The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Rulers of All Time

#2. The Zhengde Emperor of China Liked to Play Make-Believe

Wiki

The Zhengde Emperor was emperor of China in the beginning of the 16th century, having taken the throne at the age of 14, and as far as anyone could tell, he remained 14 for the next decade and a half of his rule.

For instance, Zhengde liked to play games of make-believe instead of, you know, running a giant empire like he was supposed to be doing. In fact, he built a whole fake city block on the imperial grounds where he would pretend to be a shopkeeper, to the puzzlement of his subjects, who were forced to go along with it.

Getty
"Make-believe or not, these prices are bullshit."

Occasionally, he pretended he was a general and went on raiding parties (almost getting captured) with an army dressed all in silk, for some reason. Weirder still, he invented for himself an alter ego he named Zhu Shou, whom he would "order" on pointless raiding parties, to the exasperation of his government, who had to pretend they weren't just talking to the emperor in a wig. There might be a powerful lesson here in the fact that the dude was king, but still preferred fantasy to reality. Then again, maybe he just found being king way more boring than he imagined.

Cultural China
"Mel Brooks lied."

Eventually Zhengde died in predictable fashion: after getting really drunk and falling off a boat during a fishing trip.

#1. Farouk of Egypt, the Pickpocket King

Wiki

The last ruling king of Egypt, King Farouk, was as nutty as most of the world's leaders seemed to be during World War II, and was ultimately the reason Egypt decided to pack it all in with this whole monarchy thing. Known early in his reign for his excessive partying and gambling, Farouk was once described as a "stomach with a head" after he grew to over 300 pounds. According to his sister, he would drink 30 bottles of soda a day and eat caviar straight from the can. But gluttony is pretty much expected, if not mandatory, for a despot. That alone certainly would not qualify him for this list.

But more bizarre for someone with infinite money, Farouk was a complete kleptomaniac, once stealing a watch from Winston Churchill. He later claimed to have simply found it lying around, but neglected to mention that he'd "found" it in Churchill's pocket.

Wiki
"You're also about to 'find' my foot in your ass."

Another time, after having nightmares about lions attacking him, Farouk decided to take a trip to the Cairo Zoo to see the lions. And by see them, we mean shoot them while they were in their cages, because that's a perfectly reasonable reaction to night terrors if you are insane.

Finally, when Hitler's army was preparing to invade Egypt, it's safe to say that Farouk was the only world leader to send Hitler a telegram thanking him for coming to kick his country's ass. He didn't like the British forces occupying his country, and apparently he figured Nazis were somehow a step up.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1990-048-29A / CC-BY-SA
"Our mutual love of terrible facial hair really sealed the deal."

As you might have guessed, Farouk wasn't too popular with the people, who supported the British and were pretty anti-Nazi. In 1952, he was overthrown, and upon raiding his treasures, an interesting discovery was made: Farouk had tons of coins, magic tricks, stamps ... and the world's largest porn collection.



For more world leaders that were certifiable, check out 7 Modern Dictators Way Crazier Than You Thought Possible and The 5 Most Shockingly Insane Modern Dictators.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here

1,049 Comments

The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!