"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on February 5, 2018 by Sioux under General
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Paul & I spent a day at the Waterfront and visited the new Ripleys Believe it or Not museum. What an experience! Some of the oddities on show have to be seen to be believed! Good fun to get Paul standing behind the life sized display of a rather large man at the entrance!

We wandered through the many displays, oddities and weird stuff, having fun with the mirrors that make you look fat or thin,and testing our brains with some of the mind benders and puzzles. Fabulously interesting  entertainment!


Walking out of the building, we saw a sign pointing to the new Nedbank Building that read “Chavonnes Battery”. Neither of us could recall having seen it before so we went to investigate. A surprise of old awaited us! 


Just inside was a model of the hand of Willie Camper, a giant from Memphis, Tennessee, USA. He stood 2.7m tall and could hold a dozen eggs (unstacked) in the palm of one hand. Paul has quite large hands but his were dwarfed by those of Willie Camper! I was given rubber eggs to see how many I could get into Paul’s

hand and managed to fit 9!

Bobby Blackburn of Oudtshoorn, SA wears dentures made from crocodile teeth! A crocodile nature reserve ranger by trade, he says the teeth are razor sharp and cut through a piece of his favorite meat as if it were butter. And no questions as to what his favorite meat is – crocodile of course!


This portrait of John Lennon is made of string tied to tiny masonry nails!

    The Lizardman, is an American              freak show and sideshow performer       best known for his body modifications

   which include sharpened teeth, a full

  body tattoo of green scales, split 

  tongue, implants above his eyebrows 

 and green-inked lips.


 He makes his living as a freak,   performing before audiences all over   the world, as well as paid television

and public appearances. He was a Ph.D. candidate at the University

at Albany before beginning his transformation, and holds a Bachelor

of Arts degree in Philosophy.


His pet of choice? Ferrets!



Walter Hudson of New York was recognized as the world’s heaviest man in 1987, weighing in at a mere 635.03kgs! He spent 27 years in his bedroom and became famous when, after a fall in his home, it took 8 firemen 3 hours to rescue him! After going on a diet he lost 272.15 pounds and when he died in 1991, he weighed 464.93kgs.


His average daily diet once consisted of 2 boxes of sausages; half a kilo of bacon; a dozen eggs; a loaf of bread; 4 Big Macs; 4 cheeseburgers; 8 large packs of Macfries; 2 chickens; 4 large baked potatoes; 4 large sweet potatoes; 4 heads of broccoli and washed it down with a total of 39x 330ml cans of fizzy drinks!


These pin-head paintings were created by a Columbian artist in the early 1950’s. Each pin-head features a painting of a typical Columbian scene and all were painted free hand, without the aid of magnification and using only a single marten hair! The display at Ripley’s in Cape Town is the first time these paintings have ever been displayed to the public. 


Willard Wigan of Birmingham, England may have the most precise and steady

hands of anyone in the world. He’s a sculptor, but his sculptures are the size of an

eyelash and are so small that they fit in the eye of a needle or on the top of a nail.


On average, the figures stand at .005mm tall and can’t be seen with the naked eye.

To see these creations you’ll have to look through a microscope that can zoom in

at least 400 times, which is close enough to see the split in a hair! As microscopic paintbrushes aren’t a popular item in art supply stores, the artists’ clever solution

was to pluck one of his own hairs (and later a hair from a fly) and use the tiny filament as his paint brush. The ropes and strings you see in his work are made from spider webs.


To paint something so tiny he has to work in the second and a half pauses between his heartbeats and the whole process of sculpting and painting one piece can take 6 weeks to

3 months of working through the lens of a microscope. I would think the artist also has loads of patience!


Paul never said what it felt like to be reduced to a microscopic size!


Try saying the colour not the words, but say them fast! 


Liu Ch’ung was born with double pupils in each eye. He became governor of Shansi, China in 995AD and had a son born of an affair with the empress. He had his son proclaimed heir apparent of all China! 

Weng, the human unicorn, had a 33cm horn growing out the back of his head. This was apparently photographed and authenticated by Robert Ripley himself in Manchuria in  1931. 

Born during the 1700’s Thomas Wedders, from Yorkshire in England, had a nose that was 19cm long. He travelled around earning money as a sideshow in a circus. I’ll bet you’re looking for a ruler to check how long 19cm is!

Robert Wadlow, born in 1918 was known as the Giant

of Illinois, and became famous as the tallest person

ever in human recorded history. He reached 2.72m in height and weighed 220 kg at his death at age 22.


His size and continued growth in adulthood were due to hyperplasia of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone.


He showed no indication of an end to his growth even at the time of his death. He was taller than his father by the age of 8, and in junior school he had a special desk made due to his size. By the time he had graduated in 1936, he was 2.54m tall.


When his size began to take its toll he required leg braces to walk and had little feeling in his legs and feet. Despite these difficulties, he never used a wheelchair. 


Known as “The Icelandic Giant”, Johann Petursson of Iceland was quite wealthy and enjoyed decorating his home with customized furniture to fit both his budget and his massive 160kg body. One of the pieces was this oversized Chippendale chair. It was claimed that he was the 2nd tallest man ever to have lived, measuring  just 8cm shorter than Robert Wadlow, but in fact he was only 2.4m tall and was never measured without his 30cm tall Viking hat on!

The prehistoric Megalodon shark, a relative of the Great White, grew to a length of 13.71m and had teeth measuring 17.8cm’s! The shark was bigger than a WW2 fighter plane and the jaws were large enough to bite a small car!


One response to “Home again #8 – part 2 – intrigue, beauty and loads of fun!”

  1. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Very interesting thank you Sue!

    Some are wondering if a Megalodon Shark is responsible for missing boat and missing persons near False Bay 3 years ago!

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