Richard Simmons getting 'Fit to Fly'
Blog Words : Weird@Wanderlust | 21 December

Our favourite wacky travel videos of 2012

A selection of the craziest yet strangely life-affirming travel videos featured in our Weird@Wanderlust blog this year

1. Mental Mickey

In November we gathered together a collection of the world's craziest TV shows. From a field that included sperm races in Germany to an X-Factor for poets in Abu Dhabi, one show came out on top as the most surreal of them all – Tomorrow's Pioneers from Palestine.

Tomorrow's Pioneers is not your average kid’s show. Each of the characters have been killed off in the war against Israel, making them instant martyrs.

Each week, a cynical and disheveled Mickey Mouse character gives the children of Palestine a lesson in how life really is on the West Bank with episodes titled ‘Farfour and the AK-47’ and letters of the alphabet illustrated by Anti-Americanism rather than apples.

Here's 7 more crazy TV shows from around the world

2. Pass me the tuna, Bruce

August, 2012. As the world's finest athletes gathered in London for the Olympics, we saluted some of the world's more 'exotic' sports. Like Wife Carrying in Finland. And Chess-Boxing, also from Finland.

But for sheer adrenaline-charged pointlessness, you can't beat the annual Tunarama Festival held on Port Lincoln, South Australia, each year. It involves attaching a 20 pound tuna to a rope and throwing it in a style similar to the Olympic hammer throw. The person who throws his fish the farthest wins a cash prize.

Originally, spoiled fish that stores refused to sell were used. But recently organisers bowed to pressure from animal rights organisations and started using a plastic replica fish instead. Doubtlessly much easier to clean up afterwards as well.

Here's six more weird sports from around the world 

3. Don't fasten your seat belt. Dance!

In December, Air New Zealand celebrated the the world premiere of The Hobbit with a Tolkien-themed air safety video. But it was one of their early videos that caught our eye. 

Entitled 'Fit to Fly' this video features lurid colours and 80s fitness guru Richard Simmons in an equally lurid outfit. This is plane-crash viewing – you can't take your eyes of it. Which I guess is what Air New Zealand were hoping for.

Here's 8 more totally-mad safety videos from the world of aviation 

4. Watching beards grow

They say travel changes you. Christoph Rehage walked 4,646 km through China and chronicled not only the transitions in scenery but permutations in his hairstyle and facial hair as well.

Christoph's amazing documentation was one of eight awesome time-lapse videos we featured back in May. Each one of them guaranteed to get your feet itching.

Here's 7 more awesome time-lapse videos guaranteed to get your feet itching

5. Time to get messy

In July we got down and dirty, saluting the festivals held around the world where you'll need to take a shower and have a good lie down afterwards.

La Tomatina is perhaps the best known food fight festival on a planet. But we'd like to give a nod to Carnevale d'Ivrea (Oranges). In Ivrea, a town in the Piedmont region of Italy, they like their food fights a little more hardcore. None of this soft squishy tomato based combat for them. They use oranges.

Ivrea is divided into nine teams given a mission to attack each other. Oranges can leave a mark, so wear a red cap to let the locals know that you are just there to watch. If you want to join in the action, all you need to is volunteer. It's certainly one way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C.

Here's some even messier festivals to check out