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5 Bizarre Good Luck Charms

        Culture | Body Art

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Vulture Heads
Vultures might not be too pretty to look at, but their skulls are prized by many superstitous folks. Auscape/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Vultures might not be too pretty to look at, but their skulls are prized by many superstitous folks. Auscape/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Believe it or not, the severed and preserved heads of vultures are widely recognized as good luck charms in some parts of the world, leading some luck-seekers to pay hundreds of dollars or more to obtain one of these gruesome objects. Because they feed on dead flesh, vultures have long been seen as bringers of death, but many believe they can also foretell it [source: Webster].

This sense of clairvoyance has spelled doom for many vultures, as poachers target them in order to sell their heads. Despite the birds' endangered status, eager buyers in Africa and other parts of the world line up to score these good luck charms. They are particularly valued for their supposed ability to predict the future, making them highly desired by gamblers and lottery players [source: Marshall].

Of course, even if you can come up with the cash to score one of these valuable lucky charms, there's no guarantee that any reputable casino is going to let you hang out at the poker table cradling a dried-up bird head — buyer beware, indeed.


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