Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Strikingly True is the kind of book you do not want to open up while your toddler is standing around looking for something to look at. Huxley may never be the same.
A pig with no back legs that walks upright on its front legs? People with very large numbers of toes? Squid?
And, most shockingly, ectoplasm. You’ve gotta love the ectoplasm.
The world is a strange place, and everybody has a camera, so I think there will be no shortage of new volumes in this series of books about the bizarre. This particular issue seems to be more icky and shocking than usual, but of special importance is the influence that skepticism has had on Ripley’s. I’m sure Ripley has always tried to get things right, thus the challenge to “believe it or no” but it seems to me that there has been a shift from prodding the audience a bit to consider something that might be over the top to be just possibly true, to playing to our increasingly skeptical sensibilities. And that of course is where the ectoplasm comes in; The ‘chapter’ on the ghostly substance that would exude from the orifices or tissues of psychic mediums is an expose, and not a handbook.
Anyway, somebody gives me one of these books ever year at about this time, so I assume they come out with a new one on an annual basis, or nearly so.
Oh and yeah, I want this motorcycle:
My favorite part of the book might be the giant foldout on the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair “Odditorium” … which was, of course, a Ripley’s exhibit.
I’m actually enjoying this book …
… believe it or not!!!