In 1962 the United States detonated a nuclear bomb in outer space over Hawai’i. It caused an artificial aurora in the sky over Honolulu – and another one over Samoa, more than four thousand kilometres away.
A passenger in the the 1957 Zündapp Janus sits with their back to the driver. The Janus has two doors: the front of the car and the rear of the car.
Earl Muntz was an American businessperson who made a fortune chopping unnecessary bits out of TV sets. He may have also coined the term “TV” and certainly named his daughter “Tee Vee” too.
One Sunday in 1987, two Chicago TV broadcasts were hijacked by someone with a Max Headroom mask, a voice modulator, and an odd sense of humour. He was never caught.
In many parts of the world it is traditional to celebrate by firing guns in the air. But what happens to the bullets?
In 1990 a British Airways plane heading to Spain had a windscreen malfunction mid-flight. The captain was sucked out of the gap, but a flight attendant caught his belt and the plane landed safely with the captain stuck halfway outside.
In the 9th century CE, a town in what is now Nigeria produced the most masterful bronze artefacts in the world.
The second mission to land on the Moon had garbage collection duty: they picked up the remains of a probe that had crashed there two years earlier.
The national canal network of Britain powered its Industrial Revolution, then fell into disuse, and then rose again in the late 20th century.
A pendulum clock in Dunedin, New Zealand, has been running for 156 years without being wound.
India prevented people patenting their foods, traditional medicines, and yoga poses by recording them all in an online database: 34 million pages’ worth.
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Around 255 CE, a Chinese inventor named Ma Jun created a chariot that could always point south – without using magnets.
423,000 people live in Flevoland, a province of the Netherlands. Before 1957, the entire area did not exist.
120 years ago engineers permanently reversed the flow of Chicago River.
A plot point in the 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home features the fictional material transparent aluminium. Around the same time, actual transparent aluminium was patented.