In Mexican wrestling the mask is sacred, and its loss in the ring is the ultimate insult. The first Mexican wrestler to lose his mask was El Murciélago Enmascarado, The Masked Bat, and it all happened eighty years ago.
In 1947 the English author Dennis Wheatley wrote a letter to the dystopian future he thought was coming and buried it. Twenty-two years later the letter was uncovered. It had not aged well.
In 1983 a Boeing 767 with 61 passengers ran out of fuel while twelve thousand metres off the ground. The metric system was to blame.
In 1953 No Kum-Sok defected from North Korea. He brought a MiG-15 Soviet jet fighter with him.
From 1996 onwards vast swathes of peat swamp in Borneo were cleared to make rice paddies. But then the swamp caught on fire.
In the 1950s cigarette companies tried to make their products appear healthier. One of them decided to do this by adding asbestos.
In 1967 the prime minister of Australia walked into the ocean and was never seen again.
Soviet Russia kept undesirables (criminals and political dissidents) away from view by banning them from coming closer than 101km to major urban centres.
French magician Ivan Chabert was famous in the 19th century CE for his feats with heat: sitting in an oven, putting melted lead in his mouth, and bathing his feet in molten metal.
Georges Méliès accidentally created 3D film in 1903, nineteen years before the première of the first deliberate one.
When the British colonise your country and exile your king, what do you do? If you’re a queen mother of the Ashanti Empire, you start a war.
In 1941 Disney animators went on strike in an attempt to unionise. Walt Disney fought back with speeches, fists, firings, and Dumbo.
Sigmund Freud’s famous work The Interpretation of Dreams began with a single dream he had on the night of July 23, 1895.
When the Apollo 11 astronauts arrived back on Earth, no-one knew whether they were contaminated with secret space viruses or not – so the astronauts stayed in an Airstream trailer under quarantine for three weeks.
The USS Johnston was sunk in the Battle off Samar in World War II. Its wreck descended into the Philippine Trench, the third deepest trench in the world, and we know of no deeper wrecks.