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In the world of hobbies, pretty much anything goes. There is a hobby for everyone, whether it is something on the traditional side, like practicing sports, creating an herb garden, or making crafts, or more on the unusual side.
Of course, what hobby is truly bizarre is up to you (and the times we live in), but I’m sure you’ll agree with me that I’ve compiled some of the weirdest hobbies out there.
I recently started learning Elvish. I got the weirdest look and comment when my bestie asked me how my day was and I accidentally replied in my newfound language.
And when I told her that I’m really into ostrich racing, my bestie literally fell off her chair and laughed her butt off. Well, after that she looked super shocked (mouth hanging to the floor and all that), like I told her there was a ghost standing in the room with us.
So what exactly are these weird hobbies? Are you just curious about the exotic and bizarre, or are you looking to start a new eccentric hobby so you can be the talk of the town?
What Are Weird Hobbies?
A hobby is any activity you enjoy doing in your free time, and traditional hobbies are those that most people choose to do and enjoy. Weird hobbies, on the other hand, are those that are not ordinary.
A bizarre hobby can stem from an interesting passion that has driven the hobbyist to the extreme.
Their hobby can be hazardous, downright outlandish, and crazy expensive. It can also fuel their pursuit to be different (and stand out), to try new things, or go with the latest, weirdest trend.
No matter what kind of hobby you are into, there’s no denying how enriching it is to enjoy your hobby – whether other people want to join you or think you are crazy or a laughing stock.
Hobbies spark creativity and the development of skills, and they give us a space to be ourselves, whether we practice a hobby solo or with like-minded folk.
30 Weird Hobbies That Are Bizarre to Most People
Here are the best weird hobbies to tickle your fancy or spark interest:
1. Hobby Horse Racing
Owning a horse is expensive, and it may not fit into your current lifestyle so why don’t you take up hobby horse racing? It’s an eccentric yet serious sport where participants ride on a hobby horse (or a stick horse).
The participants mimic movement sequences that are similar to those in dressage or jumping events. With a hobby horse, you can also do mounted games, cross country, freestyle to music, and trail rides.
Psst … Hobby Horses USA is leading the charge to make hobby horse racing part of the Olympics.
2. Bubble Football
Bubble football, also called football zorbing, zorb football, or bubble soccer, is a fast-growing recreational activity in which the participants play football while they are half inside an inflated torus bubble, zorb, or bubble suit (their legs aren’t in the zorb so the players can run).
In bubble football, the teams play a game of 10 minutes and see who can score the most goals. Needless to say, this sounds like one weird but super entertaining sport!
3. Yarn Bombing
Yarn bombing is also called yarn storming, wool bombing, urban knitting, kniffiti, or guerilla knitting. It’s similar to graffiti or street art – but with yarn.
When a person practices yarn bombing, they temporarily cover unnoticeable objects, such as a lamp post, tree, or statue, in crocheted, woven, wrapped, stitched, or knitted yarn.
The “art” even has an international day dedicated to it. International Yarn Bombing Day is celebrated on June 8, 2024.
Important! You can get into trouble for yarn bombing public property so it’s best to get permission first.
Or just yarn bomb your house if your fingers are itchy for some knitting.
Resource: How to yarn bomb
4. Competitive Dog Grooming
Disclaimer! No dogs were harmed in writing this section about competitive dog grooming.
And yes, you read that right. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of competitive dog grooming where the dog and their owner are judged on style, obedience, communication, and their bond.
It’s not typical dog grooming either. No, the gloves come off and you can be as creative as you dare to be. Make your dog look like a Ninja Turtle, a lion, a rainbow, or a mermaid.
So it’s time to unleash your inner canine stylist with scissors and a vision.
5. Painting with Blood
Another quite-there hobby is painting with blood. There are various artists (even prehistoric people) who use their own blood as their painting medium, and one of the most famous paintings made from blood is The Anguished Man.
Even Filipino painter, Elito Circa, uses blood (and sweat and tears) in his artwork.
You can also use animal blood or menstrual blood (like some feminine activists do).
But undertaking this hobby may have serious safety and health implications.
Important! The resource below isn’t for the faint-hearted so avoid it if you faint at the sight of blood!
