In the 1950s and 60s, foreign music was censored in the Soviet Union. So bootleggers made illegal records out of old X-ray film: the jazz on bones.
When the air is just right, a large ring appears around the moon. A similar effect makes it look like three suns are rising at once; this may have helped the English king Edward IV win the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross in 1461.
In 1573 the Renaissance artist Paolo Veronese painted a Last Supper that included drunken Germans, dogs, parrots, and dwarfs. He liked it, but the Inquisition had other ideas.
The Royal Game of Ur is the oldest board game for which we have a near-complete set of rules. People were playing it five thousand years ago, and it is still played today.
There’s an island fort in Manila Bay that’s shaped just like a battleship – a remnant of the American colonisation of the Philippines.
The first 360-degree film was recorded for the 1900 Paris Exposition. It recreated the experience of rising in a hot air balloon, but the film probably never played for a real audience because of technical difficulties.
Knitting is hundreds of years old, but similar techniques are even older: sprang dates back to 1400 BCE at least, and nålebinding as far as 6500 BCE.
We all know that chocolate chip cookies are the best thing since sliced bread. But what is older than sliced bread? Well, the list is long: Betty White. Sidney Poitier. The ex-pope.
In World War II, it was standard practice to add nonsense phrases to coded messages in transit, in order to thwart decryption efforts. One of those phrases accidentally changed the course of the largest naval battle in history.
World War II saw the first widespread use of inflatable tanks. The whole point of a tank is protective armour. Why would you want to make an inflatable one?