T O P

What is a history fact that is so stupid it doesn't seem real?

What is a history fact that is so stupid it doesn't seem real?

theartfulcodger

The Great Pig War (aka the San Juan Boundary Dispute) between the US and UK/Canada lasted seven whole years. At maximum belligerence, the order of battle included 2,600 ground troops, five powerful ships of the line, and nearly a hundred cannon. But fortunately, the combatants never actually got around to doing much combatting. In fact, the only recorded injury was a Royal Marine who got hit in the eye by a rock thrown from the American trenches. He was shipped to a nearby militry hospital, recuperated, and eventually rejoined his unit. Most of the opposing troops' energies were spent sneaking across the lines to each other's outposts - to play cards, swap stories, and to trade American tobacco and fresh food for navy rum swiped from the British quartermaster's stores. Generally acknowledged as The Best War Ever.


Violet624

Don't forget to add that the inciting factor was a pig from the British camp getting into the American camp's garden, upon which it was shot. Hence, 'the Pig War.'


Girl_You_Can_Train

Was it camps? I remember reading it was just a couple farmers who escalated their dispute to the government


Gumpy57

The Titanic look-outs did not have binoculars. It was believed they had accidentally been left in Southhampton, but they were locked in a safe on board.


ColHannibal

It’s better than that, the binoculars where in a locked locker on board and everyone knew it. The keys where accidentally taken by a guy who got transferred to another ship a week earlier.


AMarmaladeSandwich

Odd as it sounds, having those binoculars would have made no difference whatsoever. There were five other pairs of binoculars on Titanic, and it was not thought necessary to give a pair to the lookouts. They were for officers only. Second Officer Lightoller got grilled about it in the [Inquiry](https://www.titanicinquiry.org/BOTInq/BOTInq12Lightoller05.php), it's an interesting read. [Other captains confirmed](https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/we-have-no-look-out-glasses-in-the-crows-nest.html) this was the done thing at the time, so Lightoller's reticence to give the look outs a pair wasn't unusual. Conventional wisdom at the time was that lookouts job was to look at the entire ocean and spot potential hazards. If they spotted one, then they'd signal the bridge and an officer with binoculars would check it out and decide if action was needed. It was thought that giving the lookouts binoculars would make them focus too much on one spot and miss other hazards in their periphery.


JohnSmith2217

Benjamin Hornigold was a pirate in the late 16 and early 1700s who once robbed a merchant vessel purely for the crews hats because he and his crew got so drunk the night before that they all threw their own hats overboard for no good reason.


WesternHornet

man i knew trusting him in black flag was a wrong decision but goddamnit this is GOLD


chinesesneeze

Turkmen Bashi, the former dictator of Turkmenistan, made owning a dog illegal due to him thinking they smelled bad.


wfaulk

He also renamed the month of April after his mother. And renamed bread after his mother.


stryph42

Right, Gurpgork


fluffychonkycat

He did so much other crazy shit, his [wikipedia entry](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saparmurat_Niyazov?wprov=sfla1) is worth a read


Alistair_TheAlvarian

There was a real plan to spike hitlers food with estrogen to try to turn him into a woman and make him give up on war. [Hitler estrogen plan](https://newsfeed.time.com/2011/08/15/new-book-allies-hoped-to-topple-hitler-with-hormones/)


NSFWToys

Reminds me of the plan the US once had of using rockets from submarines around Cuba to shoot up star shaped shells in the sky to convince the Cuban people of the second coming so that they'd overthrow Castro and surrender. The guy who came up with the plan denies it. Vehemently. But everybody else who was in the room says he really proposed it.


ethics_in_disco

Why does every US plan for Cuba sound like they got it from the writers of Looney Tunes?


