The Bizarre Hobbies of Famous Nerds: From Beetle Collecting to Medieval Sword Fighting

You might think beetle collecting and medieval sword fighting are unrelated, but famous nerds excel at embracing the unusual. Imagine cataloging rhinoceros beetles, appreciating their intricate designs, or donning armor for full-contact sword fighting.

These hobbies blend scientific curiosity, artistic expression, and historical reenactment. If you’ve ever wondered what drives someone to restore vintage computers or build elaborate model train sets, you’ll find a fascinating exploration of the diverse and sometimes peculiar hobbies that captivate some of the most brilliant minds.

Beetle Collecting

insect enthusiast excels hobby

Many people don’t realize how fascinating beetle collecting can be, offering both scientific intrigue and artistic display. Imagine the excitement of capturing a rhinoceros beetle, akin to finding a rare collectible. Just as enthusiasts cherish unique items, beetle collectors focus on specific types such as stag beetles, drawn to their distinct characteristics and beauty.

Starting a beetle collection is more than just amassing insects; it’s about exploration. Each beetle you capture, study, and categorize reveals the vast diversity of these creatures.

Preserving and displaying them turns your collection into a visual feast, showcasing nature’s intricate patterns and colors.

Some collectors take it a step further by participating in breeding programs to create unique specimens. This aspect of the hobby parallels the customization beloved by enthusiasts who modify their models to make them one-of-a-kind.

Attending beetle-themed events and trading specimens with fellow enthusiasts can also be incredibly rewarding, allowing you to contribute to scientific research and connect with a passionate community.

Medieval Sword Fighting

Medieval sword fighting goes beyond merely swinging a sword; it requires mastering both historical combat techniques and contemporary training methods. Enthusiasts gather at events worldwide to showcase their skills and foster a strong community. This pursuit combines strategy, physical prowess, and a deep appreciation for history.

Historical Combat Techniques

Medieval sword fighting offers a deep dive into historical combat with full-contact training using real steel weapons. This intense sport isn’t merely about swinging swords for entertainment; it involves mastering techniques rooted in medieval texts and traditions. Each move, block, and strike draws directly from historical practices, turning every training session into a journey through time.

Participants engage in organized battles governed by strict rules, ensuring both the thrill and safety of the experience. Although the weapons are blunted to reduce risk, injuries like broken bones and dislocated shoulders can still occur, adding to the adrenaline rush that many enthusiasts, including some well-known figures, find irresistible.

The global medieval combat community has expanded significantly, with organizations such as the Historical Medieval Battle International Association (HMBIA) and the International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) at the forefront. These organizations provide a structured environment for fighters, emphasizing historical accuracy, armor authenticity, and camaraderie.

Modern Training Methods

Today’s modern training methods in medieval sword fighting skillfully blend historical techniques with contemporary safety measures, creating an exhilarating yet controlled combat experience. In full-contact combat, participants use real steel weapons with blunted edges to minimize injuries. While the weapons are authentic, the rules and regulations are designed to ensure safety, prohibiting dangerous attacks.

Combatants engage in both single combat and team battles, each with specific objectives and techniques. These organized fights require rigorous training to master the art of medieval warfare. Participants learn to fight with precision, using strategies that mirror historical practices within a framework that guarantees safety.

The sport’s growth has led to the formation of global organizations like HMBIA and IMCF, which standardize rules and promote safety. Despite these measures, the physical toll can be significant, with participants often experiencing severe injuries such as broken bones and dislocated shoulders. Nonetheless, the combination of historical authenticity and modern safety makes full-contact combat a unique and thrilling pursuit for enthusiasts worldwide.

Community and Events

Enthusiasts of medieval sword fighting aren’t just honing their combat skills; they’re joining a vibrant community built on camaraderie and competition. This medieval combat community engages in full-contact training with real steel weapons, adhering to strict rules and regulations. Organizations like the Historical Medieval Battle International Association (HMBIA) and the International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) oversee these structured battles and team fights, ensuring fair play and safety.

