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Mehran Karimi Nasseri is an Iranian refugee who spent 18 years living in the departure lounge of Terminal One at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in France. After the briefcase containing his refugee documents was stolen, there was no country for French immigration to deport him to, and he refused efforts to relocate him anywhere other than England. His story was the loose inspiration for the 2004 film The Terminal. Who played the main character in that film?

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The Terminal was a very, very, very loose adaptation of Nasseri’s story, and in it, Tom Hanks played an Eastern European tourist named Viktor Navorski, who ends up stuck at JFK airport in New York City indefinitely when his country goes to war with the US.

What was Canadian artist and model Rick Genest’s nickname before his untimely death in 2018 at the age of 32?

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Known for his extensive tattoos, including the dramatic skull tattoo that covered his face, Genest was known as Zombie Boy.

In 2011, Genest appeared in a music video for a pop artist, catapulting him to mainstream fame. What was the name of the artist?

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After appearing in one of Lady Gaga’s videos, Genest and the singer became friends, although they lost touch before Genest’s death.

What was the name of the Lady Gaga video that Genest appeared in?

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The 2011 video was for the song “Born This Way.” According to Gaga, she was inspired by surrealist art in the making of the video.

Which bizarre actor known for his strange behavior, odd choice of roles, and obsession with Superman was once stalked by a mime?

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That would be Nicolas Cage. In 2005, the actor’s partner gave birth to a son, who he named Kal-El, in reference to the character from Superman mythology.
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What famous rock ‘n’ roll artist was Cage obsessed with, even going so far as to marry the star’s daughter?

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Cage was briefly married to Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie in the early aughts—although who are we to say if the marriage had anything to do with her famous pedigree. Either way, Cage is an Elvis superfan, and used the singer as inspiration for his performance in Wild at Heart.

A man named Paul Karason used a silver compound for over a decade in order to “promote rejuvenation.” What bizarre side effect did his ingestion of silver have?

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After Karason’s skin turned a strong shade of grey-ish blue, he became an internet sensation. Despite the fact that he claimed to have seem positive changes in his health, he died in 2013 after suffering a heart attack and a stroke at the age of 62.

What fictional character was Karason often referred to as because of his blue skin?

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To be fair, with his blue skin and white beard and facial hair, Karason really did look like Papa Smurf.

What was the name of oddball director John Waters’ muse, who appeared most memorably in his film Pink Flamingos?

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Divine, born Harris Glenn Milstead, was a drag queen, actor, and singer. Pink Flamingos was designed by Waters to be “an exercise in poor taste,” and Divine was fantastic as Babs Johnson, the “filthiest person alive.”

Nikola Tesla was famous for his eccentricities as well as his brilliant work with electrical currents. He also had a notoriously violent feud with what other genius?

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Tesla and Edison were fiercely competitive, as they were both working on electrical currents at the same time in a battle that came to be known as the “War of the Currents.”
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Classic Hollywood director Howard Hughes was known as much for his films as his bizarre behavior later in life. What famous actor portrayed Hughes in the biopic about him, titled The Aviator?

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DiCaprio’s turn as Howard Hughes in The Aviator was just one of his many collaborations with Martin Scorsese, but despite his stellar performance, he failed to win the Best Actor Oscar he was nominated for.

From his bizarrely styled mustache to the content of his art, Salvador Dali was one weird fellow. What art movement was he most closely associated with?

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Dali was one of the most famous Surrealist artists, along with his contemporaries Andre Breton, Max Ernst, and Rene Magritte.

What did Vietnamese herbalist Tran Van Hey grow for 50 years—from the time he was 29 years old until his death in 2010 at the age of 79?

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Tran Van Hey didn’t cut his hair for the last 50 years of his life—and he’d only washed it a handful of times. It’s something you really have to see to believe!

Hunter S. Thompson worked and lived with unparalleled energy and enthusiasm, leaving a trail of bizarre stories in his wake. What type of writing is his work often referred to as?

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Thompson was a “gonzo journalist,” where the writer inserts himself into the narrative of the story he’s telling.

What is the name used to refer to the mythical source of eternal life that many historical figures have tried to chase down, including Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon?

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Tales of the Fountain of Youth have circulated for thousands of years, and in modern times, the phrase has become a shorthand for miracle health cures. For the past four decades, former Japanese inventor Yoshiro Nakamatsu has attempted to find ways to expand his lifespan.
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What is the name of the prize given as a parody of the Nobel Prize, awarded to people who had the most questionable contribution to research that year?

