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Top 10 Bizarre Collectibles

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

Since the ancient days of humanity as hunters and collectors, we have had a fascination with groups of similar objects. While these objects are generally quite normal – cards, stamps, coins, oftentimes they are strange – or downright bizarre. This is a list of the top 10 bizarre collectibles.

10. Hubcaps / License Plates

Hubcaps

It seems that the two go hand in hand, and that this collection of rusted and otherwise useless car parts can get way out of hand. Imagine towering stacks of meticulously placed hubcaps and entire garage walls emblazoned with license plates from the world over, and you have your car enthusiasts dream workshop. For some reason, be it nostalgia or just another psychotic compulsion, some people just love the idea of having more hubcaps than necessary. License plates, okay maybe, but hubcaps? Why?

9. Newspapers

Newspapers

Often called hoarding, or ‘newspaper squalor’, many people have the compulsive urge to save up unread papers or magazines in the hopes of reading them some day. Yes, I have a MAD magazine collection and many have comic books, but those are generally bagged and boarded and kept neatly filed in a box or something. Oh, and some folks have a nice little stack of MAXIM or PLAYBOY for bathroom perusing, but most of these folks don’t have towering stacks along every wall and corner of the home. As it turns out, mass collections of such fire-hazardous reading materials can be particularly deadly and have, in the past, trapped people under collapsing piles and even caused fatal fires. Be careful with your papers!


8. Duct Tape

Duct-Tape-Man

Though still bizarre, collecting duct tape has become more common of late since someone discovered its use in making all sorts of fun crafts. You can, with minimal folding and swearing, create: wallets, purses, small bags, belt, hats, and apparently, entire outfits made from rolls upon rolls of the multi-colored adhesive. Now everyone’s favorite mispronounced tape (duck tape) can be worn or collected.

7. Food

Foodbones

Daisy Randone (Brittany Murphy in Girl, Interrupted) ate nothing but rotisserie chicken from her father’s restaurant. Granted, she was in a mental ward at the time, during which she amassed quite the collection of mostly-eaten bones from said meals under her bed. It was only the smell that alerted the others to her filthy situation. Strangely, this is not just a Hollywood concept. As it turns out, there are people obsessed with a specific taste and smell of a food, who will go to great lengths to guard it, regardless of the fact that it is half-eaten and prone to rot. The neurological phenomenon is classified as hoarding or the bizarre desire to want to collect useless things.


6. Dead Animals

Rabbit2

Here is an excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle about a woman who collects animals for a living:

“As a kid growing up in Oakland, Nancy Valente had one reaction to the idea of a dead animal: “Eeeuuuw!” Now friends call her up and say, “I saw something dead on the road and thought of you.” “Did you pick it up?” is Valente’s comeback. “It’s a standard joke,” says Valente, known as “Roadkill Nancy” among local park rangers who are used to the Mill Valley zooarchaeologist’s unconventional ways of adding to her impressive collection of animal bones. “I’m the bone lady,” says Valente, 67. “I don’t know why I like them so much. I have a lot of them around the house, like the elk skull with a whole rack of antlers. I’d love to show it to people, but I can’t even put it in my car.”

For years, Valente’s cheery mix of nature and the macabre thrilled kids and grossed-out parents at the Marin Headlands Visitors Center with “Bones, Bones, Bones,” her monthly presentation of bones and skins of local animals. Valente has now moved her program to Muir Wood National Monument, and is also venturing into the East Bay.

5. Spit

WARNING: This video is disgusting.

Yes, there is a whole club of people who collect spit and enjoy doing it. There is really nothing else that can be said on this – the sooner we move to item 4 the better.


