10/22/2013 09:33 am ET Updated Oct 28, 2013

Here's How To Find Friends Who Share Your Weirdest And Most Wonderful Passions

Flickr: Viajante

Thanks to social media, it's become almost too easy to maintain your friendships. You can log on, like your friends' statuses on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and get updates on their weekends via Instagram -- all in the efficient span of a couple of minutes.

But if that's starting to feel a little routine and less-than-rewarding, we have another suggestion: Find some new friends.

Of course, we're not recommending that you ditch your old ones. But with a little digging, you'll find that the web abounds with vibrant communities of people who share your most obscure hobbies and consuming obsessions. If you branch out into forums, familiarize yourself with the community, and participate in thoughtful debate, you just might come out with some cool new buddies.

In the spirit of making new friends, we've partnered with Nissan to compile 10 of the most passionate -- and eccentric -- communities that exist online. It just goes to show: there's someone for everyone.

Nissan's Passion Genome shows how you're connected to your friends -- and the world. Create your interactive Passion Portrait and share the passions that make you, you.

  • 1 Hot Sauce Fiends
    Flickr: RobynAnderson

    If you're a true "pepperhead," you know that there's more to life than Sriracha. There are resources galore on growing your own peppers and knowing which hot sauces are worth the burn. If scarfing down ghost peppers and living to tell the tale is your idea of a good time, there's a fun-loving community for your kind.
  • 2 Insatiable Sneaker Geeks
    Flickr: Magnus D

    Some people are into sneakers, and some people are into sneakers. Sneakerheads flock to online forums to buy, sell, trade, and argue about all matters of function and design. It's a collector community that flaunts both flash and substance--sneakerheads may love posting photos of their fresh kicks, but you'll also find them philosophizing about the historical evolution of their favorite brands.
  • 3 Jane Austen Fanatics
    Flickr: daz smith

    Given the countless movie adaptations and literary reworkings, it's a given that the Jane Austen fanbase is alive and thriving. If you're truly obsessed, websites like The Republic of Pemberley allow you to engage in (polite!) discourse with your fellow fans. The site's creators lay out explicit rules of engagement, calling their forum "one of the most civil places on the which is cultivated through an emulation of Jane Austen's own honest, moral and forthright ways."
  • 4 Trainspotters
    Flickr: chief_huddleston

    These train enthusiasts, recently made famous by the so-called "Excited Train Guy," are also known as railfans, rail buffs, rail nuts, and ... "foamers." (In the community vernacular, a "railfan" denotes an "otherwise normal person" who enjoys railroad-related activities, while "foamer" is a somewhat pejorative term for one who "foams at the mouth" at the prospect of seeing a particular train or piece of "railroadiana"). The active online forums teem with photographs of real as well as model trains, updates on train whereabouts (for optimal "spotting"), and, of course, endless arguments about the fine distinctions between being "just a railfan" and a "total foamer."
  • 5 Competitive Beard Growers

    Some people have beards, and some people have beards. Whether you're super-serious about your facial hair or simply want to commiserate about enduring the endless comparisons to "those guys from Duck Dynasty," you're bound to find someone who shares your level of passion for 'staches.
  • 6 Bigfoot Hunters
    Getty Images

    Let's say you like to hunt big game--really Big game. You can gather with other Sasquatch obsessives to report sightings, compare field recordings, and debate matters of biology and philosophy, like "How do they drink water?" and "Why are we here?"
  • 7 Jedi Reenactors
    Flickr: vladeb

    Star Wars has created a universe--and an accompanying fanbase--that is seemingly inexhaustible. What you may not know is that you can recreate the magic by becoming a part of the Rebel Legion, which calls itself an "international Star Wars costuming organization that promotes the Star Wars franchise and helps others through charity work and community service." On the forum, you can have a debate over which costumes meet Legion standards, mull over your Sith/Jedi wedding plans, and connect with custom sabersmiths.
  • 8 Full-Contact Unicyclists
    Flickr: Viajante

    Because balancing on one wheel isn't tricky enough, you may want try it while someone is trying to physically harm you. You can keep up to date with general discussion and local events, but the truly hardcore will go ahead and join their local football league.
  • 9 Nail Art Aficionados

    The nail-art trend seems here to stay, and its fans have taken to the web to trade tips and flaunt their seriously out-there designs. If you have inspiration but need a little training, YouTube is an awesome place for step-by-step instruction.
  • 10 Lonely Sitcom Nostalgists
    Getty Images

    Say you like "Wings," but not the barbecue kind, the post-Beatles Paul McCartney project, or the Midwestern hockey team. Fans of the NBC sitcom (1990-1997), from the creators of Cheers (and later, Frasier) gather online to trade quips from this somewhat forgotten ensemble comedy based at an airport in Nantucket. You'll find nostalgic fans on Sitcoms Online, Fanpop, and Television Without Pity--many of whom express relief that they're not alone. As one forum member griped, "It's no fun talking about Wings to myself."

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