We’ve all heard of the usual collections – the coins, stamps, teddy bears, sports memorabilia or even rock collections of the world. And people get really into these things, so much so that it often becomes a defining part of their lives.
But there are others out there who feel the same passion for some not-so-every-day collectible items, like these 8 strange collections. I’m taking a wild guess in saying you’ve never heard of them, but I have good reason to believe what I say – what do you think?
Yes, bellybutton lint, or navel fluff, is a real thing, and yes, there are definitely people who collect it, despite how disgusting most of the rest of the world finds it. A man by the name of Graham Barker currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of navel fluff, and he’s been collecting since 1984. How did he start? He found it in his belly button one day and was curious if one person could produce enough fluff in a lifetime to stuff a pillow.
Most of us would toss a piece of toast or a bagel after we burned it in the toaster, but there are avid collectors out there making plenty good use out of these burnt to a crisp leftovers. Maurice Bennett is a man who makes art out of his burnt food pieces, and there’s even a museum just outside of Boston, MA dedicated solely to “carbonized culinary pieces” (that’s accidentally burnt food in English).
You know the little white bags that are lined with wax that sit in the pouch of the seat in front of you on an airplane? You know, the barf bags? People actually collect those. Christoph Vogel is the man who currently has the most bags collected, and he buys and sells and trades his barf bags on the Air Sickness Bag Virtual Museum website. Another man began a collection because he couldn’t find a souvenir on the flight that he had promised to bring home for someone. So he got a barf bag instead and the collection grew from there. Let’s just hope they’re all clean!
Being handcuffed isn’t exactly the most comfortable thing in the world, but believe it or not, people do actually collect handcuffs. For what reason, who knows? Joseph Lauher is the go-to man for this collection, and he emphasizes the history behind human constraints, which, surprisingly enough, is a very fascinating one.
This strange collection obviously begs the question, “How?” Well, Wisconsin native Elizabeth Lowe claims to “collect” dreams. Since the human mind dreams so many dreams every night that most of us don’t remember, all she has to do is remember each one and go through and have them again once in a while. Her favorite recurring dream from her collection? A tiny elephant jumping around in her bath tub making a mess of her bathroom.
These little packs of sweetness come in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs, and one man has been collecting them since 1978. Phil Miller has a collection that still includes the old-school sugar packets with pictures of the presidents on them – now that’s a little piece of history right there! He also collects sugar cube wrappers. Man, he sure has a sweet life!
In recent years, the number of people who really do collect the hair of celebrities has shot through the roof – from 200 to over 2,000 people. Why? Many of these people are strong followers of all of the advances in DNA technology, and strongly believe that they will one day be able to clone their celebrity from the DNA packed in the tiny strands of hair. Ew – but John Reznikoff is the owner of the world’s largest celebrity hair collection, including chunks from Marilyn Monroe, Einstein, Napoleon and even Abraham Lincoln, whose “sample” still has some bits of brain matter attached from his assassination.
Katelyn Porter is a freelance writer who likes to collect things, but the craziest she gets is her pirate coins collection. She likes to read and learn about other peoples’ collections, though, and she even goes to visit some of the strange museums sometimes!