Here are a couple of hairy curiosities (in every sense!) that I'm sharing with you today from my Eclectarium.
This strange, brown, hair-like material is used by Senegalese shamans in secret rituals, and is incorporated into magic medicines that supposedly bestow good fortune upon their recipients. Shamans claim that they obtain it from demons when entering an alternate dimension of consciousness. They mix devil's hair with other substances, such as chicken's blood, and wrap the resulting concoction in goatskin or hyaena skin before giving it to the recipient - who must then undergo a series of tasks with it, based upon instructions relayed by the shaman from invisible spirit beings, in order for it to have the desired effect.
On 13 May 1848, a violent earthquake shook Chantibun in eastern Siam (now Thailand), but that was not all, as recorded in Scientific American: "During the shock, there spontaneously came out of the ground a species of human hairs in almost every place - in the bazaars, in the roads, in the fields, and the most solid places. These hairs, which are pretty long, stand upright and adhere strongly to the ground. When they are burned, they twist like human hairs and have a burned smell...they all appeared in the twinkling of an eye during the earthquake". But from where? One authority claimed that they were "...probably some interior bituminous substance melted and blown through the pores of the earth into fine strings and congealed, resembling hairs". Another, commenting upon a Chinese case, believed them to be fibres from the hemp-palm tree. At present, quake hairs remain a mystery.