The creators of the cult children’s TV show H. R. Pufnstuf once sued McDonald’s for plagiarism – and won big.
In 1969, Honduras and El Salvador went to war while their football teams faced off in a World Cup qualifier.
In 1939 a student at UC Berkeley copied down two homework problems from the class blackboard. He solved them in a few days… and then discovered that they were two of the thorniest unsolved theorems in statistics.
In the mid-20th century, several countries had plans to construct a flying submarine.
The French mercenary Bob Denard overthrew the government of the Comoros four times: in 1975, 1978, 1989, and 1995.
If you’re at a circus and you hear the band play “The Stars and Stripes Forever” – you better run.
When Jean Shrimpton walked out onto Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, in 1965, she didn’t know she was about to make fashion history.
The escape artist Harry Houdini and the author H. P. Lovecraft collaborated on a “true” Egyptian horror story.
Most crosswords have a single correct solution. A quantum crossword has several.
The USS Triton was the first submarine to circumnavigate the world completely underwater. It was spotted just once, by a Filipino fisherman.
Alexander, the unlucky puppet king of Greece, was killed by a monkey bite and medical incompetence in 1920.
An episode of the 1970s television series The Goodies killed a man. He died laughing.
The Church of One Tree in Santa Rosa, California, was built in 1873 out of a single giant redwood tree.
The French artist Yves Klein sold empty space – an invisible “zone of immaterial pictorial sensibility.” Buyers paid in gold, half of which Klein would throw into the Seine River.
In 1974 the Arecibo message was broadcast into space. In 2001 hoaxers made a reply “from aliens” in a field next to another observatory.
The Universal Decimal Classification aims to label all human knowledge, and it’s even more thorough than the Dewey Decimal system.