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20 of the Weirdest and Most Unfortunate Place Names in the World

by Dikson Feb 17, 2014
Batman (Turkey)

“Batman sues Batman over Batman” was the inspired headline for an article in The Register in 2008 when the former Mayor of Batman in Turkey was preparing to sue Christopher Nolan and Warner Brothers over their usage of his city’s name in the movie franchise without permission. The article claimed that the mayor was putting together evidence to suggest the town had the name before the fictional DC Comics character was created. This was later denied in many publications and subsequently, as if adopting the role of a Batman villain, the mayor was sentenced in an unrelated incident to 10 months in prison for promoting terrorism and praising a rebel leader.

Bell End (UK)

This may not be used all that often in the US but can be heard frequently on playgrounds and in schools across the UK. A polished, brassy description of the tip of a man’s penis wouldn’t be the best place to tell a stranger you’re from. But come to think of it…

Truth or Consequences (New Mexico, USA)

I’d be threatened by the welcome sign skirting this city. It sounds like everyone who inhabits it is weighed down by the harsh judgement of others and is in constant receipt of punishment for wrongdoing. I imagine a town full of people playing truth or dare with the dares ending abysmally on every street corner. In actual fact, it’s named after an NBC radio programme. The host, Ralph Edwards, promised he would air the show from the first town to rename itself after the programme. So, as a result, Hot Springs became Truth or Consequences.

Moron (Argentina)

The last dictator of Argentina, General Reynaldo Bignone, was born in this town and is, therefore, a Moron.

Disappointment Islands (French Polynesia)

Like the Ugly Duckling with a growth disorder, the Disappointment Islands offer little in comparison to their utopian siblings in the Pacific. Barren and living up to its name, this island group isn’t fit for human habitation. It would be a massive letdown if you went all the way there to find out.

Shagnasty Island (close to the South Orkney Islands)

It’s quite likely there’s a porno named after this island.

Beer Bottle Crossing (Idaho, USA)

My kind of place, an unpopulated solitary spot in the great outdoors where cracking a beer is etched into its coordinates. It’s located in Payette National Forest in Idaho and, according to Facebook, 97 people like Beer Bottle Crossing and 302 have been there.

Dildo (Newfoundland, Canada)

It’s good to know the naming of Dildo may have been intended to ruffle feathers. Apparently the man who mapped out Newfoundland, Captain James Cook, had a knack for giving humorous and, in instances, offensive names to the towns he was tasked with. The name “dildo” is apparently derived from a phallic wooden pin on a row boat, and throughout its evolution has always been associated with something resembling a man’s member, finally finding an appropriate home in its modern-day form on the shelves of sex shops around the world.

Boring (Oregon, USA)

There’s not much to say really is there.

Middelfart (Denmark)

Oh no…the name Middelfart means “central passage” in Danish. This is indeed an unfortunate name and translation. As if playing along with the metaphor, near to Middelfart, in the centre of Denmark, there are two bridges that go over…wait for it…the Little Belt sea strait.

Whiskey Dick Mountain (Washington State, USA)

It rolls off the tongue like a hairball of beards soaked in alcohol. A man’s mountain if ever there was one. Modern-day Vikings spring to mind, necking whiskey from skulls and eating turkey drumsticks. It’s the highest point on Windy Ridge and located 15 miles east of Ellensburg, in Washington State. I hope to go there one day and engage in overly manly activities.

Executive Committee Range, Mistake Peak, Dick Peaks, Nipple Peak, Mount Cocks, Mount Toogood, Queer Mountain, and Mount Slaughter (all in Antarctica)

I had to highlight this. What madman was tasked with naming the mountains in Antarctica? Seriously. Whilst the sexual references always get a giggle, I’m intrigued as to what ill befell explorers on Mistake Peak, and what’s so special about Mount Toogood. Most of all, though, the bland and bureaucratically named Executive Committee Range has to be one of the most uninspired and uninspiring names of any mountains.

Fucking (Austria)

I’d hate to work at the tourism info desk here.

Satan’s Kingdom (Massachusetts, USA)

Storming into the list like an arena in Magic the card game is Satan’s Kingdom. Speaking of the card game, one of my fondest memories of college is walking past a few fellows who were in the middle of an evidently serious session of Magic. I overheard one of the least threatening and overly dramatic statements ever, given the context, by one of the gamers. He confidently leant over the board and said to another of the players from under his sweeping black fringe: “You’ve sealed your doom.”

Coolville (Ohio, USA)

Get outta here. In 1883 Coolville was said to have a gristmill and a sawmill. That’s about the coolest information I could find on Coolville.

Useless Inlet (WA, Australia)

When French explorers Nicolas Thomas Baudin and Louis Claude de Saulces de Freycinet arrived, they were clearly pissed off at the sand bank that blocked them from mooring their ship.

Hell (Michigan, USA)

266 people live in Hell. Sounds about right. There are two theories to the name: The first is that German travelers passing through said, “So schön hell!” (translated as, “So beautifully bright!”), locals heard this, and for some reason it stuck. The other theory is that one of the early settlers in the town was asked what the town should be called. He followed up by saying, “I don’t care, you can name it Hell for all I care,” which became the official name on October 13, 1841.

Sexmoan (Philippines)

Sexmoan gets a shout out despite being renamed in the ’90s to Sasmuan, the original and current name. Sexmoan was how it had been spelt by Spanish friars.

Happy Adventure (Newfoundland, Canada)

I doubt life is easy at work meet-and-greets for hardened criminals from Happy Adventure — it’s not the edgiest of names. The etymology is claimed to be a result of the euphoria of the first settlers when they stumbled upon such a welcoming and livable habitat.

Foggy Bottom (Washington DC, USA)

Rounding off the list is Foggy Bottom in Washington DC, where the headquarters of the Department of the Interior is located, naturally.

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