Africa is without a doubt the most underdeveloped continent in the world. So many people in certain areas are still living without basic necessities such as clean, running water. So many humans in Africa don’t even know that fax machines, cell phones or even electricity were invented. This makes Africa one of the weirdest places in the world, where people are acting under a different code of law. Things, like drinking blood or sacrificing living creatures are still common in some African tribes. If we said that it is a sick thing to do, those tribes would tell us that it is sick to spend so much time playing with a computer or watching TV. Yes, we have a mutual feeling about things that are strange to us. However, for most of the people here, African traditions, animals, nature, and people’s behavior might seem incredibly gross and disturbing, to say the least.
I bet every one of us is interested in these bizarre and shocking things that can only be found in Africa. Personally, I could not have even imagined some of the things that are considered normal to Africans. I am sure this continent is on the bucket list for some travellers, but after reading this list, you might think twice.
15. Bush Meat
Could this list be complete without some disgusting food? It couldn’t, and that is why I am happy to introduce bush meat. Bush meat is the meat of wild animals starting from lemurs and finishing with giant apes. Yes, no animal is safe in Africa. In 2014, people from the Congo basin consumed approximately five million tons of bush meat. Those numbers are way too high, but it is impossible to change anything as Africans think that bush meat is a delicacy. Also, sometimes there is no other option than eating wild animals. Because an ape’s DNA is extremely similar to human’s, eating bush meat might be easily confused with cannibalism. Also, scientists already proved that people could get infected with HIV and Ebola by eating bush meat. It is an incredibly gross thing even to consider eating, so we must agree to disagree with Africans on this one.
14. Lip Plates
After learning about lip plates, Botox sounds like a toy for little babies. While the Western world is fixated on the idea that Botox and other fillers can make your lips big and soft, Africans have taken this game to another level. In a lot of tribes all over the continent, girls pierce huge plates through their lips. Why? Well, the bigger those lips are, the hotter they look to men. So, they start stretching right before getting married with three-centimeter diameter plates. If it sounds huge, don’t read this next part. So, when a girl grows older, the plate gets bigger. The final diameter might get as wide as 20 centimeters. This is simply crazy. I cannot understand how much power must women have to carry those massive plates. I also cannot understand who could ever think that having a lip, which hangs to the ground is sexy. Those cultural differences are just mind blowing.
13. Dancing With Corpses
Malagasy people in Madagascar have some problems with letting their dead relatives go. You see, once every 5 or 7 years, all the family gathers, exhumes the dead bodies, and starts dancing and partying with them. This strange ceremony is called “Famadihana.” Natives believe that it is a symbol of love and respect to the dead, but it surely sounds like just another excuse to throw a huge party for the family. Sometimes “Famadihana” is held when someone from the family dreams of a dead person. Of course, this ceremony has live music, a lot of food, and most importantly, smiling faces. I cannot imagine myself happily dancing with my dead wife or mother, but that might be one of the reasons why I am not part of Malagasy tribe. One last thing – there is a fee which you must pay to get permission to throw this massive party for the dead.
12. Fight To The Death For A Bride
Every fan of WWE will love this one. There is a very entertaining tradition in Africa when two dudes cannot share one woman. A huge battle is arranged, and they fight for the love. The rules are pretty simple – both guys beat each other up without any defense and the one who manages to show no signs of pain, wins the main prize – the woman of his dreams. This African tradition has one big difference with WWE, though. The pain is actually real, and both guys are beating each other as if there was no tomorrow. As sick as it is, I would be so blessed to see two dudes showing their best poker faces, while blood is falling on the ground. The only disadvantage of this way of deciding who can marry the bride is that the bride has no freaking choice. Again. I can only imagine how hard it is to be a woman in Africa and this sick version of WWE should not exist even if it is entertaining AF.
