Weird Universe Archive

December 2020

December 11, 2020

TLALAATALA

Jose Luis Castillejo (1930-2014) described himself as a "modern writer". In 1969 he self-published The Book of I's, which was a book that consisted entirely of the letter 'i', printed repeatedly on several hundred pages. He said that he wrote it to "end the torrent of words we call literature." It's read below by Fernando Millan. (He begins reading the book shortly after the 1-minute mark).



In 2001, Castillejo explored the letters T, L, and A, with his release of TLALAATALA. It's read again by Millan.



As you might guess, writing wasn't Castillejo's day job. He earned his living as a diplomat, serving as General Consul of Spain in Stuttgart, as well as Spanish ambassador to Nigeria and Benin.

More info about Castillejo: caac.es

Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 11, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Literature, Books

December 10, 2020

The Vibro-Helmontholator

A fancy name for a worm catcher.

The Elizabethton Star - Jan 12, 1938



San Francisco Examiner - Dec 16, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 10, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions, Odd Names, 1930s

Mystery Gadget 90

What's this device do?



The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 10, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Technology, 1910s

December 9, 2020

Nude woman thought she was a camel

Assuming this woman was telling the truth, and she really thought she was a camel, then her case would be an example of the very rare condition known as clinical zoanthropy. That is, the belief that one has turned into an animal.

We've posted about this condition before, in the case of the woman who thought she was a chicken.

Alabama Journal - Feb 27, 1976



I thought the woman might have been inspired by Joe Camel, but it turns out he was only introduced in 1987.

image source: Band of Artists

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 09, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Psychology, 1970s

World’s Largest Gingerbread House

Seven years ago. What ever happened to it, I wonder.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 09, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Food, Holidays, Regionalism, World Records

December 8, 2020

The Man of the Hole

In the jungles of Brazil a man known as the "Man of the Hole" lives entirely alone. He's currently probably in his 50s. Although since no one has ever talked to him it's impossible to say this for sure. More info from New Scientist:

Virtually nothing is known about him, except that he seems to be the last survivor of his group or people. He has been nicknamed the Man of the Hole because he digs holes a metre wide and 3 metres deep inside little houses that he builds from palm leaves. No one quite knows why he does this. Could they be bolt holes? He also builds huge holes lined with spikes in the nearby forest to trap large animals.

There's a wikipedia page about him.

The video below shows some of the only footage ever captured of him.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 08, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Outsiders, Marginals, the Excluded and Low-castes

Follies of the Madmen #495

These tires only available in Lilliput.



Posted By: Paul - Tue Dec 08, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Giant People in Ads, Motor Vehicles

December 7, 2020

Midget Coins

1935: The U.S. Treasury considered introducing a "midget coin" that would be worth one-tenth of a cent. It would have been called the "mill". The idea was that people could use it to pay the sales tax on small purchases. As we've seen in a previous post, the sales tax often came out to fractions of a cent. However, Congress nixed the idea.

The only businesses that continue to charge tenths of a cent are gas stations. And apparently they began doing that back in the '30s because of the fractional sales tax.

More info: Wikipedia

Baltimore Evening Sun - Aug 7, 1935



Fort Worth Star Telegram - Aug 2, 1935

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 07, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Money, 1930s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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