They say truth is stranger than fiction, and if you do your research then you’ll realize that fact is proven millions of times over. There’s loads of books and online publications that are famous for discussing and analyzing some of the world’s most out-of-this-world occurrences and little known bizarre facts involving nature, science, politics, culture, and even actual people. That’s right: there are actual people in this world that are known for some of the most interestingly bizarre things you probably would never have imagined, even if you do claim to have a big imagination.
Yep, there’s just some things we couldn’t possibly make up here, folks. No longer are things like witches and magicians, and super-powered beings no longer just some interesting characters found in your favorite fantasy movie or TV show. Whether you can believe it or not, there are some truly unique humans out there. These people that we’re going to discuss in this article all have something very special, extraordinary, and unimaginable careers, talents, appearances, and even health related conditions you’d never thought existed. Read on to examine along with us 14 of some of the most unique people on the planet that’ll make you say “WTF”!
14 Thai Ngoc- The world’s biggest insomniac
If you thought you’ve been deprived of a good night’s sleep for a long time, imagine how it feels to live like this man! Thai Ngoc is a Vietnamese farmer with the most extreme case of insomnia you can imagine. His claim is that he hasn’t slept in decades -- 43 years to be exact. Apparently he abruptly stopped sleeping at night in 1976, when he was 34 years old, and hasn’t dozed off since. Science groups observed him around the clock to discover and prove if Ngoc was being truthful about his condition. According to their findings, he was 100% right. Furthermore, they tested things such as his alertness, energy levels, and even drew blood to research his DNA. Although his condition astonishingly hasn’t had any negative impact on his health, and he’s able to keep two full-time jobs (which has greatly contributed to his financial status), he’s not very happy. He quotes, “I feel rather bad now. I am like a plant without water. My wish now is to have a nap. Half an hour’s sleep would be enough to satisfy me.”
13 Irina Kazakova- The wild contortionist
Irina Kazakova is a world class gymnast and contortionist. She is considered one of the most flexible people in the world! The Russian native gained popularity through her performances on her country’s national team. Her super agile and limber body has allowed her to perform tricks and techniques for decades that would have any yoga newbie cringing. She’s currently becoming more involved with rhythmic gymnastics and wants it to be her main focus. When she performs, she displays a series of breathtaking acts involving contortionism and rhythmic dances while using props like the ball, hula hoops, ribbons, and clubs. Her most popular act is her “Snake Dance”. According to her Instagram, she’s also an aerialist, underwater model, and creative director. She is very active on her social media accounts, having garnered almost 68K followers on Instagram alone. She also posts regularly of pictures of her underwater modeling and contortionist talents.
12 Lal Bihari- Declared dead for nearly two decades
Imagine going through life like usual only to have have the government declare you dead when you really weren’t. That’s the story of Lal Bihari, an Indian farmer and activist that was declared dead for nearly two decades (from 1975 to 1994). For this reason, he holds the record for the longest time a living person was declared dead. After discovering he was recorded as deceased by the Uttar Pradesh state of India, he fought for 19 years to prove otherwise and literally get his life back. Uttar Pradesh was a land of great crime, agricultural drought, and pure desperation. Apparently it was normal there for people (relatives, in particular) to bribe revenue officials to register someone as dead. These relatives do this so they may take the supposed deceased's land and belongings as their own. This happened with Bihari, and with great perseverance and (ironically) risk to his life to prove he was alive, he finally succeeded in 1994. Because of his experience, he founded the Uttar Pradesh Association of Dead People, where he works to help others wrongfully labeled as deceased to help them to fight against Indian bureaucracy. He also helps those who have been threatened by others, even by family members, so their land will not be granted to someone else. He’s dedicated himself to protecting the identities of the vulnerable along with securing the identities of those wrongfully declared deceased.