11. Spitting On The Baby
The Masai tribe in Kenya and Tanzania has quite an odd tradition. They are always spitting on their newborn babies while saying that these babies are evil. This way, the Masai people believe that evil spirits will leave the saliva covered kids alone. Well, if I were some evil spirit I would definitely back off. Anyway, the Masai tribe takes this spitting tradition even further. When greeting each other, they spit on their hands before shaking them. Yes, I know, it is a very unexplainable fetish for spit that Masai tribe has. Of course, they claim they do it to defend their souls from evil spirits, but I was wondering for quite a while if they could find a cleaner way to destroy the spirits. After all, how must the baby feel when the first thing that it receives upon its arrival is a big fat portion of saliva? I would get pissed for the rest of my life without even meeting those evil spirits.
10. Dung beetles
Dung beetles and humans are the only animals in the world that use the milky way as a navigation system. That is probably the only thing that is beautiful about those creatures. Yes, the name dung beetles’ reveals what is their favorite food is. They either roll the dung into huge balls and carry it to safety or simply bury all the dung they can find. If eating other animals’ feces is not gross enough, many dung beetles use it for mating as well. It strangely reminds me of those people who use those way too dirty outdoor toilets on the last day of some festival for their “sexy time.” Anyway, this is not the grossest thing yet. Dung beetles like to lay their eggs in dung so that newly hatched babies could start eating right away. Also, a massive dump of an elephant can be completely cleaned by 16,000 dung beetles in just a little over 2 hours. That is one hell of a team work.
9. Mandatory Intimacy With The Bride’s Aunt
The Banyankole tribe in Uganda has a quite weird tradition. The groom must have sex with his soulmate’s aunt before he can get officially married. This tradition comes from a long time ago. You might wonder what the point of this strange behavior is. The answer is very simple – the bride’s aunt must check if the potential groom has any good moves in the bedroom. You see, fertility is one of the most important things in the Banyankole tribe, so it is a must for the groom to be in his best shape. This husband and aunt thing is not the only strange tradition. Apparently, the aunt must make sure that the bride is still a virgin before the marriage. Tell me whatever you want, but I still think that all the aunts in the Banyankole tribe have just a little too many responsibilities. The only positive thing for the husband is if the aunt is good looking. They get one for the price of two, huh? Jokes aside, the Banyankole people took the term “open family” just a little too far. Someone should consider introducing them to fertility tests.
8. The Hairy Frog
To be completely honest, any species of frog would do well on this list, but this particular one is the most disgusting by a clear mile. Locals also call this frog “the horror frog” and it says a lot how much they love it. Comic book fans came up with an even better name – “Wolverine frog.” And don’t get fooled – the hairy frog is compared to Ernie not only because of those tacky sideburns but also because they possess claws which poke through the toes of the hairy frog. The only difference is that this frog looks gross and Ernie was actually a handsome looking dude. To be frank, seeing a frog with hair and claws is the same as seeing a dog with wings and meowing. It is just not right, and these kinds of disturbing things only happen in the deepest corners of Africa. It is spectacular how gross can our nature be.
7. Cooking With The Water From A Dead Person’s Body
The Chewa tribe in Malawi has a very disturbing tradition. If you think that funerals in the Western world are quite odd, this might make you vomit. So, when a Chewa person dies, the rest of the tribe takes his or her body to a sacred place, cuts the throat, and starts pouring fresh water into the corpse. At the same time, the other Chewa people press the stomach of the remains so that all the blood and bowels would come out of the rear end. Quite disgusting, right? Well, it gets worse. After this ceremony is done, all the village gathers and cooks with the water which is taken from the deceased. Like in most cases with African tribes, the main idea of this ceremony is to protect everyone from evil spirits. Why must this protection be so gross? I guess only Africans could answer this question, but they are too busy eating that delicious food cooked with the fresh water from a corpse.
