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Strange Love: Seven Weird Marriages We Found Online

Humans don't always marry members of their own species.
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While people get married for a myriad of reasons, from companionship to preservation of wealth, there’s good enough data out there that suggest that people now do it more frequently for love. Take that, cynics.

As to who or what they love, well, now that’s the catch. In recent years, there have been a number of stories that have gone viral online about weird and bizarre partners that some have chosen to commit their life with. Here are some of the most unconventional we found. 

The One Who Married a Robot

When Apple announced that it’s equipping its iPhones with an artificial intelligence assistant named Siri in 2011, people were amused by its novelty. Almost a decade later, there are people marrying not just data-enriched assistants, but robots and holograms.

In 2017, Zheng Jiajia, a Chinese “AI-expert”, married a “female” robot he made, supposedly after failing to find (or love?) a human girlfriend. “YingYing” or how Jiajia chose to call his new partner, can say simple Chinese words and even read a few Chinese characters. Whether or not the robot can even say the name of her new partner remains undetermined. Since they can’t get legally married, Jiajia and YingYing opted to have a simple nuptial ceremony that was even by attended by friends and family of the groom.

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The One Who Married a Hologram

Similarly unlucky in the human dating scene, Kondo, 35, decided to give his love to his favorite anime character instead. So he made the most logical and sane decision any fanboy would make, he married a hologram of her.

Kondo has been a longtime fan of digital pop singer Hatsune Miku, a 16-year-old anime character. When Japanese startup Vinclu introduced Gatebox, an AI-powered home assistant device that also projects a hologram of any anime character, he didn’t hesitate to purchase one.

Last year, he married Miku (or technically his Gatebox) in a formal wedding ceremony, which even saw him wearing a white tux and Miku under a veil.

"[Miku] lifted me up when I needed it the most. She kept me company and made me feel like I could regain control over my life. What I have with her is definitely love,” Kondo told CNN. Now that’s definitely something not everyone can say. 

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The One Who Married an Amusement Park Ride

Some women fall in love with men of steel, but not Linda Ducharme. She’d rather go for the real deal—literal steel.

Ducharme had always loved the Skydiver, an amusement park ride that resembles a Ferris wheel, except the cars spin while they rotate around the metal wheel. In an interview, Ducharme said she even joined a touring carnival just to be with “Bruce”, the name she gave to the Skydiver she fell in love with. Unfortunately for her, they had to part ways in the ‘80s since “Bruce” needed fixing. Decades later, she found him again in a junk shop, where she decided to never let him go. They got married in an informal ceremony.

 

The One Who Married the Eiffel Tower

There must really be something with hunky, metal structures that women go gaga over.

In 2008, an award-winning archer named Erika married the world’s most iconic metal structure, the Eiffel Tower. The archer “married” the iconic French landmark in a commitment ceremony, and even adopted Eiffel as her surname. Unfortunately, recent reports revealed that her relationship with the iron tower has not been particularly strong and stable.

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When news of her marriage to the Eiffel Tower was made public, the operators of the famous landmark eventually banned Erika from visiting. She was understandably distraught. The latest report said she’s now trying to start a new relationship with a German tower. She said: "They think I can't develop relationships with people so I choose objects so I can have control. But I had no control over my relationship to the Eiffel Tower. If this was all about control, I'd love my toaster, you know?”

There, there Erika. There, there.

The One Who Married a Rock

No, not the Rock, but a hard, heavy, actual piece of stone. In 2016, British artist Tracey Emin revealed she married a rock from her garden in France. It was her latest artistic exploration of what it means to love that “transcend the carnal—about love that goes beyond lust,” as The Guardian puts it.

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“Somewhere on a hill facing the sea, there is a very beautiful ancient stone, and it’s not going anywhere. It will be there, waiting for me,” she said.

Good for you, Tracey.

The One Who Married a Zombie Doll

There has been slew of zombie TV shows and movies lately, usually fronted by charming and attractive men, that it wouldn’t be surprising to find women falling in love with the actors starring them. Not Felicity Kadlec though. The 21-year-old wasn’t falling for the humans saving everyone else from the apocalypse, she went for the ones that were undead.

The young American woman shared that she married a zombie doll she has had since 16. Kadlec even wore a wedding gown for the intimate ceremony, with the zombie doll donning a tux too. Now that’s a pairing straight out of a Tim Burton film. 

The One Who Married a Dog

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Canine lovers would agree, there’s no other pet that loves quite as a dog does. The loyal and sweet creatures’ loving ways have now spawned countless films, shows and even documentaries that show humans’ fondness for them. Some are even Instagram-famous enough that their owners do nothing but post pictures of them to make a living.

But in Ireland, one woman took her love for her canine companion to another level: she married him. Wilhelmina Morgan Callaghan and her dog, Henry, will be celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary this year. While it’s not legal to get married to a dog in the United Kingdom, Callaghan and Henry reportedly had a “spiritual” ceremony and even have a certificate to prove the nuptial.

For the 43-year-old Irish, “dogs are better than men.” Pretty sure she’s not the only one who feels the same.

Objectum sexuals and digisexuals

While all these sound ridiculous, even laughable, human relationships with inanimate objects may be related to a person’s “history of sexual trauma”, according to some experts.

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“[Sexual trauma] may certainly strengthen an existing wariness, confirm a lack of interest, or add to distaste for considering or conducting human sexual relationships,” clinical sexologist Amy Marsh wrote in her published paper on the subject. Still, she contended that further studies must be done to strengthen this claim as most objectum sexuals do not entirely identify any traumas as the cause for their love for their inanimate partners, but simply a natural occurence.

This is probably how most “digisexuals” also feel. In 2017, academics studied the growing community of  digisexuals or those “whose primary sexual identity comes through the use of technology.” There are the first wave digisexuals, people who use technology to achieve sexual pleasure, think online dating or sexting. Then there are the second wave digisexuals, those who form relationships with a type of technology, like robots and holograms.

In an interview with The New York Times, one of the study’s authors Neil McArthur said this phenomenon will eventually become part of the human experience.

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“Each time we have new technologies, there’s a wave of alarmism that follows. It happened first with porn, then with internet dating, then with Snapchat sexting. One by one these technologies come along and there’s this wave of panic. But as people start to use these technologies, they become part of our lives,” he added.

It looks like these relationships wouldn’t look as weird in the near future after all.

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Elyssa Christine Lopez
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Esquire. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz
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