11 Isobel Varley- World's most tattooed senior citizen
The story of this woman’s discovery is quite an unfortunate one. In June 29, 2011, she was found dead that afternoon in her home. When she had not reached out to anyone in two days, her family requested her friends to check in on her. They called the police, who found her deceased with no obvious reason as to what caused her untimely death at 78 years old. She was known for her numerous tattoos that covered her body, and was even featured in magazines. On March 31, 2011 it was recorded by licensed medical practitioners that roughly 93% of her body was covered in tattoos, excluding her palms and the soles of her feet. Even though she is not gone, she still holds the record in the Guinness Book of World records as the world's most tattooed senior citizen.
10 Valeria Lukyanova- Human Barbie
Valeria Lukyanova is known to the world as The Human Barbie. Yes, she is literally famous for being a human replica of the iconic Barbie doll. The Ukrainian model, DJ, and spiritual leader blew up on social media for her doll like appearance and completely got the nickname by the media. She never considered herself to resemble Barbie. But to keep up with the charade, she keeps her hair dyed bleach blonde and wears contact lenses. The only surgery she's ever had done was a breast augmentation, and guarantees that the rest of her body is completely natural due to daily workouts and a special diet. She ultimately went as far as posting numerous real time videos on her social media as well as make guest appearances on live news TV shows in order to dispute the claims that she uses Photoshop to achieve her "unrealistic" looks.
9 Kim Goodman- Eyes wide open
Kim Goodman holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for being able to do one really weird trick: pop her eyes out of her head for up to 12 millimeters long! It is a rather odd talent that she’s had since she was a kid. The ability was discovered when she was once hit in the head with a hockey mask as a kid. Ever since that day, she was able to pop out her eyes on cue -- even when she yawns. She explains that she enjoyed scaring the crap out her her brother when they were little. As she got older she, developed an enjoyment in performing her unique talent around random people. She once made an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2004, she was given special recognition by the Guinness Book of World Records as part as one of their outstanding feats of all time.
8 Jyoti Amge- World's smallest woman
If you’re a fan of the American Horror Story series, you may very well recognize this woman here: Jyoti Amge. She is an Indian actress and television star also known to be the absolute shortest woman alive. She also holds a title in the Guinness Book of World Records. She stands tall at only a mere two feet and one inch! That's shorter than the average toddler! She also only weighs a tiny 11 pounds, and is only 6.2 cm shorter than the previous shortest woman in the world, who was only two feet three inches. Her form of dwarfism is called Achondroplasia, meaning she'll never grow any taller than her current height. All of her clothes, jewelry, and even eating utensils are custom made just for her. Another fun fact about Amge is there is a wax figure of her in Lonavala.
7 Justin Jedlica- Human Ken
Well since we just covered the human Barbie doll, why not take it a step further and take time to introduce Barbie’s main man, Ken! Justin here is known for sharing his plastic surgery journey on social media, having undergone over 190 procedures. His obsession with plastic surgery started while watching the show Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous back when he was a teenager. His lifestyle of constant cosmetic procedure and altering his appearance so drastically eventually landed him the title as the Human Ken Doll. He's had many parts of his body surgically enhanced, his face, eyes, lips, chin, jaw, and neck just to name a few. He's also received implants in his chest, abs, back, and shoulders to create and maintain a muscular and athletic figure for himself. Despite the many procedures he's went through, he still commits to a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise by the way.
6 Michele Kobke- Teeny tiny waist
Are you starting to think the advertisement of waist trainers are getting a bit out of hand on Instagram? In fact, the whole trend of attaining and maintaining unrealistic waist measurements has blown out of proportion in recent years. However, there probably aren’t many that took it as extremely as Michele Kobke, the woman with the smallest recorded waistline in the world. As a result of her non-stop waist-training, she's achieved an unbelievable 16 inch waistline! She explained that she began when her waist was around 25 inches, which is generally considered a very healthy waistline anyway. After three years of hardcore waist training, she's managed to shave off about 9 inches. Her dream waistline is 15 inches and she is currently working towards that goal. She says that corset training has become a really important part of her life. She has since forged a career in modeling fashion designers corset pieces as well as creating her own.