Resource: Painting with my blood video
6. Chlorophyll Painting
Instead of blood, you can also use chlorophyll as your painting or art medium. It’s a hobby that gets you out in nature, collecting leaves, and extracting the chlorophyll before you can paint.
And you can even make fluorescent chlorophyll paint so you can see the molecules’ fluorescent capabilities with black light.
7. Learning Fictional Languages
Why would anyone want to learn a fictional language? I mean, it’s pretty normal if you like Game of Thrones and you may have picked up a few Dothraki or High Valyrian phrases. But to speak a fictional language fluently is pretty weird, right?
Except that loads of people are into this unusual hobby. You can speak in the native Alienese, Lapine, Vulcan, Atlantean, Na’vi, Elvish, or Klingon with fellow fans, especially if you like to attend Comic Con or enjoy LARPing (live action role playing).
Onomatics is the study of the origins and history of names, especially people's names.
It’s quite common for parents-to-be to learn about the origin and meaning of a name when they are having a baby, but going into a lot of detail about this kind of trivia is quite unusual.
However, there are hobbyists who love research and they are obsessed with learning about people’s names. They may specialize in learning about names from a certain culture or region!
Resource: Irish baby names – origins and meanings
9. Making Steampunk Jewelry
Making jewelry is a pretty normal hobby, but do you know of anyone who specializes in making steampunk jewelry? I bet only a few of you do.
It’s quite intricate work, and if you love romance, the Victorian era of the 1800s, technology, and art, this is the right unusual hobby for you!
Steampunk jewelry is futuristic and retro, and you can make items for yourself and loved ones (or it can be your newest side biz).
10. Corrosion Casting
Corrosion casting dates back to Robert Boyle in 1663, and while this technique has a lot of uses in the medical community, there are some eccentrics who do it as a weird hobby.
Corrosion casting is a method whereby a person uses resin to recreate blood vessels or organs in 3D. In medicine, for example, researchers use these 3D models of internal organs or blood vessels to study the circulatory system.
As a hobby, you need to pay attention to detail and have patience when making these 3D models. It may sound quite macabre, but displaying these intriguing 3D objects of anatomy in glass domes makes quite the focal point in your home or hobby den.
Resource: Corrosion casting technique
Impersonating famous actors, singers, and other celebrities requires quite the talent. And replicating animal calls is tricky too.
But how about doing cow impersonations?
It goes beyond the “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” song and the “And a moo moo here and a moo moo there” lyrics.
Mooing (yes, it’s a real hobby) requires art and skill to imitate the sound of cows. Hobbyists (or moo-ers?) even go so far as to dress up as cows (and I wonder if they think that makes them moo better).
If you are into this, find events, contests like the Moo-la-palooza, tournaments, and local meetups so you can moo together with others.
12. Train Spotting
If you think that train spotting (the hobby) is like Trainspotting (the movie), you won’t be on the right track. Sorry!
Instead, it’s definitely a hobby that will interest Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory).
If you are a railway buff and have a sense of adventure, this is quite the unusual hobby for you. You may already be collecting trains, but how about spending time collecting your sightings of trains?
Trainspotters can carry a data book or keep an electronic record of the trains, railway equipment, and train movement they’ve seen. You can even take it further and take photos and videos for your collection and share with other railfans.
Resource: The train spotter guide
13. Extreme Ironing
There are plenty of us who don’t like ironing as a household chore, but then there are some whose sense of adventure and need for danger and an adrenaline high combines with their need for a well-pressed shirt.
Enter extreme ironing, an outdoor sport whereby hobbyists take their ironing boards to extreme or remote locations and iron their clothes. You can iron on a mountainside (one that’s challenging to climb, of course!) or while skiing, snowboarding, or canoeing.
Or how about ironing your wedding suit under a frozen lake?
Resource: Extreme ironing guide
14. Worm Charming
Worm charming, also called worm fiddling or worm grunting, is a hobby whereby worm grunters (though I wanna call them worm whisperers) have mastered the art of charming or coaxing worms out of the soil.
Worm grunters use various techniques and creativity to make vibrations, causing the worms to flee their burrows.
The purpose is to collect and sell the worms as bait, or maybe you want to start a worm farm?
