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The world is home to pretty much every shape, size and bizarre form of house you can possibly imagine. But, as amazing as these houses are, the stories of the people who built them are often even more insane.

Yes, a house says a lot about a person, and these houses tell the world that their owners aren't about to conform to its rules. Or maybe that they just forgot to take their medication.

7
The Scrap Wood Skyscraper

Believe it or not, this thing that appears to be a gigantic, ancient, haunted house in mid-collapse is in fact an inhabitable home. And it looks like that on purpose.

Located in the Siberian town of Arkhangelsk, it's believed to be the tallest wooden dwelling in the world, towering 13-stories and seemingly defying several laws of physics by not toppling over every time somebody leans on it.

So Who the Hell Built This Thing?

Actually... we're pretty sure nobody dares lean on the thing in the first place. You'll see why in a moment.

Nikolai Sutyagin built the entire house himself by hand mostly from scrap lumber. According to its creator, the house was originally intended to only be two stories, but looked "ungainly," so he just kept building, which we're pretty sure isn't a technique recommended by most architectural schools.

Despite the quirkiness of his final product, Nikolai sounds like quite the inspiring figure doesn't he? The kind of guy you tell your kids about when you want them to get their asses up from in front of the TV. Well until you find out that Nikolai Sutyagin was actually a Russian gangster who built his house to be the Russian equivalent of the Playboy Mansion.

On one hand you're more likely to get tetanus here than in the real Playboy Mansion. On the plus side, you're also less likely to have to sleep with Hugh Hefner.

The house contains a garden, ballroom, five-story bathhouse and numerous rooms where Sutyagin's business colleagues could "entertain" various women. Come to think of it, he may have inspired us even more now.


Of course he's not wearing a shirt.

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6
The Narrow House

Well, clearly this is just a picture of a house in construction. That white structure is just one of the walls of a full house to be built later, right?

Nope, turns out that's an entire house, the thinnest one in the world in fact. The house measures only about three-feet wide at the front, expanding to a roomy six-feet across at its widest point. Despite being narrower than a lot of human beings here in America, this Brazilian house manages to pack in two living rooms, three bedrooms and a kitchen.


And great security

So Who the Hell Built This Thing?

A few years ago, Helenita Queiroz Grave Minho found herself out of a job. While some people might use this as excuse to catch up on their daytime TV while hiding inside to keep the disability checks coming, Helenita decided to be proactive. She wanted to build a house that she could rent out for extra cash, but unfortunately the only land she had to build on was a narrow alleyway. That didn't stop her.

The would-be builder went through a lengthy battle with the mayor's office before she was allowed to build but eventually the authorities gave in, probably out of morbid curiosity. Despite having no architectural training, Helenita designed and built the house with her husband, and it's now become a local tourist attraction, with Helenita planning to build another story on it as well. Hopefully she stops there though, since we're not sure "world's narrowest collapsed pile of rubble" will have quite the same draw.

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5
The Toilet House

Let's make one thing clear: We didn't just find some house that sort of looked like a toilet with the intention of mocking it. Oh, no, this was designed to be a toilet from the get-go. The dude went to the architect and said, "I want to live in a goddamned toilet, and if you can't make that happen, I'll find somebody who can."


He was an eccentric man.

So Who the Hell Built This Thing?

Sim Jae-Duck was born in a washroom. Usually this is the kind of personal trivia you try to keep to yourself, but Sim Jae-Duck isn't merely unashamed of the fact that the first thing he saw in this world was that the tub could really use a de-grouting, he's downright proud of it.

It was no mere coincidence that his mother gave birth there either, as Sim's grandmother told his mom that babies born in bathrooms were destined to live long, successful lives. Normally that kind of advice would be cause to ship grandma off to the nursing home, but it turns out that she may have been on to something as Sim Jae-Duck went on to become the Mayor of the South Korean city of Suweon.


Photo research of Suweon yields this picture. We can only assume it is a strange place.

During his term, Sim was given the nickname "Mayor Toilet" because everywhere you go politics is basically just like kindergarten. Also, Sim earned his moniker by being completely obsessed by them--his big thing was that bathrooms should be "clean and beautiful resting places imbued with culture" and hopes to transform them into something closer to a garden or art gallery (if those things were filled with the smell of other people's poop).

Which brings us back around to his toilet house.

In 1999, Sim Jae-Duck launched his World Toilet Association and, to celebrate, unveiled his glass walled toilet house, which features two bedrooms, guestrooms and, of course, three luxurious state-of-the-art washrooms (though it would have been awesome if they had forgotten to put those in).

By the way, if you have 50-thousand dollars laying about you too can spend a night in Sim's toilet house. Seems kind of pricey considering the "WE'RE STANDING IN A GIANT TOILET!!! TEEHEE!!! ARE WE HAVING CORN FOR DINNER?!?!?" jokes would get old after three or four hours.

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4
The Coral Castle

On the southernmost tip of Florida lays the Coral Castle, a structure that has been compared to world wonders like Stonehenge and the great pyramids of Egypt. And it was all built by a single man who, if his neighbors are to be believed, may have had magical powers.

So Who the Hell Built This Thing?

Latvian immigrant Edward Leedskalnin was dumped by his fiance the day before their wedding. Men react differently to that kind of thing; some drink, some have sex with the babysitter, some decide to build a goddamned castle.

Edward moved to south Florida and did just that, using giant blocks of limestone from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. Everything in the castle, from Edward's two-story tower living quarters, to the furniture, to the strange sculptures in the courtyard, to his throne (he way have been overcompensating just a tad with that one) were made of these stone slabs, with no mortar or cement to hold them together.

