Humans are fascinated with weird and unusual phenomena—hence the popularity of books, magazines, television shows and podcasts focusing on “unexplained” subjects such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, UFOs and the Bermuda Triangle.
In The Theory of Everything Else: A Voyage Into the World of the Weird, comedian and co-host of the “No Such Thing as a Fish” podcast Dan Schreiber takes peculiar theories about some of life’s greatest mysteries and spins them into nonstop hilarity. Many of the ideas presented here are so implausible—such as the hypothesis that time travelers sank the Titanic—that Schreiber starts with a disclaimer, a suggestion that readers should “let the ideas alter your universe for a few seconds . . . but for God’s sake, don’t believe in a single one of them.” In fact, he uses the word batshit over and over to describe these unconventional beliefs and bizarre encounters, while also demonstrating that investigating such baffling notions (whether to solve them, prove them or disprove them) is often what leads people to discover something closer to the truth.
Schreiber divides the book into three main sections that cover the importance of unconventional thought, scientific theories that have been “rejected” and eccentric beliefs that are woven throughout our daily lives. His research is extensive, covering all areas of the globe and a variety of cultures as he considers the possibility of a hollow Earth, the extinction of pubic lice, the chance that reptilian aliens walk among us and many more far-fetched and otherwise wacky notions. There are connections to famous people such as Ringo Starr (whose grandmother was known as “the voodoo queen of Liverpool”), tennis player Novak Djokovic (who believes there are ancient lost pyramids in Bosnia) and the British royal family (yes, Prince Philip harbored an interest in UFOs). Several scientists who made groundbreaking discoveries are included as well, since they also embraced unusual theories or beliefs.
Humorous illustrations are featured side by side with historic photographs, and each “batshit” story or theory is counterbalanced with a reality check of facts and statistics. As Schreiber sums up, “Whether we like it or not, many of these alternative thinkers have shaped the world we live in today.” The Theory of Everything Else is a wild, witty, entertaining ride into the funhouse of the unexplained and the unexplainable. Hop on and enjoy the trip.