11/12/2014 12:05 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

12 Street Performances That Put Even The Best Carnival To Shame

Step right up, folks! And welcome to the oldest, grandest, most splendiferous show on Earth. Matriculants of this ancient open-air university include a who’s who of august personages: Robin Williams, B.B. King, and founding father Benjamin Franklin, just to name a few.

Yes, it's street performance, a form of entertainment that has spanned ages, roped in countless genres and reached almost every country. (Fun fact: Europeans know street performances as busking. It was possibly derived from the word "busk," which means to "cruise as a pirate.")

We partnered with Juicy Fruit and scoured the entire globe, finding the wildest, craziest, jaw-droppingest performers from the carnival of the streets. Affix your eyes to these, er, Looping Photographs as we unveil the very best.

1. Behold! the bizarre method of perambulation favored by the Crab Man of Manhattan

Crab Man of Manhattan

2. Ponder the impossibilities, but take care: many men have gone mad attempting to pierce the veil of the Levitating Twins of Cologne

Levitating Twins

3. Your heartstrings will be ripped in twain by Tokyo’s ill-fated, cavorting Automaton

Tokyo Automaton 1

Tokyo Automaton 2

4. Hold tight your kinfolk and small mammalian companions! The Dragon Yogi of Amsterdam is an adept at the feared fire-breathing headstand

Dragon Yogi

5. Is it finely honed dexterity? Or the blackest of magic? Your brain will spin circles at the sight of London’s Master of the Mystic Spheres

Sphere Master

6. Enjoy a moment of melodic delectation with Boy Maestro, the mini music master of San Francisco, and his possessed tap shoes

Boy Maestro

Boy Maestro 2

7. Did he grow bored with what normal humans call "danger?" No one can say why Huntington Beach's Mighty Jugg-Lord juggles knives, that are lit on fire, while riding on top of a twelve-foot unicycle

The Mighty Jugg-Lord

8. Even society's most scholarly cannot wrap their intellects around near-boneless Willow Girl of Shenzhen -- can you?

Willow Girl

9. Beware! For at any moment and on any street, the Living Mannequin of New Orleans may suddenly spring to life

Living Mannequin

10. Do not be alarmed, good citizen! The Human Inchworm of Adelaide prefers to travel in this inimitable, close-to-the-ground way

Inch Worm 1

Inch Worm 2

11. Marvel at Taipei's Lord of the Ring, who, it is whispered, is the only man to have vanquished dizziness

Lord of the Ring

12. Even we, chroniclers of such things, cannot adequately describe these Chicago street performers. The Aluminum Worm? The Living Air Duct? They remain a mystery

Mystery Creature