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Russian hobbits

Lord of the Rings

Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books have a long history in the Soviet Union and Russia, from illegal translations in the 1960s to a film in the 1980s to an unauthorised retelling sympathetic to the orcs in the 1990s.

Lying stones

Lying Stones

In 1725 Professor Beringer of the University of Würzburg dug up some extraordinary fossils: they contained the name of God written in Hebrew. A book, a court case, and the ruining of several careers ensued.

The human type

Linnaeus

Every species named by science has a “type” attached to it: an individual specimen that serves as the definitive example of that species. And yes, that includes humans: the type human was born in 1707.