The most bizarre eBay items ever sold

One of the coolest things about eBay is that you can sell just about anything on there. Old records, books, car parts — as long as the sale isn't illegal, you can probably put it on eBay and find a buyer. Simultaneously, one of the worst parts about eBay is you can sell just about anything on there. This includes some of the stupidest, most bizarre, and sometimes downright disgusting products imaginable.

Of course, it's always good to look at eBay sales, especially of wacky items like the following, with at least a few handfuls of salt. After all, fake bids can easily look like sales but not actually be sales. Focusing on how much someone paid for something goofy is probably not a great use of your time, and it honestly doesn't matter much. What's important is that somebody thought these crazy products were worth selling, and someone else (probably) agreed enough to give them their money.

A grilled cheese sandwich with the Virgin Mary's face

Long before the Farrelly Brothers, there was something about Mary. Any sighting of the Virgin Mother has potential to go viral, especially if a vague, greasy silhouette of her graces somebody's food. Not everybody turns their brush with edible holiness into profit, though Diane Duyser sure did.

In 1994, Duyser was eating a grilled cheese sandwich when she realized the grill marks resembled a woman's head. Even though the "woman" could look like anyone — Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, the little girl from Les Miserables – Duyser decided it looked like the Virgin Mary. Her suspicions were supposedly confirmed by her winning $70,000 at a casino shortly after making the sandwich, along with it never molding or crumbling despite her storing it in nothing but a plastic box.

Ten years after Duyser declared there be sandwich, she decided to auction it off on eBay. Thanks to people's sheer curiosity over a sandwich resembling the Mother of Christ, the foodstuff's auction page garnered over 1.7 million hits. It also earned Duyser $28,000, with the winning bid coming from online casino GoldenPalace.com, marking the second time Duyser got super lucky thanks to a gambling business. Golden Palace's plan was to display the sandwich all around the world, then sell it and donate the profits to charity. As for Duyser, she made enough money to buy tons of bread, butter, and cheese, greatly increasing her chances of Joseph showing up on a future meal.

Some bubble gum Britney Spears spat out

If a celebrity does literally anything, scores of people will find it fascinating and important simply because a famous person did it. Apparently, this applies to (family-friendly) things celebrities put in their mouths, too. Case in point: Somebody put used gum on eBay and made anything more than zero cents off it, simply because Britney Spears was the chewer.

As People reported, Spears' saliva was apparently in such high demand in 2004 that several concertgoers snatched up chewing gum she had spat out, put it on eBay, and made bank off it. For the most part, these budding entrepreneurs wound up selling the ABC gum for anywhere from $5 to $100, which is pretty high considering Spears was locking lips with Kevin Federline at the time.

Some wads, meanwhile, went for way more. One in particular sold for an incredible $14,000. This wasn't because the gum was extra-special, but because the seller cleverly bid against himself to drive up the price. It's unclear if it ever actually sold.

Ian Usher's life

No, people didn't bid for the right to kill a man named Ian Usher. Rather, they bid for everything in his life. While at its heart this auction was simply "buy my junk," the story behind why Ian Usher sold his junk is the stuff of eBay legend.

As BBC recapped, in 2008 Ian Usher, a British man living in Australia, separated from his wife. He soon realized everything in his world reminded him of his wife and decided he no longer wanted it. So he put his entire material life on eBay. Included were his luxurious, three-bedroom house, along with everything in it, plus his car, motorcycle, and jet ski. What's more, the winning bidder gained Usher's friends and job … kind of. Whoever won got a meet-and-greet with Usher's buddies, along with a trial run at the sales assistant job he was quitting.

In the end Usher sold his "life" for about 400,000 Australian dollars (at the time, the U.S. dollar was roughly equal to the Aussie buck). He used that money to travel the world, accomplishing his "bucket list" of everything he wanted to do but never had. He then wrote a book about it, which Disney bought the movie rights to. He used the Disney money to buy an island, officially making the aftermath of his auction even crazier than the auction itself.

