Each one of us has our unique quirks and habits that we fall into without even thinking about them. While they make complete sense to us as individuals, they often appear bizarre to those around us. The great and powerful are just as susceptible to this human tendency.
Presenting, 10 powerful world figures with their own weird obsessions.
Angela Merkel: Food Hoarding
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spent 35 years of her life in communist East Germany, where the lack of consumer items led to long queues and frequent shortages. Having being lived in that time, Merkel still has a habit of hoarding food and tends to buy stuffs even when she doesn’t really need them.
John Key: Hair pulling
In 2015, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key landed in trouble after a waitress at an Auckland cafe complained about him frequently pulling and creepily touching her ponytail. As soon as Key realized she took offense by that, he just sort of immediately went back, and apologized.
Malcolm Turnbull: Dog Blogging
Malcolm Turnbull, the relatively new Australian prime minister has a strong Internet presence, the strangest aspect of which is an official government blog devoted to his dogs. Titled Dog Blog, the posts on it are rare, often written from the perspective of Turnbull’s dogs commenting on specific government policies.
Narendra Modi: Ear Pulling
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has this weird habit of tugging at children’s ears, that too with a look of eerie satisfaction on his face. The latest child to join the list is Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s son Aarav Kumar who had his ears pulled by Modi at an event.
Pope Francis: Tango
Apart from his love for football and the habit of ditching his diet with binges of ice cream and pizza, perhaps the least papal-like passion of Pope Francis is tango. In 2010, he expressed his enthusiasm for the dance in an interview. Not only had he had particular knowledge of the history of the genre, but he also admitted of being a fan of famous tango singers as well as dancing it as a young man.
Bill Gates: Keeping His Left Hand In His Pocket
When Microsoft founder Bill Gates met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye in 2013, he caused an uproar in the South Korean media because he kept his left hand in his pocket as he shook hands with the president. While it initially went unnoticed, the gesture soon caused controversy as it was considered offensive. However, the matter was sorted as soon as several photographs of him doing the same thing with other world leaders went viral.
Dalai Lama: Watches
The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso has long expressed a deep interest in the way watches work. As a young man, he became so obsessed with the ticking of its gears that he took the device apart and put it back together without any outside guidance. Also, he takes great care of the watch he once received by President Obama and still wears it to this day.
Queen Elizabeth II: Bat Catching
According to unofficial royal biographer Brian Hoey, Queen Elizabeth II has an interest in animals beyond one’s imagination. She has even extended her royal protection to a colony of bats residing in the main hall of the castle. Her staff is forbidden to interfere with them, despite the significant increase in cleaning tasks that a roosting colony of bats causes.
David Rockefeller Sr.: Beetles
Died as the oldest billionaire in the world, Rockefeller was a passionate collector of beetles. As a seven-year-old kid, he retrieved his first specimen when he picked up a large brown beetle (Parandra brunneus), took it home, and put it in a jar. Today, the Rockefeller collection of Coleoptera includes about 90,000 beetles kept in customized, airtight, hardwood boxes stored in cabinets at his Pocantico Hills residence.
Vladimir Putin: Idiosyncratic Daily Routine
According to Newsweek, Russian President Vladimir Putin has a strict, idiosyncratic daily routine. Putin likes to work long into the night and rises shortly before noon as a result. For breakfast, he eats cottage cheese, porridge, or an omelette and fruit juice followed by coffee, two hours of swimming, weight training, and hot and cold baths.