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09 December 2010

5 weird jobs

The world is filled with tons of weird people, but it takes a certain amount of weirdness for you to actually want to do any of these wacky insane jobs.

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The world is filled with tons of weird people, but it takes a certain amount of weirdness for you to actually want to do any of these wacky insane jobs.

1. Pet food taster

No animal testing here. This special breed of food tasters may look like they have bitten off more than they can chew, but someone has to taste the fish-flavoured kitty kibble.

The job is obviously not for the faint hearted, but a very select palate is required. Just like a food critic, these guys (and gals) need to be very strict when giving their evaluations. Also knowing what animals like, in terms of aroma and flavour, is a key component in producing those perfect-tasting tuna, salmon and mackerel adult cat treats you buy your little loved one when your wallet can afford it.

Cats are known to be very fussy about food. They want the real deal and sometimes the real deal just isn’t good enough. Dogs are a lot more easy-going than their feline nemesis, but they don’t exactly relish the wonderful taste of hard beef kibble for their entire lifespan – they like a bit of variety too. So it’s up to the human tasters to make sure that pet cuisine is delectable.

2. Furniture tester

Think this is your dream job? Lying on a sofa the whole day testing its comfiness levels? Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well surprise, surprise, it isn’t.



Furniture testers have to sit on various kinds of chairs ranging from rocking chairs to stools. And they don’t just sit; they have to sit in various positions, wiggle around, lean backwards and forwards and test the levels of comfort. Once that chair is done, it’s off to the next chair.

But assessing levels of comfort is just one component of the job. Testers also have to assess  the level of safety. This is where they are vital. They test the furniture’s durability, stability and strength. The furniture also goes through many chemical tests to check how inflammable it is as well as the effects chemicals like polish will have on it .

3. Livestock masturbator

Ever heard of artificial insemination? Well this job is incredibly necessary to maintain a healthy supply of beef patties. Artificial insemination requires farmers to insert their hands – and other equipment – into a cow and fertilise her with pre-packaged bull semen. But where does the wonderfully pre-packaged sperm come from? That’s where livestock masturbators come in.

There are two methods that can be used to gather the …uhm… seed of the bull. The first is by using a rectal electrifier to stimulate the sex organs. The second is the traditional method …which is pretty much the same for human and beast alike.

Once the sperm is collected it is safely packaged and sent off to be used.

4. Knife thrower’s assistant

Don’t think for a second that a knife thrower’s assistant is merely the person that passes various blades to the knife thrower. These are the guys get strapped onto a rotating wooden board and have knives launched at them, missing their limbs by millimetres.

Having a knife thrown at you will most likely send you into shock and the therapist’s office, but for these death-defying performers, dodging knives gives them a thrill to die for.

These kinds of performances are known as impalement arts. One of the most dangerous techniques is known as the veiled wheel. The trick is performed with the assistant being strapped to a rotating wooden board, with a screen of paper in the front, so that the thrower cannot see the assistant. This trick has only ever been performed by four performers; The Gibsons in 1930, the Zeros in 1940, Fritz Brumbach in 1978 and the Great Throwdini, who performed it in October this year.

(Veiled wheel of death, performed by Throwdini and Melissa-Anne Ainley as his assistant)

5. Pathoecologist

Don’t be too impressed with that tongue twister of a job title. Pathoeocology is the study of fossilised faecal matter.

Sound crazy? Well it’s actually very important. Pathoeocologists study the remains of our prehistoric ancestors, to determine their way of life, health and diet.

The information gathered can help nutritionists create new and healthier diets for people e.g. the paleo diet.

It’s not a job for just anyone. Your average pathoeocoligst is well-informed and well-educated in nutrition, botany, archaeology and ecology.

Health 24 is doing a series on extreme jobs. Let us know which you think are the most dangerous/ stressful/ dirty/ weird jobs around – post in comment box below.

(Kyle Boshoff, Health 24, December 2010)

Sources: (worldagriculture.com, un-lincoln.academia.edu, listverse.com, associatedcontent.com, dailymail.co.uk, ehow.com, discovermagazine.com, youtube)

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