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Rediff.com  » News » DON'T MISS: The 10 STRANGEST stories of 2011

DON'T MISS: The 10 STRANGEST stories of 2011

Last updated on: December 19, 2011 09:02 IST

1. Indian with 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren

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An Indian man with 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren, all living under one roof, holds the numero uno position in Ripley's Believe It or Not top 11 strangest stories for this year. Ripley's Believe It or Not!, is considered to be the authority on all things odd, amazing and unusual. Topping the list of strange stories, is the story reported by London-based The Telegraph, about Ziona Chana, who lives in a four storied building with 100 rooms in a mountainous village in Mizoram state, sharing borders withBurma and Bangladesh.

"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," said Ripley's Believe It or Not in a statement."I once married 10 women in one year," Chana is quoted as saying by The Telegraph. According to the daily, Chana met his oldest wife, who is three years older than he is, when he was 17.

With inputs from PTI

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Image: Family members of Ziona (right) pose for group photograph outside their residence in Baktawng village, Mizoram
Photographs: Reuters

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2. Implanting organs in the name of art

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Australian artist Stelarc spent 10 years before finally finding a surgeon who would give him an ear transplant -- in his arm. The ear does not function, but he hopes to have a microphone implanted to allow others to listen to what his extra ear picks up.

"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."



Image: Australian artist Stelarc during a performance

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3. Liechtenstein for hire at $ 70,000 a night

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What's cooler than renting out a swanky hotel penthouse for a night? How about your own country?

Officials from Liechtenstein, a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, decided to put it up for rent after realising its potential earlier this year. The rental scheme includes customised street signs, temporary currency and accommodation for 150.


Image: Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east


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4. Blind dog gets own guide dog

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Graham Waspe's labrador Edward lost his eyes to glaucoma. Devastated, the man from Suffolk, England enlisted Opal, another guide dog to steer them both.


Image: Waspe with Edward (left) and Opal


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5. Russia's 'cemetery collector'

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The Russian police in November arrested a man described by the media as the "cemetery collector" for digging up 29 bodies and dressing the remains in female clothing to display around his house.

After searching the flat and garage, it was ascertained that Anatoly Moskvin used mummified bodies from graves to make the life-size dolls. The police described the man, who was arrested following the desecration of graves in the area, as a local historian and an expert in the study of place names.



Image: A still image taken from undated police footage shot inside the flat of Anatoly Moskvin shows books, clothes and dressed figures, reportedly mummified bodies desecrated from cemeteries


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6. Alabama company turns gun lovers' ashes into ammo

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An Alabama-based company, which calls its Holy Smoke, offers to 'continue protecting your family even after you are gone,' by turning ashes into fully-functioning bullets. Once the deceased's family decides the calibre of the ammunition, they send one pound of their dead relative's ashes.

The staff of Holy Smoke place a portion of the cremated remains into each cartridge. It sends the family a case of up to 250 bullets for display in the home or to take on a hunting trip.

In 2005, the ashes of author Hunter S Thompson were famously shot out of a cannon, six months after the Gonzo (external link) journalist killed himself.


Image: Red, white and blue fireworks are exploded around the Hunter S. Thompson memorial tower in Woody Creek, Colorado August 20, 2005. Writer and journalist Hunter S. Thompson's ashes was fired into the sky amid fireworks
Photographs: Reuters

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7. Mexican 'vampire' woman immortalised in wax

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Maria Jose Cristerna, a Mexican woman who claims to be a vampire, has had her body --including implanted metal horns and pointy teeth -- immortalised in wax.

Ripley's, which runs Believe It or Not museums around the world, asked the 35-year-old former attorney, to be cast in wax so a replica of her could be put on display.



Image: Maria Jose Cristerna performs during an exhibition in Guadalajara, Mexico
Photographs: Reuters

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8. Stop wearing bunny suit, cops tell Idaho man

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William Falkingham, a 34-four-year-old man from Idaho, United States was told by the police in August to stop wearing a bunny suit following complaints from nieghbours that he scared children.

Falkingham reportedly hid behind trees and pointed his finger at children like it was a gun. It was also reported he occasionally wore a tutu (external link) with the costume.



Image: William Falkingham (inset) was ordered by the police not to wear bunny suits


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9. Airport geese to be cooked for poor

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In June, the New York City Airport officials hatched a plan to get rid of hundreds of nuisance geese that threaten planes flying in and out of airports by killing them. They would then be shipped off to food banks in Pennsylvania.

According to the city's Department of Environmental Protection, no suitable locations could be found in New York that were willing to take the geese as donations.





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10. Japanese tsunami survivor found 15 km out at sea

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Sixty-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa was found on the roof of his floating house far out at seas, two days after the tsunami devastated the northeast coast of Japan on March 11. Shinkawa was found by a defence ministry destroyer 15km from shore, officials said.


Image: Shinkawa, who was swept out to sea by the tsunami, is rescued by crew members of Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force
Photographs: Reuters

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