, the teachers tried teaching them to lip-read Spanish. This failed, and instead the children developed their own sign language from scratch, much to the interest of the world's linguists.
Pandanus language Elaborate avoidance languages used by peoples of the New Guinea Highlands while foraging for screwpine nuts due to the belief that normal speech carries phrases and words that are unhealthy and will stunt the growth of the nuts.
Pirahã language A language spoken by the Amazonian Pirahã people, and an example of a language that can be whistled. The subject of controversial claims that it proves the theory of linguistic relativity.
Plains Indian Sign Language Despite (mostly) not being deaf, the various indigenous peoples of the North American Plains developed a sign language to use as their common form of communication with each other, rather than a lingua franca or creole language.
Proto-Human language The (completely hypothetical) genetic ancestor to all the world's languages.
Russenorsk A Slavic-Scandinavian pidgin that lasted only 150 years.
Silbo Gomero The inhabitants of La Gomera of the Canary Islands communicate across valleys by whistling in Spanish.
Solresol A constructed language based around musical notes.
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh The native name of the indigenous Squamish language of British Columbia, which uses the number 7 as a letter.
  Toki Pona The opposite of the previously mentioned Ithkuil. Inspired by minimalism and Taoist philosophy, this constructed language has only 137 regularly used words.
Ubykh language A language formerly spoken until 1992 by the Ubykh tribe of Circassians. The record-holder for most consonants of any non-click language, with 84 phonemic consonants, yet only 2 distinct vowels.
Wenzhounese And you thought Mandarin was hard? A Chinese dialect nicknamed "the devil's language" for its extreme divergence and difficulty.
ǃXóõ A click language with 122 consonants spoken by groups of San people in Namibia and Botswana.
Yerkish An artificial language developed for use by non-human primates.

Unusual names

Shaped like a (Public Universal) friend.
It takes less time to cook and eat this prime beef than to say the name of the law about it.

See   Nominative determinism for the idea that people gravitate toward careers that fit their names, e.g. urologists named Splat and Weedon.

Amandagamani Abhaya of Anuradhapura A king of Anuradhapura whose name has way too many As for me to be comfortable with.
Arses of Persia Unfortunately, 4th century BC Persian rulers were unable to predict modern profanity.
Dick Assman What? He was a celebrity for four months!
Harry Baals Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana in the 1950s and had a really unfortunate name. Almost immortalized in the Harry Baals Government Center, but it ended up being named Citizens Square instead.
C. H. D. Buys Ballot No evidence of electoral fraud by the chairman of a precursor to the World Meteorological Organization.
Praise-God Barebone Christened Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barebone; not to be confused with his son Nicholas If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon.
Bishop Bishop (disambiguation) There have been four different bishops named Bishop in England.
Dick Bong The most successful American fighter pilot's legal name was Richard, but he only ever went by the name "Dick Bong".
Cesar Chavez Formerly Scott Fistler, this right-wing, pro-business politician changed his name to match the Hispanic left‑wing labor activist in an attempt to get more votes.
Thursday October Christian I The son of Fletcher Christian, leader of the mutiny on the Bounty.
Deportivo Wanka An unfortunately named Peruvian football team whose strips are remarkably popular in Britain.
Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft An officials' association in pre-war Vienna, Austria, of a shipping company for transporting passengers and cargo on the Danube.
Preserved Fish A historical New York City shipping merchant.
FM-2030 A transhumanist philosopher changed his name to this, inspired by his predictions for the year 2030.
Goodspaceguy Perennial political candidate in the Seattle area of the United States who legally changed his name to align with his passion for space colonization.
Gregor Fučka A Slovenian-born Italian basketball player with another socially problematic last name.
Guy Standing Observed sitting in the infobox photo.
John le Fucker His surname probably didn't mean what you think it might mean.
Argel Fucks A Brazilian footballer with a socially problematic last name. An unforgettable newspaper headline once declared "Fucks Off to Benfica".
Jakob Fugger One of the richest men in history, with another quite unfortunate surname.
States Rights Gist A Confederate general during the American Civil War.
John B. Goodenough Being good enough, this guy invented random access memory and the lithium-ion battery.
Curtis Hidden Page An American writer whose middle and last names accidentally predicted the Internet, and the countless pages on it that could only be accessed by typing their URLs in the URL bar manually.
  Ima Hogg American society leader, philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts, and one of the most respected women in Texas during the 20th century.
Huang Hong-cheng, Ah Cheng from Taiwan, World’s Greatest Man, God of Wealth, and President A performance artist who took full advantage of Taiwan's naming law.
Christmas Humphreys A British judge, named after the festival celebrating the birth of Christ, who helped make Buddhism popular in the UK.
Tiny Kox A Dutch politician.
Jennifer 8. Lee A former New York Times reporter whose middle name is the number eight. And you thought Harry S. Truman had an exceptional middle name...
List of examples of Stigler's law Bode didn't discover Bode's Law, and Pascal didn't discover Pascal's Triangle.
Henry Lizardlover Yes, he appreciates reptiles.
Seán Dublin Bay Rockall Loftus An Irish politician who changed 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.
Adolf Lu Hitler Marak This Indian politician does not dispraise his parents' questionable name choice.
Mister Mxyzptlk Sometimes called Mxy, a fictional impish character who appears in DC Comics' Superman comic books.
Names of Soviet origin In the wake of the Russian Revolution, there was a craze for parents giving names of overtly revolutionary or Soviet inspiration. Examples include "Vladlen" (short for Vladimir Lenin), "Revmir" ("Revolution of the world"), "Elmira" (electrification of the world), "Barrikad" (barricade) and "Geliy" (helium).
Naming law in Sweden An odd Swedish law regulating children's names, which has led to disgruntled parents submitting names such as Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, A (both pronounced "Albin"), and Metallica.
Neville Neville The father of English footballers Phil Neville and Gary Neville.
Metta World Peace An NBA player who wants to promote World Peace and has a reputation for on-court brawls.
Pro-Life A perennial political candidate with strongly held views.
  Public Universal Friend An 18th century Quaker who died, and was then revived, becoming an evangelist, gaining this unusual name, and becoming one of the earliest instances in recorded history of a person identifying as genderless.
Rinderkennzeichnungs- und Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz And that's the short title of this German beef labelling law.
Tokyo Sexwale Despite not being Japanese or a sperm whale, he has control over the global diamond industry.
Sjokz Commentator with an equally unpronounceable real name (Eefje Depoortere). Watch out! Eep!
Mansfield Smith-Cumming The first head of MI6, whose name became appropriate as he promoted the use of semen as invisible ink.
M. K. Stalin What if old Joe was Tamil?
Téa This name is surprisingly French and not English.
Richard Plantagenet Campbell Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos A warning to us all about taking double-barrelled surnames too far...
Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudatifilius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache Somehow, it's not even the longest or most extravagant name among his family.
Tonibler A name given in Kosovo in honor of a certain British politician.
Turnipseed Only the most hardcore turnip farmers have this name!
Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr. The longest name ever given. Note: the page title is only the short form.
Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck Educational professional who earned her Ph.D. with a dissertation on uncommon Black names in the classroom.
Osama Vinladen Brother to the equally concerning Sadam Huseín and Georgia Bush.
Vladimiro Lenin Ilich Montesinos Did you know that Russian revolutionary and leader of the Bolsheviks Vladimir Lenin was a CIA asset?
Bumpy Bumpus He bumped too hard and too far. Rest in peace, Bumpy Bumpus.


The sound of ancient pottery.
Not dead, just resting.
Archaeoacoustics Can ancient pottery be used to play back recorded voices from the distant past?
Airborne radioactivity increase in Europe in autumn 2017 It's bizarre, but it did happen.
Ota Benga The tragic story of a Pygmy man from the Belgian Congo who was briefly exhibited in the Bronx Zoo.
Beringer's Lying Stones Fossils planted by God? No, just a prank created to discredit a professor whom the hoaxers didn't like.
Buttered cat paradox If a cat always lands on its feet and toast always lands buttered-side-down, what if...?
Buttered toast phenomenon But only if you're eating at a table.
Campanology For the good of society, we must study how to properly ring bells.
Claude Émile Jean-Baptiste Litre SI rules says you can't use a capital letter for a unit unless it's named after a person, but everyone uses L for the litre... so they made up a namesake.
Cneoridium dumosum (Nuttall) Hooker F. Collected March 26, 1960, at an Elevation of about 1450 Meters on Cerro Quemazón, 15 Miles South of Bahía de Los Angeles, Baja California, México, Apparently for a Southeastward Range Extension of Some 140 Miles This scientific paper has the longest article name on Wikipedia (250 characters out of a possible 255). The paper itself only has five words, though.
Vladimir Demikhov Eminent Soviet biologist and father of the canine head transplant.
Drake's Plate of Brass A forgery-related practical joke that went horribly awry.
Elvis taxon A taxon (species, genus, family, etc.) that is extinct but is later imitated by others.
Further research is needed Some journals have banned this infuriating and redundant cliché. Some researchers are researching its effects, but FRIN...
Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory You may have had a chemistry set when you were a child. I bet it didn't come with radioactive substances in the box.
Greeble Stimuli used in studies of object and face recognition with hilarious names.
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".
Nylon-eating bacteria and creationism The intersection of science and religion in a simple bacterium.
'Pataphysics A parody of science that purports to study what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics.
  Archaeological interest of Pedra da Gávea Did ancient Phoenicians visit Brazil centuries before the Portuguese? Actually, no, they did not.
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 In response to creationists' attempts to create a list of evolution-denying scientists, this even longer list consists of scientists who believe in evolution and are called Steve (or some variation).
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.
 Timeline of the far future The ultimate list of spoilers. Also gives you an existential crisis.
Halomonas titanicae A unique bacteria found at the Wreck of the Titanic.
John G. Trump A physicist and inventor with a quite underrated career. Among other things, he was the co-inventor of one of the first million-volt X-ray generators and the man that analyzed Nikola Tesla's hotel room after his death. Also the paternal uncle of Donald Trump.
Women-are-wonderful effect A subconscious bias that makes people consider positive attributes to be connected to women more than men, regardless of the gender you ask.