Resource: The ancient art of worm charming
15. Dumpster Diving
It’s not uncommon for the homeless to dumpster dive in the hopes of finding clothes, food, or other items to meet their needs. But who dumpster dives for fun?
Well, as the saying goes, “one person’s trash is another’s treasure,” and dumpster scavengers can find amazing things in the garbage, making dumpster diving almost a living for some instead of merely a hobby.
The thrill of the hunt, lure of adventure, and promise of a pot of gold (or any “treasure”) is all you need to start dumpster diving.
Important! While it isn’t technically illegal to dumpster dive (but check your local laws!), ensure you don’t trespass on private property and wear protective gear since dumpster diving can be hazardous.
Resource: Getting started dumpster diving
16. Cheese Rolling
You’d think that cheese rolling is a very Wisconsin thing, right since it is America’s Dairyland and famous for its cheese? But instead, cheese rolling originated in the U.K., and the annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake dates back to the 1800s.
Participants chase a 6.6 pound round wheel of double Gloucester cheese down a 200-yard long hill. The winner is the person whose cheese crossed the finish line or reached the bottom of the hill first since the cheese can roll up to 70 miles per hour (mph).
17. Ostrich Racing
Of course, people would want to ride an ostrich too! Ostrich racing is an exciting sport where participants need a sense of adventure, balance, and skill to ride this flightless bird. Add in some competition, and you have a great (though quite bizarre) hobby.
As with horse riding, riders can ride with reins, saddles, bits, and even wagons.
The sport originated in Africa, but now it’s practiced in the U.S. and other places in the world.
Did you know? If you have a contest between Usain Bolt and an ostrich, the bird will win. An ostrich can run up to 43 mph while Usain Bolt’s record is 27.33 mph.
Resource: All about ostrich racing
18. Collecting Navel Fluff
Navel fluff, navel lint, or belly button fluff is mostly the result of your underwear fibers collecting in your navel.
Most of us may not even notice navel fluff as it’ll naturally wash away when we shower or bathe … but then there are those who have a weird fascination with the lint and debris that collects in their belly button.
Interestingly, according to a study, it’s men (83%) who collect the most belly button lint – compared to 43% of women who do.
19. Shin Kicking
Now this sounds like a fun hobby, especially as a way to relieve anger and other negative emotions.
Shin kicking, also called shin purring, hacking, or diggings, is a combat sport where a contestant tries to kick another on their shin.
Shin kicking can be quite brutal, and it dates back to the 17th century.
Resource: Shin kicking guide
20. Wife Carrying
It’s tradition for the husband to carry his new wife over the threshold of their new house or hotel room, but doing this on a regular basis or for competitions is bizarre. The hobby originated in Finland and is based on a 19th-century legend.
The first wife carrying event though was held in 1992, and contestants have to carry “their wife” (they don’t have to be legally married) over a 278-yard course. There are usually two dry obstacles and one wet one, making this quite tricky.
Resource: Wife carrying in North America
21. Hikaru Dorodango
Hikaru Dorodango, known as dirt or mud polishing, is quite a weird hobby. However, it’s not a new hobby as it’s a traditional leisure activity for Japanese children.
Hobbyists use earth and water to form and polish shiny, delicate balls or spheres that look like billiard balls. It’s quite fascinating to think that a humble medium – soil – can make such a perfect object.
Resource: The mindful art of Hikaru Dorodango
22. Keeping Isopods
If you are looking for a pet but something really “exotic” yet low maintenance (and cheap!), then isopods may be what you need in your life.
Of course, you can also keep isopods as “bioactive terrarium cleanup crew” to ensure the living environment (aka terrarium or vivarium) for your beardie, snake, or spider continues to thrive.
There are 10,000+ species of isopods, and examples of terrestrial isopods include the woodlouse, tongue-eating louse, pill bug, and gribble worms.
Resource: Isopod care & info
23. Chess Boxing
Chess boxing is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a hybrid sport where the contestants play a game of chess and then box – because why not, right? The winner is the person who “checkmates” or “knockouts” first.
It’s not that easy, and there are rules. For example, the chess games are played quickly and you can lose by stalling or running out of time.
And competitors have to qualify to play chess boxing professionally. They need a minimum of 50 amateur boxing bouts and a 1600 minimum chess ELO rating.
