Love is a beautiful thing that should be shared with anyone of your choosing, but anything of your choosing? This is where it starts to get weird. They say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, but maybe the people on this list should have kept their options open for a little longer. Some people on this list decided to marry an animal, while others proclaimed “I do” to (among other things) a pillow, a smartphone, and the Eiffel tower. I think most of us could say that we love these things in life, but we’re certainly not in love with them.
Disturbingly, though, the following people really are in love with these inanimate objects and landmarks, and they loved them so much that they decided to make it official with a wedding ceremony. These people tend to have an emotional and…erm…romantic connection to things rather than people. Objects that we view as merely functional or decorative make desirable life partners to these individuals since they believe objects have a soul and feelings.
The next time you head to Paris or Berlin on vacation, remember not to get too close to the famous tourist spots, as you could be mistakenly flirting with someone’s husband. Seriously, though, this list gets much more bizarre than marrying world-famous sculptures (if you can believe that). Some people have tied the knot with a Barbie doll, a game character, and even a photo of themselves. Wow! Here are 15 stories of very strange love indeed.
15. A Video Game Character
With the likes of Lara Croft and all the hotties in the Final Fantasy series, video games have quite a few hot female video game characters to drool over. But as strong as your crush might be on a CG game character, you don’t start to think of one as your girlfriend, let alone hold a wedding ceremony for her. Unless you happen to be this guy, that is. A Japanese man who only goes by the name ‘Sal9000’ became so obsessed with the virtual dating game “Love Plus” that he fell in love and wedded a character from it.
The dating game for the Nintendo 3DS is where cupid’s bow first struck Sal9000 and introduced him to his future wife, a cute anime girl called Nene Anegasaki. Normally, this kind of wedding ceremony would be rendered null and meaningless, but Sal married his digital girl in Guam where it is apparently perfectly legal to marry inanimate or imaginary objects. That’s just downright scary.
14. The Eiffel Tower
If you don’t recognize her face, then you may have heard her story in the news. Erika La Tour Eiffel (as her name probably suggests to you) is married to the Eiffel Tower. A former soldier from San Francisco, Erika claims to have fallen in love with the tower’s “amazing structure” and “subtle curves” after making many trips to the romantic Parisian landmark. Finally, in 2008, she made it official and declared her undying love for the tower in a commitment ceremony. (If I were being judgmental, I’d say she needs to be committed someplace else).
If her relationship with one of the most romantic spots in the world wasn’t enough for Erika, she also had many other bits on the side at one time to keep her company. She had previously dated a bridge in her teenage years and was apparently in a committed relationship with a bow after becoming a world-class archer. We hate to think how she celebrated her victories. Ouch!
13. A Pillow
Maybe we should cut this guy a break. On those cold winter mornings when you can’t quite bring yourself to get out of bed, you feel all snugly and soft, and for a brief moment, nothing can come between you and your beloved pillow. Then again, the big difference between this guy and most of us having a duvet day is that he exchanged vows with his pillow, kissed his pillow, and most likely gets up to some pretty messed-up stuff with it behind closed doors.
28-year-old Lee Jin-gyu from Korea married a body pillow with popular Anime character Fate Testarossa printed on it. (This guy isn’t the only grown man on the list to fall for an anime character). The pillow Lee married is known as a “hug” pillow or a Dakimakura, but no one told this guy that “hugging” is where your intimacy levels should stop with a sack of feathers.
12. A Terminally-ill Cat
Household pets are like a member of the family, so when one dies or are on the verge of passing–like this one–it can be as painful as if you were losing a person and very hard to let go. As much as we might love our pets, however, we don’t ever feel the urge to slap a veil on them and walk them down the aisle. Grief can do strange things to people I suppose, and the strangest way of dealing with pet loss that you’re ever likely to hear is this guy’s.
When one German cat owner was told by a vet that his beloved moggie was terminally ill, he seized the day and decided he was going to marry his ailing cat. We’re not sure how well his cat may have reciprocated his feelings (cats are a closed book at the best of times), but if it made the guy happy and somehow able to deal with his grief, then it all sounds harmless to us. No German officials would apparently perform the “wedding,” but an actress helped the guy out and officiated, in the end, to make them husband and (dying) kitty.
11. A Dolphin
Dolphins are one of the cutest and friendliest creatures on Earth, and the chance to swim with them regularly tops the list of “Things to do before you die.” But a mere swim with these gentle aqua mammals clearly wasn’t enough for one lady. In 2006, British woman Sharon Tendler took the plunge (sorry) and married Cindy the Dolphin at the Dolphin Reef port of Eilat in southern Israel. Why? Because apparently, Sharon felt it was “love at first sight” for her and Cindy when the two met 15 years previously.