4. Skulls

Skulls

In Mexico, many religious celebrations relating to the dead involve the extensive use of skulls. These are normally very old skulls – often kept in crypts full of old bones. However, the collecting of skulls is also occasionally found outside of religious circles. The Chicago Sun Times reported this in May 2007:

“It certainly seemed suspicious — a skull boiling in a pot of water on the stove. That was the ghoulish report Chicago Police received Tuesday night when they were summoned to a Bucktown apartment in the 2100 block of North Damen. Sure enough, police found four human skulls, as the witness reported. But by Wednesday detectives had determined this was a legal case of bone collecting. There’s a market — a legal market — for bones, and I import and sell bones for medical research” on the auction Web site eBay, said 26-year-old Brian Sloan.”

3. Boogers

Professional Etiquette Picking Nose

Strangely, some people do collect these. One Baron VonKlyf posted this on Dave Berry’s website blog in 2006:

“Leetie… I would donate a good rare and interesting booger for your collection, but I seem to have misplaced it under a table at McDonalds. If anyone finds it, please forward it to Leetie for her collection. Thanks. Oh, and thanks nannie for your random thought. It has been added to the collection.”

To some, booger collecting is revolting, but to a few, it is just another hobby. Many people, after successfully rooting through their noses will randomly wipe their found treasures wherever they can find a conveniently discreet spot. And then there are those folks who have a specifically designated location for their nose discoveries.


2. Skin

Skin Flag

Lets kick this one off with an excerpt from The Harvard Crimson (found in the Harvard Library) on November 13 2005:

“Langdell’s curator of rare books and manuscripts, David Ferris, says of his library’s man-bound holding: “We are reluctant to have it become an object of fascination.” But the Spanish law book, which dates back to 1605, may become just that.
Accessible in the library’s Elihu Reading Room, the book, entitled “Practicarum quaestionum circa leges regias…,” looks old but otherwise ordinary. Delicate, stiff, and with wrinkled edges, the skin’s coloring is a subdued yellow, with sporadic brown and black splotches like an old banana. The skin is not covered in hair or marked by tattoos—except for a “Harvard Law Library” branding on its spine. Nothing about it shouts “human flesh” to the untrained eye.”

However collecting skin is not just for the discriminating bookbinder anymore. Many people collect bits of their own flesh for pleasure. Just something a bit wrong with that.

1. Eyeballs

4632 16 2

The collection that stares back at you. I guess to some that would be appealing enough to want to amass a big bunch of eyeballs. Slightly rounded objects resembling eyeballs have appeared in many gift shops, vending machines, and even on websites devoted to the sole purchasing of ocular memorabilia. You can find pillows, serving bowls, Christmas Tree lights, gum balls, and pajamas all with images of eyeballs. Once you have made the leap into the more macabre and outlandish, why not collect the real thing? There are people known to collect real human eyeballs and, lest they deflate, or become dried out and unappealing, one must keep them in a jar of formaldehyde. Now that is dedication.

So go out and find something fun to collect!

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • I was going to be so dissapointed if boogers didnt make the list…I may still have my 2nd grade booger collection, and i plan on having my son add his boogers to it and we can make it an heirloom.

    :) just kidding, i fling my boogers like everyone else

  • SubliminalDeath666

    Holy crap! The picture for number 6 six was traumatizing!!! :(

  • SubliminalDeath666

    Notable Omission: Scabs

  • number six couldn’t be that traumatizing, i mean your name is subliminaldeath 666, arent you down with the devil? the devil, now hes a traumatizing bastard

  • haha these comments really take the cake :)

  • oh damn i forgot to say first comment…oh well.

    *Flings booger at monitor.

  • EAL

    Wow…when I saw the title of the list I was expecting something like Erkel O’s, not body parts

  • I live in Chicago and recall number 4, the Sun Times article is take out of context as it was about the man who sold them to MEDICAL companies for research. These weren’t private collectors but medical companies buying them for research.

  • angelina

    My grandfather collected newspapers. Or maybe he just never threw anything away. When I was a kid, my sister and I found a trunk full of old Playboy magazines from the 60s and 70s in their farmhouse. You know, back in the day when they didn’t shave. . .