Despite this rigorous oversight, injuries such as broken bones and dislocated shoulders are common and considered part of the experience. These physical challenges foster a unique bond among participants, who often come from diverse professions and military backgrounds. The sport’s global growth has attracted a wide array of enthusiasts, contributing to a rich and diverse community.

However, the medieval sword fighting world isn’t without its tensions, rivalries, and controversies. Splits within the international combat community are prevalent, adding an extra layer of drama to the already intense competitions. Yet, these challenges only serve to strengthen the community’s resilience and passion for the sport.

When you step into this world, you’re not just fighting; you’re becoming part of a dedicated and dynamic global network.

Retro Video Gaming

nostalgic gaming experience revival

Many enthusiasts immerse themselves in retro video gaming, savoring the nostalgia and challenging gameplay of classics like Super Mario Bros. and Pac-Man. This hobby isn’t just about playing old games; it’s about reliving a golden period.

Retro video gaming involves using vintage gaming consoles like the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and Atari. Collectors often scour eBay or flea markets to find rare cartridges and accessories to complete their collections.

Why do they love it so much? Retro games offer a simplicity that’s refreshing in today’s complex gaming landscape. Titles like The Legend of Zelda and Tetris evoke memories of simpler times, making every pixel and sound byte a trip down memory lane. Despite their simplicity, these games feature challenging gameplay that can stump even seasoned modern gamers.

Retro gaming communities are also a significant part of the allure. Events, conventions, and online forums bring enthusiasts together to celebrate and preserve these classic games. Whether you’re in it for the nostalgia or the challenge, retro video gaming offers a unique and timeless escape.

Comic Book Hoarding

When you’re into comic book hoarding, you’ll find yourself on the hunt for rare issues to complete your collection. Grading and preserving these prized possessions become crucial to maintain their value and condition.

You’ll carefully organize and catalog each comic, ensuring your collection is both comprehensive and well-preserved.

Rare Issue Hunting

For comic book collectors, the thrill of discovering rare issues often evolves into a lifelong and deeply rewarding pursuit. Much like numismatists, you may find yourself exploring comic book stores, online auctions, and conventions, always on the lookout for elusive first editions or key character appearances. The excitement lies in uncovering hidden treasures, making each find feel like a personal triumph.

You might start with a single comic but soon see your collection grow to thousands. Specialized storage solutions become essential to keep your prized possessions safe and organized. The hunt can sometimes lead to significant financial investments, as rare issues often come with hefty price tags. However, it’s not just about the monetary value; the stories and artwork hold sentimental significance, making each issue a treasure.

You’ll often seek out comics with limited print runs, aiming to add these rare finds to your collection. The quest never truly ends; it’s a continuous pursuit of new acquisitions that keeps you engaged. Every comic book you add to your collection tells a story—not just of its plot, but of your dedicated journey as a collector.

Grading and Preservation

As you build a collection of rare comic books, grading and preservation become crucial to maintaining their value and condition. Having your comics graded by reputable services like CGC or CBCS can significantly enhance their market worth. These organizations meticulously evaluate each comic’s condition and assign a grade that collectors trust.

After grading, encapsulation is the next vital step. Encapsulating your comics in protective cases provides a robust defense against physical damage, moisture, and aging. These cases create a controlled environment that preserves the comics’ pristine condition for years.

However, maintaining a comic book collection presents challenges. As your collection expands, so does the need for proper storage and organization. Store your encapsulated comics in a cool, dry place, ideally using archival-quality boxes and shelving. This approach not only maintains their condition but also helps keep your collection organized.

Model Train Building

precise miniature locomotive crafting

Model train building captivates countless enthusiasts who meticulously craft miniature replicas of trains and railways. This hobby transcends simple assembly; it’s a detailed art form requiring acute attention to detail and precision.

Many hobbyists strive for historical accuracy, replicating specific eras and locations in their layouts. The hobby features various scales, such as HO scale, N scale, and O scale, each offering different levels of detail and complexity.

