Alice Guy-Blaché was the first female film director, the creator of the first film to feature an all-African-American cast, and the co-founder of the largest pre-Hollywood film studio in the United States.
The Ishango bone, found in what is today part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and dating back 20,000 years, may contain some of the earliest evidence of mathematical thought.
What do the first postage stamps, Fabergé eggs, and watch backs have in common? Rose engine lathes.
Some people will go to absurd lengths to get revenge on their neighbours – including building houses purely out of spite.
The earliest fully recorded game of modern chess – from the 15th century CE – is a poem about love.
The 1956 novelty song “The Flying Saucer” was one of the first mashup records. The words of the first spaceman ever to land on Earth? “A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-lop-bam-boom!”
In 1836 a missionary in New Zealand learned of a strange artefact that had been in Māori possession for several generations: a bronze bell with an unfamiliar script. The script was Tamil, the bell came from Sri Lanka, and it was hundreds of years old.
Thomas Selfridge was a passenger in one of the Wright brothers’ early planes when it crashed in 1908; he was the first person to die in a plane crash.
Side-blotched lizards cycle through three different colour patterns and behaviours in an evolutionary game of rock-paper-scissors.
The shamir is described in the Talmud and Midrash as a tool capable of slicing through solid stone, iron, and diamond – but was it a worm, a laser, or a radioactive rock?
One of the earliest amusement park dark rides was a trip from Coney Island to the Moon and back.
The 19th century mystery watch was a genuine engineering puzzle: a pocket watch whose face was entirely transparent.
Warner Bros. was founded by four brothers: Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack. Jack was the evil one.