If the Internet has taught us anything it’s that there seems to be an undying thirst for cat videos. And also, that there is an expert available for almost every subject imaginable. So versed in the minutiae of their respective fields, many of these specialists have turned their knowledge of niche driven factoids into a cottage industry of the obscure.
In the phallocentric world in which we live, Iceland’s Sigurdur Hjartarson is probably its number one gatekeeper. A self-proclaimed “phallologist,” Hjartson has amassed the world’s largest collection of penises.
How does one become an expert in dongs? For Hjartarson, it was ownership of a pizzle as a small child. A pizzle (or bull’s penis for the layperson) was oftentimes used as a cattle whip. What seems like a suspect diversion for a youngster eventually turned into a real life vocation – the quest to collect, categorize and display the privy member of a variety of species.
In 1997, Hjartarson founded the Icelandic Phallological Museum. Open to the public, visitors are invited to experience Hjartarson’s massive display of dicks and dick parts, as well as artistic oddments and other utensils related to the museum´s chosen theme. Hjartarson reflected on his scholarly pursuit of schlongs, “Collecting penises is like collecting anything. You can never stop, you can never catch up, you can always get a new one, a better one.” Amen to that, right fellas?
Professional Boast: In 2011 The Icelandic Phallological Museum received its first homo sapien specimen. With the acquisition of the human pickled penis the museum now houses the complete collection of all the 46 different species of Icelandic mammals. And you can too, for just $2.99 with the purchase of any value meal! Just joking, don’t get excited, perv.
Just as the name implies, a Bigfootologist is a person who specializes in the study and documentation of the history of the forward pass in the NFL. Not really.
We have to hand it to Bigfootologists, devoting one’s self to a pretty much debunked wing of an already questionable pseudo-scientific concentration like Cryptozoology must be tough. We imagine the leap of faith needed to do so is only possible by those possessing a Yeti sized pair of cojones.
Scientific method aside, researchers in the field adhere to a strict code of ethics where “comingling the paranormal, the UFO phenomenon, or ascribing questionable metaphysical traits to Bigfoot” is forbidden. So don’t even try it, ya heard?
Experts at Bigfootology also swear by the following creed:
“I recognize that Bigfoot, by any other name, exists and through our research endeavor I will not endanger any researcher in my service or endanger any Bigfoot or habitat. Through my research I seek the preservation of life through honesty, integrity and respect, with no malice towards others or compromise of personal, data, or evidence integrity.”
Fine, but what if you trick one into trying to kick a football and then pull it away at the last minute like in that beef jerky commercial? You’re cool to do that, right?
Bigfootologists are available to interview witnesses and investigate incidents in the Northwest United States and in the state of Texas (don’t even ask, New Mexico). Best of all, they offer these services free of charge. No word on whether that was the business plan all along or if it just evolved into that due to a lack of customers.
Professional Boast: Receiving The Bigfoot Legacy Award – An honor bestowed on researchers who have made or are making significant and valuable contributions to the field of Bigfootology for at least 20 years.
Thanks to a generation of latchkey kids weaned on daily reruns before the advent of basic cable, The Brady Bunch has been firmly entrenched in American pop culture.
While we imagined claiming expertise in this field would require extensive knowledge of the original show and its many spinoffs, a key component to becoming a Bradyologist appears to be proximity. According to her TV Land bio, Lisa Sutton, “lives minutes from the real Brady House in Southern California and has an enviable collection of Brady memorabilia and knowledge, garnering her the official title of Bradyologist.”
While the nostalgia for 1970s TV sitcoms may have waned since its heyday in the late 1990s, Sutton continues to keep the public informed of all things Brady via the @Bradyologist Twitter account.
Professional Boast: The liner notes for the Meet The Brady Bunch CD were written by Bradyologist, Lisa Sutton.
Sure everyone and his hillbilly sister can rattle off the obvious stuff, like Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich or even his probable second choice (the legendary “prescription medication and meat” sub). But when it comes to more obscure Elvis related information you’ll probably want to hit up a pro.
We tracked down a list of Presley experts willing to share their vast knowledge of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and his exploits for FREE. While the majority of the questions seem to focus on the value of various Elvis related Tschotskes people are looking to unload, answers to questions of a more personal nature can be found.
For a more in depth Elvis information experience, Presley experts like Cory Cooper are available for hire for corporate functions, special occasions and public appearances.
Professional Boast: Can you stump Cory with an Elvis question? Cory Cooper thinks you can’t. But wouldn’t it be just like you to be wacky enough to try?!?!?!
Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer who stalked London’s East End, butchering prostitutes and terrorizing the general population, has inspired generations of amateur and professional sleuths. While devoting oneself to an unsolvable crime that happened more than a century ago may seem like an exercise in futility, it hasn’t dampened the passion of today’s Ripperologists.
What makes one a Ripper Expert? Writing a Ripper book? Getting paid to lead a Ripper walking tour? Owning all the back issues of Ripperana, Ripper Notes and Ripperologist? Appearing as a special guest on a Rippercast? And why is there such an overuse of portmanteau in Ripper circles?
The problem? After 125 years, there’s really no stone left unturned in terms of new facts regarding the case. With only fictional adaptations and speculation left to fill the many chatrooms, periodicals and conventions that still need content, Ripperologists have begun to rip on each other. It’s just what that killer would have wanted! Can’t you see?
Professional Boast: If there was a “Put Your Money Where Mouth Is” award for Ripperologists, famed American crime author Patricia Cornwell would undoubtedly be the recipient. Cornwell spent close to $6 million dollars (£3.3m) financing her theory that British artist Walter Sickert is Jack the Ripper. This includes £2m spent buying up paintings by Sickert and purportedly destroying a canvas to prove the case against the Victorian painter. Cornwell also purchased two full-page ads in English newspapers at the cost of more than £10,000 each to deny she is obsessed with Jack the Ripper. Money well spent all around!
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