Blackpixels

Everyone knows that ACME had a monopoly on the military-industrial complex during the Cold War.


strategicmaniac

When the CIA can’t even assassinate Fidel Castro after toppling several governments single handedly you might as well throw crap at the wall until something sticks. That or it gave them a reason do so stupid stuff for shits and giggles since they had the budget.


sarcasmisart

Whilst on his death bed, George Washington was drained of almost half his blood and given treatments that caused him to violently vomit and shit himself. He died anyway.


Lady_Scruffington

Sounds like he died because of those treatments


GeorgeWashingtonDied

He did, trust me.


[deleted]

Someone get me out of here


whatitdewwbabyyyy

He was probably going to die anyway (he had Epiglotitus which even today is a nasty throat infection), but the constant enemas and bloodletting certainly sped up the process.


FenrirIII

In 1184, a number of nobles from across the Holy Roman Empire were meeting in a room at the Church of St. Peter, when their combined weight caused the floor to collapse into the latrine beneath the cellar and led to dozens of nobles drowning in liquid excrement. It is referred to as the Erfurt latrine disaster


This-Wrongdoer-1858

I bet their obituaries were like, "Died at Church"


Xena_BrawlStars

Rest in piss


Nfield87

During the Spanish American War. The Spanish governor of Guam wasn’t told about the war. When a US warship showed up he was happy to see them, cause he thought they where just visiting. Boy was he wrong.


morituri230

If I remember right, the governor of the island apologized to the warship captain that he couldn't return the traditional cannon salute because he had no gunpowder or ammo. Then he learned about the war.


_Comic_

Honestly, lucky coincidence. Imagine what might've happened if a fully-armed warship with the intent to invade heard cannonfire upon its arrival.


JinkinsTheOkay

Related, at the outset of WWI a German surface raider vessel made a cheeky stop in the British port of Diego Garcia, which had not yet been informed of the outset of the war, to perform some engine maintenance and rest up her crew. The Brits reportedly gave her a warm reception, and probably some beer.


Dreadedsemi

That must've been awkward for the warship.


ToastyMustache

More than you think. At the time, the defensive batteries at Guam were out of powder for their guns, so they sent a boat to the incoming American task force to request powder so they could fire a salute as was customary at the time. The boat, which included a commander of the shore batteries, was then detained by the American sailors and informed that they were being invaded.


HowYouSeeMe

"Oh hey guys, welcome to Guam! We're out of gun powder for the salute, do you suppose we could borrow some?" "Well, actually we're attacking you..." "... oh... oh I see... reckon we could still borrow some of that gun powder anyway?"


The_Lost_Google_User

Guam dude: hey guys how you doing? Warship: Uhhhhhhh.... *what are we supposed to do in this situation?!*


Mr_Abe_Froman

Ummm, to be honest, we thought there would be *some* resistance here. Oh "resistance"? Didn't you know there's a war? Well... do you want to surrender now or maybe shoot at our ship a couple of times so we can both say there was a fight?


noes_oh

Can I keep drinking this mojito or naa?


SayNoToStim

There is at least one person, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who survived both Atomic bombs. I don't know if this is incredibly good luck or incredibly bad luck. According to some sources, he was *in the middle of describing the Hiroshima bombing* when the Nagasaki bomb went off only a few KM away.


shah_mir

I can just imagine while hes explaining his friend just points to the sky and says "You mean like that?"


ScorpionTheInsect

If I recall correctly, he was describing it to his boss. He lived in Nagasaki but had a business trip to Hiroshima when he survived the first atomic bombing. He suffered some injuries but managed to make it back to his Nagasaki office and went to work. His boss probably asked him why he was in bandages, and while he was describing the Hiroshima bombing, Nagasaki was hit.


BTFoundation

Being in a literal atomic bombing and still going into work may be the most Japan thing I have ever heard.


gardvar

There was a game of Go (tournament level) going on when the Hiroshima bomb was dropped. It was held about 5km from ground zero. > The explosion caused disruption to the game, damage to the building, and some injuries to those attending the match. Play was resumed after the lunch break, and the game was played to a conclusion that evening. Hashimoto, holding White, won by five points. that's next level dedication


The_Vat

"A bit smaller, but pretty much"


Fact-Crab

Jack Daniels (yeah, *that* Jack Daniels) died from an infected stubbed toe caused by him kicking a safe containing money to which he had forgotten the combination.


