In ancient art from Europe to India a particular artistic motif frequently appears: a male or female figure grabbing two wild creatures, one in each hand. These are the Master and Mistress of Animals.
In 2005 a French helicopter pilot landed on top of Mount Everest. In 1972 another French pilot flew more than 12,000 metres up… and then his engine stopped.
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.
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.
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.
The Areni-1 cave in southern Armenia is the site of the oldest shoe, and also the oldest winery, in the world.
Jagannath, the deity from whom we get the word juggernaut, receives offerings of food from the world’s largest kitchen.
Sergio Leone famously filmed Westerns in Italy and Spain, creating the genre known as the Spaghetti Western. But Soviet bloc countries had their own version too: the Red Westerns.
Almost all of China uses only one time zone. In the extreme west of China, the Xinjiang region uses two time zones at the same time. This is very confusing.
Underneath many large cities lie buried and lost rivers. Sometimes, they return to the surface world.
Michael Rockefeller, of the famous oil dynasty, was collecting indigenous art in Dutch New Guinea when his boat overturned. He may have drowned or been eaten by crocodiles, but the most likely theory is he suffered a much worse fate.
In 1976, North Korea, South Korea, and the United States almost went to war over a single tree.
There is a street in Hong Kong called Rednaxela Terrace. Why is that interesting? Try spelling the name backwards.
Peter the Great founded a drinking club when he was a young man. Because he was tsar, he took it too far.