The fastest objects ever made by humans; the water speed record that has stood for forty-four years; the fastest premiere-to-clip-show in TV history; and the fastest-moving plant in the world.
Gorgeous glass replicas of sea life; nearly indestructible glass teardrops; the 19th century princess who believed she had swallowed a glass piano; and the action film prop you can eat.
The farcical elections of North Korea; the electoral candidate who was the only one on the ballot, won a quarter of a million votes, and still lost; the electoral error caused by cosmic rays; and the ridiculously circuitous election of the Doge of Venice.
The oldest drinkable wine in the world; the oldest living rose in the world; why we had to leave the Earth to find the oldest Earth rock; and the oldest river that still flows.
The Quran contains several mysterious letters, no-one is quite sure why; the Islamic concept of moderation, expressed as “best, middle, centred, balanced”; the order of chapters in the Quran; and the cats of Islam.
The bioluminescent suction shark that’s one third liver; the falling houses feeding the deep; an unexplained underwater fossil that has been around for half a billion years; and the quadrillion bristlemouths of the mesopelagic twilight zone.
The rise and fall and rise of the British canal; Dutch canal vaulting; the proposed canal to cut off a country; and the fifteen ships trapped on the Suez Canal for eight years.
The frog that breaks its own bones to use as claws; the frogs that raised tadpoles in their stomachs; the musical frog that works in real estate advertising; and the flattest toad in the world.
One of the few female artists of the Italian Renaissance; the Mona Lisa with and without a moustache; why the Sistine Chapel ceiling has green shadows; and the Inquisition vs. a Last Supper painting with drunken Germans, dogs, parrots, and dwarfs.
The most obscure pun in Asterix; the first comic strip character; the Scrabble-like game using comics instead of letters; and the comic that can be read upside-down.
Blind imagination; the best colour vision in the world; the sixth, seventh, eight, and ninth senses; and how to train yourself to see light polarisation.
The second computer worm in history was created to seek and destroy the first computer worm; cracking encrypted messages with “gardening”; the man who hacked a lottery’s random number generator; and the single line of code that can shut down a computer.
The two Koreas’ black ops assassination teams; the North Korean who defected with a MiG jet; the involuntary park inside the demilitarised zone; and the single tree that set off an international stand-off.
The oldest game in the world with the original rules; a game of pool with three “lives”; Medieval dice chess; and the forgotten chess pieces: couriers, henchmen, spies, and fools.
The plane that landed with the pilot halfway out the front windscreen; the very first fatal plane crash; the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Amazon; and the Boeing 767 that ran out of fuel 12,000 metres off the ground.
The women who carry goods worth billions across a north African border; the island that is in both France and Spain; the houses that are in both Canada and the United States; and the points where three time zones meet.