Arcaeca

During WWI, Germany converted and armed a passenger cruise liner, the *SMS Cap Trafalgar*, into a cruiser, and sent to the Atlantic Ocean to disrupt British shipping. Off the coast of Brazil though, when they received word that a British ship was coming to flush out German ships disrupting British shipping, the SMS Cap Trafalgar decided to disguise itself as another ocean liner-turned-cruiser, the *HMS Carmania*, so that they wouldn't be shot at. The British ship that came to deal with the SMS Cap Trafalgar was... the HMS Carmania. Which promptly sunk the fake one.


Aruu

That sounds like my kind of luck.


Grayseff

Two of Napoleon's Marshalls secured a critical bridge crossing in the war against Austria by casually strolling up to it and insisting to the Austrian sappers that an armistice had been signed. They delayed the destruction of the bridge for long enough for French soldiers to get in position to seize it properly.


24jdu05

The guy who invented the tube for Pringles had his ashes buried in one


Farkenoathm8-E

How the Berlin Wall fell. In order to calm mounting protests GDR officials decided on loosening travel restrictions between East and West, not open the border completely. Notes of the new rules had been handed to a spokesman who hadn't had time to read them before the press conference. "Private travel outside the country can now be applied for without prerequisites," he said. Surprised journalists clamoured for more details. Shuffling through his notes, he said that as far as he was aware, it was effective immediately. In fact it had been planned to start the next day, with details on applying for a visa. But the news was all over television - and East Germans flocked to the border in huge numbers. As the border became inundated with East Berliners wishing to reunite with family and/or escape the GDR, border guards became overwhelmed and with no orders to either shoot upon the crowd or open the gate, only a handful of guards facing hundreds and thousands of citizens, rather than fire and create a stampede and potentially kill hundreds the head of the guards decided to give the order "Open the barrier!" What came next was a spontaneous chain reaction with Berliners on both sides arriving at Checkpoint Charlie to celebrate this momentous event and to demolish the wall. So basically an ill prepared functionary made a flippant remark and a border guard captain unable to get orders on how to proceed led to one of the most defining moments of the late 20th Century in Europe.


JimboTCB

"uh boss, you think maybe you should read those notes before you go on the air?" "fuck it, we're doing it live, what's the worst that could happen?"


Niqulaz

Or more "Here is what you are supposed to say!" "Are you fucking kidding me? It is literally 30 seconds until I go on stage! Why wasn't this here 30 minutes ago?" "Party management wanted to make sure it was correct."


_1138_

Incredible fact, and should be higher on the list. I'm dating myself by admitting this, but my father made me stop playing to watch the occasion on the news. He said it was important, and I still recall snippets of the footage.


DumbDumbGoodbye

I was whisked out of the bath to be shown the footage.


PSi_Terran

I was 4 months old and nobody told me shit.


Ramtalok

Not one but two kings of France died by smashing their heads on the top part of a door (lintel ?). Charles VIII in 1498 (the shock probably caused something else but still). Louis III on the other hand was pursuing a fair lady (who was actually trying to escape him) on his horse on the 5th of August 882, when she passed a door. The horse went through, not the king, who broke his skull and died instantly.


shreyas16062002

The last one sounds like something straight out of those slapstick cartoons like Tom & Jerry or Looney Tunes.