6. Fat Is The New Rich
The natives of Mauritania have a very odd belief – the fatter a woman is, the richer is her husband. I can somewhat understand all the unique traditions to please the Gods, but this one makes no sense at all. Basically, if a man is completely poor and living in the streets, but has a fat wife, he is called rich by everyone around. How bizarre is that? Also, it is very common for a woman to take her 5-15-year-old daughter to a “fat camp,” where she would gain some extra pounds. So, while the rest of the world is counting calories and trying to look as skinny as possible, Mauritanian women just happily eat all the fat food and smile with every extra pound. To be honest, I think that it is the best excuse to get fat that I have ever heard. The native women in Mauritania are geniuses, and the rest of the world should learn from them how to eat “Nutella” in the middle of the night without any guilt.
I strongly invite you to check the video before getting further into the discussion. Do you have any more doubts about hippopotamuses being among the grossest animals on the planet? I do not. Those fat, clumsy creatures spend most of their life in water, where they see no problem taking dump, mating, sleeping, and simply chilling. The golden rule of life indicates that if you do it all in one place, you might consider changing your habits because there is nothing more disgusting. But that is the life of a hippopotamus. Also, they could use a diet as well. Weighing 3,300 lbs. (1,500 kg) and having no curves will never look sexy for any other animal on the planet. So, hippos are fat African scruffs with no manners. On top of that, their character is as gross as their appearance. Hippopotamuses are the most dangerous animals in Africa, and they can attack people without any warning.
4. Africans Love Stink Bugs
Let’s get back to Africans’ love for gross food. This time we will talk about stink bugs. Those little insects are disgusting enough even to touch them, not to speak about eating. Africans are euphoric about eating the stink bugs. It is such a delicacy that most of the time people are so eager for that poor insect and eat it alive. So, when you are in Africa, make sure to let a few stink bugs crawl around in your mouth. Looking at this matter from another angle we will see the true meaning. There is no secret that Africans have some serious problems with food and the stink bug might be one of the biggest food sources to receive all the nutrients of a fully-fledged diet. Many scientists recommend eating stink bugs for Africans as it can save some starving souls.
3. Kidnapping Your Bride In Sudan
Men in Sudan have this strange tradition: when they fall in love with a woman, instead of asking for her hand, they kidnap her. This is when elderly members of groom’s family go to the bride’s father and ask for permission to marry. The father has two choices. If he agrees to let his daughter marry, he beats up the suitor as a sign of acceptance and a new family is born. I have a hard time understanding why the hell must an innocent suitor take all those punches and kicks, but I guess it will be one of those “pleasing the Gods” traditions. Anyway, if the father disagrees to let his daughter go, the groom can force the marriage without his approval. Basically, this little game is just for show. However, I am still impressed there are some places where a woman has completely zero power to control her life. This is the 21st century in Africa.
2. The Strangest Currency In The World — Cows
We are all aware of the fact that cows are a sacred animal in India. However, the Pokot tribe in Kenya takes this game to another level. They measure their wealth by the number of cows. It means that if you have a huge castle with a private pool, and Lamborghini in the garage, you might still be considered a poor bastard if you have no cows. Oh yes, having cows is so important to the locals that you can even marry more than one woman if you have enough cows. Basically, you are entitled to a harem if you are be able to provide enough cows for the brides’ families. That is an easy way of living, huh? Also, by being a currency of the village, cows only win. No one ever slaughters them as they are worth much more alive than dead. If this tradition to measure wealth by the number of animals went viral, we would not have to worry about animal abuse anymore.
1. The African Wild Dog
These scary looking predators are one of the most social animals in the world as they operate and hunt in huge packs. For instance, one family can contain up to 25 African wild dogs. All of them have some private duties and life might seem perfect, but… they are gross AF. After a hunt, African wild dogs will eat their prey, go back home, and regurgitate all the food so that the rest of the pack can eat it. Yes, it is one heck of a way to share the food with your friends and family. That is not the worst thing yet. In the low season, when African wild dogs have troubles finding more food, they can regurgitate the same portion over and over again. It is pretty disturbing to think what kind of food these predators have to eat sometimes.