    Juggz: Not everybody flings, some people eat their boogers (notable omission on Bizarre Eating Habits?) Not me of course . . . ok maybe once when I was a kid :)

    *Spits at screen

  • GTA

    I too collect newspapers, since like last year…..and i don’t read them as well………

  • InfiniteJorge

    The youtube video doesn’t seem to be working for me.

  • JMurf

    Jfrater:you took my cake? I was holding on to that

    Please tell me the american flag is made from skins aka rizla and not real skin, if so thats pretty f-ed up.

    Whats the name of the actor in the #1?
    I saw in a film called Dr. Frankenstein [prounounced Fran-ken-steen] he was hilarious, himself and Gene Wilder

  • 20Fan20

    What about old ladies collecting cats!

  • angelina

    Jmurf: Marty Feldman . . .I love that movie! :)

    20Fan20: Do you know my Aunt Nancy??

  • Monkey

    I knew a girl in high school who put her used gum on the inside of her locker door. She had quite a “collection” by the end of the year… weird.

  • 20Fan20

    I don’t know your aunt but…

    Our neighbor was 91 and just passed. She had about 12 cats that just hang out by her door now. Kinda sad.
    On a completely unrelated note.
    Is it still improper to eat cats? Would that make the previous eat disorder list?
    :)

  • Diogenes

    yeh, I dont find newspapers all that bizarre. Perhaps they fit on a some-what more common level, like natioal geographic “magazines”. I have seen many households with full bookshelves filled with these yellow bindings. In fact they become inherited as in my case as a child. I ended up with quite a lot.
    Growing up in the south US, I would see “hub cap cities” around, as a part of the landscape. I image these fellows will be first on the mothership.

    To 20FAN20:
    Ever heard of cats collecting ladies? Dont scoff, It happens!

  • Diogenes

    ——-of coarse I mean “National Geographic” not “natioal—” The edit option doesnt work for me and I had those gorilla hand transplants done years ago when I had a freak farm accident of which I wont go into because it has nothing to do with this list..

  • 20Fan20: That’s a different psychological issue called animal hoarding. It’s a real problem…and causes a LOT of problems, especially when those animals are horses, which require a lot more care than dogs or cats. =/ I’ve just done some reasearch about it lately because I have trouble understanding why someone who loves animals enough to take them into their care could neglect them so badly, thus my knowledge of the different causes of animal hoarding.

    BUT ANYWAY. Um. This list was mostly like…really gross. Haha, I’m too sick to read all the descriptions…eww!!! And the spit collecting video?! NO WAY. Haha. As for newspaper hoarders…give them to dog breeders! We use so many.

  • Diogenes

    Kelsi
    well there was the guy (not that long ago) in Nueva York who thought of himself as a modern day Noah and was collecting many animals in his apartment, including a tiger, if I recall. It wasn’t until complaints about the smell finally brought some official body to investigate. He had becomed overwhelmed, I suppose by the care and space and price. This could be a partial factor along with obsessional continancies(sp?)((ok maybe thats not a word)). But there was also the lady(I forget where it was) who had a huge amount of cats in her home, and she had become disabled with age to where the discovery of the cats occured because of her condition. The “officials” said the cats had been well takin care of.
    two differences of love or obssessive collecting.
    true stories. just from memory of how I recall.

  • Diogenes

    ok my goof. I hate when I just zip through my dumbness and give out wrong info.

    I musta crossed thoughts with another New York apartment animal collector.
    Now its comming back as if it where in yesterday’s post(only it was 4years ago!):

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/06/national/main576816.shtml

  • Wow…well, I guess the tiger one isn’t really hoarading, but weird enough anyway. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes the ‘officials’ have no freaking clue whether or not the animals are well taken care of, espeically when it comes to medical problems or animals that require more care. Cats can pretty much fend for themselves, but they really need to educate some of these animal control people or whoever is doing the investigating on how a well-taken care of horse looks. Argh. Just makes me angry, one of my pet causes. (No pun intended.) Thanks for sharing that story though. Very weird indeed.