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The Ig Nobel Prize has been given out annually since 1991, and it’s not as mean as it seems—it’s not simply about the oddest or dumbest contributions, it’s more about the intersection of weird and wonderful. For example, the prize for medicine in 2018 went to a pair of researchers who looked into the effect roller coasters have on patients attempting to pass kidney stones.

A woman from Bolton, England, became a real-life Bionic Woman when she had all but two of her joints replaced. What was the reason for the replacements?

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Eileen Brown, the real-life Bionic Woman, suffered from terrible rheumatoid arthritis, which is why she went to such extensive measures to replace nearly all her joints.

A Korean woman named Hang Mioku became addicted to plastic surgery in an attempt to bolster her career. A doctor gave her a needle and silicone so she could do procedures on herself. When she ran out of silicone, what substance did she inject her own face with?

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That's right, cooking oil. This self-procedure left her face disfigured for life, and eventually, she went on television to ask her donations to help her undergo corrective surgery. Surgeons were able to remove 60 grams of oil from her face, though she was still left completely unrecognizable.

What was Robert Wadlow (1918-1940) known for during his lifetime?

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Also known as the Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois, Robert Wadlow is the tallest person in recorded history, at 8’11.1” tall. The tallest living man is Sultan Kosen, who comes in at 8’2.8” tall.

What is actress Jalisa Thompson’s strange talent, having made her a two-time winner in Ripley’s “Great Face Off” contest, where people compete to see who can make the funniest, weirdest faces?

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Thompson attributes her amazing muscle control for her ability to make her eyes pop out of her head, to a very cartoonish and occasionally gruesome effect.
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A woman named Asha Mandela has 55-foot dreadlocks. What is the nickname that she’s given herself?

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Mandela refers to herself as Black Mandela, and has no plans to ever cut her hair, even though doctors have warned her that the weight could have a paralyzing effect on her neck.

A Russian woman named Natasha Demkina claims to have mysterious medical powers, which would be laughable if not for the facts that multiple doctors and surgeons who have witnessed her powers and believe that they’re real. What does she claim she can do?

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Demkina is known as “The Girl With X-ray Eyes.” Her diagnoses have often been more accurate than doctors, and she has developed a following of doctors, patients, journalists, and others who believe her powers are real.

Why is Wim Hoff, a Dutch man, nicknamed Iceman?

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Hoff is a Dutch daredevil known for withstanding cold temperatures. He attributes his abilities to meditation, exposure to cold, and breathing techniques.

Why was Dede Koswara, an Indonesian man, known as the “Tree Man”?

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Koswara had more than 13 lbs. of bark-like warts on his hands and feet; locals believed his condition was the result of a curse. In 2008, he had surgery to remove the warts from his body, but the growths continued to return, and he ultimately died from a series of complications.

Romario Dos Santos Alves is a bodybuilder from Brazil who has gone to extreme lengths to emulate which fictional character?

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Dos Santos Alves’ attempts to achieve a physique like the Incredible Hulk have earned him the nicknames “Beast” and “Monster,” even though much of what he’s done to his body has been incredibly dangerous.
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How did German woman Michelle Kobke shrink her waist down to 16 inches from 25 inches, where she started?

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Kobke wears her corset 24/7 and plans to continue until she reaches her goal of a 14-inch waist.

Eric the “Lizardman” Sprauge is an American sideshow performer. What has he done to his body to garner the “Lizardman” nickname?

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The Lizardman became the Lizardman by performing all of the above body modifications. He makes his living performing on television and in front of audiences around the world.

Annie Hawkins-Turner is the name of the woman with the world’s largest natural breasts. Why has she refused breast reduction surgery?

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As Hawkins-Turner explains, “I don’t want to mess with nature. As my breasts grew the muscles in my back developed and supported them." Fair enough! For the record, they’re 52L.

Jill Price, an American woman from Southern California, has a condition called hyperthymesia. What does the condition entail?

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Since she was 14 years old, Price has been able to remember everything, even the most obscure detail. While it might seem like a gift, she calls it a curse, claiming that never forgetting anything is a burden on her sanity and gives her no peace.

How did Mexican lawyer Maria Jose Cristerna transform herself into a vampire-like woman?

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That would be all of the above. Cristerna puts her striking appearance and legal skills to good use—she spends her time assisting women who have suffered from domestic abuse.
About This Quiz
As the old song goes, “People are strange.” I mean, I’m sure there’s more to the song than that, but that just about sums it up, doesn’t it? Even if they seem normal on the surface, every one of us has a tiny weirdo lurking inside—but probably none of us are quite as bizarre as the oddballs found on this list. Not that there’s any shame in that—normal is boring!


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