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Strangest Collections in the World

It’s fun to collect the things we love such as jewelry pieces, shoes, bags, stamps, coins, and comic books. Hobbyists even spend a great amount of their time and income just to find the special items they want to collect. But there are some people who took it to the next level by collecting strange and unusual things. If you’re wondering what they are, here are some of the strangest collections in the world we’ve found.

Banana Labels: Becky Martz, from Florida, has a collection of over 21,000 different banana labels from all over the world. Her hobby started in the 1990s and has grown into an extensive archive of these tiny pieces of fruit-related ephemera.

Belly Button Lint

Belly Button Lint: Graham Barker from Australia holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of belly button lint. He began collecting his own lint in 1984 and has continued the practice daily.

Traffic Cones:  David Morgan, the world’s well-known collector of traffic cones owns 137 different types of traffic cones from different countries around the world. The oldest in his collection and also the most cherished one is a 1956 Lynvale rubber model from Scotland. David Morgan is a sales director of Oxford Plastic Systems. No wonder he sees a thing of extraordinary beauty in traffic cones. In fact, his daughter is cool with his collection and she even tells him whenever she finds one.

Joseph W. Lauher’s Handcuffs:  Joseph owns the largest collection of handcuffs and most of them are vintage ones. There are also leg irons, nippers, and thumb cuffs in his collection. He also has a website about his handcuffs collection which you can check out here.

Backscratchers: A dermatologist name Dr. Manfred S. Rothstein has a formidable collection of back-scratchers. He has 678 backscratchers as of September 2008. Most of his collections are made of jade, leather, corn cobs, blown glass, bamboo, brass, and buffalo ribs. All of them came from 71 countries. Knowing his collections, some of his patients bring him backscratchers from their travels.

Sugar Packets: Collecting sugar packets can be strange for us but it is popular in the UK. However, the largest collection of sugar packets belongs to a German and not to a Brit. Ralf Schroder of Lower Saxony has 14,502 different sugar packets as of May 2013. The oldest sugar packet he has dates to the 1950s.

Victor Paul Taylor’s Scratch Card Collection: Victor Taylor has a particular interest in “Instants” lottery scratch cards which are produced by Camelot for the UK National Lottery. Buying scratch cards is not unusual but having the self-restraint to not go ahead and scratch them off to see if you won is the strange thing about it because Victor Taylor doesn’t scratch them off. He just likes to collect them.

Toothpaste: Dr. Val Kolpakov is a dentist in Michigan. In 2002, he started collecting toothpaste from around the world. He has a website called Toothpaste World where the toothpaste he had collected were categorized according to location, brand name, and year of production. He has now more than 1,400 tubes of toothpaste in his collection.

Napkins: Most of us use and throw napkins away but Helena Vnouckova collects them. Not just some of them because she has more than 16,000 napkins in her collection and they came from all over the world. Some of them are company napkins, airline napkins, and sets of themed napkins.

Soap Bars: Carol Vaughn, a pensioner from Birmingham, UK, has a collection of more than 5,000 bars of soap which came from different countries. She started collecting soap bars in 1991 as a pass time while taking care of her mother.

Toasters: Forty years old Jens Veerbeck owns more than 600 models of toasters. One of those costs is from the 1920s and it costs £3,500. His collection is displayed in a converted loft of his apartment in Essen, Germany. His love for toasters started when he bought an old chrome pop-up toaster from the 1950s in one of his trips to San Francisco. Some of the rarer models of toaster he has cost up to £1,500 each and they have more than doubled in value.

World’s Biggest Happy Meal Toy Collection: Luke Underwood is an 11-year-old boy who has a massive collection of 7,000 Happy Meal toys. His collection has attracted a lot of bidders from all over the world. He is now $10,000 richer after his set of Mcmemorabilia were sold in an auction.

Coca-Cola Cans:  The owner of colaplaza.com is an anonymous Coca-Cola can collector. His collection started in the early ’80s and it has now more than 8,000 different Coca-Cola cans.

Air Sickness Bags: Many people collect aviation memorabilia but did you know that there are people who collect airsickness bags? They are referred to as “baggists”. In fact, there is an Air Sickness Bag Virtual Museum where more than 2,000 photos of air sickness bags are featured from all over the world. One of the well-known air sickness bag collectors is Niek Vermuelen who has collected 6,000 bags from 200 countries.

Toenail Clippings: Richard Gibson, an artist from the US, has saved every toenail clipping since 1978, turning them into art pieces. He views this as a way of preserving parts of his life.

McDonald’s Memorabilia: Mike Fountaine owns one of the world’s largest collections of McDonald’s memorabilia. He began collecting in 1968 and now has more than 75,000 items, including uniforms, buttons, Happy Meal toys, and foreign product packaging.

Erasers: Petra Engels from Germany owns over 19,500 non-duplicate erasers from more than 112 countries, making it one of the largest collections of its kind.

Burnt Food: Deborah Henson-Conant from Massachusetts, USA, has a Burnt Food Museum, which started when she accidentally overcooked a batch of apple cider. The museum now showcases various charred and overcooked foods, celebrating culinary disasters.

Do Not Disturb Hotel Signs: Edoardo Flores, a former UN worker, has collected over 15,000 “Do Not Disturb” signs from hotels in over 190 countries. His hobby began while traveling for work and has grown into a significant collection.

Daleks: Rob Hull from the UK officially holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of Dalek toys and models (the iconic villains from the “Doctor Who” series), owning more than 1,202 items.

These are just some of the strangest collections you can find from all over the world. If you were to collect something strange, what would it be?

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