  • 20Fan20

    Kelsi: I know it is a real problem. This lady really did take care of them. They will be fine, they have all lived out in the country with plenty of mice and birds to munch on.

    PS No I really don’t plan on eating them! :)

    I don’t know how often it happens elsewhere but we seem to see it fairly often in the midwest (USA) that people will hoard dogs and cats. I have not heard of people hoarding horses before. We do get the occasional neglect charges brought to a horse owner. The good news is that there are always a lot of people out here who will adopt them.

    hey,
    If you own an orphange would you be accused of hording little children?

  • diochick

    wow, and I thought the Beanie Baby collections were bizarre…

  • Gr8flDdFn

    what about farts? lol

  • kittym

    My uncle collected batteries. Not kidding. Thousands of them.

  • MPulse600

    At least most of these are inexpensive. I chose the unfortunate desire to collect guitars.

  • xdarkhorsex

    what about people who collect their urine and feces?

  • MPulse600 – my brother collects guitars too – electric ones.

    Kittym: dead batteries or new? Not that it matters much – weird either way :)

    Excellent comments on this list – and sorry for the failed editing options – I will try to get time to look in to it – though that may be unnecessary.

  • Drogo

    I have every issue of Popular Mechanics magazine going back to 1964, when my grandfather started saving them. I add my current issues to it, so the collection is still growing. It’s not worth much. I found out that there are collectors who have every issue since the `30’s or earlier.

  • srichards

    ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww….i collect money…any one willing to help can send it to Trinidad and Tobago

  • Drogo: wow – where do you keep them?

    srichards: I do too – feel free to send it via the “donate” button above :)

  • zubair kaka

    you read MAD? that why i knew i liked you!

  • clovis sangrail

    I read in a tabloid before of an American talent scout/agent who used to collect the pubic hair of famous celebrities… how he goes about collecting it was not disclosed…

  • really weird…

  • aplspud

    My parents thought it was very important for my brother and I to have collections of things. I have spoons and stuffed animals, I’ve collected stickers, apples and rocks. I have a Christmas angel collection and a lot of moose. I think its strange that people feel the need to collect things at all, yet I doubt I will ever stop.

  • D

    All this talk of collecting spit and boogers and no mention of Ren and Stimpy???

  • he he very funny

  • Drogo

    To answer Jamie: 43 years of Pop-Mech Mags, in boxes, takes up 15in. by 25in. of floor space and about 4 feet high, in a closet. I measured it. Did you know they had battery powered lawn mowers back in the 1960’s?

  • Drogo: wow – what happens if you want to read an issue in the bottom box? And no – I did not know they had battery powered lawm mowers in the 60s – I can’t image how effective that would have been! :)

  • Nettie Bugg

    The picture for Number 6 was awesome. I love the way the light hits it,and the expression on the rabbit.
    It reminds me of the ALICE game…

  • LinkiDink

    Some of these I just can’t see as being bizarre, such as newspapers. I suppose that’s because I come from a long line of hoarders. I have always loved collecting things, and luckily I’m OCD enough to keep my collections organized. I have found that recycling has helped me to let go of things I might otherwise feel the need to save. I can take comfort in the knowledge that what I decide to let go of won’t end up in a landfill and can actually be put to some use. I think my most extensive collection is shopping bags (both plastic and paper), followed by books and magazines. I also have keys, various boxes, fabric and clothing, candy wrappers, and other miscellaneous items. I have even kept hair for years at a time (mine and other people’s).

    I’m an artist and can usually use the things I collect to make something else.