This blue-looking noise is actually pink.
"It's Professor Pauli! Quick, pack that stuff away!"
Anatoli Bugorski What happens when you stick your head in a particle accelerator?
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.
Deutsche Physik Or "German physics" during the Third Reich.
F. D. C. Willard A published author in the field of cryogenics, and a cat.
Fictional elements, materials, isotopes and subatomic particles Not actual periodic elements. Many end in '-ite'. Some of the elements may indeed be minerals.
Fourth, fifth, and sixth derivatives of position Named after a famous cereal phenomenon.
Flying ice cube They happen to live inside the computers of scientists trying to simulate molecules.
  Frog battery A curious experiment to determine the existence of animal electricity.
Impossible color Try to see it!
Kundt's tube A serious piece of scientific apparatus whose name has induced sniggering among English-speaking schoolchildren for over 150 years.
List of unusual units of measurement Fortnights and nibbles, super feet and Sagans.
Mpemba effect Hot water freezes faster than cool water, and no one is sure why. Also probably the only scientific term named after a Tanzanian schoolboy.
Oh-My-God particle Proof that physicists have a dramatic flair.
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.
Rheology of peanut butter A serious analysis of the tastiest viscoelastic colloid.
Shower-curtain effect Nobody knows why when you turn on the hot water in the shower, the curtain blows in.
Smoot A strange unit of distance used to measure the Harvard Bridge.
Sound of fingernails scraping chalkboard Urrrgggh!
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.

Earth sciences

"It's flat and that's all there is to it."
"No, this definitely isn't flat, but it's the other way!"
Aachenosaurus A fossil plant that was mistakenly identified as a dinosaur.
  Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition An ill-fated attempt to reach the North Pole in 1897.
Ararat anomaly A strange geological element that, for years, has confused practicing Christians and geologists.
Bloop Does a mystery sound from the bottom of the sea indicate that Cthulhu may awake...?
Catatumbo lightning At one lake in Venezuela, constant thunderstorms are just a regular occurrence.
Floyd Collins A cave explorer from the early 20th century that got stuck in a cave in Kentucky. Despite a massive rescue effort, he ended up dying there, but that wasn't the end of his story.
Continental drip A playful theory devised to explain why the continents are tapered toward the south.
Expanding Earth A theory that the Earth is growing.
Hector (cloud) A cumulonimbus thundercloud cluster that forms regularly nearly every afternoon on the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory of Australia, from approximately September to March each year. Also known as "Hector the Convector."
  Snow in Florida Yes, snow is not unknown in the "Sunshine State".
Kentucky meat shower It's raining meat. Hallelujah it's raining meat.
List of unexplained sounds Must've been the wind.
Mumbai "sweet" seawater incident Salty creek becomes sweet for one tide cycle.
Rain of animals When it's literally raining cats and dogs.
  Red rain in Kerala Did blood rain from the sky?
South-up map orientation The crew of Apollo 17 snapped Earth with Antarctica on top. NASA followed Ptolemy and rotated it "back".
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.
Tinnunculite A recently discovered mineral that forms from bird feces.
Waffle House Index The U.S. government's alternative measure of disaster impact.

Chemistry and material science

Warning: It's LETHAL.
At last – the look of BO. Sounds fishy?
9,10-Dithioanthracene The molecule that walks.
Botulinum toxin One of the most deadly substances known is nonetheless extremely common in the cosmetic industry.
26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union The largest gem diamond ever found in Russia.
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, torture and countless other maladies. Or... that's what they want you to think.
Elephant's Foot One of the world's most toxic objects, created as a product of the Chernobyl disaster.
Fogbank A nuclear warhead-related material so classified that its creators – the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration – forgot how to make it.
Goiânia accident The world's worst nuclear incident that didn't begin in a radioactive power plant.
List of chemical compounds with unusual names Some a consequence of their constituents or origins, others simply the work of whimsical chemists.
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. What do you mean, it might be toxic?
Nitrogen triiodide What's purple and explodes if a feather brushes it?
Orotidine 5'-phosphate decarboxylase Known for its extreme catalysis, this enzyme can reduce the time required for a reaction from 78 million years to 18 milliseconds.
Pitch drop experiment The world's most viscous liquid, dripping out of a funnel at the University of Queensland since 1927. There's been 9 drops so far.
James Price An alchemist who went to the most extreme lengths possible to avoid having to prove his findings.
Pykrete A bullet-resistant frozen-water compound once used in an attempt to create an aircraft carrier.
Smell of freshly cut grass A nostalgic odor that plays a role in plant communication as a chemical cry of agony.
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

Elon Musk did it again.
All watched over by machines of loving grace.
That's no moon... Oh wait.
"Of course, it never reached the Moon..."
1561 celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg Perhaps one of the first "alien" sightings in recorded history.
  Apollo 15 postal covers incident Three astronauts never flew to space again after being paid to take postal covers with them on Apollo 15. But that's not much of a punishment though, considering they got to go to the freakin' Moon.
Blue Origin v. United States & Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Two companies got into a brat fight and sued NASA in the process.
Judith Love Cohen One of the most important female scientists involved with the Apollo program, and Jack Black's mother. Some might say this is not the best article on Wikipedia.... this is just a tribute to her.
Cosmic latte The average colour of the Universe: a slightly beige white.
Cydonia (Mars) You've heard of the man on the Moon, now get ready for the "Face on Mars", well, sort of...
Edward Makuka Nkoloso The leader of a non-government Zambian space program planned to send "Afronauts" to Mars with the goal of establishing a Christian ministry to civilise Martians.
Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Driving in space becomes reality.
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.
Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, and Phooey Five mice who circled the Moon 75 times on Apollo 17, among the last eight Earthlings to travel to the Moon. Upon returning to Earth, the four remaining living mice were soon murdered and dissected in the name of science. ("That's one small squeak...")
Gauss's Pythagorean right triangle proposal Proposal of Pythagorean theorem "drawing" to be constructed in the Siberian tundra as a signal for extraterrestrials.
Harlan J. Smith Telescope Have you heard about the telescope that got shot? Contrary to initial reports, the harm from the bullets was extraordinary small.
Hot, dust-obscured galaxy Hot DOGs, anyone?
International Space Station cannabis experiment hoax Need we say more?
Jovian–Plutonian gravitational effect Sadly, the alignment of two planets wouldn't allow the British public to float. Maybe the fact that the news came out on April 1 should have clued them in.
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.
Mars Climate Orbiter Failed Mars mission that disintegrated in the Martian atmosphere due to a unit conversion error.
Matrioshka brain Star-sized computer.
Milkdromeda The birth of a future galaxy, and the death of our own.
Mimas (moon) A moon that looks like the Death Star.
The Moon is made of green cheese Scientific consensus says it isn't, but are there people (or wolves) 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.
Nuclear pasta Gnocchi, spaghetti, lasagna, bucatini and Swiss cheese may sound tasty at first, until you realized that one teaspoon of this pasta outweighs Mount Everest...
Peryton (astronomy) Don't use microwaves next to radio telescopes!
Seatbelt basalt A lunar sample spotted by David Scott while driving the Lunar Roving Vehicle on the moon. He assumed that mission control wouldn't allow him to stop and get it, so he pretended he was fastening his seatbelt.
Sex in space And when you've exhausted the list, here's something new to try!
Solway Firth Spaceman "Wasn't there when I took the pic – honest!"
Space advertising Plans to launch giant billboards into space.
Space elevator competitions How high can you go?
Spaghettification What happens when you fall into a black hole.
Space Poop Challenge A challenge in 2016 to design a new toilet system for use in space.
Space selfie Doing it for the 'gram.
Stolen and missing Moon rocks The rocks were out of this world! Unfortunately, they fell into the wrong hands.
Supermoon It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Supermoon! (Actually, this is a phenomenon where the moon appears slightly larger than normal. Still impressive, though.)
Sylacauga (meteorite) The first fallen meteorite in recorded history to have verifiably injured a human.
Tabby's Star A star that has been suggested to have an alien megastructure surrounding it.
Timekeeping on Mars How Martians know when they are.
Vatican Observatory One of the few official scientific institutions linked with the Catholic Church.
Voyager Golden Record A compilation of sounds and images of humanity on a phonograph record made of gold-plated copper. It was sent to space in 1977 and is currently the farthest man-made object from Earth.
274301 Wikipedia A comet named after Wikipedia. We truly came to the stars.
  Wow! signal Alien radio transmission, or, at least, the strongest candidate for that role.
Writing in space How do you write in space?
iPTF14hls A star that seems to have exploded 6 times in the past 70 years.

