In 1959, the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was one of the most sophisticated aircraft prototypes in the world. When the project was cancelled, the Canadian government ordered all Arrows, parts, production equipment, and technical data destroyed.
Humans have been making figurative art for at least forty thousand years – but we may have been carrying “found” art around for much longer.
Earth-like planets that orbit too close to their stars are probably completely covered in lava.
At the 1978 Grammy Awards, in the category Best Pop Instrumental Performance, John Williams’ famous Star Wars soundtrack faced off against… a disco funk cover of the Star Wars soundtrack that had outsold and out-charted the original.
The fastest objects ever made by humans; the water speed record that has stood for forty-four years; the fastest premiere-to-clip-show in TV history; and the fastest-moving plant in the world.
For the last thirty-one years, an alliance of nearly forty small island states have campaigned against global warming – because if it is not checked, some of them will be underwater.
Imagine glowing, hissing, steaming balls of floating rock up to three metres across emerging from the depths of the ocean – these are lava balloons.
In the original edition of The Hobbit, Gollum was willing to give up the ring; before 1994 the American and British editions of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader were different; Madame Mim was removed from The Sword and the Stone for its 1958 reissue.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. But three days earlier, two other climbers came within one hundred metres of the top.
In a 1994 qualifying match for the Caribbean Cup, both Barbados and Grenada attempted to score deliberate own goals – because it was the best strategy available.
Gorgeous glass replicas of sea life; nearly indestructible glass teardrops; the 19th century princess who believed she had swallowed a glass piano; and the action film prop you can eat.
McDonald’s iconic Happy Meal came to us via a Chilean-Guatemalan restauranteur, a Missouri advertising agent, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The classic board game snakes and ladders (or chutes and ladders) began its life as a demonstration of the Jain ascent towards nirvana and beyond.
The Xiangkhoang Plateau in northern Laos is covered in thousands of prehistoric burial jars… and many more unexploded bombs.
After Michelangelo’s death, his friend Daniele da Volterra was employed by the Vatican to paint over the genitalia of the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgment.
Biomedical research uses immortal cell lines such as HeLa to test treatments and examine biological mechanisms. But sometimes those cell lines are not what everyone thought: they have been invaded.
The farcical elections of North Korea; the electoral candidate who was the only one on the ballot, won a quarter of a million votes, and still lost; the electoral error caused by cosmic rays; and the ridiculously circuitous election of the Doge of Venice.