A carnival freak show of oddities--human, animal, and mineral--in five categories: ""People and Customs,"" ""Places,"" ""Technology,"" ""Animals and Plants,"" and ""Planet Earth."" The subsets under these headings range from Alien Aliments to Zombies, and cover families with extra hair, fingers, or tails, underground cities, space toilets, and trained fleas, etc. Interspersed with the truly strange items are interesting facts about mirages, space junk, and gravity. The subtitle may be grandiose: The book is too short to be encyclopedic, and only some of the entries are incredibly strange. All are entertaining, however, especially for the lurid tastes of its target audience. The black-and-white cartoons and comic-strip typeface add accessibility as well as humor; hand this to those who have already pored over Ripley's many tomes.