Medicine and health

Suckling on a tasty goat.
Well, stone me...
Quick – grab a tissue!
Got one of those headaches that just won't go away?
The pharmacy called; your maggot prescription is ready for pick-up
Man, just brush your teeth!
Put them where the sun doesn't shine.
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.
Anal wink Here's looking at you!
Auto-brewery syndrome Like a microbrewery in your digestive system.
Banana equivalent dose A banana for scale.
Black hairy tongue Really?
Bristol stool scale Taking a close look at a toilet bowl for the sake of science. The scale was inspired by eye charts.
ChIA-PET Chromatin Interaction Analysis by Paired-End Tag sequencing, that is.
Chronic Lyme disease A conspiracy theory about long-lasting effects of Lyme disease, not to be confused with actual latent symptoms of lyme disease
Coffee enema A bizarre type of alternative medicine.
Danger triangle of the face A very specific area of your face where bursting a boil could mean certain death.
Dimples of Venus For fans of those dimples you don't find on a face.
DNA origami
RNA origami
Two different types of nanoscale origami.
Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators Forcibly withdrawn after officials clamped down on them.
Eigengrau The color seen by the eye in perfect darkness.
Fart lighting The act of igniting gases produced by human flatulence.
Fiddler's neck Maybe this is proof that God hates violinists.
Five-second rule The notion that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat only as long as it's picked up within five seconds.
Geographical tongue When a map appears on your tongue.
Gynecomastia Also known as "man boobs" or "moobs".
Hair-grooming syncope Who knew that brushing your hair could be deadly?
Human–animal breastfeeding If you have breast milk to spare, a puppy, piglet or monkey would like to hear from you.
Hypertrichosis Also known as "human werewolf syndrome".
Hypoalgesic effect of swearing Got hurt? Swear the pain away!
Jenkem Huffing the gas from fermented human feces for a hallucinating effect.
Jogger's nipple That uncomfortable friction some people get while running has a name.
Louse-feeder In search of a cure for typhus, humans let lice feed on them.
Lucky iron fish Treat anemia by putting an iron fish in your soup.
Maggot therapy Those hungry, wriggling little larvae will clean up festering wounds because they are hungry.
Male lactation Given the right conditions, just about any male can do it.
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.
Mellified man A legendary medicinal substance from Arabia involving honey.
Michelin tire baby syndrome Babies that look like the Michelin man.
Moebius 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.
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.
Old person smell Apparently developed to allow humans to avoid partnering with people who are too old for them. Not to be confused with death smell (though they're not incompatible in some places).
Osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis A tooth in the eye (is worth two in the foot?).
Paleofeces Our ancestors' poop. Worth a close look, apparently.
Peanut butter test A diagnostic test for Alzheimer's disease which measures subjects' ability to smell peanut butter through each nostril.
Photic sneeze reflex People who sneeze when suddenly exposed to bright light.
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis That's a mouthful! Good thing it has a much shorter name: silicosis.
Powder of sympathy Healing a wound of war by applying a powder... to the weapon that caused it.
Rapunzel syndrome Chewing on your hair is one thing, but actually eating it can have some untoward results.
Resting bitch face Some people may look angry or contemptuous when they're actually perfectly relaxed.
Retained surgical instruments An unfortunate possible side-effect of surgery.
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.
Supernumerary nipple A condition in which one has an additional nipple. Apparently 1 in 18 people have this condition.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy Yes, you can die from a broken heart.
Thumb twiddling Maybe this is unusual to you.
Traditional Chinese medicines derived from the human body Just because you're not a rhino, or a tiger, or a pangolin, doesn't mean you're safe.
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.
White-nose syndrome Bats with white noses: sounds cute, is horrifying.

Human sexuality and reproduction

"Fresh-baked dildos for sale!"
Biscuits, before being made soggy.
Autocunnilingus Like autofellatio (see below), but much more difficult.
Autofellatio Acts of oral self-stimulation.
Armin Meiwes German guy who met another German guy on a Yahoo Gay-Kannibalengruppe (they exist) in 2001. The rest, as they say, is history...
Bathroom sex Ever wanted to defecate and have sex at the same time? Well now you can!
Bread dildo A supposed sex toy originating from Ancient Greece, made of bread.
Cello scrotum A hoax illness allegedly affecting male cello players.
Coregasm An orgasm caused by exercising of the core abdominal muscles.
Death during consensual sex Talk about going out with a bang...
Donkey punch Allegedly a sex move involving punching one's partner in the back of the head during intercourse.
Female hysteria A once-common diagnosis of a range of symptoms in women, cured through masturbation.
Footsies Did you know? It's possible for a couple to flirt by touching each other's legs.
Gerbilling An urban legend about a sexual practice purportedly conducted. It was made popular by South Park.
Global Orgasm for Peace Oh yeah, the end of human conflict just turns me on...
Hamster zona-free ovum test A test – sometimes called a "hamster test" – involving human semen, hamster eggs and a petri dish.
Human penis size Scientific data on average size, racial variations, surgical enlargement and urban legends.
Koro A condition where one (mistakenly) believes that his or her genitals are slowly disappearing.
Lithopedion The rare condition of an unborn fetus calcifying.
Male pregnancy For now, it's just a seahorse thing, but...
Napoleon's penis (Allegedly) cut off after his death and, among other things, displayed at a museum in Manhattan.
National Masturbation Day Not related to the week, and certainly not related to the month.
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.
Post-coital tristesse "But after the enjoyment of sensual pleasure is passed, the greatest sadness follows." Baruch Spinoza
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.
Rumpology Theory that a person's buttocks reveal a person's past and future.
Scrotal inflation For real now, boys: DO NOT try this at home. You can put your life at risk while doing it.
Self-inflicted caesarean section A harrowing practice, verified to have occurred at least five times.
Sexual headache Not the one that wives pretend to have to dissuade their husbands; this type happens during the act.
Sleep sex A form of parasomnia (similar to sleepwalking) that causes people to engage in sexual acts while they are asleep.
Smoking fetishism Apparently, this is a thing.
Soggy biscuit Don't finish last, whatever you do.
  Zombie pornography Modern reincarnation of necrophilia.

Individual patients and staff

This skull's owner didn't even get a headache – but he was a changed man.
Elisabeth Anderson Sierra Diagnosed with hyperlactation syndrome, her generous donations of excess breast milk have earned her the title of "Milk Goddess".
Jaxon Buell A child born with only 20% of a brain. He lived for 5 years despite doctors' expectations that he would only live for 1 year.
Jeanne Calment A Frenchwoman with the longest verified human lifespan in recorded history. She was 122 at the time of her death.
Legrand G. Capers The only person ever to witness a woman being impregnated by a bullet.
Stubbins Ffirth An American trainee doctor who went to unusual lengths in his quest to prove that yellow fever is not contagious.
Phineas Gage A 19th-century construction worker who survived a three-foot-long (0.91 m) tamping iron going through his skull. His resultant behavioral changes have made him an important figure in the development of neuroscience.
Genie A feral child who was neglected by her father and was locked in a room for the first 13 years of her life.
James Harrison An Australian man whose 1,173 blood donations have saved over 2.5 million babies.
Abby and Brittany Hensel Conjoined twins with separate heads but joined bodies.
Paul Karason An American man known for having blue skin.
"Benjaman Kyle" Found naked and unconscious outside a Burger King dumpster (where he derived his new alias from), he doesn't remember 20 years of his life, or how he ended up in Georgia from Colorado.
  Eugene Landy A psychologist who developed a form of 24-hour therapy and later became business partners with one of his many celebrity patients, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
Hans Langseth A guy who had the longest beard recorded in history.
Robert Liston A 19th-century Scottish surgeon who, among other things, performed what has been described as "the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality rate".
Barry Marshall A doctor who, against the consensus of mainstream medicine, drank a vial of bacterial culture to prove that stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria rather than stress, spicy foods, and too much acid as was believed at the time. He won the Nobel Prize for it, too.
Alexis St. Martin A 19th-century French-Canadian fur trader who survived a gunshot wound and was left with a hole in his stomach, which allowed revolutionary experiments on digestion to be conducted.
Lina Medina A Peruvian girl who gave birth to a son when she was five years old, becoming the youngest human mother on record.
Billy Milligan A man with 24 personalities, popularized by the 1981 book The Minds of Billy Milligan.
Wenceslao Moguel Accused of participating in the Mexican Revolution, he was sentenced to death, survived his execution, and lived for another 6 decades.
Blanche Monnier A French woman who was locked in an attic for 26 years because her parents disapproved of her choice of suitor.
Mariam Nabatanzi A Ugandan woman who had given birth to 44 children by the age of 36.
Chandre Oram A man in India with a 13-inch (33 cm) tail.
Adam Rainer The only person known to be both a dwarf and a giant.
  Tarrare A Frenchman with an insatiable appetite, who made a show out of his ability to eat just about anything. Including, allegedly, a toddler.
  Mary Toft An English woman who hoaxed doctors into believing that she had given birth to rabbits.
Robert Wadlow An American man who, at 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m), was the tallest verified person in human history.

