How do you bring a dying language back from the brink? Incubate it in a nest, of course.
Early modern England had some creative property taxes: window, chimney, brick, and wallpaper tax. Early modern England also had some creative methods of tax avoidance: sealed windows, stolen chimneys, larger bricks, and plainer wallpaper.
The largest national park in the European Union is in South America.
Who rules the cats of England? Since at least the 1920s, 10 Downing Street has had an official cat: the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.
In World War II, New Zealand wanted a tank, but none of their allies had any to spare. So they made their own, with a tractor, corrugated iron, a mattress, and a postcard.
As part of Argentina’s Dirty War, hundreds of children were taken from their parents and adopted into military families. The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo are trying to get them back.
A strange honeycomb pattern appears on sea ridges around the world. We think that it is created by living creatures, but no-one has ever seen one. Oh, and there are fossils of the patterns going back 500 million years.
The glacier Okjökull in Iceland died in 2014.
Every four or five years there is an election in North Korea. They are not especially competitive. Or at all competitive.
Princess Anne and Prince Ludwig of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg liked flying and spying, respectively. Both disappeared under mysterious and separate circumstances.
On September 17, 1859, Joshua Abraham Norton proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States. He would reign for 21 years.
According to several accounts, in 1803 a tiny boat with transparent windows washed up on the shores of Japan. Inside, one woman and one big mystery.
King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden really wanted a big ship so he could dominate the Baltic. The Vasa was one of the most heavily armed ships in the world when it launched in 1628. But the same day it launched, it sank.
We’ve all heard of the Dead Sea, so salty that people naturally float in it. But the Gaet’ale Pond in Ethiopia is saltier, and the Don Juan Pond in Antarctica is so salty that it doesn’t freeze, even at -50°C.
The Areni-1 cave in southern Armenia is the site of the oldest shoe, and also the oldest winery, in the world.