In Norse mythology, Ask and Embla were the first humans of this world. After Ragnarök, Líf and Lífþrasir will be the first humans of the next world.
On the 14th lap of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, racer Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed into a wall. He did it on purpose.
You can drive from northern Alaska all the way to Tierra Del Fuego in southern Argentina… except for a 106km gap in the road between the two.
India prevented people patenting their foods, traditional medicines, and yoga poses by recording them all in an online database: 34 million pages’ worth.
The Dutch sport fierljeppen is just like pole vaulting. Except you don’t run with the pole, you’re allowed to climb while you’re in the air, and you’ve vaulting over a canal.
Aircraft can punch cloud holes that are much larger than the plane itself.
Clicks are used in several languages of southern and eastern Africa, most famously in Xhosa. The sounds make Xhosa songs and tongue twisters sound amazing.
Sigurd the Mighty, Earl of Orkney, died in 892 CE when he was bitten by the severed head of his foe, Máelbrigte the Bucktoothed.
Chinese wuxia (and derivative Western) fiction describes the touch of death, a single blow that can kill an opponent. Surprisingly, this is actually possible.
Twelve years before Orson Welles’ classic radio play The War of the Worlds, BBC Radio broadcast a hoax revolution in which government ministers were murdered and Big Ben demolished by trench mortars.
The Epic of Sundiata, describing the rise of the first ruler of the Mali Empire, was passed down by griots – West African bards – for over six hundred years before it was written down.
The closest approximation of Pi for nearly a thousand years was calculated by Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi around 480 CE, using an algorithm developed by Liu Hui.
The Martian moon Phobos is thought to be a pile of rubble that’s nearly a third empty space inside. It circles its planet twice a Martian day, and in a few million years it will disintegrate into rings.
The United States motto, e pluribus unum, appears in several classical sources. In one of them, it’s part of a recipe for pesto.
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