Weird Universe

Foreign Customs

Passion of Spies

At the new nadir of USA-Russia relations, let us recall when things were even worse--and funnier!

I love the look and style of the artwork here.

The creator.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Apr 01, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Spies and Secret Agents, Surrealism, Foreign Customs, Cartoons, 1960's, Russia

The Aswang


Learn about the Filipino vampire known as the "aswang" here and here, then watch the documentary above.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Mar 30, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Cryptozoology, Superstition, Foreign Customs, South Pacific

New Use for Baboon Urine

According to, baboon urine is "selling like hot cakes" in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The place to go to get it is the Bulawayo City Council run toilets at Egodini commuter omnibus terminus.

The source of its appeal is the belief that "a baboon by its nature urinates only on one spot. Even if it travels from Matopo to Bulawayo, when it gets pressed, it will travel all the way to Matopo before it relieves itself."

Therefore, by extension (and because the ancient medical 'principle of similitude' dictates this must be so), if the stuff is applied to a man it will "start regulating his bedding tendencies." That is, it will make him faithful to one woman.

The article goes into details about how this is done. However, one husband found his wife's vial of baboon urine, got mad, and domestic violence ensued.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Mar 28, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Medicine, Foreign Customs

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu




Some particularly weird J-pop from "the David Lynch" of that medium.

Rat Burning Festival

Nowadays we have the Burning Man festival. But back in the 19th century, they had the Burning Rat festival.

Some years since a gentleman, who had just returned from Rome, informed me that he had witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a large number of rats, after having been dipped into spirits of turpentine and set on fire, being turned loose at the top of the flight of steps which leads from the Vatican to the Plaza below. A great crowd of persons was assembled to witness the spectacle, which took place at night; and I think my informant stated, was customary on the evening of a particular day of the year: the miserable rats, which left the top step of the flight like living balls of fire — amidst the shouts of the populace — arrived at the bottom mere masses of scorched flesh.

Is this custom still kept up at Rome? If so, on what day in the year?

From: Notes and Queries. Nov 28, 1857.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that the correspondent ever received a reply to his question.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Mar 05, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Animals, Customs, Foreign Customs


A music video from the daughter of the dictator of Uzbekistan. "We have ways to make you dance!"

Full story here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Nov 21, 2013 | Comments (1)
Category: Music, Children, Parents, Foreign Customs, Asia, Europe

Wawa Grande


Thanks to my pal, KW Jeter, who now lives in Ecuador, I learned about the existence of that country's own Bigfoot monster, "Wawa Grande."

Wawa Grande, which takes its name from the Quechuan word for baby and the Spanish word for big, reportedly stands upright on two legs and has thick, light gray or reddish hair. The Wawa legend dates back at least 200 years in Ecuador's southern Andes but several reported sightings since the 1980s sparked international interest.

Of course, a monster whose name translates as "Big Baby" instantly assumes less fearsome dimensions.

Read more here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat May 25, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Cryptozoology, Foreign Customs, South America
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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.