Some very Weird yet exciting Hobbies people indulge- Part I
Hobbies can be weird and strangely passionate, see how...
The word weird could mean so many things to different kinds of people depending on the context we chose to define it. Furthermore, what some people might consider weird could be strangely exciting to others. This is why I took the time to look at some very odd or should I say “weird” hobbies people indulge in. Some do it just for the fun it, while others do it solely to satisfy the innate longing or curiosity in them. On a very serious note, I’ll warn- never practice this at home.
Sit back as I serve you a dish full of an array of real breath taking Hobbies some people with stunt like capabilities take to as a past time or stress reliever.
- Coins Collecting: Numismatists as they proudly call themselves find it cool collecting and storing various kinds of coins. These coins could be silver, copper, Nickel, Gold or just about any metal with aesthetic appeal. This hobby can even be traced back to ancient times; for purpose of history: the Babylonians established the first coinage system to aid various transactions and from that time, this hobby came into being. Coins collected are grouped in types: these types are classified under the Age of the coins, metal-type (copper, gold or silver), Country it originated from and finally the period it was in circulation (medieval, bronze or Iron Age). These qualities were used in determining the overall value of a coin by collectors. A coin that was in circulation during the Victorian era, made with high quality metal say Gold, had perfect markings on it and of course had its origin from merry old England will be highly regarded as a coin of inestimable value. Such coins could be traded in numismatists circles for large sums of money that might even be in six figures. This is how serious this hobby is, that is if you still regard it as one (hobby).
- Stamps Collecting (Philately): when I heard about this strange hobby or past time, I was really intrigued by the idea of mysteriously finding myself in a room full of stamps; a very serious fetish of mine. Now back to Philatelist- the word “Philately” from what I know was derived from Greek which I think means “love of what is free of further tax” this is not history class though, so I’ll leave it at that. Stamp collecting dates back to Victorian times. This is when the very first stamps were issued. From historical accounts, the first stamp that presided the era of stamp regimes was the “Penny Black”: This particular stamp features a portrait of Queen Victoria on a black background. Till date, this is the most revered stamp by stamp enthusiasts. After the Penny Black, many other beautiful stamps with allure and ecstatic resplendence have graced different times and periods and Philatelist out of duty collect and keep these stamps to celebrate history and rich culture of various era and civilization.
- Shell Cataloging and Collecting: there’s this unique thing about shells: they are plain beautiful; and by shells I mean sea-shells (not Seychelles). Shells are naturally used as decorative apparels for designing various kinds of aesthetic ornaments. In ancient times even till this very moment we live in, they are used for making jewelry and various ornaments of value. This is why some people decide to dedicate their time to collecting and carefully cataloging different kinds of shells, either as a keepsake or for study purposes. But what I’m looking at here is the fun aspect of this. Truthfully speaking, I’ve not specifically met anyone that indulges in this kind of hobby: however, it is a popular hobby in many parts of the world. From historical antecedence, many take to this hobby to relieve stress or save these husks as a way of preserving or conserving useful artifacts. Common species of Mollusk like the clam, oyster, snail, slug, octopus, and squid are some of the creatures whose casings make up the compendium of a collector’s album. Snails for example come in different shapes and colors, the more colorful the higher the value. In some ancient civilizations especially in Africa, Cowries were used for monetary purposes and a legal tender for varied business transactions, because of its glossy and not forgetting its durability and strength to withstand any form of strain resulting from rough handling and age inducing factors like heat and moisture. In Paleolithic times, shells were employed as weapons as well as tools for cultivation: Collectors value this kind of shells and will do anything to get their sticky hands on such priceless ancient wonder to complement their kitty. If you plan to make this a hobby, then make it a vow to get the Jurassic shells of various extinct mollusk that roamed the earth during the Mesozoic era- when dinosaurs, I mean mollusk ruled the earth, think about it!
- Graphic and Comic Books Keeping: one thing with vintage items is that they have this unique ability of evoking nostalgic memories whenever you come in contact with them. One vintage item that have this uncanny brilliance are graphic books and comics, especially comics depicting the exploits of larger than life super heroes like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America and many other heroes of yore; hence, many comic book loyalist and cartoon pundits in other to preserve or protect what I’ll psychologically refer to as “comic Legacy” collect and keep old comic books. In their collection are some of the most splendid comic books ever to grace various shelves across the Globe. Still wonder why anyone will regard this as weird. Some go to the extent of using comic items as graphic-wallpapers for their rooms, while others stick pieces of comic books to make some sort of collage or confetti for important occasions and events. I’ve heard of comic preserving fans who establish comic preservation clubs simply to make sure the keep the legacy going. Clubs like this are found in many towns and cities of the world, with one unique responsibility- collecting, preserving and prolonging comical items for posterity, welcome to the club!
- Bone cataloging: I know you might think that this kind of leisurely or scholastic activity is exclusively for anatomists and those with some sort of professional training. If you still think so, then permit me to tell you how wrong you are. Bone collection and keeping has been in existence for as long as anyone can remember. Though it was solely for study and academic reasons, but I know of many carcass freaks whose self-imposed responsibility is collecting and keeping various kinds of bones from different animal species. The bones are collected in the order of time and binomial nomenclature of the creature in perspective. Most collectors are niche based- implying that they only concentrate on collecting bones based on a specific species of animals. Some collect only cartilaginous bones of fishes, others focus on amphibians like frogs, toads: while others prefer mammals, Avian (Birds), reptilians (like all crocodilians) and so on. Collectors really take care while handling these bones to avoid distortion, wearing off and eventual atrophy resulting from rough handling or age. I know of some collectors who make jewelries and beautiful ornaments from the skeletal remnants of various animals whose bones they collect. In some parts of Africa, the number of bone-type a person collects is used to show or will I say measure status and strength in his community. Many freelance collectors aid archeologists and excavators in various expeditions just for the fun of it. If you are wanderlust like me, then I’ll suggest you taking this up as a hobby, go figure!