matsu727

Yeah but more like Itchy and Scratchy tho


RealisticDelusions77

As WW2 revved up, the US realized that fast and cheap was the way to go with manufacturing ships (ex Liberty Ships). But there was a line of escort carriers made with so little armor that some Japanese armor-piercing shells went through the hull and out the other side without exploding, a nice surprise. https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2019/01/14/survival-off-samar/


third-try

The reason the biggest and most powerful battleship in the world, *Yamato*, never sank anything in the battle off Samar was that a US destroyer kept charging toward it. The admiral didn't want to turn and present the side of his ship to a torpedo attack, so he just kept running away. From a ship one-fortieth the size. The Japanese had a very effective torpedo using liquid oxygen, instead of compressed air. In the Battle off Samar, though, they found that the five-inch shells from the small US ships would set the oxygen equipment on fire and blow up the torpedoes in their tubes. At least six Japanese heavy cruisers were sunk this way. One was probably destroyed by a shell from the one five-inch gun that the CVE *Gambier Bay* was armed with.


Gemmabeta

Did the Yamato actually do anything "useful" for the entirety of WWII? I think it only sank one enemy ship in the entire war (Gambier Bay) and even that was disputed. It's entire role in the war seemed to have been making the American Navy waste time by going around it.


mypoleisbigger

The way I understand it, no. Yamato and Musashi kept being held back from the front lines until the Japanese leadership saw the writing on the wall because it was feared their loss would be too detrimental to morale.


fbkjj

It is said that Greek tragedian [Aeschylus](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeschylus) died because an eagle dropped a tortoise on his bald head, mistaken for a rock, in order to break the shell of the tortoise.


[deleted]

Now THAT'S a tragedy.


alkortes

It's a comedy. And due to him being a tragedian, it's an irony.


Heck_Tate

I never knew this, but there is a scene that mimics that in Terry Pratchett's *Small Gods.*


nergigante-is-best

One that I always think of, [William the Conqueror exploded at his funeral.](https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.history.com/.amp/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-william-the-conqueror)The short of it, the intestinal infection that killed him ended up eating up his body from the inside. All the gas from the decomposition was trapped in there, but as some people tried to fit him back into his coffin, his body exploded from the pressure. Guess he had to go out with a bang.


Ozymandias-97

The US and the UK scrapped plots to assassinate Hitler as they believed his poor judgement would bring an end to the war quicker. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Foxley


Mr-Pringlz-and-Carl

A quote from Winston Churchill when he was visiting the White house and the president walked in on him buck naked: "The prime minister of the UK has nothing to hide from the president of the US."


Sanctimonius

Churchill was far too comfortable with his own nudity. There are many stories of meetings and missives being conducted while he was in the bath. Edit: I get it, LBJ had a big dick


john_jdm

Sounds like he would have loved Zoom meetings.


LeakyLycanthrope

It's not gay if you have diplomatic immunity.


metal_gearmen

"Gorilla gorilla gorilla" This is the scientific name of the western lowland gorilla


heanthebean

I’m a third grade teacher and I had my kids pick an animal to do an endangered animal report on. One of them chose the western lowland gorilla and when I saw the scientific name he had wrote, I tried to explain how to find the correct one. That is, until I got to that part of the webpage and saw it really was “gorilla gorilla gorilla”. I burst out laughing, apologized and congratulated him on finding the scientific name all by himself. It was the best.


Archayvic

In WW2 the Russians trained dogs to run under tanks with time bombs on their backs. "Anti-tank dogs". But, the Russians trained the dogs on Russian tanks so when they set them free on the battlefield they truned around and started blowing up the Russian tanks instead of the oppossitions tanks.


Kulladar

I love this one because it's just so insane that no one thought about using German tanks for the training. This must have taken MONTHS and at least dozens of people and no one realized.


Urgash54

On the other hand, the Germans must have a good laugh at this.


LadyLightTravel

Michigan and Ohio [having a war over Toledo](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_War)


somerandomneurons

Ohio lost and had to take it.


LadyLightTravel

At the time, Michigan thought that they lost. That’s before they found the copper and iron ore in the UP.


