The Tongan king who was made of wood, the sultan who disappeared into the Atlantic, the all-female autonomous religious communities (that weren’t nunneries!), and the 14th century pope who denounced modern music.
Biblical necromancers, illustrated demons, the first vampire, and the bloodthirsty Medieval battle between the vices and the virtues.
A billion years ago or longer, a photosynthesising bacterium found its way into a proto-plant cell. The bacteria and the cell became symbiotic, each helping the other to survive and thrive. All land plants today are descended from that chance meeting.
Music notation gives you a record of exactly how to play a piece of music. But how do you write a record of a dance?
Almost the entire population of Whittier, Alaska, lives in a single building.
Was the word “orange” first applied to the colour or the fruit? Was “Turkey” first a bird or a country? Was “duck” first an action or an animal? “Organ” the instrument or “organ” the body part?
During World War II, around 7000 Allied pilots and soldiers stranded behind enemy lines were smuggled back to the United Kingdom via a secret network of escape routes. [2 of 2]
The cure for earworms, DJ Kool Herc and the birth of hip hop, the cover of Take Five that’s not in 5/4 time, and the suspicious copyright status of Happy Birthday to You.
The ancient ant species lost for half a century, the fatherless ants with the fewest chromosomes of any living thing, the two rules of the ant automaton, and the most painful ant stings in the world.
How do you solve Zeno’s paradoxes of motion? If you’re Diogenes the Cynic, you walk it off. [1 of 2]
A stand of trees dead for six hundred years stick out of the Namib Desert in the claypan called the Deadvlei.
The famous legal phrase caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) entered common law because of a 17th century dispute over a magic bezoar stone.
The Nintendo video game character Mario has gone through a number of name changes throughout the years – including, controversially, whether he has a surname or not.
In apartheid-era South Africa, the government sometimes designated specific people or whole ethnic groups as “honorary whites.” But not everyone accepted it.
The international light bulb conspiracy, the creative taxes (and tax evaders) of early modern England, how German employees help control their company, and the bond that has been paying 5% interest every year since 1648.
The waterfall of blood, the blood rainbow, humans with green blood, and blood type personalities.