The French poet and inventor Charles Cros had some eccentric - and some good - ideas. He petitioned the French government to build a giant convex mirror that could be used to communicate with aliens, was a member of the avant-garde movement in Paris, and wrote a poem called The Kippered Herring. He is best known as the man who almost invented photography and for his forerunner of the phonograph, the Paleophone. The collection Le Coffret de Santal can be read (in French only) here.
Much less is known about his brother, the third King of Araucania.