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Ripley’s Believe It or Not asks fans to mail their weird items as part of new contest

by Banks Lee

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Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has always been about the strange and bizarre, and their new contest is no different.

For the Ready Set Mail contest, Ripley’s wants to see what weirdness people can send to its corporate headquarters in Orlando; but there’s a catch. No packaging is allowed – that means no box, no envelope, no wrapping of any kind. The postage and address must go directly on the item.

So far, entries have included a toilet seat, an inflatable monkey, a lemon, a bar of soap, a fake piece of cake and a hat shaped like an alligator. “The Postal Service gets its share of criticism, but you have to applaud them for delivering items this way,” said Edward Meyer, Ripley’s VP of Exhibits and Archives. “Most people don’t realize that if you can put an address and postage on it, they’ll usually find a way to deliver it.”

Ripley’s has a long legacy of receiving unusual items through the mail. Robert Ripley once received more than a million letters in a single year, including letters written on wood, glass, rocks, bones and even a grain of rice.

There are prizes for the best Ready Set Mail entries. A weekly winner gets a copy of “A CuriousMan: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert ‘Believe It or Not!’ Ripley.” A grand prize winner will get their choice of an unbelievable prize – a sculpture of either Captain Jack Sparrow or a Bumblebee Transformer. Each is made entirely from recycled car parts, stands over three feet tall, weighs more than 200 pounds and is worth $1500.

The contest runs through Sept. 4, 2013. For the mailing address, contest rules and other details, entrants should visit here.

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