Andrew Fischer's forehead

Aside from keeping your brain from falling to the floor, and letting the world know just how old and bald you're getting, foreheads don't do an awful lot. But don't tell that to Andrew Fischer, who earned himself an enviable bit of dough in exchange for turning his forehead into a billboard.

In 2005, Fischer, a web designer, decided to put his head on auction. The winning bidder would earn the right to have their logo or message tattooed right on his skull. That certainly sounds insane, until you hear the two main caveats. First, it was a temporary tattoo and he would only wear it for a month. Second, he was determined to refuse any bidders who wanted him to display something offensive or crass on his head. So corporate logos were fine, swastikas were very not fine.

Luckily, the winner gave him no content-related issues. A company called SnoreStop, which specializes in products that help you (you're not gonna believe this) stop snoring, paid $37,375 for the exclusive rights to Fischer's forehead. SnoreStop's CEO proved he not only has business sense, but he's got jokes, too, saying Fischer "clearly has a head for business in every sense of the word."

It's unknown if SnoreStop won many new customers thanks to this stunt but, at the very least, it got people's attention. After all, you probably hadn't heard of SnoreStop before, but thanks to this auction, now you have, more than a decade later.

A suit of armor for a guinea pig

Guinea pigs are cute and all, but their small and defenseless nature makes survival as a pet fairly difficult. That's why your fuzzy little friend needs a genuine suit of armor, something that actually exists and got its time in the eBay spotlight.

As the Huffington Post reported, in 2013 a handmade, guinea pig-sized suit of chainmail complete with helmet appeared on eBay and quickly caught people's attention. But this wasn't the work of some goofball who got bored one day. Rather, this was the work of a Virginia man named Sean, looking to raise money for a nonprofit called the Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue, whose workers do exactly what their name says they do. Sean set up the armor and auction to raise money for their cause, and pledged to donate 100 percent of the sales to the MGPR.

Initially, he looked to have hit pay dirt — the winning bid was a crazy $24,300. Unfortunately, whether it was a prankster or a person with genuine buyer's remorse, the winner backed out of the auction. So Sean put the armor on auction again, this time fetching $1,150. That sounds like less, but the buyer actually paid, meaning the seller made $1,150 more than they did the first time. And based on the MGPR's Facebook page, the buyer's guinea pig not only wore the armor, but seemed to enjoy it. Now if only someone would get to work on a matching sword and shield.

A Corn Flake shaped like Illinois

For some reason, food that looks like stuff that isn't food easily gets people's attention. Such is what happened when a mild-mannered breakfast eater found a Corn Flake shaped like the state of Illinois, and managed to turn it into cold, hard cash.

According to NBC, In 2008, 15-year-old Emily McIntyre found the state flake in her bowl of cereal. She and her sister, Melissa, quickly decided to put it on eBay to see what would happen. Unfortunately what happened was eBay told them to get out. eBay has a policy against putting food on auction, and even though a single Corn Flake could hardly fill up a bird's stomach, the site told the sisters they couldn't sell it. So they found a loophole: Instead of bidding on the Corn Flake, people would now bid on a coupon for the Corn Flake. That's the kind of brainpower you get from eating a good breakfast every day.

The auction actually reached bids of around $200,000 at one point, but that was obviously fake. After sifting out the cranks, the sisters sold their flake to Monty Kerr, owner of a website called TriviaMania.com. Kerr paid $1,350 for the Corn Flake, which he said he would add it to the "collection of pop culture and Americana items" that make up his on-the-road museum. You can't put too high a price on curiosity, apparently.

An unknown (and pretty) species of sea urchin

We have yet to discover roughly 86 percent of the species on Earth, according to a major study published several years ago. So there's tons of potential for new-to-us animals to pop up basically anywhere. In one case, an eBay auction unknowingly added to the rapidly growing sea urchin family.