5 Eskil Ronningsbakken- Crazy stuntman
They say you only live once, and this man really took the statement to heart! Eskil Ronningsbakken is a world famous stuntman and daredevil. His claim to fame? It’s the horrifyingly dangerous stunts he loves to pull off. In fact, they are so dangerous that they’re literally life-threatening. He travels around the world to perform balancing acts on some of the world's highest and most dangerous mountains, canyons and cliffs. He has a number of exciting and frightening (or perhaps excitingly frightening) balancing acts up his sleeve, such as tightrope walking between two flying hot air balloons and performing a handstand on a stack of chairs that were placed on a rock wedged in a 3,500 ft tall crevice. His death-defying acrobatics has allowed him to travel to over 100 countries and perform in front of TV audiences that range into the millions.
4 Romario Dos Santos Alves- Blown up arms
Who didn’t ever want to emulate their favorite superhero in some way as a kid? It was super fun to dress up as Superman, Supergirl, or Wonder Woman on Halloween, or role play as their favorite comic character. Of course, it was all fun and games then. None of it was real, until now...
Romario Dos Santos Alves is a Brazilian bodybuilder who had the goal of having the biggest muscles in the world. He took drastic measures to do so, from injecting himself with steroids to lethal combinations like oil and alcohol. Now his arms and shoulders are permanently swollen to the point that he looks like he’s flexing all the time! He’s gained quite a few nicknames, such as the “beast” or “monster”, The nicest one happens to be the human Incredible Hulk. Unfortunately, he isn't as invincible as the Marvel super hero, and his obsession with bulking up nearly cost him his arm.
3 Natasha Demkina- X-Ray vision
How cool would it be to have a superpower, like the ability to fly, or telekinesis, or X-ray vision? Natalya, or Natasha Demkina has claimed to have the latter, and adopted the title as the Girl with X-Ray vision when she was just ten years old. She began receiving world wide attention involving her "powers" at twelve years old. Since 2004, she's been a full-time student of the State Stomatological University in Moscow. She'd also appeared on TV shows in the UK and on a special aired on the Discovery Channel in Japan. And since 2006, she's been working with the Center of Special Diagnostics of the Natalya Demkina. It's mission statement is to diagnose and treat illness. While many people insist to find her claims of this special ability to be not only untrue but unrealistic, her findings often astonished previous non-believers and debunked even the harshest critiques.
2 Gino Martino- Hammer Head
Speaking of superpowers, here’s another person that’s got an incredibly unbelievable ability: John Ferraro, or Gino Martino, his ring name. As a professional wrestler, he's been known to be a super strong man. He became most famous for his title as "Hammer Head" or "Human Hammer" because of his brute force, using his head to smash and break things as hard as concrete cinder blocks over his head! He showcases this stunt by piling the super heavy cinder blocks on his head which are then broken by his assistant with a bowling ball or jackhammer, and his skull is completely resistant to the force every time! Another famous stunt he performs was to request a 300 pound wrestler to stand on his chest as he lied down on a bed of nails. He's the owner of many championship titles in the wrestling and ring fighting world, including the brass knuckles title.
1 Karen Overhill- 17 different personalities
Karen Overhill has been recorded to have one of the worst cases of personality disorder ever seen in history! At age 29, she was diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder, a psychological condition wherein the person has a severe form of disassociation with thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, and even one's identity. Her condition was triggered by psychological trauma because of abuse she got from family. Her abuse must have been so traumatic that her brain had to literally create 17 different people of different ages, different personalities, and even different genders, at one time. The multiple people inside of her brain caused her to feel as if she literally wasn't herself. Things she'd do during the day, people she'd meet, and events that would take place, she couldn't seem to remember them all and it was crippling her. Years of unorthodox treatments, like hypnotherapy, seemed to worsen her condition rather than fix it. Eventually, she learned to accept the abuse she'd gone through, tackling each personality one by one and understanding their existence and origins. She also discontinued therapy and divorced her husband to free herself of their bad marriage. All those things led up to her finally being cured of the vicious disease.