21/10/2011 09:15 BST | Updated 21/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Gaddafi's Most Eccentric Moments: Female Bodyguards, Flamenco And Farting

"Mad Dog" Colonel Gaddafi's reported predilection for lipsticked virgin protectors, flamenco dancers, camping and jacuzzi planes peppered the dictator's 40-year reign of brutality with a surreal flavour.

Shamelessly farting both loudly and uninterruptedly throughout an interview with the BBC's John Simpson, (the incident spoofed in the above video) the despot was known for drawing out long awkward silences. Hillary Clinton was allegedly told that Gaddafi often avoided making eye contact and was briefed to be aware of his aloof style.

His fashion was eccentric enough to spark debate, though it was some of his foibles, implemented with an iron rule on his people, that seem both bizarre and alarming. He ordered all shop keepers to paint their doors green, the colour associated with his political rule.

In disgust with the Western calendar, he changed names of calendar months on a whim.

He had a hot tub in his private aeroplane, a modifed Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A340, despite having phobia of flying for more than eight hours (prompting inconvenient stop-offs en-route to official engagements).

And then there's the despotic reaction to an ordinary peeve: having a passport photo taken. He complained to authorities after being told that he needed a passport photo for a visa: couldn't they just shrink one of his official pictures from posters around the city?

After much argument back and forth, Gaddafi had to have a passport photo taken. It's making fun of eccentricities like these that help to diffuse the fear that the dictator held over his people for too long.