Weird Universe

Human Marvels

The Continuing Adventures of Rayo

After being ignored by most people when he nailed his tongue to a wooden board, Rayo the Fakir sealed himself with a snake inside a glass "bottle," in which he toured Europe. By the time he emerged, a year later, the snake had died.

Life magazine reported that the year-long stunt almost didn't happen because city authorities in Linz filed a temporary injunction, citing the act as "counter to the dignity of man... liable to produce panic... and creating an unhealthy condition for the inhabitant of the bottle."

I'm guessing Rayo wasn't actually Indian. He just pretended to be an Indian fakir as part of his act. (Basically, he was the David Blaine of the early 1950s.) Also, I think his last name was spelled "Schmied," though a lot of papers reported it as "Schmidt."

Newsweek - Jan 12, 1953

Bottled Up: The Austrian Fakir, "Rayo," whose real name is Rudolf Schmied, plans to tour Europe for an entire year while sealed with his pet snake in this glass bottle. He'll practice yoga, massage himself with special oils, and subsist on vitamin tablets and glucose. He hopes to be in London for the Coronation. (Newsweek)

The Circleville Herald - Dec 26, 1953

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Feb 02, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: Human Marvels, 1950's

No one cared about Rayo

1952: Rayo the Fakir nailed his tongue to a wooden board, but no one cared about the feat.

Lethbridge Herald - Feb 29, 1952

Franklin News Herald - Mar 28, 1952

Fredericksburg Standard - Jun 18, 1952

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Feb 01, 2016 | Comments (12)
Category: Human Marvels, 1950's


Jamie Keeton has the unique ability to make cans stick to his head. No glue is used. Just his head's natural suction power.

And he's making quite a bit of money off this talent. He earns up to $1000 a day by renting out his head to companies who want their products stuck to his head. And sometimes he earns $8000 for an entire weekend of head suction.

More info:

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jan 21, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: Human Marvels

The Tick Tock Man

Sankey Flynn (1918-2001) had an unusual condition. His ears made a ticking sound, about twice every second, which earned him the nickname "Tick Tock." The noise was so loud that other people could easily hear it. It was caused by a "spasmodic contraction of muscles in the roof of his mouth." He never tried to find a cure for his condition because he said he was used to it.

I wonder how the TSA would have reacted to him.

The Waynesville Mountaineer - June 1, 1950

Somerset Daily American - Feb 26, 1951

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Jan 10, 2016 | Comments (0)
Category: Body, Human Marvels, 1950's

2016 Calendhair

Tired of back hair shaming, one man made a calendhair, a calendar of back hair art. You can view all the months pictures and order yourself a calendhair at the link. The picture above is, of course, July. Maybe next year use some temporary hair dye to dress it up.
Posted By: patty | Date: Fri Jan 01, 2016 | Comments (2)
Category: Human Marvels, Hygiene

Antigravity Guy


Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Dec 31, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Human Marvels, 1930's

The Tallest Man

Perhaps you would like to spend some time at The Tallest Man website, which is devoted to giants and giantesses. As a teaser, below are the male and female recordholders from the historical archives.




Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Dec 09, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Body, Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature, Human Marvels

No-Arms Golfer

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Oct 12, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Body Modifications, Human Marvels, Sports, 1930's

Snake Woman

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Mar 29, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Body, Human Marvels, Africa

Norris Kellam, the Human Cork

Norris Kellam's great talent in life was floating. For which he earned the name "The Human Cork." In May 1933 he attempted to break the world record for staying afloat by floating in a saltwater pool in Norfolk, Virginia for over 86 hours. Unfortunately he didn't make it. After 71 hours and 19 minutes he was overcome by sharp cramps and sunburn and had to climb out of the pool.

There's more about Kellam at The images are from the Norfolk Public Library.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Oct 17, 2014 | Comments (7)
Category: Human Marvels, Sports, World Records, 1930's
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.