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Part of our mission at Cracked is to scour history for the single Weirdest Life Anyone Has Ever Lived. But I can say now that any future contestants whose bio does not feature the words, “washed up on an island of cannibals and then became their king,” is going to have a tough time beating Carl Emil Pettersson.
1906 may have been long after the Age of Exploration, but there was still land waiting to be discovered scooped up and colonized, and the ocean was always a place that could eat you up without warning. The German New Guinea Company was looking to administer the lands off the coast of Australia currently owned by Germany, and aboard one of their ships was Carl Emil Pettersson, just an average Swedish sailor.