Orlando Sentinel column:

Any way you look at it, Florida is the state of the weird
We live in the center of weird. Weird is the state of Florida.

Florida has long eclipsed California as the place where the bizarre, unusual and outlandish have become commonplace.
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When it comes to calling attention to itself, there is no place like Florida in the past 30 years.
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We qualify as our own tabloid. Sinkhole Swallows Man. Killer Amoebas in Central Florida Lakes. Giant Pythons Amok in the Everglades. Nude Man Found Dead on Killer Whale's Back. Miami Heiress Leaves $3 Million to Her Chihuahua.
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"Florida is a population of escapees," said 'Weird Florida' author Charlie Carlson. "If you are nuts or crazy, you could come down here and find safe haven."
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Carlson contends kookiness has become so ordinary that we take it for granted until somebody from outside shines the spotlight on Florida as the nation's Ripley's Believe It Or Not! see the World's Smallest Dog, Visit the Underwater Cemetery, Meet Miami's Face-eating Man.
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much more at the link