Around the end of the 19th century, Melbourne, Australia, hosted one of the biggest – and certainly the most carnivalesque – bookstores in the world: Cole’s Book Arcade.
Novels have words and films move. But some creators have resisted even these conventions, creating novels without writing and films without motion.
After Gautama Buddha died (around 500 years BCE) he was cremated and his ashes divided up and distributed to stupas across northern India. But some relics purportedly survived, including a surprising number of teeth.
The very first spaghetti junction; the borders where you must switch which side of the road you drive on; the countries that switched which side of the road everyone drove on; and the arterial road that crosses an airport runway.
More than a thousand English soldiers were killed by hailstones during the Siege of Chartres in 1360.
In 1959, the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was one of the most sophisticated aircraft prototypes in the world. When the project was cancelled, the Canadian government ordered all Arrows, parts, production equipment, and technical data destroyed.
Humans have been making figurative art for at least forty thousand years – but we may have been carrying “found” art around for much longer.
Earth-like planets that orbit too close to their stars are probably completely covered in lava.
At the 1978 Grammy Awards, in the category Best Pop Instrumental Performance, John Williams’ famous Star Wars soundtrack faced off against… a disco funk cover of the Star Wars soundtrack that had outsold and out-charted the original.
The fastest objects ever made by humans; the water speed record that has stood for forty-four years; the fastest premiere-to-clip-show in TV history; and the fastest-moving plant in the world.
For the last thirty-one years, an alliance of nearly forty small island states have campaigned against global warming – because if it is not checked, some of them will be underwater.
Imagine glowing, hissing, steaming balls of floating rock up to three metres across emerging from the depths of the ocean – these are lava balloons.
In the original edition of The Hobbit, Gollum was willing to give up the ring; before 1994 the American and British editions of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader were different; Madame Mim was removed from The Sword and the Stone for its 1958 reissue.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. But three days earlier, two other climbers came within one hundred metres of the top.
In a 1994 qualifying match for the Caribbean Cup, both Barbados and Grenada attempted to score deliberate own goals – because it was the best strategy available.
Gorgeous glass replicas of sea life; nearly indestructible glass teardrops; the 19th century princess who believed she had swallowed a glass piano; and the action film prop you can eat.