DeOfficiis

A prominent Roman politician, Publius Clodius Pulcher, dressed as a woman to infiltrate a womans-only religious ceremony in a futile effort to seduce Julius Caesar's wife. Not surprisingly, his plan didn't work. Charges were pressed and caused a very public legal battle for the next 2 years. At the insistence of his wife, none other than the famous Cicero came to prosecute the case. Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Crassus (yes, the same Crassus of the first triumvirate and richest person in Rome at this point) bribed the jury and Pulcher was acquitted. In the meantime, Caesar divorced his wife over the affair. Surprisingly, though, this didn't tank Pulcher's career. Instead, it strengthened his alliance and he became a rather prominent politician. Once he gained more power, he was able to pass a law l, which retroactively applied to Cicero, banishing him from Rome and allowing the state to confiscate or destroy his property. While political inemity was present, much of it was also revenge. This isn't all. He also employed street gangs to dobhis bidding. Theyd gather at opposing politicians speeches and heckle them. They'd blockade roads so politicians couldn't make it to an important vote. They'd rough up people they didn't like. Another opposing politician, Milo, didn't care for this up and brought up his own street gangs. The difference was that Milo's gangs were trained by gladiators. General street violence erupted in the streets of Rome. The street violence caused two delays to important elections and eventually Milo caused the death of Pulcher in scuffle. When placed on trial, Milo had none other than Cicero, now returned from exile, be his defense lawyer. Despite his best efforts, Milo was exiled.


ricree

Hold up. You write all that, but somehow leave out the part where Clodius's supporters broke into the Senate house with his body and held the funeral service there. Then they burned the whole thing down around him, so for years after the Senate didn't have a meeting house of its own. You know how basically every depiction of Julius Caesar has him getting killed inside the Senate house. Didn't actually happen because Rome's Senate didn't have its own building until after Caesar died. They were meeting inside a theater and had been for years. All because Clodius's fans went nuts.


Hambone528

Inside a theater which housed a giant fucking statue of Pompey, no less.


CrazyComedyKid

In the 2015-2016 New Zealand Flag referendums, where New Zealand voted on a new flag for the country, one of the highest voted results was an image of a kiwi firing lasers from it's eyes. Google "New Zealand laser kiwi flag" if you don't believe me.


DankNastyAssMaster

Fidel Castro loved milk so much that when his cow who holds the world record for most milk produced in a day died, he had her taxidermied, had a marble statue of her built and a full eulogy and obituary written for her in his state newspaper, and Cuban scientists have repeatedly tried (and failed) to clone her. Her name was Ubre Blanca, which means White Udder. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubre_Blanca


fluffychonkycat

President Taft also had a beloved cow called Pauline Wayne. She went missing for a couple of days, during which time the nation waited with bated breath to hear of her fate. She grazed on the White House lawn. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Wayne?wprov=sfla1](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Wayne?wprov=sfla1)


[deleted]

[удалено]


somerandomneurons

Thats just because molasses got lucky


ExtraSmooth

Yeah molasses' K/D ratio is totally skewed by that one incident


theblindbunny

I live nearish to the molasses flood site. Never been myself, but people I know who have been there do claim to still smell it in the summer. Crazy just how much boiling molasses covered a whole neighborhood. Like, that sounds like 2020 shit


Pleaze_Go_D1e

the allied powers decided to steal a tank in the middle of a battlefield [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mephisto\_(tank)#Recovery\_from\_the\_battlefield](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mephisto_(tank)#Recovery_from_the_battlefield)


aecolley

An incident memorialized by GTA players today. Want a tank? Step 1: get six stars...


ziggy_starlord144

Tycho Brahe, an astronomer, had a pet moose. That moose later died from a fall down the stairs. Because it was drunk. Edit: thanks for all the upvotes and awards!! I had (no joke) 19 karma before this comment so I was really not expecting this to blow up haha


KingAlfredOfEngland

Everything about Tycho Brahe is amazing. His nose was cut off in a duel, and replaced by a prosthetic made out of gold. He died when his bladder exploded because he drank too much alcohol. He had a friend, Jeppe, who he believed was a psychic dwarf. He was one of the wealthiest men in Denmark and owned a private island, which housed his observatory, before he went into exile after a spat with the 11-year-old king. Edit: Okay guys I get it his prosthetic nose was brass and not gold. I fail to see how that makes him any less awesome, however.


haysoos2

I like to think that Jeppe was actually like an inch shorter than Tycho, but Tycho just kept insisting he was a psychic dwarf, and now that's all that anyone knows about Jeppe.