- Hair Collecting: this is really the weird one if I should say, though eerie in every sense- but surprisingly a tourist’s attraction in some places around the globe. Human hair collectors take the pride in celebrating diversity; this is how far it can go. Hairs are classified under racial inclinations, and then further grouped under continents followed by country of which the hairs are predominantly found or originated. Under countries it is further broken down to tribes and color of the hair. This can go on and on differing only in the in-depth knowledge of the collector as regards the genealogy and race of peoples of the world. Being in a Human hair collector’s den is like visiting an archeological garden. You easily notice Negroid hair collection, Mongoloid, Caucasian, and Semitic hair types; then under these headings, the hairs are sub-divided as explained above. I know of a collector whose place is filled with over a million hair types from eclectic sources, this guy gets his collection further enriched by collecting a little piece of any tourist’s hair who visits his hair collection wonder. Tell me what can get weirder and spine-chilling than this?
- Dental and Ivory Collecting: the tooth is one natural creation that can be used to describe longevity. Many tooth collectors understand this and for this purpose take time to dig up archeological evidences of various extinct animal and human species. The evidence of the existence of mammoths (the elephant’s ancestors) that roamed the earth in Paleolithic times was made possible from dental or in this case ivory remains buried in the earth from centuries of tide and debris. People who regard this (Dental and ivory collection), as a hobby or passion are primarily experts with archeological training. However, there are others who out of the innate thrill to collect these items join the trade for the fun. This is how seriously weird this can become.
- Venom Extraction and storage: I seriously respect people who take this as a hobby, I know of biologists (herpetologists to be exact) and other experts in virology and study of various diseases, take to this passion chiefly to look at various ways venom from dangerous and wild animal species can be put to effective use as vaccines and antibiotics. Venom extractors keep in their collection, the wildest and most notorious and highly poisonous animal and plant species; from which they extract these venoms for careful storage and eventual use. Animals like the king cobra (the most venomous snake known in human history), the bearded lizard, the PItohui (the only known poisonous bird found in New Guinea) and poisonous plants with ornamental value like the belladonna, poison ivy, poison oak and more, make up the collection of the venom extractor. Though weird in every sense, but I think this passion is more than a hobby but indeed a huge task. The only negative side to this activity is that it is the most dangerous of all known hobbies because the Extractor’s life is at great risk. Other than that, this is oddly cool.
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- Collection of celebrity autographs: it even gets weirder when you discover that some crazy and fun loving people satisfy this craving in them to collect the autographs of almost all the revered and iconic celebrities ever known in History; like those of Elvis priestly, Tupac, James Brown, James Dean, J.F Kennedy, Michael Jackson to living celebrities like Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey, president Obama and wife Michelle, Michael Jordan, Nelson Mandela and just any celebrity you can think of. Some of these collectors go to the extremes of having these celebrities stalked and embarrassed by paparazzi just for the sole purpose of collecting a signed autograph from them. Weird and senseless you might think, but to them (autograph collectors), it is the coolest thing ever since cool.
- Old newspaper cataloging: how will you feel reading an old issue of the New York Times, London Times, and Washington post dated back to the nineteenth century? Nothing can be more interesting and weirder than this. This is why many historians and events-bookkeepers take their time to chronologically catalog these past issues for the purpose of posterity and history. My senior brother though a little disorganized in carrying this passion out, has this penchant for storing old issues of various Newspapers and Magazines. Recently I was foraging through his archives and discovered an old issue of the Time magazine published during the Second World War, it was truly chilling and ecstatic as I carefully caressed the pages of this magazine. This is the kind of fulfillment these collectors feel when they collect and store past issues of newspaper and magazines.
- Storage of old musical plates, tapes and cassettes: I was asking my grandmother while she still alive a couple of years back what some hardcore black and roundish tapes I found under her bed were, she narrated a story on how they used these tapes to play music back in the day by the use of the turntable (fifties and sixties precisely). Now if I was a collector of this type of relic, then this would have served as a great addition to my collection. That is why this (collection of old tapes and more) could be regarded as the most sophisticated of all of the hobbies. I now see why Disk Jockeys (DJ’) preserve the plates, Why not join the train?
- Halloween costume cataloging: the Halloween season happens to be one of the most eventful of all seasons except maybe Christmas; for this simple reason, many collectors take all their time to collect weird costumes depicting strange and fearful demons of the Halloween like those of Jack-o’-lantern’s pumpkin head, Count Dracula, Lady Gaga and every foreseeable costume ever worn during the Halloween season. As strangely weird as this hobby might seem, it is still a hobby and an important one at that. Halloween costumes are auctioned for high prices at online auctioning sites like eBay and co for good prices, especially if the costume was worn by a well celebrated personality.
- Movie costume collecting: this might be a difficult one, for you to pull this one off, then you need to be in the class of Steven Spielberg, J Abrams and so on to be able to lay your hands on different movie costumes. I’d love to get my hands on all the Jedi costume top Star wars Jedi knights like Obiwon Kenobi and Lord Dart Vaad; then the costume worn by Keanu Reeves in Matrix or that used by Gerald Butler in 300.
This is the part I of this series, so read, enjoy and drop your valid comments!
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