Christianity was banned in Japan in 1614. For the next 250 years, the Kakure Kirishitan (hidden Christians) worshipped in secret.
The Centro Financiero Confinanzas skyscraper was unfinished at the time of the 1994 Venezuelan banking crisis. In 2007, squatters moved in.
Edith Margaret Garrud trained British suffragettes in Japanese martial arts so that they could evade capture by the police.
The kilt was banned in 1746, forcing the Scots to wear “the unmanly dress of the Lowlander.”
According to the North American train whistle code, one long whistle then three short whistles means only one thing: it’s time to jump off the train and attach the torpedoes.
What are the fastest plants? The Morus alba comes with a natural catapult that moves at half the speed of sound.
Usenet (the early online discussion network) saw a rush of new American users each September, when a new crop of students began university or college. But from 1993 on, the September never ended.
In 1971, Mongolia’s Minister of Culture decided that the country needed its own rock band, and so Soyol Erdene was born.
Monet’s 1890-1891 painting series Les Meules à Giverny captured haystacks at multiple times of the day, seasons, and weather conditions. He did this by painting several canvases at once, swapping them as the day changed.
From 1864 to 1904, a vast underground network smuggled illegal books into Russian-controlled Lithuania.
The use of the anti-inflammatory drug Diclofenac on cattle led – very indirectly – to the rise of rabies and leopards in India. And it’s all because of vultures.
Polydactyly – the presence of extra fingers and toes – is especially common in cats. And it’s all thanks to Ernest Hemingway and Sonic the Hedgehog.
In Germany, by law, all public and private companies with more than 2,000 employees must have half of their board of directors elected by those employees.
The saeculum was a measurement of time used by the Etruscans and Romans to represent a single lifetime: no-one who witnessed the beginning of a saeculum would see its end, by definition.
In 2008 archaeologists dug up a 2,800-year-old skull in Yorkshire, and discovered an extremely well preserved brain still inside.
Ally Sloper, created and drawn by the husband-wife team of Charles Ross and Émilie de Tessier, was the first recurring comic strip character.