AmA_Dreamer

Damn what a legendary man


BishmillahPlease

He also lost his schnozz in a duel over mathematics, so he had some made out of ~~precious metals.~~ Eta brass. No one can say Tycho Brahe didn't have swag.


[deleted]

King George II Was so constipated while he was taking a crap his heart actually *physically burst.*


Gemmabeta

Henry VIII ate so little fibre that he needed a doctor specializing in enemas so he can poop. George IV basically ate himself to death. He had such bad gout (from a lifetime of indulging in meat and wine) that by the end of his life, he needed 100 drops of laudanum to get him through breakfast. Dude eventually shat himself to death after a violent bowel movement caused a massive intestinal bleed. While we are at it, Edmund II of England died on the toilet when an assassin stabbed him in the ass from the under the latrine pit he was sitting on. King Jing of Jin (Spring and Autumn period, China) accidentally walked into the open air cesspit of a toilet and drowned.


Gl0Cl0

I am impressed at how well-versed you are on this topic.


clowninmyhead

One might say.... He knows a lot of shit.


BuddyUpInATree

Well, laudanum is a tincture of opium so he likely built up a tolerance and addiction after a while


Bubba2475

And hence the constipation from the opium


Lacy_Laplante89

I was gonna say that’s compounding a problem right there.


karl2025

King Richard I was killed by a teenager wielding a crossbow and a frying pan.


[deleted]

Looks like that teenager was Rapunzel in disguise.


[deleted]

40 dudes held off the German invasion in Belgium for 18 days. They surrendered when they ran out of ammo. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chasseurs_Ardennais


HurricaneHugo

My favorite part is that when the Germans talked to them after the surrender, they asked the Belgians where are the rest of them. "This is all of us."


King-of-Plebs

I am curious what the Germans did with them after they surrendered.


borg2

Belgian troops were held captive for about a year and then gradually released.


ObscureAcronym

>gradually released "You there, prisoner! How long have you had your arm through the gate?" "About a week." "Ok, you can put one leg through now also."


theycallmemomo

Honduras and El Salvador had a 3-day war over a football game.


Aegis_et_Vanir

Like a really violent riot, or their governments actually got their militaries involved?


MartianSheepHunter

[Yeah, it was a legit war](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War)


Simply-Username

I mean it was more than just a war over a football game, but it was that game that seemed to push people over the edge and start war. There were already tensions going on between the 2 countries.


High_Noon21

Teddy Roosevelt invented the forward pass in American football


Omega33umsure

Wait, so all they did before that was run the ball?? Like just a hand off and that's it?? Isn't that just Rugby with extra steps?


High_Noon21

Football was wild back in the day. It was played in college and it was not uncommon for players to die. Colleges were dropping it and when Harvard was going to drop it for rugby, Teddy stepped in to save the sport. SB Nation has a good article on it. https://www.sbnation.com/2018/12/15/18139338/teddy-roosevelt-forward-pass-invented


FredrickTheWriter69

The reason there isn't a lot of mummies around anymore, is because we ate them.


I_throw_socks_at_cat

We also made paint out of them.


Goatwilly

And used them to fuel trains


TooFastTim

We ate them? Wtf?


