They say that those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it. Seeing as history was always one of my favorite subjects in school, I really do take that phrase to heart. Learning about how far humanity has come in so many aspects of world culture, while also learning about our utter failures has so many benefits beyond getting correct answers on a test. What about all the stuff they don’t teach you in school? You know, the really weird historical facts that can impress your friends and make you look a lot smarter than you actually are? These types of weird historical facts are always fun to pull out at parties as conversation starters, or to just make yourself look like a smarty pants. Whether you’re a fan of history or not however, these 23 weird historical facts will definitely leave your scratching your head and asking yourself “How is that even possible”?
1. Yes, that is a real bird. Known as the “Magnificent Argentine Bird”, this bird lived around 6 million years ago on the plains of Argentina and in the Andes Mountains. It had a wingspan of around 21 feet, taller than two regulation basketball hoops stacked on top of each other! It’s feathers were as long as samurai swords.
2. This friendly looking fellow right here is none other than the famous Russian mystic Rasputin. His name is legendary for cheating death not once, not twice, but three times! In 1916, Rasputin survived three distinct attempts to snuff out his life in quick succession. Assassins first poisoned him, then shot him, and finally stabbed him. Yet somehow old Rasputin was still alive and kicking. The assassins finally did finish the job however by wrapping him in a blanket and tossing him in a river.
3. Alarm clocks have become a part of our everyday routine in the modern world. But what did people do before them? They had people like this lady here, Mary Smith, who was known as a “knocker upper”. Her job was to go around every morning and shoot dried peas at people’s windows in order to wake them up for work.
4. This small hand-made human figurine was found in Nampa, Idaho in 1889. Pretty standard right? Not in the slightest. This figurine was found at a depth of around 320 feet during a drilling operation. The depth that it was found at would make the time period that it was created in far before humans came to this part of the world. No one has ever been able to explain how it arrived at this spot, but plenty have come forward to simply say it is simply impossible.
5. During The Dust Bowl that crippled the central part of the United States, flour companies were shocked to learn that the poor were making clothing out of the bags they would get their flower in. So flour companies decided to start putting prints of flowers and other decorative images on their bags to help make the clothing being created a little more fashionable.
6. Chinese foot binding is pretty much just what it sounds like. In Chinese culture, smaller feet were considered to make a more attractive and feminine female. So the Chinese took to binding women’s feet together at a young age. As you might imagine, the results were pretty horrific.
7. Scientists have been baffled by this one for a while. In 1990, scientists using sonar discovered two giant pyramids, both about 6,000 feet under the ocean. The pyramids are made of some sort of smooth glass, and are estimated to be even bigger than the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. Super Creepy.
8. Knowing what we know now, this one is pretty bizarre. Between 1890 and 1910, Bayer’s heroine was available in pretty much any drug store you could find. It was sold as a non-addictive substitute for Morphine. Oh, and it was also used to cure children’s coughs…..