Artist Appeals to People on Their Deathbeds to Let Him Use Their Corpses in His Next Artwork

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Icelandic artist Snorri Asmundsson recently made news headlines for a very bizarre request – he’s asking dying people to donate their corpses for his latest art project. He apparently plans to use corpses in a dance video, promising to return them to their families once he’s done.

Snorri first came up with the idea in 2008 – he received media attention back then for putting up a Facebook ad asking for people on their deathbeds to get in touch with him. “Looking for dead bodies in the name of art,” his ad read. “I need a few corpses for a video installation. If you are dying I would like to borrow your remains after you die. The bodies will be returned to the undertaker in the same condition.”

Understandably, the ad caused quite the controversy in the Nordic island. “It was in all the media in Iceland and I had strange articles written about me,” Snorri said. “Some people contacted vicars asking their opinion. People had decided that I was going to do something really unethical with those corpses. It’s nothing like that.”

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Icelandic Students Create Organic Shampoo from Cow Urine, Mask Smell with Coconut

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Inspired by an ancient beauty secret, a group of Icelandic students are hoping to cash in on people’s love of all things organic with a bizarre shampoo made from cow urine.

The six students from the University of Reykjavik said that they had come across historical records of women adding cow urine to their bathwater to clean their hair and give it a shiny look. This discovery inspired them to revive the tradition by making a urine-infused hair cleaning product. If their claims are to be believed, the urine-infused ‘Q Shampoo’ is chock full of vitamins and minerals, which do wonders for the hair.

“Despite the critics, some people will think it exciting and want to give it a try,” said co-creator Anton Reynir Hafdisarson. “Icelandic history tells us that girls used to mix urine into their washing water to clean and beautify their hair.”

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Iceland Brewery Makes Beer from Smoked Whale Testicles

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We’ve seen some pretty weird things done with beer in the past – zombie beer brewed with smoked goat brains, garlic-flavored beer, and even a beer-based breakfast spread. But this Icelandic beer has got to be the most outrageous beverage we’ve ever come across. Believe it or not, it’s flavored with fin whale testicles smoked in sheep poop!

The special edition beer is a product of Icelandic microbrewery Steðji – they came up with the blend for the country’s mid-winter festival Thorrablot, which starts next week. Named Hvalur 2, the drink has an alcohol content of 5.2 percent. “We smoke the testicle by the old Icelandic way, with dried Sheep shit, and this method gives the beer a really unique smoke flavor,” said Steðji co-owner Dagbjartur Arilíusson. “At Thorrablot, we eat ram’s testicles, rotten shark, soured whale fat, etc, as we did in the old days. We think this product will suit the festival really well.”

Interestingly, Hvlaur 2 is actually the second whale-flavored beer from the brewery. Last year they teamed up with whale hunting firm Hvalur to make a beer out of whale meal, a byproduct of processing whale meat. That beer was temporarily banned by public health authorities. This year though, the brewery claims that they have all the necessary permits to sell Hvalur 2.

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Meet Jon Gnarr, By Far the Coolest Mayor in the World

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The coolest mayor in the world never went to university, is an ex-taxi driver and used to be in a local punk rock band called ‘Runny Nose’ before he became a comedian and actor. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as Jon Gnarr is concerned, a man whose achievements in life are so bizarre that it is truly a wonder how he became the mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city and home to over half of the nation’s population.

You’d think that a goofy guy has the chance to be President for the day only in the movies, but it seems in Reykjavik anything’s possible. Jon Gnarr, who was diagnosed with severe mental retardation and ADHD as a child, started his own political party in 2010 after refusing to join up with any of the existing parties. Funny enough, he named his party ‘The Best Party’. Simple, yet brilliant, isn’t it? It had to be, because he won his very first election to the office of mayor with 34.7% of the popular vote. According to what Gnarr told the media, his first real challenge as a politician was deciding between the names ‘The Best Party’ and ‘The Cool Party’. He ultimately settled for the first because it sounds dorkier, which was the vibe he was looking for. Called ‘Besti Flokkurin’ in the local language, the party is a motley group of artists, comedians and punk rockers, none of whom have had any prior experience in city-planning or politics. The only thing they did do well before the elections was record an Icelandic take on the Tina Turner song ‘Simply the Best’ and use it as their official campaign song. With lines like “We want a city that’s cuddly and clean and cool,” and “Tell the squatters in-charge that it’s time to leave,” the song was both silly and attention-grabbing at the same time. If the goofy mayor is to be believed, the city was being run by ‘blathering loons’ and it’s no surprise at all that the Best Party won.

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Elves, Trolls and Hidden Beings – Iceland’s Love of the Supernatural

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You probably think anyone who takes elves and other fantasy beings seriously is either childish or just plain mad. According to polls, most Icelanders believe in, or at least refuse to deny the existence of elves, and most of them seem pretty sane to me.  Welcome to Iceland, the small island country where technological advancement goes hand in hand with a belief in the supernatural.

Located just below the Arctic Circle, Europe’s most remote nation is also probably one of the world’s most bizarre. Civilized, and certainly no strangers to technology, the majority of 320,000 Icelanders also firmly believe in the existence of spirit beings like elves, gnomes or fairies. Of course, there are fantasy-enthusiasts who believe in these creatures all over the world, only in Iceland this matter really is taken very seriously. Annoying the mystical creatures living all over the island is thought to carry a heavy price, so human inhabitants will do almost anything to avoid getting on their bad side.

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Website Helps Icelandic Couples Avoid Incest

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In a country with only 300,000 people, the risk of two people who like each other being related is quite high. Throw in the absence of last names, and the confusion only increases. This is precisely the case in Iceland today. Luckily, they have a website that keeps them from committing incest.

So when a man and a woman begin dating in Iceland, the first thing they ask each other is, “Hverra manna ert þú?” which means, “Who are your people?” Obviously, none of them want to end up marrying their cousin. Even so, widespread rumors do the rounds about someone who knows someone who found out too late that the object of their interest was in fact, a long-lost cousin. Fortunately,  a website called  Íslendingabók exists to help Icelanders with the situation that almost seems unique to the isolated country.  Íslendingabók, which means the Book of Icelanders, is a genealogical website that carries a huge database of the people of Iceland and has been around for almost over a decade. When it was first launched, it turned out to be an instant hit.

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