Nervous system and behaviour

Can you get high on this?
Ever woken up thinking this has just happened?
It's... beautiful... Just... beautiful!
Alice in Wonderland syndrome Distortions of perception that may include one's surroundings appearing too large or too small, faint noises sounding loud, or time slowing to a trickle.
Anton syndrome People who are blind but convinced they can see.
Bananadine Exactly how psychedelic are those dried banana peels?
Bicameral mentality Neuroscientific hypothesis that the human mind before the Bronze Age was split into two discrete components, a speaking mind and obeying mind.
Capgras delusion When you're sure a friend or loved one is an impostor.
Cortical homunculus A distorted representation of the human body based on areas of the brain dedicated to processing motor functions for different body parts.
Cotard delusion Suffered by people, very much alive, who believe they're dead.
Conversion disorder Blindness and similar disabilities caused by anxiety.
Cute aggression The reason why people want to squeeze cute things without harm.
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.
Encopresis Voluntary or involuntary defecation in persons who are toilet trained (older than 4 years of age.)
Exploding head syndrome Ever woken up after an hour or two of sleep thinking you've just heard a massive explosion?
Expressive aphasia You know when you have a word on tip of your tongue but you just can't remember it? It's that, but with every word.
False memory Forming of false memories; sometimes leads to thousands of people having the same false memory.
Fugue state You black out and when you wake up years have passed, you're in a different city, you have a new name and have lived a different life while you were unconscious. Also known as dissociative fugue or psychogenic fugue.
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.
Geophagia Eat dirt, pal.
Homicidal sleepwalking A real parasomnia that has been successfully used as a defence in court.
Impossible color Supposed colors that do not appear in ordinary visual functioning.
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Like Tourette syndrome, but more Gallic.
Klüver–Bucy syndrome One specific kind of brain damage causes hypersexuality and a desire to put random things in your mouth. Named after two doctors who gave psychotropic drugs to lobotomized monkeys.
Mariko Aoki phenomenon A Japanese expression referring to an urge to defecate that is suddenly felt after entering bookstores.
Paris syndrome Being clinically disappointed by Paris. Particularly common among Japanese tourists. Not to be confused with Jerusalem syndrome or Stockholm syndrome.
Rosenhan experiment An experiment involving certifiably sane mental patients.
Somatoparaphrenia A type of delusion in which a sufferer denies ownership of a limb or an entire side of the body.
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 What was this article about again... Wait, I think I am just about to remember...
The Truman Show delusion Those afflicted feel they are being watched all the time by a television audience, like Jim Carrey's character in the 1998 movie The Truman Show.
Urophagia The consumption of urine. Not always for survival reasons.
Visual release hallucinations Millions of perfectly sane people are having freakish hallucinations – and just not admitting it.
Zero stroke An alleged mental disorder that caused patients to write endless rows of zeroes.
Cherophobia Fear of happiness
Chromophobia Fear of colors
Coprophobia Fear of feces or even defecation, and possibly enjoying constipation
Dentophobia Fear of dentists
Emetophobia Fear of vomiting
Globophobia Fear of balloons or balloons popping
Genuphobia Fear of knees or the act of kneeling
Koumpounophobia Fear of buttons
Mageiricophobia Fear of cooking
Numerophobia Fear of numbers
Osmophobia Fear of odors and smells
Phallophobia Fear of the erect penis
Philophobia Fear of love
Phobophobia Fear of having a phobia
Pogonophobia Fear of beards
Submechanophobia Fear of submerged man-made objects
Technophobia Fear of computers and internet
Telephobia Fear of making or answering telephone calls


To boldly go where no monkey has gone before. Well, where a few monkeys have gone before.
Jenny Haniver.
A major in Antelopology
Can only wear mittens, not gloves
The Far Side of a stegosaurus.
Adactylidium A mite with a very unusual life cycle.
Animals in space An annotated list of the various animals used in space programs.
Animal attack Not kidding: death by beavers, bunnies, squirrels, crocodiles, and other creatures you should not have as pets.
Anting (bird activity) Not recommended for humans.
Apophallation Are you a slug and can't extract your penis? Amputate and change your gender.
Bee removal Removal of bees.
Blast fishing Catch a lot of fish at once by blowing up a lake.
Candiru Barbed fish allegedly attracted to, lodged in, and extracted from human penises.
Carcinisation Crustaceans may evolve how they wish, but eventually, it all comes back to crab shape.
Common Surinam toad The mother's back is where the eggs are embedded and where they develop.
Conservation-induced extinction The extinction of highly endangered parasites at the hands of conservationists.
Depopulation of cockroaches in post-Soviet states A great ecological problem indeed complete with fourteen references in Russian.
Cat–dog relationship For centuries the two most popular house pets have been fighting like, well, cats and dogs.
Cymothoa exigua 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.
Epomis A deceptive beetle larva that entices its own predators by feigning prey-like movements in order to eat its predator.
Eunice aphroditois "Armed with sharp teeth, it is known to attack with such speeds that its prey is sometimes sliced in half." As if being a three-metre (9 ft 10 in) worm were not impressive enough.
  Goblin shark Indeed, a monster from the deepest oceans.
Goldfish swallowing A fad that started in American colleges in the 1930s.
Hallucinogenic fish No, the fish are not trippin'; they will cause hallucinations if ingested. It is not known if hallucinations will occur if one fish consumes another.
Hebrew character Actually a species of moth.
Hotwheels sisyphus A pretty rad name for a ground spider... until you know what inspired such name.
Hurricane Shark The meteorological equivalent of Bigfoot. (Except it's real. Kind of. Probably. At least once.)
Israel-related animal conspiracy theories Has an animal looked suspicious? It was probably Israel.
Jenny Haniver A grotesque-looking sea monster made from the corpse of a ray.
Lioconcha hieroglyphica A type of clam with a shell covered in hieroglyph-like markings.
List of animals displaying homosexual behavior Everything from salmon to seagulls to dragonflies.
List of animal sounds Snail do "Munch, crunch", Squirrel do "squeak".
List of animals awarded human credentials Mostly due to pranks pulled on diploma mills.
London Underground mosquito A species of mosquito that lives in underground railways.
Love dart Hermaphroditic snails play Cupid.
Lyall's wren Made extinct by feral cats, possibly the offspring of one pregnant female.
Metoecus paradoxus A beetle with - as prophet of our age Megan Thee Stallion put it - eyelashes "on fleek".
Nightingale excrement as facial Droppings of a nightingale variety used in facials. Some claim that it helps with acne. Project Medicine states that the references are not MEDRS. (MEDical Reliable Source)
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 what is going on behind their backs.
Pasilalinic-sympathetic compass Telepathic communication is not possible in snails no matter how far apart they may be. Nothing else has been ruled out.
Penis fencing A literal figurative variety of cockfighting between some species of flatworm.
Polar bear jail For polar bear criminals.
Prostitution among animals Did you know that prostitution exists among animals?
  Rotating locomotion in living systems Why don't animals have wheels?
Shortarse feelerfish Bathymicrops brevianalis is a fish so named for its short anal fins – brevianalis meaning "short anus".
Supernumerary body part Having an extra body part, be it as simple as an eleventh finger or as extreme as a second head!
Thagomizer A feature of Stegosaurus anatomy named after a Far Side comic strip.
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.
Trout tickling Coochy coo!
Uraba lugens It's called the mad hatterpillar for a reason...
Worm charming No spade? No worries! There's a better way to get hold of earthworms.


Flash photograph of an odd-eyed cat.
Bonsai Kitten The practice of growing small jar-shaped kittens caused controversy years after it was revealed to be a hoax.
Cat burning A form of entertainment in the Middle Ages, sometimes participated in by royalty.
Demon Cat A cat that supposedly haunts government buildings in Washington, D.C.
Popular cat names Cat names, ranked by popularity.
Polydactyl cat Cats with extraordinary numbers of toes.
Odd-eyed cat One of the national treasures of Turkey.
Pittsburgh refrigerator cat A "breed" of cat that lived in refrigerators that people actually believed existed.
Ray cat A proposed genetically engineered breed that glows in presence of nuclear radiation.
Cats That Look Like Hitler Kitlers exist, live with it.