Chess boxing originated from the 1992 comic, Friod Équateur.
Resource: How to play chess boxing
24. Competitive Frog Jumping
Competitive frog jumping is a thing, and Mark Twain is the reason this hobby is so popular today. Twain wrote about it in his short story called “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”
Competitive frog jumping is an annual event that’s been held since 1928 and contestants bring their frogs to compete. The participants place their beloved frogs on a platform and encourage them to jump. The frog that jumps that furthest wins – or well, their owner wins.
The record is a jump of 21 feet 5.75 inches, and it was set by Rosie the Ribeter in 1986.
25. Ferret Legging
I’m not sure I want a ferret moving around in my pants, do you? Yet, there are many who love this bizarre hobby.
Ferret legging (also called “put ‘em down”) is an endurance test to see who can keep a ferret (or two) in their pants the longest. Of course, you aren’t allowed to harm the ferrets; they must have all 34 of their teeth! And for the gents, no underwear is allowed either – Yikes!
The record for ferret legging is 5 hours and 26 minutes. The sport seems to die down at times, but there are still those men who need to prove their manliness by putting a ferret down their pants.
The sport originated with poachers who hid their spoils in their pants so the authorities wouldn’t get a sniff of what they were up to.
Resource: A guide to ferret-legging
26. Throat Singing
Throat singing (or overtone singing) is practiced by the Tuva in Russia, the inhabitants of the island of Sardinia, and the Khöömei in Mongolia. Ethnic groups in South Africa, Japan, Canada, China, and India also practice throat singing.
Throat singing, which is a guttural style of chanting or singing, is quite a unique hobby. It’s one of the oldest forms of music, and if you want to give this a try, know that it is a skill you have to learn and practice.
Resource: Throat singing course
27. Rock Balancing Art
Rock balancing art is the practice (or art) of stacking rock on top of each other. But, of course, it isn’t that simple or easy. While you can start by balancing pebbles or flat-shaped rocks, you should try to balance rocks with uneven and pointed edges, too.
It’s quite a zen art, symbolizing creativity, strength, fragility, stability, and self-worth. And while this may seem like an unusual hobby, stacked rocks (often in a precarious manner) are simply beautiful.
Resource: The zen of rock balancing
28. Sick Bag Collecting
People collect weird stuff, and collecting airplane sickness or barf bags is a prime example. This is an easy hobby, at least. When you travel, swipe the barf bag from your airplane seat and keep them in a travel log.
You can also collect these vomit bags from any other place that has them.
By the way, if you are into this hobby, know that you’ll be called a “baggist.”
Resource: Largest collection of sick bags
29. Competitive Duck Herding
Duck herding is exciting and quite the team-building exercise, so if you are an HR manager or want to do some team-building, this is the hobby or activity for you.
Duck herding is similar to herding sheep, so you need patience, teamwork, and communication. In this hobby, participants work together with border collies to herd ducks around an obstacle course.
It’s hilarious fun to watch the cute ducks make their way across the course (and go off course too!).
Resource: Duck herding guide
30. Drain Cover Spotting
Drain spotters love to go drain cover (or manhole cover) spotting. And you shouldn’t brush off this hobby – it can be really fascinating to look down instead of up as you explore cities and try to find unique drain covers.
While this is a popular hobby in Japan, considering that the drain hole covers there tend to be quite artistic, you can practice this hobby pretty much anywhere.
Final Thoughts About Weird Hobbies
There are so many hobbies these days that you’ll never be bored. If you don’t want to fit into a box, if you are curious about all things gothic, macabre, and unusual, or if you’re looking for a new leisure activity, my list of weird hobbies is your to-go.
Consider making steampunk jewelry, do hobby horse racing, get into mooing or learning fictional languages, or kick some shins as a stress-relieving activity.
Remember to enjoy, be creative, and have fun. Looking for more hobbies? Or are these bizarre hobbies just too outside your comfort bubble? Then check out these 20+ productive hobbies to upskill your life!
If you liked this article and are looking for more hobbies to enjoy, check out our guide on:
- 101 Hobbies for Women to Relax and Enjoy Life
- 65 Best Hobbies for Couples to Share Together
- 33 Fun Outdoor Hobbies to Explore