Wanted : The Wide World of Weird-ipedia
November 5, 2014 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Wee Thumbscrew, aged nine, is a weird, morbid, hilarious child. Lately, at bedtime, we've been reading "weird Wikipedia" articles together, and they have been a HUGE hit. Please provide us with some of YOUR favorite utterly deranged Wiki pages. Spooky/gory/X-Files-y stuff is a-okay, real-life serial killers or smutty stuff is not. Here are some entries we've enjoyed:

- Anatoli Bugorski (Russian scientist shot in head by particle accelerator, survives!)
- Phineas Gage (mine worker impaled through skull by rod, turns into utter a-hole, delights medical community)
- TGN1412 (first human trial of immunotherapy drug goes REALLY WRONG)
- SL-1 (nuclear reactor explodes, jumps nine feet into air, pins dude to ceiling)
- Byford Dolphin (diving bell explosively decompresses, liquefying divers)
- Tarrare (insatiable Frenchman eats and eats and eats and possibly eats a baby)

Disclaimer 1: yes, yes, I always stress, "these were real people who really suffered, we need to be aware of that!"... he's nine. He's weird. That's that.

Disclaimer 2: I was the exact same way as a kid. I carried around cards with information about various plant poisons on them. I am now a nice grown-up who gives to charity and has never killed anyone, serially or otherwise.
posted by julthumbscrew to Grab Bag (54 answers total) 232 users marked this as a favorite
 
* Numbers stations
* Bloop
* Vela Incident
* Erdstall
* Voynich manuscript (subject of a recent Metafilter post)
posted by neushoorn at 7:38 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wikipedia's own list
posted by thelonius at 7:40 AM on November 5, 2014 [13 favorites]



William Beaumont and Alexis St Martin!
posted by littlewater at 7:40 AM on November 5, 2014


Wow!signal
Lost Cosmonauts
Taman Shud Case
Victor of Aveyron
Acoustic Kitty

This is a book but I think he'd enjoy Wicked Plants.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:53 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]




There's this list.
posted by Ned G at 7:56 AM on November 5, 2014


Boston Molasses Disaster
posted by maurreen at 8:06 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


List of Fatal Bear Attacks in North America

This is my very favorite wiki page.
posted by mochapickle at 8:06 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't know if this thread is visible to you, but it's chock full of exactly what you want... though you'll need to filter out the serial killers.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:10 AM on November 5, 2014


The Mad Gasser of Mattoon, who may or may not have actually existed.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:11 AM on November 5, 2014


This may be pushing it, but: Salish Sea human foot discoveries
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:13 AM on November 5, 2014


This is an AWESOME question

Ball lightning
posted by Cygnet at 8:17 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Kind of a sideways answer, but this list of common misconceptions *feels* weird.
posted by Jofus at 8:31 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]




List of Unusual Deaths
posted by BurntHombre at 8:38 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


io9 just asked for comments on What is history's greatest mystery? and there's already some stuff there that my history-mystery-loving self didn't know about. Might be worth mining in a day or two.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:41 AM on November 5, 2014


John Titor, the time traveler from 2036, who posted on bulletin boards in 2000 and 2001.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:42 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]




Operation Mincemeat.
Essex (whaleship)

Both of these have excellent books about them.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:45 AM on November 5, 2014


Spontaneous Human Combustion
posted by stoneweaver at 8:45 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Boston Molasses Disaster
posted by stoneweaver at 8:45 AM on November 5, 2014


This is less weird than you probably want, but just last night I found out about Pomes, which are the class of fruit that apples and pears belong to. The non-common ones were totally strange to me, especially the Medlar which is eaten rotten. Nature is weird.
posted by Phredward at 8:46 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Vladimir Zhirinovsky's donkey video

One of the many fascinating entries on the list of Animals In Politics.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:55 AM on November 5, 2014


This is probably contained within one of the other lists, but the demon core story really stuck with me.
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:59 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Coondog Cemetary - I've been here, it's actually pretty awesome.
Medicinal Leeches
List of creatures from Japanese Legend
posted by BoscosMom at 9:05 AM on November 5, 2014


Also, Spite Houses.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:20 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


London Beer Flood
posted by selenized at 9:24 AM on November 5, 2014


Immanuel Velikovsky, srewball extraordinaire, no Venus wasn't ejected from Jupiter 3500 years ago.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:31 AM on November 5, 2014


Le_Pétomane aka Joseph Pujol, the Fartiste.
posted by Rash at 9:31 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lamest edit wars
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:32 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]




Philadelphia Experiment
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:37 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


From the list of unusual deaths, I'd like to spotlight: Death by coconut.