  Cow tipping This actually takes up to 14 people to make it happen.
Hardware disease A condition in bovines caused by ingesting stray bits of metal.


Can you tell the boys and girls apart?
Cannibalism in poultry See: tastes like chicken.
Chicken eyeglasses Tiny spectacles for chicks, to stop them from seeing red.
Chicken Dance, Chicken (dance) There is a huge difference.
  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 whose job is 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 that were planned to be kept warm by live chickens.
Empathy in chickens Have some empathy when eating crunchy chicken nuggets.
Tastes like chicken But baked, grilled, or fried?


I think I have a nibble...
Arctic ground squirrel The squirrel that freezes itself solid.
Electrical disruptions caused by squirrels Two squirrels on a wire...
Squirrel fishing A sport of skill and patience.
Squirrels on college campuses Squirrels are noted to be prominent fauna there.


Dried deer penis.
This goat has fainted.
It has ceased to stand
Ambergris Do you really want to know what your fancy perfume was made from?
Berserk llama syndrome The result of being too friendly with llamas.
Danish Protest Pig A pig bred to look like the flag of Denmark, to circumvent prohibition of the flag.
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.
The dog ate my homework Instead of a pathetic excuse for an article, an article about a pathetic excuse.
Domesticated silver fox Soviet Russia subsidizes the breeding of silver foxes.
Exploding whale The next time a whale washes on shore in one Oregon county, the authorities will leave the dynamite at home.
Fainting goat A breed of goat whose muscles freeze for about 10 seconds when it is startled.
Flying primate hypothesis Hypothesis that megabats are primates like us.
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".
House hippo The world's biggest domestic pest. If you can believe that.
  Human An article that reads as if non-humans wrote it.
New Guinea singing dog Not only that, but it climbs trees too!
Overtoun Bridge A bridge from which dogs keep leaping to their death.
Panda pornography Pornographic movies created to achieve sexual arousal for Giant pandas, which have been proven to be unaffected by the popular drug Viagra.
Quokka An Australian animal which has developed a habit of posing for selfies with humans.
Revival of the woolly mammoth Plans to clone the woolly mammoth and re-introduce them to Siberia.
  Rhinogradentia A fictitious order of mammal invented by a German zoologist with a sense of humour.
Skunks as pets For pet owners who like a challenge.
Street dogs in Moscow Some of them have figured out how to commute using the subway system.
Weasel war dance The behavior of extremely excited ferrets who are enjoying themselves too much.
What Is It Like to Be a Bat? Life’s most important questions.
Whale fall The ecological consequences associated with a dead whale sinking to the seafloor.

Individual animals

Her face told you exactly where you stood with her.
52-hertz whale Dubbed the "world's loneliest whale", it vocalizes at a frequency used by no known whale species.
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.
Andy A footless goose who wore sneakers as prosthesis and was tragically murdered.
Ken Allen Orangutan in the San Diego zoo who was nicknamed the Hairy Houdini.
Benson A fish. A big fish. Called Benson.
  Bubbles A chimpanzee who used human toilet facilities, moonwalked, and (allegedly) attempted suicide.
Casper A cat famed for traveling on a bus around Plymouth, England.
Clever Hans A horse that allegedly knew arithmetic and could read in German.
Cocaine Bear A bear found dead in the Tennessee wilderness, having gone through a drug smuggler's dropped bag of cocaine. Inspired a 2023 film (though in that one, the bear didn't just drop dead, as there'd be no plot that way).
Conan the Barbarian Argentinian president's dog that was cloned after its death and who advised the guy on politics. The man also said that he and the dog "first met in a previous life more than 2,000 years ago as a gladiator and a lion in the Roman Colosseum"...
Domino Day 2005 sparrow Unlucky sparrow who dropped some 23,000 dominos and got killed for that.
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.
Fungie Ireland's favourite dolphin.
Gef A mongoose that talked (allegedly).
George A lobster weighing 20 pounds (9.1 kg), estimated to be 140 years old.
Grape-kun A Humboldt penguin who gained worldwide fame after apparently falling in love with a cutout of an anime character.
Grumpy Cat Unfortunately, this cat couldn't turn that frown upside down.
Hachikō A well-known story of a Japanese dog that will make you cry by the end of it.
Harambe A gorilla killed to prevent it killing a child it was saving. Became a meme.
Henry the Hexapus An octopus missing two arms due to an unfortunate birth defect.
Hoover the talking seal Hoover. A seal. Which talked.
Jack A Baboon who took over for his disabled owner as an employee of the Cape government railway.
Jackie A dalmatian dog who was taught by his owner to do the Nazi salute, long before Count Dankula did.
Jeremy A left-coiled snail who became famous after a campaign to find another left-coiled snail so he could mate.
Joe the Pigeon Was put on death row for being American, but later acquitted and released. Named after the then President-elect.
Jonathan Oldest known living terrestrial animal in the world (if it weren't Adwaita). He made the reverse of the 5p of Saint Helena. What have you done?
Khanzir Possibly the world's loneliest pig. Even more lonely during the swine flu outbreak.
Lily Flagg A Jersey cow that produced record amounts of butter and got a sizable neighborhood named for her.
Lion of Gripsholm Castle What happens when you tell a taxidermist who doesn't know what a lion is to stuff and mount a lion.
Lonesome George The last known individual of the species Pinta Island tortoise. He was known as the rarest creature in the world.
Long Boi A "exceptionally tall" duck living on the University of York campus.
Mayor Max II The world's cutest mayor-for-life creature: a Golden Retriever.
Mike the Headless Chicken A rooster that lived for 18 months with his head cut off.
Ming A ~500-year-old clam that was killed when scientists opened its shell to see how old it was.
Nim Chimpsky A chimpanzee, subject of long-running studies into animal language acquisition, named punningly for linguist Noam Chomsky.
Major General Sir Nils Olav, Baron of the Bouvet Islands A high-ranking military officer of Norway who happens to live in the penguin exhibit at Edinburgh Zoo.
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.
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.
Potoooooooo Actually, it's pronounced "potatoes".
Penelope (platypus) A platypus who faked a pregnancy and escaped from the Bronx Zoo.
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.
  Sergeant Reckless A horse that held an official rank in the US military, fought in the Korean War and participated in an amphibious landing.
Stubbs A cat who was the mayor of an Alaskan town for nearly 20 years.
Tamworth Two Two pigs who, in 1998, escaped an abattoir in England and attracted media attraction. Thanks to a newspaper, they were never made into bacon, ham or sausages.
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.
Tombili A cat famously pictured looking chill on the streets of Istanbul, who is now immortalised by a statue on the site.
Turra Coo An insurance protest gone too far.
Ubre Blanca Fidel Castro's favourite cow that produced 113 liters in one day, and was used as a symbol of superior agriculture under communism. When she died, a marble statue was erected in her memory.
Unsinkable Sam A cat that has survived the sinking of three ships.
Vacanti mouse A mouse with a human ear on its back.
Whitney Chewston A dog that gained fame due to having the manner of a homophobic white woman.
  William Windsor A cashmere goat who served as a lance corporal in the 1st Battalion, the Royal Welsh, an infantry battalion of the British Army.
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.
Individual elephants
The movie event of 1903... we'll zap this elephant!
Abul-Abbas An Asian elephant given to Carolingian emperor Charlemagne by the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid.
Hanno (elephant) An Indian elephant that was a gift from the Portuguese king Manuel I to the pope in the 16th century.
Jumbo An elephant with gigantism and legendary circus attraction, who gave his name to large things everywhere.
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.
Osama bin Laden 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.
Topsy An elephant that was electrocuted, as the event was filmed by the Edison Manufacturing Company.

