News Apr 21st 2017

Our Weird and Wonderful World: 7 Very Strange Hobbies

ferrets

We humans need distraction. And what better to do that than an all-engrossing hobby? Some hobbies are just run of the mill – knitting, birdwatching, playing chess. A few are less common – taekwondo for example, at least in the West. But some hobbies are downright strange. Here are a few:

1. Cosplay

Heard of Cosplay? It sounds like a made-up word and it is. It's actually two words: costume and play combined. Participants have some sort of subculture in which they dress up in the clothes and accessories of characters. These characters can be from a book, a comic or cartoon, or a movie. This hobby has taken off in Japan, perhaps because in such a pressurized and technologized society, it is a relief to escape into the world of fantasy.

2. Collecting owl pellets

Terry R. Thomas, a nature lover with his own blog, gaily admits to collecting owl pellets. He calls these turds “a personal favorite”. He loves dissecting the pellets to see what the owls have recently killed and digested. He says his kids like to help him too.

3. Streaking

Amazingly, running naked through a sports field, an airport or any other public place as a prank is a hobby for some. The name comes from the need to run fast (to streak ahead, for example), no doubt before the police got you.

Michael O'Brien was the first known streaker at a major sporting event. On 20 April 1974, he ran out naked onto the ground of an England vs. France Rugby Union match at Twickenham, and was duly arrested by a bobby who demurely put his helmet over Michael's genitals. The now respectable Australian businessman in an interview 32 years later said he'd done it as a dare for cash. He got the money, but had to pay out the same amount in fines. When asked what he was thinking at the time, he replied: “obviously… not much.”

4. Ironing

Not just any ironing. Ironing while floating on a rubber tube down a river. Ironing while jumping out of a plane. Ironing at the top of a mountain after a hike. This weird hobby is strictly men only, as no woman would ever want to combine a domestic chore with a leisure activity. The hobby allegedly started when Phil Shaw was faced with a choice between taking care of his ironing or going rock climbing with friends. Say no more.

5. Knitting breasts

Yes, no kidding. Audrey Horncastle likes to knit women's breasts, complete with nipple. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Amazingly, it's a hobby with a warm-hearted altruistic purpose. Her daughter is a breastfeeding coach, and gives these along with a lesson to new moms to encourage breastfeeding.

6. Ferret racing

This is one of the weirdest competitive animal sports, done by people who seemingly really love their ferrets. For those of you who don't know, a ferret is a small thin furry rodent, kinda cute. The competition consists of a couple of ferrets running through a series of tubes to see who's the fastest. People examine the ferret before to see what shape it's in, and bet on it. Afterwards, there's a drink in the pub for everyone, and the winning ferret is the guest of honor.

7. Herping

A strange word for an unusual hobby. According to Wikipedia, herpers are people who find reptiles or amphibians by:

  • searching under rocks and logs or in urban settings, under trash
  • finding amphibians that have a call by ear
  • muddling or noodling for turtles by feeling around in mud
  • dip netting for aquatic amphibians and turtles
  • noosing lizards with wire or fishing line on the end of a pole
  • lantern walking, which involves searching habitat on foot at night.

The word herper comes from the Greek root herpet, which means creeping. Personally, I find this very creepy.

Anyone for tennis?



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