Joining a model train club can enhance your experience. These clubs often host exhibitions and competitions, providing a platform to showcase your creations. Enthusiasts often spend hours perfecting intricate details, from electrical components to the accurate modeling of landscapes and buildings.

Model train building also serves as a creative outlet that offers technical challenges and evokes a sense of nostalgia. Many enthusiasts are transported back to their childhood, reliving moments spent watching real trains.

Whether a beginner or an experienced modeler, the satisfaction of seeing a fully functional, intricately detailed layout is immensely rewarding. Immerse yourself in this world that combines craftsmanship, history, and community.


Astrophotography allows you to capture the stunning beauty of celestial objects and phenomena using specialized telescopes and cameras. Imagine pointing your equipment skyward and photographing the Milky Way, the Moon, or even distant galaxies. With astrophotography, the night sky becomes your artistic canvas.

To achieve breathtaking shots, enthusiasts often use long exposure techniques. By keeping the camera’s shutter open for extended periods, you can capture intricate details of stars, planets, and nebulae.

However, light pollution from city lights can ruin your shots, so astrophotographers frequently travel to remote, dark-sky locations to get the best images possible.

Once you’ve captured your celestial masterpiece, the work isn’t over. Advanced astrophotography involves detailed post-processing to enhance colors and bring out fine details. This step can transform a good photo into a stunning one, revealing the hidden beauty of the cosmos.

Cosplay Crafting

detailed costume creation process

Just as astrophotography captures the beauty of the cosmos, cosplay crafting brings fictional characters to life through intricate costumes and props. When you immerse yourself in cosplay crafting, you’re not just making a costume; you’re creating a piece of art that embodies the essence of your favorite characters from movies, TV shows, anime, and video games.

This hobby requires a broad range of skills, including sewing, crafting, prop-making, wig styling, and makeup application.

Engaging in cosplay crafting offers a unique way to express your creativity and connect with a supportive community. You’ll find countless tutorials, workshops, and online forums where cosplayers exchange tips and techniques.

When you don your creation, conventions, events, and photoshoots provide ideal venues to showcase your work and share your passion with others.

To emphasize the multifaceted nature of cosplay crafting, consider these key points:

  • Skill Diversity: From sewing to prop-making, you’ll develop a wide array of skills.
  • Community Support: Engage with fellow cosplayers through forums and workshops.
  • Creative Expression: Bring your favorite characters to life with your unique touch.
  • Immersive Experience: Deepen your engagement with your favorite fandoms and share your passion.

Cosplay crafting isn’t just a hobby; it’s a vibrant, creative outlet that fosters community and self-expression.

Vintage Computer Restoration

Engaging in vintage computer restoration isn’t merely about fixing old machines; it’s about preserving a vital piece of computing history. Enthusiasts in this niche hobby revive classic systems like the Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PC, which were foundational to modern computing. By restoring these iconic machines, their legacy endures.

The process often involves hunting for rare parts, akin to collectors seeking elusive action figures. Scouring online forums, specialty stores, and garage sales becomes routine. Once you gather the necessary components, the real work begins: cleaning, repairing, and sometimes creating custom modifications to get these vintage computers operational.

The objective goes beyond functionality; it’s about maintaining the historical significance of these machines. Each restored computer narrates a story of innovation and technological progress.

You’re part of a vibrant community of vintage computer restorers who share knowledge, resources, and a collective passion for preserving computing history. This community serves as a haven for tech enthusiasts who value the origins of digital evolution, much like retro action figure fans cherish their childhood toys.


Famous nerds often immerse themselves in unique hobbies, from the meticulous art of beetle collecting to the thrilling practice of medieval sword fighting. Whether it’s retro video gaming, comic book collecting, model train building, astrophotography, cosplay crafting, or vintage computer restoration, these activities showcase incredible passion and creativity.

Embrace your quirks and explore your own nerdy hobby—you might discover a whole new world of excitement and camaraderie waiting for you.