Names in biology

'SMAD, mad, mad, mad, mad name?
Neopalpa donald­trumpi: They say it's really small.
Aha ha Alan Partridge's favorite wasp?
Anophthalmus hitleri Rare blind beetle named after Adolf Hitler, poached by collectors of Hitler memorabilia.
Aptostichus barackobamai A trapdoor spider named after former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Aptostichus stephencolberti Another trapdoor spider, this time named after Stephen Colbert. Naturally, because he asked for it.
Bill Gates' flower fly A flower fly, Eristalis gatesi, named after Bill Gates.
Colon Someone pulled this beetle name out of their butt. Including the glorious species Colon rectum.
Gamergate (ant) "Actually, it's about ethics in ant breeding..."
GoldenPalace.com Monkey A new species of monkey that was officially named after the GoldenPalace.com online casino.
Harryplax A genus of crab named in part after the titular character of the Harry Potter franchise. The sole species of this genus is named after the coldly hostile, yet emotion-concealing character from the same franchise.
Kimjongilia A flower named after North Korean leader Kim Jong-il by a Japanese botanist.
Kinda baboon Is it a baboon? Well, kinda.
Mini A genus of tiny Madagascar frogs containing 3 species: Mini ature, Mini mum, and Mini scule.
Mothers against decapentaplegic Actually, it's a protein.
Mountain Chicken Is it a frog or a chicken?
Neopalpa donaldtrumpi A moth remarkable for its orange head and small genitalia.
Pachygnatha zappa A spider whose abdominal markings resemble a very famous mustache
Pikachurin An extracellular matrix-like retinal protein named after Pikachu.
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.
Synalpheus pinkfloydi A species of snapping shrimp named after the famous English rock band.
Thaumatodryinus tuukkaraski A wasp named after NHL goaltender Tuukka Rask as both are acrobatic, and have a killer glove hand.
Zombie taxon Paleontology of the undead.
Zoosphaerium darthvaderi Named after Darth Vader, this one has an anal shield with a "pronounced bell shape"!
Zyzyxia lundellii and Zyzzyzus warreni The last plant name and animal name in the dictionary, respectively.
Spiralix heisenbergi A freshwater snail named after Walter White's alter-ego, Heisenberg. It is thought to be in danger, but it IS the danger.
See also


The Queens Giant – the oldest living thing in the New York metropolitan area.
Bialbero di Casorzo A cherry tree that grows upon a mulberry tree in Italy.
Chandelier Tree A 300-foot-tall (91 m) redwood with a giant hole cut through the middle for cars to drive through.
Echinopsis lageniformis A cactus the Germans call Frauenglück, or "Women's Joy", because, well...just look at it.
Eisenhower Tree A tree on a golf course that became famous after the President of the United States tried and failed to have it taken down.
Golfballia ambusta Can a burnt golf ball technically be considered a fungus?
Olympic oaks Gifts from the Führer. Some are still alive.
Moon tree 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.
Mimosa pudica A plant that rapidly closes or folds its leaves after they are touched.
Old Man of the Lake A 30-foot (9 m) tree stump that has been floating around Oregon's Crater Lake since at least 1896.
Pando An 80,000 year old quaking aspen colony that is believed to be one of the oldest and heaviest organisms on the planet.
Plant arithmetic Plants can do math!
Plant rights If other living beings like humans and animals can have rights, then why not plants?
Pomato It's both potato and tomato!
Radiotrophic fungus A type of fungus that thrives in radioactive environments. Some species have even been discovered in Chernobyl!
Tendril perversion A geometric phenomenon sometimes observed in helical structures like plant tendrils and telephone handset cords.
Tree of Knowledge (Australia) Killed by ignorance.
Tree of Ténéré A solitary acacia that was once the most isolated tree on Earth before being run over by a drunken Libyan truck driver.
Tree That Owns Itself Its owner loved it so much that he granted it ownership of itself.
See also

Technology, inventions and products

It's hypnagogic hallucination heaven.
Long-lost remnant of a cricket game? Made by ancient intelligent life? A mysterious natural phenomenon?
World War I pigeon photography.
Cower, you leeches, in the presence of the Tempest Prognosticator!
  300-page iPhone bill AT&T Mobility's billing policy for the first iPhone gave a real sense of how much money was being wasted... on paper and printer ink.
Abraham Lincoln's patent For lifting boats over shoals. Lincoln is the only US president who held a patent.
Antikythera mechanism An analog computer built in Ancient Greece.
Baby cage The pre-War way to get your baby some fresh air if you live in a high-rise apartment. Used by none other than Eleanor Roosevelt.
Bild Lilli doll A German doll that was the main inspiration for Barbie and is now considered its "grandmother".
Blåhaj Stuffed shark, IKEA bestseller, transgender icon.
Breakout How this simple 1976 Atari video game, started by Steve Jobs and finished by Steve Wozniak, helped spur the creation of the Apple II.
Canard Digérateur Or "Digesting Duck", an automaton built to simulate a duck eating, digesting, and excreting.
  Centennial Light A light bulb that has been burning nonstop for 119 years.
Chindōgu The practice of inventing solutions to everyday problems that just make the problem worse.
Clock of the Long Now A clock that, once completed, should be able to keep time for 10,000 years.
Clocky An alarm clock that hides from its owner.
Concealing objects in a book Hopefully you weren't planning to read it before you hollowed it out.
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.
Friendly Floatees spill Rubber ducks and their friends who went on a long, long journey.
Gun-powered mousetrap Patented in 1882. According to its inventor, it can also be used as a booby trap to kill attempted home invaders.
Hitler teapot Some people thought that this JCPenney teapot resembled the famous dictator.
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.
  Hitachi Magic Wand Its manufacturers continue to claim that it's just a massager for health purposes and not, you know, the world's best-known sex toy.
Jibba Jabber The hot new stress toy where you simulate shaking a baby to death.
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...
Zbigniew Libera Creator of the Lego Concentration Camp.
List of inventors killed by their own invention Perilous parachutes, lethal lighthouses and murderous motorcycles!
Love chair Made to allow a fat king to have sex with two women at the same time.
Mengenlehreuhr You'll have to read between the lights to see the time.
Moo box Cow in a can.
Mosquito laser A bug zapper with a difference.
Museum of Failure A collection of sorts focusing on... well, failed things. Notably includes the Nokia N-Gage, Bic's woman-only pens, and Google Glass.
My Friend Cayla That doll is a spy!
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.
  Pigeon 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.
Predictions of the end of Wikipedia All good things must come to an end...... but not for now.
Project Cybersyn Chilean robo-socialism control chamber invented by a Brit with a gigantic beard.
Pythagorean cup When the cup is filled beyond a certain point, it will empty itself.
Quartz crisis Not a comic book story arc, but the upheaval in watchmaking caused by the introduction of quartz watches.
Radio hat A strange-looking (and strange-sounding) piece of headgear.
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.
Sony timer Rumours that Sony uses a particularly aggressive form of planned obsolescence continue to this day.
Splayd 33.3% spoon, 33.3% knife, 33.3% fork.
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.
Useless machine In most cases, toys for adults.
Vin Mariani A drink made from cocaine and consumed by Thomas Edison, Pope Leo XIII, Ulysses S. Grant and French prime minister Jules Méline.
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

Toilets in Japan have some special features.
Committee to End Pay Toilets in America A 1970s organization whose campaign was to end pay toilets in the U.S.; its newsletter was humorously titled the Free Toilet Paper.
"Darkie" toothpaste Racist toothpaste from Taiwan.
Fatberg A congealed lump of fat and non-biodegradable buildup in sewer systems. A 250-metre-long, 140 tonne specimen was discovered under London in September 2017.
Female urination device Used by women when needing or wanting to pee standing up.
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 interwebzzz inside the portable toilet.
Jack Black Not the actor, but the 19th century rat catcher who bred unusually colored rats and sold them as pets.
Japanese toilets 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.
Shit flow diagram This is the technical term.
Stainless steel soap Metallic soap that removes odours from the hands, allegedly.
Toilet-related injury Not all injuries and deaths linked to toilets are urban legends.
Toilet papering Art or vandalism?
Toilet paper orientation On the pros and cons of letting toilet paper hang over or under the roll.
Whizzinator A fake penis usually used to beat drug tests, complete with dried urine, a heater, and a syringe. Comes in white, tan, Latino, brown, and black.

Clothing and accessories

Aglet That little plastic or metal thing at the end of your shoelace has a name.
  The dress The biggest question of 2015: Is it white and gold or black and blue?
Fatsuit Yes, this makes you look fat.
Gorilla suit What to wear when you don't want to look human.
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 parodic review for it on Amazon.com.
Tin foil hat Headgear which allegedly prevents a person from having their minds read or controlled.