  • Drogo

    My grandmother joked that my grandfather was like Fred Sanford on the show “Sanford & Son” (Fred was a junk collector) because he had a room he called the workshop in the basement that was full of stuff. There was only a pathway from one woodworking machine to the next. He knew everything he had and where it was stored. One day I tested him. I thought of some obscure object that there would be only a fraction of a chance that he might have, I forget what it was. I asked him, “Do you have a [some little metal thing]?” He stood, scratching his chin for half a minute, then motioned “come on.” We went downstairs, around the back of the stairs, into the workshop, moved two machines and objects, climbed over other stuff to get to the corner of the room. He knelt down, opened a drawer and pulled out the object. He knew he had one, and exactly where it was located.

  • Yikkity

    i had a professor that collected newspaper. that guy was freaky. we could never go over any of my work in his office because his newspapers were in the way. Bananas

  • Yikkity: umm – wow – how did he keep his job?!

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  • Sharpie

    Well I used to know this guy that collected the little shivers of soap. You know like when you get to the littlest piece that you can’t really use it cause it breaks. He had like boxes and boxes full of them. Also my boyfriends dad collects pencils…not really a weird item but the fact that he has like 40,000 unsharpened pencils is kinda odd.

  • Which is worse? Collecting boogers, or eating them? I can’t decide.

  • cryndigo: eating them (if they belong to someone else) :)

  • Lisa

    I collect porcelain skunks. Not Pepe Le Pew or Flower, though. They’re pretty hard to find. So far, my collection consists of three porcelain skunks and one skunk made for me by a friend out of Skulpee.

  • Lisa: what is skulpee? I have never heard of that

  • rabbithunter

    maaan, that is one sexy looking rabbit

  • Amanda

    On number 5, I got so engrossed on watching the vehicles drive by on the video that I had to watch it again. And then I wished I hadn’t.

  • Victor Hugo

    THANK YOU folks for this post, now I don´t feel guilty for having 2 dozen superheroes action figures and a couple of old nintendo hand held games on my shelves.

  • ObeyArtGuy

    My ex sister inlaw had 168 cats in two bedrooms.She destroyed 3 houses that way.Then the toxic plasmosis got her.

  • john

    publish email if you wish. Herff Applewhite worked for the university of alabama in 1964 as the musical director and an album called light and blue was recorded by century records then, it has herffs picture on back as the director/conductor and i figure this is a good place to show it?? if interested contact [email protected]

  • kriemhild

    I collect leaflets(fliers, brochures). Ü

  • enxchanted

    There’s a town in the czech republic called Kutna Hora where they’ve decorated the inside of a small cemetary chapel with their own collection of human bones from the plague. It is incredible to see. I was the most impressed by the large chandelier hanging in the middle… it was surrounded by four columns that had skulls running up the length of them and then perched at the top were these innocent looking cherubs, a couple holding instruments and a couple holding more sculls.

  • Drogo

    enxchanted, Do you mean this place? There’s pictures.

    http://www.curiousexpeditions.org/?p=79

  • enxchanted

    yep! that’s exactly it! it’s a bit macabre, but still really cool to see!

  • pura

    number six is something called ‘rouge taxidermy’
    people get the remains of animals, thorugh either roadkill or natural causes, and, for lack of better word, mess them up with taxidermy.
    it is, in my opinion, quite interseting, though very morbidly so.
    you can acess the galleries of a bunch of artists here:
    http://www.roguetaxidermy.com/
    many of them sell their creations…creepy as hell, but some of them would be quite the conversation-starter. a three-headed squirrel on your wall? uhh…

  • deviantmiss

    john reginald haliday christie collected pubic hair! some people collect their nail clippings??????????? why?

  • Horse Collectables

    Started off with quite beleivable items, why on earth would you collect duct tape

  • great artilces about windows error,It helps me a lot ,Thank you!

  • Alienz

    I once collected my own booger and stacked them up into a pyramid. I hid it in a corner, but my mum found it and swept them away. I was only 4 years old. :(

  • Captain Carrot

    Anybody that collects body parts is a twisted f*ck and doesn’t need to be breeding. Go get therapy, you f*cking jagoffs.

    Find a better hobby and quit being an attention starved f*ckstick.

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