Sharon realizes that her wedding ceremony to her bottle-nosed husband has no real legal weight (no sh*t, lady), but she stands by her decision to devote her heart to Cindy. After returning to her London home having tied the flipper with Cindy, Sharon explained, “It’s not a perverted thing. I do love this dolphin. He’s the love of my life.” Despite her devotion, she’s admitted that she’s okay with Cindy cheating on her. “I hope he has a lot of baby dolphins with others. The more the better.”
10. Lifesize Doll
If you ever saw the creepily-good Ryan Gosling drama a few years back called Lars and the Real Girl, then you’ll know what we’re dealing with here. Except, we’re dealing with a non-fictional doll lover which is a thousand times more disturbing. A guy called Davecat from Michigan shares his apartment with what could be described as his mail-order bride, but this lady is 100 percent synthetic and that’s just the way he prefers them.
This guy could’ve hooked up with a blow-up doll and got it out of his system, but as Davecat explains that it isn’t just about Netflix and chill, “She provides me with a lot of things I can’t get out of an organic partner…like quiet,” or a lack of pulse. Davecat married his plastic “living doll” he has named Sidore Kuroneko back in 2000 so the novelty couldn’t have worn off yet…but some parts of her definitely have.
9. The Berlin Wall
Another fairly well-known woman with the condition Objectum S*xuality is Eija Riita or, to give out her full name, Eija Riita Eklof Berliner Mauer. Swedish born Eija married the Berlin Wall in June of 1979 and adopted the wall’s name as her surname. We know what you’re probably thinking right now that she must’ve been heartbroken when the wall came down only ten years later. Eija indeed was, describing it as a day that they “mutilated her husband.” Fortunately, she had many mementos of him to remember better days.
Eija kept a mini model replica of the wall as it used to stand at her home in Liden, northern Sweden. Apparently, before making the ultimate move and tying the knot with the Berlin wall, she also used to save pictures of the 11-foot tall structure and saved up all she could for her next visit. Mrs. Berliner Mauer wall sadly passed away in October of 2015 at age 61 when her house burnt down. At least–if it’s what she believes–she will be with her beloved wall again.
8. A Fairground Ride
Along with Erika Eiffel and Eija Riita, this next woman is someone you may be familiar with if you happened to watch the Strange Love documentary series about objectum s*xuals (and this relationship is pretty strange, alright). Amy Wolfe Weber from Pennsylvania tied the knot with an 80-foot rollercoaster after falling for the ride as a teenager. The gigantic gondola theme park ride is known as “1001 Nachts” to the locals, but to Amy, the towering steel fun ride is her hubby. (Not sure how cool Amy can be about complete strangers “riding” her husband, but that’s her call).
In her day job as a church organist, Amy works near some of her former lovers—a church banister and the church organ itself. But Amy has made it clear that the fairground ride will always be her one true love. As well as confessing to having ridden him 3,000 times (TMI), she keeps a picture of her big steel bad boy above her bed and carries some of the ride’s spare nuts and bolts in her pocket. We won’t ask what she does with them…
7. Barbie Doll
From dolls of human proportions to toy dolls, it seems like plastic ladies are some very odd people’s idea of wedded bliss. Don’t get me wrong, I had many Barbie dolls as a kid and I loved them, but not to this degree. Taiwanese man Chang Hsi-hsum married America’s favorite plastic blonde bombshell decades after his first wife died. Why? As it turns out, he had a pretty sweet reason for tying the knot with Barbie—he believed that his late wife’s spirit was trapped inside her and marrying the 11-inch doll was the only way to appease her restless spirit.
46-year-old Chang had sadly lost his wife to suicide 20 years previously because his family had opposed their marriage. We’re guessing his folks wouldn’t be too crazy about the idea of him marrying a plastic doll either, but hey ho. Chang moved on to a second (human) wife after the death of his first, and oddly, wifey number 2 gave him her blessing to marry the Barbie doll. Weirdest love triangle ever.
6. A Snake
Snake’s generally aren’t considered to be the cuddliest of creatures. Alongside spiders, they’re probably one of the biggest animal phobias that people have. So, why on Earth would anyone want to marry one? Because they fell helplessly in love with one, obviously. They say that we can’t choose who we fall in love with, but this platitude tends to refer to human relations, not long, slithering, and potentially-poisonous life partners!
