Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Announces the Top 11 Strangest Stories of 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2011) – Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, the authority on all things odd, amazing and unusual, has released its annual list of the strangest stories of the year. The year proved to be so bizarre that a Top 10 list would simply not do justice to such a year.
A bunny gets busted … an ear appears in an arm … a man with 39 wives
After countless hours of research, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is proud to share its “Top 11 Strangest Stories of 2011.”
- Indian Man with 39 Wives, 94 Children and 33 Grandchildren: It’s a safe bet that Ziona Chana would not be impressed watching “19 Kids and Counting” or “Sister Wives.” The 66 year old Indian man has 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren. They all live together in a four-story, 100 room building. “I once married 10 women in one year,” he said. He’s proof that there’s still hope for Kim Kardashian. Link
- Implanting Organs in the Name of Art: Australian artist Stelarc spent 10 years before finally finding a surgeon who would give him an ear transplant – in his arm. Huh? His implant will eventually be fitted with a microphone and a transmitter so all can listen in on what his arm is hearing. “It isn’t for my benefit,” he says. “I have two perfectly good ears, but it’s to explore the idea of me becoming an acoustic device for other people.” Stelarc, let us know if you ever get tickets to a Paul McCartney concert and remember to wear short sleeves. Link
- Liechtenstein for Hire at $70,000 a Night: What’s cooler than renting out a swanky Vegas hotel penthouse for a night? How about your own country? For $70,000 you can rent out the entire country of Liechtenstein. You and 149 of your closest friends can spend the night, sip wine with the prince, go sledding, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and more. There’s one catch – the country’s 35,000 residents get to stay while you pretend to own their homeland. Link
- Blind Dog Gets Own Guide Dog: What do you do when your guide dog goes blind? Easy, you get him a guide dog. Graham Waspe’s lab Edward lost his eyes to glaucoma, so he enlisted Opal, another guide dog to steer them both. Link
- “Cemetery Collector” with 29 Bodies Arrested: Russian police arrested a man for digging up 29 female corpses and turning them into life-sized dolls dressed in period costumes. Most were faceless, some wore blond wigs. Link
- Alabama Company Turns Gun Lovers’ Ashes into Ammunition: Talk about “you’re fired!” An Alabama company called Holy Smoke will turn cremated ashes into ammo so family and friends can fire off a few rounds of Grandpa. A pound of ash gets you about 250 shotgun shells. Talk about going out with a bang! Link
- Mexican Vampire Woman Maria Jose Cristerna Immortalized in Wax by Ripley’s: This strange story started right in the Ripley’s F/X department, as Maria the Mexican Vampire Woman came in to receive a full-body cast that will allow Ripley’s artists to make an exact mold of her body and create life-size wax figures of her. Maria, who has horns, fangs and head-to-toe tattoos, said “It’s my vampire dream to be immortal!” Trust us – she’s far more interesting and personable than any of those Twilight vampires. Link
- Stop Wearing Bunny Suit, Police Tell Idaho Man: Police in Idaho Falls told a man to stop wearing a bunny suit in public after townspeople complained he had been frightening children. Some residents felt the 34 year old man went tutu far when he donned a skirt with his bunny suit. Others came to the defense of this rare hare, saying “he’s got a strange lifestyle at home, but we all do weird things at home.” Link
- Airport Geese to be Cooked for Poor: In what could be called a real-life game of angry birds, New York City Airport officials hatched a plan to get rid of hundreds of nuisance geese by killing them and shipping them off to food banks in Pennsylvania. Evidently, they are being shipped out of state because hungry New Yorkers didn’t like where the birds have been. Link
- Missus in a Bottle: Richard Morwood was stunned to discover that his wife is the same girl whose message in a bottle he answered 30 years ago. Mandy English was 13 when she went searching for a pen pal with a note in a bottle. Morwood, then six years old, found her bottle washed up on a beach and wrote her back. The two didn’t realize the amazing coincidence until 2011. Link
- Japanese Tsunami Survivor Found 10 Miles Out at Sea: 60 year old Hiromitsu Shinkawa was rescued after the devastating tsunami in Japan; he was found on the roof of his floating house two days later – nearly 10 miles out at sea. Link
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About Ripley Entertainment; Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com), keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 12 million annually at its 80-plus attractions in 11 countries. In addition to its 31 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.