TIME animals

Curiouser and Curiouser: LIFE Magazine’s World of Miscellany, 1952

LIFE.com offers the first edition of a planned series of galleries paying fond tribute to Miscellany, the back-of-the-magazine photo feature that delighted LIFE readers for decades.

As we’ve discussed elsewhere on this site, LIFE magazine for many years published a popular feature called Miscellany—“a back-of-the-magazine institution,” as one of LIFE’s editors once characterized it, that always featured a full-page photograph of . . . well, of almost anything. Merriam-Webster defines miscellany as “a mixture of various things,” and across the decades LIFE’s version routinely presented readers with photographs of inexplicable natural phenomena; animals with unusual talents, or creatures that had got themselves into some sort of terrible mess; people in bizarre or humorous situations; head-scratching optical illusions, and the like.

Here, LIFE.com offers the first edition of what will eventually become an entire series of galleries paying fond tribute to Miscellany. We start in 1952, the year that the feature launched in the magazine; subsequent entries in the series will feature our favorite pictures from other years, as well as occasional “themed” Miscellany galleries.

We hope you like it. Variety, after all, is the spice of LIFE.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team