TheNewGirl76

~~British Victorians~~ *British people in the 16th-18th century* used to think that mummies' ashes had medicinal purposes, so explorers would bring the mummies back with them and sell them. Sometimes they'd be consumed by upper class members of society. Sometimes, Victorians would hold "mummy unwrapping parties" in which people would gather around and gawk as the corpse was unwrapped and ~~then they'd eat some of the ground up mummy afterwards.~~ It was also made into a paint called "mummy brown." Sometimes, artists bought this paint not knowing that it literally it had human remains in it, and would be disgusted or horrified upon finding out. When Edward Burne-Jones found out, he buried his tube of mummy brown paint in his garden. It didn't stop being manufactured entirely until the 20th century (although it fell out of fashion long before then). EDIT: I got the timeline of mummy eating wrong and conflated mummy consumption with the Egyptomania of the 19th century/Victorian period. Here are some sources [The Gruesome History of Eating Corpses as Medicine | History | Smithsonian Magazine](https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-gruesome-history-of-eating-corpses-as-medicine-82360284/) [Mummies and the Usefulness of Death | Science History Institute](https://www.sciencehistory.org/distillations/mummies-and-the-usefulness-of-death) [Did the Victorians Really Host Mummy Unwrapping Parties? (allthatsinteresting.com)](https://allthatsinteresting.com/mummy-unwrapping-parties)


EraVida

This is cannibalism, right?


bobbyxcorwen

Yummy mummy.


informalfabric

William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada's longest serving Prime Minister with a total of 21 years in office. He held seances to talk to his dead mother and ask former (dead) Prime Ministers for advice. He also had 3 dogs of the same breed...all named Pat (he also asked them for advice). None of this was known until after he died and people read his diaries


KannaKamuiFSN

John Quincy Adams, Former US President, Would start every day by drinking some whiskey and swimming naked in the Potomac river.


spyraxian

A Skylab satellite's guidance system was failing and ended up crash landing in Australia. Instead of giving the satellite back, Skylab was charged with a $500 littering fine. After the fine was paid, the company wanted to put the satellite in a museum but was refused on the basis that since the satellite fell from space, its legally Australia's now. So now, Skylab pays a monthly rent to Australia to display its own satellite in a museum. * Edited for accuracy*


[deleted]

It was the [Skylab space station](https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/70708/nasas-unpaid-400-littering-ticket-skylab-debris-australia), I believe, rather than a weather satellite; most of it burned up, as would most of any satellite not designed for re-entering Earth's atmosphere.


Notyetyeet

But like, couldn't they just not?


abbotist-posadist

NASA is likely interested in keeping things sweet with Australia. There's a lot of space for satellite dishes and equipment in the outback.


WF6i

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4th 1826


theycallmemomo

John Adams' last words were "Thomas Jefferson still lives", unaware that he was already dead when he said it.


garmdian

Could you imagine that being your last words and as your sitting by the pearly gates that man you claimed was still alive walks by.


no_u_will_not

Hey Jefferson when did you die? At about 6, when did you? 3... Hey, what were your last words? Yet Jefferson still lives... ... I'm a idiot


Random_User_133

That the war between Zanzibar and Britain lasted for only 38 mins. Its the shortest recorded war in history


Ms_Superhero1939

Corn flakes were originally marketed as an anti masturbation cereal and the man who made them, John Harvey Kellogg, adopted all 8 of his kids and didn't even sleep in the same room as his wife


tashkiira

Just to clarify: it's not just corn flakes. a lot of major bland foods were meant for the same thing, including Graham crackers. Graham worked for Kellogg in his Sanitarium as the chief psychologist.


robots-dont-say-ye

Like people were supposed to stuff themselves with graham crackers whenever they wanted to masturbate?


syzygy_is_a_word

The dudes thought that flavourful food leads to increase in sexual drive, and that bland food decreases it. So by replacing your regular meals with cardboard you can avoid the horrors of heinous self-pollution.


DollarAutomatic

Jokes on them, I just beat off eating a graham cracker suckers


Moses_The_Wise

Alright I don't remember the specifics. But there was a king (I believe a sumerian king) who was told by an oracle that "Disaster would befall the king." So he had a gardener crowned as king for a day, and that night the gardener would be executed, thus fulfilling the prophecy and saving the real king. Soon after the gardener's coronation, the real king *choked on soup* and died. The gardener ruled for 24 years Edit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlil-bani Some lovely folks told me the full story.