As The Guardian reported, in 2006 an eBay seller put up a colorful sea urchin for auction, one that looked more like a piece of jewelry than a living thing. But when Dr. Simon Coppard from London's Natural History Museum was alerted to the auction by curious urchin collectors, he realized he had never seen that kind before. In fact, nobody had, meaning this simple auction had accidentally unearthed one of the millions of undiscovered species roaming our planet.

Dr. Collins, who works for the Museum's International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, officially named the urchin Coelopleurus exquisitus, due to its exquisite coloring. He then published his findings in the scientific journal Zootaxa, sending the urchin's eBay value way up, from $8 to $138, according to the BBC. No word on whether anyone actually bought the little guy, but the sheer enormity of an online auction site playing a role in expanding our knowledge of the creatures around us trumps any amount of money somebody paid to store it on the back of a toilet.

The meaning of life

As conscious, self-aware creatures who are aware of our mortality, we humans spend a lot of time pondering the meaning of life. Why are we here? Why is anything here? Is there a higher purpose to existence, or is mere existence both the beginning and the end goal? Well, wonder no further, as a random eBay seller knows the meaning of life and sold the information nearly two decades ago.

In January 2000, some anonymous jokester auctioned off "The Meaning of Life," with an opening bid of one penny. Their description of the "item" was as detailed as one might expect: "I have discovered the reason for our existence and will be happy to share this information with the highest bidder." Amazingly, people actually bid on this auction — not many, but enough. After eight bids, the meaning of life changed hands for $3.26. Gamestop buys back old copies of Madden NFL 16 for more money than that.

So what's the meaning of life, you ask? Well, if the seller ever told the buyer, the buyer didn't tell the world. Perhaps they won a copy of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life which, to be fair, would absolutely be worth the money.

Golf balls swallowed by a python

Snakes operate almost entirely on instinct, meaning if you put most anything in front of them, they'll likely try to eat it, even if it's not food. In one case, a snake's near-fatal mistake turned into boffo bucks that went toward saving other animals' lives too.

As UPI reported, in January 2008 an Australian farmer laid out some golf balls in one of his hen's nests. The idea was for the would-be mama to associate the balls with eggs, and thus begin laying some real ones. It didn't work that way, but not because the hen figured out exactly what the farmer was up to. Rather, a very silly python named Augusta slithered into the henhouse and gobbled up the golf balls, thinking they were eggs.

Vets at the nearby Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary worked quickly to remove the balls from Augusta's belly, since the snake couldn't poop them out and would likely die if they stayed inside. Surgery was successful, and the sanctuary capitalized on the ensuing media attention by auctioning the balls on eBay. The winner not only got the balls (unwashed and still covered in slimy snake stomach stuff), but Augusta's X-rays along with before-and-after pictures of the snake.

In the end, somebody paid 1,400 Aussie bucks (about 1,200 USD) for balls that had been in the most unusual of hazards. The sanctuary then put the money toward an animal hospital, meaning something great came out of a critter not following its nose to anything that smelled edible.

A Casey Anthony mask that's the stuff of nightmares

The average latex mask of a celebrity's face runs $15 or so. However, a latex mask of Casey Anthony, who became famous for the worst possible reason, sold on eBay for just under a million bucks. Allegedly.

The mask itself is one of the scariest visages ever made, an uncanny valley representation of Anthony's stony glare that she wore throughout much of her trial. The seller, whom CNN says got six of the masks from a parody video in 2011, described the masks on the auction site as "possibly the most frightening mask on the planet," "a significant piece of crime history," and "one heck of a conversation piece." It's probably more of a conversation ender once people realize you're dressing as a woman many people think murdered her baby daughter.

The winning bid was for a fantastical $999,900, which seems suspicious to say the least. But during the auction, the price jumped from $2,151 to $22,000 in one bid, and then later from $50,000 to $700,000. The "winner" isn't even a registered eBay user, which really makes one wonder if that Casey Anthony mask ever changed hands. Still, of the 100+ bids, at least some had to be real, particularly the early ones. People were likely willing to pay three or four figures for a creepy mask of a "celebrity" nobody particularly likes. That says more about us as a people than a series of wacky hoax bids ever could.