The Church of One Tree in Santa Rosa, California, was built in 1873 out of a single giant redwood tree.
Eugene Debs received more than 900,000 votes in the 1920 American presidential election – while in prison for sedition.
How did people wake up in the morning before alarm clocks? They paid to get knocked up.
Sarah Josepha Hale published “Mary had a Little Lamb” in 1830. Forty-six years later, Mary Tyler claimed to be the original Mary.
The fastest sailing route around the world – the Clipper route – is also the most dangerous.
Georgian London’s most famous prankster once summoned thousands of officials and tradespeople to the house of an unsuspecting victim.
What do the bicycle, Marmite, Mormonism, and Frankenstein have in common? A volcano in Indonesia.
Take a log, paint it black, and make sure your enemy can see it. The “quaker guns” were a key piece of strategic deception in the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
On 17 February 1832 – at the bidding of Neptune, god of the sea – Charles Darwin was blindfolded, his face covered in paint and pitch, and he was dunked into a water bath. He had crossed the line for the first time.
19th century glass artists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka provided natural history museums around the world with lifelike glass replicas of marine life.
Temulji Bhicaji Nariman was a knight, a dean, a plague doctor, a sheriff, a grandmaster, and his marriage lasted longer than almost any other in recorded history.
Myrtle Corbin was born with four legs.
The first camel in Australia shot its owner, the English explorer John Horrocks.
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.
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.
Ubykh, an extinct language spoken on the shores of the Black Sea, has more consonants and fewer vowels than almost any other language.