While that's odd in and of itself, even stranger is the fact that nobody knows how the hell the guy did it all. Leedskalnin went to great lengths to make sure nobody saw him working, and it remains a mystery how he managed to move, cut and precisely assemble these chunks of rock (some of which were up to twice as large as the stones used at Stonehenge) all on his own.


See this giant hunk of stone? I totally lifted it, and I'm not going to tell you how.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, eventually he decided the location he'd chosen for his project wasn't quite right, so he moved the whole thing 10-miles down the road. Think changing apartments is tough? Try moving when you have to take over a thousand-tons of limestone with you.

Over the years people have come up with plenty of interesting theories to explain the creation of the Coral Castle, and by "interesting," we mostly mean batshit insane. Neighbors say they witnessed Edward placing his hands on the rocks, chanting and causing them to levitate; local teenagers claim to have seen him flying the blocks like hydrogen balloons; and some even believe Edward may have discovered the very key to the Universe. Edward himself said his amazing building abilities were due to him discovering the secrets of the pyramids. Gee, thanks for the clarification. Even Spock himself demands an explanation...

We're thinking his secret may involve using a "magical" army of grossly underpaid illegal immigrants to move his gigantic rocks.

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3
The Beer Can House

Somewhere in Houston, Texas lays the Beer Can House, which in a stirring tribute to both recycling and alcoholism, is adorned with over 50-thousand crushed beer cans.

So Who the Hell Built This Thing?

We know what you're thinking, and no, the Beer Can House was never a frat house, believe it or not. The house was actually created by upholsterer John Milkovisch. The whole project started when Milkovisch decided to replace his lawn with cement slabs which he covered with marbles, metal and all sorts of other random junk, because in his words, he just "got sick of mowing the damn grass."


One must prioritize.

With his property now officially an eyesore, he decided to really go for broke. According to friends, Milkovisch lived on the route the beer truck drove to get to the grocery store where, like a middle-aged beer-bellied kid, he'd run out like he'd seen the ice cream truck and clean it out, stocking eight to 10 cases in his garage at all times. Perhaps it was the influence of all those beers that made him think sticking the empties on the walls was a good idea, but it turned out fine for Milkovisch as the house is now considered a beloved local landmark.

Basically what we're saying is that if there's ever a vote on who the awesomest guy ever was, John Milkovisch ought to at least be on the ballot.


And he looks exactly like you'd imagine him.

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2
The House on the Rock

Near the unassuming small town of Spring Green, Wisconsin lays one of the oddest houses in America. For starters, it's perched on top of a 60-foot tall column of sheer rock, and inside you'll find a seemingly randomly assembled collection of bizarre themed rooms. There's a room full of strange automated instruments, a recreation of an early 20th century town, a large carousel and more.

So Who the Hell Built This Thing?

The house's creator, Alex Jordan Jr., was famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright's biggest fan. Jordan traveled to meet Wright so he could show him the plans for a building he had designed, hoping to get his idol's approval, and well, Wright basically straight-up told Jordan he was the shittiest architect in history, dropping the following awesome line on him...

"I wouldn't hire you to design a cheese crate or a chicken coop. You're not capable." There's only one thing to say to that. Ouch.


Frank Lloyd Wright: The Don Rickles of the the architecture world.

Well, after that, Jordan turned in his Frank Lloyd Wright fan club badge, and decided he was going to make Wright eat his words by building a house on top of a rock spire he spotted while driving home in a huff from the fateful meeting. 80-years later, Wright is America's most respected architect and Alex Jordan is one of seven crazy people mentioned in a Cracked article. You sure showed him Alex.


Not even Alex Jordan's hat could compare to FLW.

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1
Le Palais Ideal

Somewhere amongst the French countryside, near the town Chateauneuf-de-Galaure, lays Palais Ideal ("The Ideal Palace"), a huge, incredibly ornate palace built out of small stones, and decorated with imagery from the Bible, as well as from India and many other cultures from around the world.

It may seem like a monument from some sort of long-lost civilization, but it was actually built by some mailman, just for the hell of it.


Mailmen need insane hobbies too.

So Who the Hell Built This Thing?

Remember in The Shawshank Redemption where Andy dug a hole in the concrete and smuggled the fragments out of his cell in his pants pockets? Well imagine instead if Andy had done the opposite: picked up tiny stones in the yard and built a prison out of it. That's what Ferdinand Cheval did.


Just like Andy, if his plan had been retarded.

He was the mailman who, one day, tripped over a stone while on his route. Cheval found himself fascinated by its shape and, apparently having stunning amounts of spare time, decided to create the Palais.

From that day on, and for the next 33 years, Ferdinand Cheval would collect stones along his route, at first stuffing them into his pockets, before upgrading to a basket and eventually a wheelbarrow. Fortunately the backhoe wasn't invented yet because we're sure Cheval would have taken one on his route if he could.


Clearly not the kind of man you say "no" to when he asks to pick stones off your sidewalk.

After collecting the stones, Cheval would then painstakingly piece together his ideal palace, usually working at night by the light of an oil lamp. Cheval wanted to be buried there, but unfortunately that was against French law. Since Cheval was a mailman, and thus possessed that unique postal worker combination of insanity and love for pointless rules, he decided not to fight it and instead spent the next eight years building a mausoleum using the same techniques he had used for his palace. He made sure the mausoleum didn't get all musty before he moved in either, promptly dying less than a year after he finished it.

Nathan Birch also writes the solidly constructed webcomic Zoology.

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For more architectural insanity, check out 5 Amazing Buildings of the Future (And How They'll Kill You) and 6 Real People Who Turned Their Homes Into Death Traps.

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