East German Ampelmännchen.
The day Sweden turned to the right side.
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.
The train now approaching Suggestus II will leave at tertia hora.
2001 Japan Airlines mid-air incident Two Japan Airlines aircraft were roughly 135 m (443 ft) away from causing the deadliest aviation accident in history.
2003 Angola 727 disappearance A Boeing 727 was stolen, with at least two people aboard, and never found.
2018 Horizon Air Q400 incident A ground service agent with no flight experience whatsoever managed to do insanely difficult aerial maneuvers in a stolen plane that was thought to be impossible to do those maneuvers in.
  Aeroflot Flight 593 A plane that crashed because the pilot let his kids fly it.
Aeroflot Flight 6502 A plane that crashed after the pilot made a bet with the first officer that he could land it blind. Unfortunately for 70 people on board, he couldn't.
Aloha Airlines Flight 243 Landed safely and with only one casualty, despite the plane's ceiling flying off mid-flight.
Ampelmännchen The East German "traffic-light little-man".
  Amtrak paint schemes Various colors of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
Animals taking public transportation Nonhuman commuters.
AVE Mizar This nightmare lovechild of a Cessna Skymaster and a Ford Pinto eventually killed its inventor.
Bayside Canadian Railway A 220 foot (70 meter) long railway created solely to exploit a loophole in the Jones Act. U.S. Customs and Border Protection found out and promptly issued a $350 million fine.
Billups Neon Crossing Signal A local inventor's extreme solution to railway crossing safety.
Boaty McBoatface What happens when you allow the British public to name a ship in an online poll?
Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway What do you do when there's water in the way of your train? Just build the rails underwater and make the train a moving pier on 23 foot high legs, complete with lifeboats and a requirement a ship captain be aboard at all times.
British Rail flying saucer Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the 10:13 to Venus.
China National Highway 110 traffic jam The world's longest-lasting traffic jam, in which some drivers were stuck for up to 5 days, moving only 1km (0.6 miles) per day.
Crash at Crush A high-speed head-on collision between two locomotives, staged as a publicity stunt and attended by an estimated 40,000 people.
Cycloped The entrant into the Rainhill Trial that placed Horse Power against Steam Power.
Dagen H September 3, 1967: The day that Sweden changed its traffic directionality.
  Deli Mike An Airbus A340 that does what she wants.
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. One of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion concepts.
Experiment A boat with eight horse-powers. Literally.
Fastest Shed Holder of the world land speed record for sheds.
Ferry Lina The world's shortest regular ferry located in Sweden that takes 25-30 seconds (depending on how strong you are).
Gadgetbahn Fun fun fun. And useless.
Get Out and Push Railroad Just what it sounds like.
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, later copied by the Germans.
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 red tags you see on truck wheels really do have a purpose.
M-497 Black Beetle The New York Central Railroad decided to see what would happen when they strapped two jet engines on a railcar; this was the result. It currently holds the record for fastest train in the Americas at 183.68 mph (295.6 km/h).
Mehran Karimi Nasseri An Iranian refugee who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport from 1988 until 2006 and again from September 2022 until his death in November that year.
Men's parking space An antonym to women's parking spaces. The only known instances are two spaces in a garage in Germany.
Mile high club Soaring members.
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.
MTT Turbine Superbike The most powerful street-legal motorcycle is run by a turboshaft engine designed for aircraft and can hit 250 miles per hour (400 km/h).
Parliamentary train Have a useless railway station but can't afford to close it? Just run one train every few weeks there!
Passenger train toilets Why passengers must be discouraged from flushing or using toilets while the train is at a station.
Paternoster lift Strange European elevators without doors that travel in a loop. Considered by many to be very dangerous.
Peel P50 The world's smallest production car.
Pimpmobile Drive like a blaxploitation movie protagonist.
Plastic bicycle It seems that making bikes out of plastic is not a recipe for success.
PZL M-15 Belphegor A Soviet attempt at a turbofan-powered crop duster. It is the slowest jet aircraft to enter production as well as the only jet biplane or jet crop duster to exist.
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.
Rolligon tires Probably the only way you can survive getting run over.
RP FLIP A manned ship that was designed to be capsized at a 90° angle for weeks on end.
Schienenzeppelin An unholy combination of a Zeppelin and a locomotive.
School bus yellow A color specially 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 dehumanizing 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.
Tall bike A bike which consists of two conventional bicycle frames connected one atop the other.
Train surfing As respectable and practical as drying one's hair in most parts of the world.
Unused highway Lost highways, unloved and unused.
Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 How do you survive on a freezing cold glacier with the impending threat of starvation? Answer: eat your friends.
USGlobal Airways An active airline founded in 1989 that has never operated a single commercial flight.
ValuJet Airlines Quite possibly the most unsafe airline in history. Think of it as being the air transport equivalent of Action Park.
Vomit Comet Lack of gravity is not good for the stomach.
Vortech Meg-2XH Strap-On A discontinued strap-on helicopter designed for amateur construction. Somehow no lawsuits are mentioned in the article.
Wallsend Metro station All railroads lead to Rome. With "no smoking" signs, although tobacco was unknown to ancient Romans...
Westray to Papa Westray flight The world's shortest passenger flight, lasting as little as 53 seconds. Just don't expect an in-flight meal.
The wrong type of snow Possibly the most feeble excuse for why British trains are so awful.


Could a unicycle balance itself?
  .bv A top-level domain that isn't being sold, made for an Antarctic island where no one lives.
.kp North Korea's top-level domain. Interestingly, some websites under this ccTLD can be accessed outside of the DPRK.
.nu Niue's top-level domain, which is regulated by Sweden and almost exclusively used by European countries.
.su How a piece of the Soviet Union's internet is not only still online but also still in use to this day.
.tv Sales of websites under this top-level domain name make up 10% of Tuvalu's GDP.
999 phone charging myth Some people in the UK seriously believe that calling their emergency phone number charges your phone.
Any key Press any key to continue.
Bogosort The world's worst sorting algorithm works like this: Randomise the list. Is it in order? If not, try again. Or maybe it is the best…
The Book of Mozilla A well-known computer Easter egg found in the Netscape and Mozilla series of browsers.
Brainfuck An intentionally difficult to use programming language containing only eight commands.
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.
Creeper and Reaper The world's very first computer virus and computer antivirus, respectively.
Conway's Game of Life A simple game with only four rules that people have made beautifully complex machines with. It even has the ability to self-replicate! See also Brian's Brain above.
Electric unicycle The ongoing academic effort to teach robots to ride unicycles.
Elvis operator An operator in programming languages with an unusual name.
Emojli A defunct emoji-only social network. Started as a parody of Yo (see below).
Enshittification Every site you like gets worse and worse. Except Wikipedia (hopefully).
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.
Evil bit Indicates if a packet has been sent with malicious intent, so that it can be ignored.
Guru Meditation error If you thought the blue screen of death was bad, this computer error would hamper your quest to reach Nirvana.
Heisenbug A programming bug that stops appearing when you study it.
Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol Protocol for controlling and monitoring coffee pots. Attempting to use a teapot while brewing coffee will yield you the "HTTP 418: I'm a teapot" error message.
I Am Rich You must be if you could afford this US$999.99 iPhone application that only displayed a red gem and a (misspelled) mantra.
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage Internet Explorer users have lower than average IQ, according to this (nonexistent) study.
International Obfuscated C Code Contest A competition to create code that no human can read.
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.
Loab According to AI, the exact opposite of many prompts is the same picture of an old woman.
lp0 on fire Want to panic a Unix user? Display an error that their printer is on fire.
Macquarium Vintage Macintosh computers-turned-fishtanks.
Magic smoke When a chip fails, it's because the smoke has gotten out.
  The Million Dollar Homepage A web page sold for advertising space at 1 dollar per pixel.
MONIAC A water-based analogue computer used to model the United Kingdom economy, bringing a new meaning to the term liquidity.
Mystery meat navigation The process of not telling you what you're about to click on.
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.
Pentium F00F bug An Intel Pentium bug with an unusual name.
Reality distortion field Surely an obscure quantum-physics phenomenon? Nope!
Red Star OS North Korea's official Linux distribution. In line with Kim Jong-un apparently being an Apple fanboy, Red Star OS's latest UI design mimics macOS.
Rubber duck debugging Code debugging by explaining your code to a rubber duck. Quack!
RTFM Four letters that solve most problems.
Rubber-hose cryptanalysis Cryptography by other means.
Scunthorpe problem Spam filtering based on text strings can cause problems. Just ask the residents of S****horpe.
Send Me To Heaven A mobile game won by throwing your phone as close to heaven as you can without it getting there.
Tay (chatbot) An artificial intelligence chatbot designed by Microsoft to learn the speech patterns of the Twitter users who interacted with it, Tay lasted 16 hours before becoming too racist to remain online.
TempleOS A biblical-themed operating system designed by a single schizophrenic programmer over the course of 10 years after receiving instructions from God. Some assembly required.
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.
Yo A messaging service whose only function was to send "Yo" to people.
Offerings of coins and even estrogen for the rat hole.
Ha ha ha... ha... gulp.
C'est Le Pétomane – who "performed" for royalty.
How far would you go to save yourself?
Allegedly, you can survive a conversation with Kuchisake-onna by saying the word "pomade" three times.
Action Park "There's nothing in the world like"... hiring untrained teenagers, plying guests with alcohol, and letting the accidents stack right up. Most infamously poor ride idea: a water slide with a vertical loop, so dangerous it was barely ever open.
"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.
Balloonfest '86 One of Cleveland's most infamous celebrations.
Baseball metaphors for sex Two of America's favorite pastimes.
Beezin' A fad in which people apply Burt's Bees lip balm to their eyelids.
  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.
  Caltech-MIT prank rivalry They've been sabotaging each other since 2005.
The Campaign for North Africa The world's most complex board game. It has 6 rulebooks, is estimated to require 20 years to complete, and despite being released in 1978, not a single game has ever been finished (even though the actual campaign for north Africa only lasted 3 years.)
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.
Cultural history of the buttocks A cheeky article.
Chicago rat hole A decades-old rat-shaped hole on a sidewalk in Chicago that garnered international fame in early 2024. Pilgrims made offerings of coins, flowers, toys, food and much more.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude A pair of 20th century artists that became famous for their colossal side ecological works, such as 1972's Valley Curtain and 2012's The Floating Piers.
Dick joke Jokes about dicks.
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.
  F.A.T.A.L. The worst-reviewed tabletop role-playing game of all time, where you roll for your character's anal circumference and can listen to a theme song that "sounds like the Cookie Monster chasing a drum kit being pushed down a flight of stairs".
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.
Frozen Peas Orson Welles: brilliant director, notorious pitchman.
Fuck for Forest Do your bit to save the rainforest—have an orgy!
Ashrita Furman Holds the Guinness World Record for holding the most Guinness World Records.
Garden hermit In case you are in need of some backyard friends.
Ghost riding A trend popularized by hyphy culture.
Gongoozler A person who likes to watch British canals.
Great Stork Derby What could possibly be in the will of a notorious practical joker?
Gurn A Western term for creating odd appearances of the face.
Hacks at MIT Large-scale pranks and practical jokes, mostly involving Harvard.
Human rainbow A huge gathering of colours.
Hundeprutterutchebane A rollercoaster themed around dog farts.
Issei Sagawa Writer, commentator, minor celebrity, murderer, and cannibal.
Kayfabe In professional wrestling, the portrayal of events within the industry as real.
Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly Claimed to have survived five shipwrecks, three car crashes and two plane crashes, and still found time to create a craze for sitting on a flagpole for hours at a time.
  Killer toy When children's toys attack!
Kuchisake-onna A Japanese urban legend (probably). Also known as "the slit-mouthed woman", Kuchisake-onna is asking you if you think she's pretty. No matter what you answer, you're doomed. Except if you say "pomade" three times.
Lawnchair Larry flight Successfully piloted a lawn chair to 16,000 feet (4,900 m) over Los Angeles.
Le Pétomane A French entertainer famous in Victorian times for being able to break wind at will. Practitioners of this... art are called flatulists.
Lighthouse and naval vessel urban legend An old classic for those who like a laugh at the expense of the US Navy.
List of defunct amusement parks I thought Marine World was open! Darn it...
List of games with concealed rules Games with clear, obvious rules can be so boring.
List of incidents at Walt Disney World Did you think that Mickey's home would only be a place of sunshine and fun times? Think again.
List of stories set in a future now in the past Some aged well, some not really.
Lincoln–Kennedy coincidences urban legend Turns out, they have a bit of similarities with each other (not really).
Love lock Padlock your love to a fence, and throw away the key.
MacGuffin An object whose value lies in its ability to kick-start a plot.
Masturbate-a-thon It's okay – it's for charity!
Metafiction Fiction about fiction.
Miss Bumbum An annual beauty pageant to find Brazil's best buttocks.
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.
Robert Opel The life and eventual murder of the streaker of the 46th Academy Awards.
Pass by catastrophe Has your college just burnt down? Congrats, you now have a bachelor's degree! Sadly, that isn't really the case in reality.
Ping pong show You've heard of baseball metaphors for sex, now get ready for...
Pen spinning An activity in which assorted tricks are used to manipulate a pen in aesthetically pleasing ways.
Purple Aki Do not let this man touch your muscles.
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. Inspired the movie 127 Hours.
Real-life superhero All you need is a cape and a dream.
Sardarji joke Popular jokes in India, based on stereotypes of Sikhs.
Self-referential humor A joke that refers to itself as the joke.
Sewer alligator A legend that became a pop culture sensation.
Stunting The things radio stations and TV networks will do for attention.
Treacle mining The fictitious mining of treacle (molasses) in a raw form similar to coal.
Umarell Old people who watch construction sites.
Voluntary Human Extinction Movement A group of people trying to get everyone to stop reproducing.
When a white horse is not a horse A Chinese philosophy about a white horse either being a horse or not being a horse.
Willy's Chocolate Experience A world of pure imagination... if you can only imagine empty warehouses staffed by underpaid actors, where the main attraction is lemonade.
Works based on dreams Sometimes you should follow your dreams; after all, it might lead you to create the most-covered song in the world, write Frankenstein, or discover the structure of the atom.
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!