Nevertheless, love is apparently what swung it for one Hindu woman who married the snake she had fallen so desperately in love with back in 2006. The traditional (yeah, right) Hindu wedding was a grand ceremony and was attended by 2000 people as the marriage was thought to bring good luck. Everything was lavish and perfect…except for one thing. The snake didn’t show up. (Probably partied too hard the night before). The woman did marry a brass statue of the snake to represent him, though, so all was good.
5. A Smartphone
We’re all guilty of being a little too attached to our smartphones every now and again, and there are many millennials who would probably equate losing their phone with losing a limb. But, few would go so far as to hold an actual wedding ceremony to celebrate their reliance on modern technology. One person has actually done just that, though. Aaron Chervenak, a filmmaker from Los Angeles, really did walk down the aisle with his smartphone in a small ceremony in Las Vegas.
In his defense, Chervenak apparently married his phone in the name of art (sure, we believe you). Apparently, Chervenak eloped with his handheld mistress to a little chapel in Las Vegas to make a point about how emotionally connected we are to our phones: “If we’re being honest, we look to our phones for solace, to calm us down, to ease our minds, and that’s what a relationship is about.” Chocolate does this too, but I don’t intend to marry a bar of the stuff.
4. A Tree
I’ve heard of tree huggers, but this may be taking things a little too far. Thankfully, it’s not as delusional or messed up as it sounds because it’s done in the name of spirituality and ancient wisdom. The former Miss World and Bollywood beauty, Aishwarya Rai, took part in an ancient Hindu ritual which calls for the woman to marry a tree. Why exactly? Apparently, Rai and her partner were shown to have differences in their astrological chart, and this can be a bad sign in Hindu culture.
Marrying a tree–in spirit, of course–was Aishwarya’s way of dispelling all the negative vibes that different star charts could have on her real-life human marriage. Under ancient Hindu belief, people like Rai need to join a peepal or a banana tree in holy matrimony to help them reverse the bad marital luck that is inevitably coming their way. Rai and her partner, Abhishek Bachchan, are still going strong, but whether the tree did its thing is a bit of a stretch.
3. A Goat
A retired stone cutter from Brazil had felt lonely in his autumn years. But instead of taking up a hobby or giving online dating a whirl, he felt compelled to marry his pet goat. The 74-year-old wasn’t rushing into anything, though, as he had been in love with his beloved pet for two years, and the time had come for him to make his move and propose (that makes it okay then, I guess).
Brazilian retiree Aparecido Castaldo had already fathered eight children from four previous marriages, so he’s no stranger to real human relations. Obviously, though, loneliness took its toll and Castaldo and his goat were “married” in a 2013 midnight ceremony in the Devil’s Church in Jundaiai. Unfortunately, his new bride ate her wedding dress, but what else could you expect from a goat? Castaldo apparently promised shortly after the wedding that he had no plans to consummate the marriage. Thank God for that.
2. Man Who Married His Own Picture
There’s being a narcissist, and then there’s this guy. This photo is no prank. This is an actual picture of Liu Ye’s wedding day, a Chinese man who decided to essentially marry himself. 39-year-old Liu Ye married his own likeness in life-size foam cut out in January of 2007. 10 years have now passed, so I’m curious to know if it lasted? In front of friends and locals in a village square in Guangzhou, Liu Ye married a picture of himself wearing a red dress (of course, because it would look stupid if they both wore trousers, wouldn’t it?).
So, what were Liu Ye’s unique reasons for marrying his own photo? Apparently, he was unimpressed by what reality had to offer but didn’t want to be single anymore. Seems legit. One of the wedding guests were kind enough to remark that the wedding was “very grand, except that the bride is a photo.” The guests probably had a great time…until Liu Ye and his “bride” hit the dance floor for their first dance as husband and cut-out. Kinda wish I could have seen that.
1. A Pet Rock
Take the sweet childhood pastime of finding a pet rock to take home and make it weird. This is what quirky British artist Tracey Emin has done, and weird is what she does best. Emin is most famous for her controversial and brutally honest “unmade bed” exhibit, which had Emin’s own deeply personal things laid bare for all to see. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise then that this same lady also married a rock that she felt an affinity to.
The oddball artist apparently married an ancient stone at her home in southern France while wearing her father’s white funeral shroud. So far, so crazy. When asked about her decision to wed the giant rock, Emin revealed that she saw it as something to offer her “protection” and that she “no longer feels alone.” Hate to burst your bubble, Tracey, but unless the rock is a ninja in grey camouflage, it ain’t going to offer you protection.
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