Most of us hate that terrifying question: “What are your hobbies?”
As your brain scans for something interesting to say, and the best way to make yourself sound more sophisticated than you feel you probably are, what you do answer with probably isn’t too unusual.
Perhaps you’re part of a sports team, go to the gym, enjoying reading, or knit in your spare time?
We’re guessing you don’t regularly collect naval fluff (yes, really) or take part in competitive dog grooming…
Here we have a collection of some of the most bizarre interests from all over the globe, compiled by Gifts.co.uk:
1. Toy Voyaging, Worldwide
The basis of this is to send your toys off on a potentially world-wide adventure. The website, ToyVoyagers, lets you choose a temporary home for your toy, wherever you please around the world, and off they go.
You can use the travel log to write to your toy, as well as send and receive pictures from them. Once you want them back, you just contact your toy’s hosts and ask them to return them to their rightful owner.
2. Extreme Ironing, UK
First beginning in Leicester in 1997, extreme ironing is a craze that has seen the chore taken to mountains, helicopters, and even mid-air during a skydive.
3. Competitive Dog Grooming, China
This, as you might imagine, involves grooming your dog in the most eccentric way you can. While this hobby takes a lot of time, if you’re successful enough, you can win up to $30,000 from a single event.
4. Mooing, USA
In Wisconsin, USA, a competition takes place in which competitors must do their best impression of a cow. The latest winner was a ten-year-old boy named Austin, who received $1,000, a cow print jacket, and a golden cow bell among other prizes.
5. Train Surfing, Germany
This began in Germany in the 80s, and it’s as dangerous as it sounds. Train surfing involves jumping on the outside of a passenger train and hitching a ride. Over 40 people in Germany died in 2008 alone from attempting to train surf.
6. Tattooing Vehicles, Taiwan
This comes from a Taiwanese pensioner, who enjoys tattooing words from Buddhist texts onto automobiles. His grandson has promised that when he is older and has the money, he will buy his grandfather a bus so that he can make the most of his hobby.
7. News-Bombing, UK
Here in the UK, one man enjoys finding the locations of live news-reports, and ensuring that he appears in the background behind the journalist being filmed. He claims that his aim is to make a serious point about broadcasters only allowing attractive people on-screen.
8. Collecting Navel Fluff, Australia
Australian man Graham Barker has been collecting and storing his navel fluff since 1984. With his hefty collecting now weighing in at 22.1 grams, this is arguably the most bizarre hobby of them all.
9. Ecstasy Collection, Netherlands
In 2009, a man phoned the Dutch authorities to report the theft of his ecstasy collection. This included over 2,400 tablets, which he kept in coin folders. Though he knew that this was illegal, he reported them missing as he was concerned that the collection could be very dangerous.
10. Collecting In-Flight Sick Bags, Singapore
Believe it or not, websites are available for ‘Baggists’ to buy and trade any sick bags they may or may not have found on aeroplanes. One of the original ‘Baggists’ is from Singapore, and has now got an impressive collection of 388 bags from 186 airlines.
11. Bug Fighting, Japan
Originating in Japan, bug fighting is, as expected, where various insects are put into a small plastic arena to battle it out. These fights are recorded, and the videos placed online.
12. Fork Bending, Japan
Another bizarre Japanese hobby here, fork-bending is the theory that by concentrating your mind, one will be able to complete the action with minimal physical effort. Think Uri Geller.
13. Painting the Largest Ball of Paint, USA
This began in 1977, when Mike Carmichael decided to paint a baseball, leading to the creation of a 3500 pound paint-covered ball, with over 22, 894 paint coats upon it. This has become a local tourist attraction, his only rule being that each coat must be a different colour from the previous one.
14. Hikaru Dorodango, Japan
Imagine rolling mud into a ball, before then methodically dusting it with soil, and repeating the process again and again. This hobby was originally a traditional hobby among Japanese children.
15. Soap Carving, Thailand
In Thailand, it’s common to see hand-carved soap flowers sold at night markets.
As a hobby, soap-carving is viewed very highly and people often sell their creations as souvenirs.