Clicks are used in several languages of southern and eastern Africa, most famously in Xhosa. The sounds make Xhosa songs and tongue twisters sound amazing.
The Epic of Sundiata, describing the rise of the first ruler of the Mali Empire, was passed down by griots – West African bards – for over six hundred years before it was written down.
In 1929 Bavarian architect Herman Sörgel proposed building a dam across the Strait of Gibraltar and shrinking the Mediterranean.
In the late 19th century CE Sierra Leone and surrounds, high quality iron needles tied into bundles served as currency.
The Danakil Depression in the Afar Triangle, Ethiopia, is the point where three tectonic plates diverge; has the highest average annual temperature on the planet; and Lucy, the Australopithecus fossil, was found there.
Between 1746 and 1792, seventeen students of Carl Linnaeus set out across the globe to collect plant and animal samples for his new taxonomy. Seven of these apostles died on the trip, and one would betray Linnaeus.
The loneliest tree in the world was knocked over by a drunk driver in 1978. The new loneliest tree in the world is very close to the southernmost point of New Zealand.
On August 21, 1986, seventeen hundred people who lived around Lake Nyos in Cameroon suffocated overnight – victims of an extremely rare and silent natural disaster.
The Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896 lasted around forty-five minutes, making it the shortest war in history.
Where do black diamonds come from? We don’t actually know.
The quagga became extinct in 1883. Since 1987, the Quagga Project has been trying to bring them back.
What do long distance runners do when they want a real challenge? Run 251km across the Sahara Desert, of course.
Dr. Oguntola Sapara suspected skulduggery from the influential priests of Sopona, the Yoruba god of smallpox. He was right.
The heart symbol may have originated with an ancient Roman form of birth control, a plant that is probably now extinct.
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.