Two more categories worth looking at: Forteana (sample entry: blood rain) / Out-of-place artifacts (sample: Newark Holy Stones).
posted by ryanshepard at 9:38 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Baghdad Battery
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:39 AM on November 5, 2014


The Beast of Gevaudan. Also, The Red Ghost of Tucson

Which, by the by, I heard about most recently in one of the latest Stuff You Missed in History Class podcasts, which you guys might also enjoy. Specifically, every Halloween they do a month of spooky podcasts, plus various maritime disasters and plagues spread out across the year. The older shows are shorter, which might work better for bedtime, but they're always good about being kid-accessible, yet pleasingly gory.
posted by theweasel at 9:50 AM on November 5, 2014


Some articles I found interesting:
Centralia mine fire
Door to Hell
Well to Hell hoax
D. B. Cooper
Planets beyond Neptune
Nemesis (hypothetical star)

And Lists of unsolved problems is my go-to rabbit hole of lists when I'm looking for something to read.
posted by Woodroar at 10:10 AM on November 5, 2014


Christmas coconut delivery
posted by BoscosMom at 10:11 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Soviet biological weapons program. Cool science, creepy accidents, and some sort of potentially dubious sources.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:16 AM on November 5, 2014


The FPP about Banksy led me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole to this: The Great Stink.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:57 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


This has zero creep factor but it's weird and charming: a blog about cat ladders
posted by workerant at 11:35 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


The "Cool Freaks on Wikipedia" facebook group is an endless stream of odd and interesting articles from Wikipedia by editors that stumble upon stuff.
posted by mathowie at 2:09 PM on November 5, 2014


Wikipedia has a long list of cryptids.
posted by vers at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2014


Check out JHarris' High Weirdness by Mail post, and search for items that pique your interest.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:15 PM on November 5, 2014


Therac-25, the concurrency error OF DEATH
BLUE PEACOCK, chicken powered nuclear mines.
Eustace the Monk, black magic medieval pirate.
Adrian Carton de Wiart
Pleistocene rewilding
Evander Berry Wall, King of Dudes.
1900 Galveston hurricane.
Gotz von Berlichingen, the knight with the iron hand.
Sergeant Stubby
Operation Sailor Hat
Duncan MacDougall, who tried to weigh souls.
Rosenhan Experiment
Ten Cent Beer Night
The Brown Dog Affair
Toynbee tiles
posted by zamboni at 3:21 PM on November 5, 2014


The disappearance of the Mary Celeste
The hoax that duped Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke and the single clue of Croatoan
The Goiania Accident, which was one of the worst radiological disasters in the world. Actually, this whole list of nuclear disasters and civilian radiation accidents are interesting reading.
The account of United Airlines 232, which crashed near Sioux City, is gripping in its detail of crisis management.
posted by topophilia at 3:39 PM on November 5, 2014


Larry Walters the Lawn Chair-Weather Balloons guy

It's not gory but it is pretty interesting. He attached weather balloons to a lawn chair and took a joy ride at 15,000 feet over southern California. And he eventually came to an unhappy end. I guess it's hard to top a feat like that.
posted by Kangaroo at 4:14 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


You may find some relevant topics in this similar AskMe that I posted a while ago.

I'll be watching this thread with interest.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:42 PM on November 5, 2014


I like the cut of your kid's jib, by the way.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:48 PM on November 5, 2014


136 Creepy Wikipedia Articles
posted by unliteral at 8:42 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


You guys are AMAZING! Thank you SO much! We read about the Goiania Accident last night and everyone was horrified and delighted in equal measure, and we cannot WAIT to peruse the rest of these.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:48 AM on November 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Clever Hans

About a horse that supposedly did math.
posted by maurreen at 11:11 AM on November 9, 2014


Not quite the same..but I was crazy re: the Guiness Book of Records re: his age.. the tallest man/shortest man/fattest person/most babies/youngest mum etc etc
posted by tanktop at 9:48 AM on November 11, 2014


I've been procrastinating by following the links on this page on and off since it's been posted, and I recently made my way to the page on anomalous experiences, which is not only fascinating in and of itself but contains a bonanza of other links.

Let's keep this page growing forever, you guys. So much love to julthumbscrew's awesomely weird kid.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 7:14 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just ran across Benjaman Kyle, which is definitely weird...

Benjaman Kyle is the pseudonym adopted by a man who has dissociative amnesia. He was discovered unconscious on August 31, 2004, in Richmond Hill, Georgia,[1][2] and is believed to be about 64 years old.[3] He had been unable to obtain employment without a Social Security number.[4] He is the only American citizen officially listed as missing despite his whereabouts being known.[5]
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:48 PM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


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