Weird-o-Pedia: The Ultimate Book of Surprising, Strange, and Incredibly Bizarre Facts About (Supposedly) Ordinary Things is a fun and educational collection of facts about all sorts of things, but it is not what you might expect from the title. There are no ghosts or aliens, no world record breakers or any of the sort of things you find in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
No, this is trivia about the unusual world around us and about ourselves as well. The book deals with food, animals, insects, body, mind, work, play, friends and family, around the house and out and about, and nature. It focuses mainly on science, biology and psychology.
Some of this information, especially about insects, does sound as though it could be the plot of a horror movie. For instance, did you know that there are insects that lay their eggs on other insects’ stomachs and then control them, causing them to create strange habitats and feed the parasites’ babies in preference to their own? That is just one of the twisted aspects of nature that Palmer reveals.
Weird-0-Pedia is full of facts you are very likely not to know. How can drinking water kill you? Are humans the only animals to like spicy food? Can napping prevent a heart attack?
Parents should be aware that there is a very frank section here about sex and mating in humans and also some mature material in the section on animals. The book is not intended for children, although you might want to share some of the facts in the book with your child for school papers or read it to him or her selectively.
However, for adults, this is a delightful look into just how extraordinary the ordinary really is. There is a detailed list of sources in the back, so that you can easily learn more or back up your facts when your friends refuse to believe you when you share some of the amazing information here, as you surely will want to do.
This book is highly recommended for all mature readers with curiosity about themselves and the world around them.