That's gotta hurt.
La Princesse.
New York is not the only Big Apple.
"Surely you can see that THIS is art!"
The Book of Miracles.
One of many Hellmouths.
Tipu's Tiger.
Cerne Abbas Giant.
747 A performance art piece in which the artist fired shots at a Boeing 747 flying overhead, leading him to be questioned by the FBI.
America A fully-functioning solid gold toilet, formerly on display (and available for use) in one of New York's finest art museums.
Artist's Shit A quite literal and humorous meta-art.
Australia's big things Giant folk art as tourist traps.
Augsburg Book of Miracles A book dated from the 16th century full of weird religious drawings. Featuring a human–donkey–demon hybrid as one of its highlights.
Babylonokia A clay Nokia phone with cuneiform keys. Was once misrepresented as an actual artifact.
Bog Standard Gallery It's a museum... inside a portable toilet.
Boll Weevil Monument The only known monument built to honor an agricultural pest.
Joachim-Raphaël Boronali The world's most artistically-tailed donkey.
Bottle Rack A modern art piece created by Dada artist Marcel Duchamp. His sister, who mistook it for trash, threw it out.
Pierre Brassau "That's not art; a chimp could have painted that!"
Cabazon Dinosaurs Comprises of "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. Made by people that think dinosaurs never existed.
  Cerne Abbas Giant A very interesting hill figure in the English countryside.
Chamber of Art and Curiosities, Ambras Castle A cabinet of curiosities created by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria in the 16th century.
Cool S A symbol of uncertain origins often used in graffiti.
Degenerate Art exhibition When the Nazis exhibited examples of art that they didn't consider "purely German" enough, so people could hate it in person. It ended up drawing visitor numbers that regular art galleries in the country could only dream of.
The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife An 1814 Hokusai woodcut of a woman getting intimate with a pair of octopuses, sometimes described as the originator of tentacle erotica.
  Droste effect The effect of a picture appearing within itself.
Disumbrationism A novelist who's never picked up a paintbrush before creates a false art school and submits amateurish paintings as part of it... and is successful for a while.
Earring Magic Ken How Barbie's boyfriend, in an attempt to look cooler, became a gay icon.
Ecce Homo An otherwise-unremarkable fresco of Jesus that was "restored" by an untrained amateur and now looks like a monkey.
Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, Glasgow Has been regularly topped off with a traffic cone since the 1980s.
Fire photography The act of taking photographs of firefighting operations.
Fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square The horse is missing.
Fremont Troll An 18 foot, 13,000 pound concrete sculpture of a troll clutching a Volkswagen Beetle.
Gävle goat A giant straw Yuletide goat that is the target of frequent arson attacks and vandalism.
Geostationary Banana Over Texas An Argentinian artist's plan(?) to launch a banana-shaped airship over Texas.
Hahn/Cock A giant blue cock in Trafalgar Square.
Headington Shark An 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.
He-gassen It really puts the "art" in "fart".
Hellmouth The entrance to Hell envisaged as the gaping mouth of a huge monster, an image which first appears in Anglo-Saxon art.
Hobby tunneling Some people just love to dig.
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.
Megumi Igarashi Perhaps the world's most prominent in the field of drawing and sculpting the vulva.
Jazz An iconic 1990s disposable cup design.
Katrina refrigerator Loot this! Free meal inside!
  Knitta Please NYC hip hop graffiti knitters.
Kryptos A sculpture on the grounds of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency containing four encrypted messages, only three of which have been solved.
Latte art The best art is caffeinated.
Latrinalia The sage and insightful scribblings on your local public bathroom wall.
List of largest photographs Includes information on print and digital photos that are reputedly the world's largest.
Musca depicta For some reason, a lot of artists wanted you to think a fly had landed on their paintings.
  Museum of Bad Art A Museum "dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of really awful artwork".
Emil Nolde The curious case of an artist who was an avid supporter of Nazism, yet was later featured in the country's "degenerate art" gallery.
Paintings by Adolf Hitler The Nazi dictator and perpetrator of one of the worst genocides in history was also a painter.
Pantone 448 C "Drab dark brown", the least attractive colour, according to research. Used for plain tobacco packaging.
  Phallic architecture Does the Washington Monument, Ypsilanti Water Tower or Peoples Daily building remind you of something?
Pink Lady In 1966, a woman secretly painted a 60-foot (18 m) tall portrait of a nude woman over a tunnel and sued when the county tried to take it down.
Piss Christ A photograph of a crucifix submerged in the artist's urine.
Portland International Airport carpet A carpet design so famous that it gained a cult following.
Pricasso A man who paints with his genitalia.
La Princesse A 15-metre (50 ft) mechanical spider which stomped about Liverpool in 2008.
Project Graham A work of art "symboliz[ing] the vulnerability of human bodies in [car] crashes".
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.
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, and which eventually did sell for a different record price.
Roundabout dog Seen any dog on the loose while out driving lately? Chances are it's a roundabout dog.