Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Enter If You Dare!

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Stars: *****

Summary:  Ripley’s has been reporting on the world’s weirdest sites for I don’t know how long. Each year since 2005 they publish an annual. It’s basically a huge compendium of oddities. The 2011 version is this book, Enter If You Dare.

I reviewed last year’s edition: Seeing is Believing last year.

The chapter headings are a little different than last year’s edition. They are: Strange But True, Weird World, Animal Antics, Extreme Sports, Body Oddity, Travel Tales, Incredible Feats, Bizarre Mysteries, Fantastic Food, Artistic License, Amazing Science and Beyond Belief.

With all Ripley’s annuals, you’ll have access to 100s if not 1000s of color photos. If you want to get an idea of the layout, check out the Annual section of the website and choose the Look Inside! link.

This annual features a fold out, life size depiction of a 23″ tall person and a vampire section filled with names and short descriptions of real vampire animals and people, vampire tales, tips for vampire hunters and a piece by piece explanation of a vampire kit.

Now I’d like to share a few of the stories I found most interesting:

pg 25 – For a 2009 Sikh celebration in India, Baba Balwant Singh wore a 130lbs turban on his head that weighed more than he does!

pg 79 – When a pregnant shark was bitten in the side by another shark, visitors watched in amazement as four baby sharks swam out though the gaping wound. The injured shark needed stitches – but only after four more pups were found alive inside her.

pg 135 – Over 18 million people travel on Indian trains every day so trains are often alarmingly overcrowded. Passengers sit on carriage roofs or cling to the sides, with some trains carrying over 3000 people – twice the intended capacity.

pg 154 – Guinness Rishi (who was in the last annual for a different reason) has undertaken to get his head, face and body tattooed with more than 200 national flags in full color. He has 24 on the top of his head, 25 on his face and more than 150 on the rest of his body. He is now working on a map of the countries on his stomach. (You’ve got to see the photos!)

pg 204 – Greg Lewis from Chesterfield, Virginia creates stunning sculptures from everyday materials that nobody would think of using for art. He made a mermaid out of 67,000 toothpicks and it took him three years. He has developed a technique that enables him to mold sharp toothpicks into smooth shapes that at first glance appear to be solid wood.

Links of Interest: Follow @RipleyWorld on Twitter. *highly recommended*, The Official Ripley Blog,

Other Reviews: Shooting Stars Mag, Charlotte’s Library, Kristina’s Book Blog, Books By Their Cover,

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.