People on this planet are much weirder than you would have ever imagined! The kind of bizarre, and insane extremes people go to, in the name of culture, religion and tradition, will make you want to pinch yourself – just to make sure it’s for real and not some figment of your imagination. Here are some of the most such insane rituals from around the world that will convince you the people of this planet are bonkers.
Bullet Ant Gloves, Amazon
If you are a man, you’re going to be thankful for not being born into the Satere-Mawe tribe of the Amazon, after reading this! In this particular tribe of the Amazon, a boy needs to pass a rather bizarre test to prove he has become a man – he is made to stick his hands into gloves packed with hundreds of angry, ferocious, deadly BULLET ANTS for ten whole minutes! The bullet ant is the largest ant on the planet, and its sting is considered to be 30 times stronger than that of a wasp! Apparently, the tribe believes that intense pain and suffering make the young men tougher, and better warriors. Seriously!
‘El Colacho’ or Baby Jumping, Spain
Were you ever a long-jump champ in school? If yes, you’re going to find this one interesting. Make your way to Castrillo de Murcia to witness what can be considered as one of the strangest rituals on the planet – El Colacho. A tradition that has been doing the rounds since almost 400 years, infants are laid out on mattresses in the street, while men dressed as the ‘devil’ jump over infants as parents and visitors play spectator! Bet, long-jumps will never be the same for you anymore!
Lip Plating, Africa and Amazon
A large circular disc inserted into your lower lip is the kind of nightmare you might wake up to one night, but with a few groups of women in the Amazon and Africa, this is a tradition; a living reality! Known as lip-plates, increasingly large discs made of wood or clay, are inserted into a pierced hole in the lower lip, thereby stretching the lip, over a period of time. There are various theories behind this bizarre tradition. It is believed that larger the lip plate, larger the social status within the tribe. While some believe larger the lip plate, larger dowry the bride will receive on her wedding day!
Consuming ashes of the dead, Venezuela and Brazil
Are you a soup lover? Sure, how about some delicious soup made out of a dead person’s ashes and bones? In what can be termed as an absolute cringe-fest, the Yanomami tribes in Venezuela and Brazil go to extreme limits to ensure peace for the soul of a dead person. The body of the deceased is cremated, and the ashes and bones are consumed in the form of a soup! This way, they believe that the soul of their loved one shall be at peace, and will live within them forever. Erm, can someone pass the salt and pepper, please?
As insane as it sounds, bride kidnapping is a tradition that has been practiced around the world, in regions including the Caucasus and some parts of Africa, since centuries! Though this practice is illegal, the laws remain lax in countries like Kyrgyzstan, Chechnya, and Moldova. According to this bizarre tradition, the abductor kidnaps the girl he wishes to marry, and if he’s successful in keeping the girl in captivity for 2-3 days, she becomes his wife officially! And you thought the concept of arranged marriages was weird!
Maasai Spitting, Africa
Ever imagined being spat upon as a way of greeting? Apparently, in Kenya and Tanzania, that’s how they play it cool! To greet their friends, men from the Maasai tribe spit on each other! Alternatively, while greeting elders, a Maasai warrior spits in his hand before he offers a handshake, as a sign of respect! As if that wasn’t enough, men also spit on infants, since they believe that praising a baby is a curse and that it will have a bad life. Handshake? Err, no thanks, let’s just do it Indian-style, Namaste!
Tooth Filing, Bali, Indonesia
If visiting the dentist is something you dread, this particular ritual will sound like your worst nightmare! In one of the biggest Hindu ceremonies in Balinese culture, both males and female are supposed to undergo one ritual before marriage – to get their teeth filed! Apparently, this ritual signifies the passage from puberty to adulthood, and supposedly, it also renders a person spiritually and physically! This has got to be that one (and only) instance of your life, when you wished you didn’t have any teeth at all!
‘Giraffe Women’, Thailand
Ever wanted a long, slender neck like that of a giraffe? Pray you are born as a girl of Thailand’s Karen tribe, in your next birth! It is a popular belief within the Karen tribe that a long neck adds to the beauty, elegance, and attractiveness of a girl. As a result, girls belonging to this tribe start wearing rings around their neck at an age as young as five! The rings keep adding over time, thereby stretching the neck and making it longer.