Beginning in 1976 a pseudoscientific pamphlet spread like wildfire across Europe, stating that many common food additives caused cancer – including cellulose and citric acid.
In 1648 a Dutch water board issued a bond that paid 5% interest annually, with no maturity date. That water board still pays interest on the bond today.
It’s our 400th post! In most religions originating in the Middle East, the number 40 equals a large unspecific number: 40 days, 40 nights, 40 years should all be interpreted as “many” days, nights, or years.
How high does the high tide go? In the Bay of Fundy, Canada, the difference between high and low tides is more than 16 metres. But at several points in the world’s oceans, called the tidal nodes, the sea level doesn’t change at all.
The parasitic bacterium Wolbachia is common in insects around the world, which makes it perhaps the most common reproductive parasite on Earth. And it doesn’t like males.
Tents appear outside a town in early 20th century rural United States. It’s not the circus, it’s the circuit chautauqua: teachers, preachers, musicians, and orators, ready to bring education and religion to the masses.
Mainoumi Shūhei is a legend in the world of sumo for defeating opponents more than twice his weight.
What do you do when a plane cannot land because of heavy fog? In WWII Britain, you set the runway on fire.
There’s an extinct species of gibbon, Junzi imperialis, we only know about because a Chinese noblewoman kept it as a pet more than two millennia ago.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was written by a German author under the pseudonym B. Traven. Who was he? We don’t know.
The campaign for women’s voting rights was not smooth: by 1913 suffragettes in Britain were setting fire to houses, cricket pavilions, and Westminster Abbey.
Oliver Reed, the famed actor and alcoholic, drank 8 pints of beer, 12 shots of rum, half a bottle of whiskey, and some shots of cognac, arm-wrestled five sailors, and then died of a heart attack.
Many of the world’s opals come from a town where the houses are underground and the umbrellas are upside down.
Dr. Oguntola Sapara suspected skulduggery from the influential priests of Sopona, the Yoruba god of smallpox. He was right.
The corpses of Eva Perón, the first lady of Argentina, and Pedro Eugenio Aramburu, one of the generals who overthrew her husband’s government, became the centrepieces of a bitter dispute more than twenty years after Evita’s death.