OctaviusNeon

Mans literally choked on a liquid. The Fates were like "Not today, motherfucker!"


BadDireWolf

Does anyone know the name because I love this.


Kmin78

The inventor of lobotomy got a Nobel Prize for it.


llcucf80

Adolf Hitler had many physical ailments, many of which are known. He had in particular severe stomach cramps and also bouts of insomnia, so his quack doctor (Theodor Morell), in his infinite wisdom, gave Hitler sleeping pills and laxative, resulting in very severe gas problems.


Renamis

His gas problem was more related to his diet. During the war he was on a very poorly constructed (mostly) vegetarian diet and, well. You can only have beans and lentils in a stew so many days in a row before you start with bad gas. Man was crazy picky. Although I could go on a year long speech about Morell and all his stuff. Man is confusing as all get out with all the stuff he did, and is actually an interesting window into how the whole Nazi regime actually worked.


pinknotepad

Dude sounds like some kind of food nazi.


krokodilchik

We're here for the speech!


Renamis

I'll do a TL;DR version, but... It's questionable how much of a quack Morell actually was. He was outdated and plenty of the things he had Hitler do had the opposite effect to what was desired, but a huge portion of what he did had been (at some point in time) generally in the medical mainstream. I mean, this is the time where cocaine was medically used with some frequency. Outdated then is pretty bonkers now. His more "quack" behaviors are questionable, mostly because Morell had a LOT of enemies. Hitler actually did this on purpose. Hitler had his inner circle 100% loyal to him, but there was a bunch of infighting between the "trusted" members. After all, if they didn't like each other they couldn't join together and overthrow Hitler. Morell was involved in this infighting just like everyone else. So there is a problem judging what he did and didn't do. We're pretty sure his notes where accurate, but any witness testimony has to be viewed with a grain of salt because of the fights. Heck, while Hitler was alive he had other doctors try to prove Morell incompetent. He was not well liked. And even Hitler admitted Morell wasn't likeable, but he was willing to put up with Hitler's medical idiocy so he was kept about. The biggest thing we know is Morell was drugging the crap out of Hitler. Uppers, downers, and anything in-between. We know he probably had Parkinson's, and he might have been bipolar or such, which actually explains the trouble Morell was having in keeping Hitler level. Morell had access to far less information on medication and mental illness interactions, and even with that information Morell knew better than to diagnose Hitler with a mental problem. That's suicide. So he was pretty much flying blind, trying to use pills to fix a problem he didn't know the cause of. And in some cases turning Hitler into a manic maniac, like in a well known meeting with Mussolini where he was so amped up the Germans where embarrassed. Honestly, I think Morell was a below average doctor that knew how to make patients feel listened to. And he ended up in a position where he was so underwater he had no hope of doing the job properly. By the end I feel he was guessing and just throwing things at the wall hoping it worked. But he wasn't "negligent" in the way we'd think. I mean, the guy knew if Hitler died he was going to be hanging real quick. The guy tried, I just don't think he knew how to do the job. Edit: Holy crap, thanks for the gold! But now I have to admit that my first gold came a post about Hitler and his doctor, so that's mildly embarrassing. But thanks!


moinatx

Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel but turned it down.


lucif_woods

The second person to go down Niagara Falls in a barrel and live the experience later died by slipping on an orange peel


LordRevanSnow

France is currently on its 5th Republic. The history of how it happened is bizarre: Boubon Kingdom -> French Revolution with the guillotine -> 1st Republic -> Napoleon's Empire -> back to the Boubon Kingdom -> July Monarchy (different kingdom) -> 2nd Republic -> 2nd Empire -> 3rd Republic -> Nazi occupied France -> 4th Republic -> 5th Republic. Fun Facts: The 2nd Empire was led by Napoleon's nephew, Charles-Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who was elected as President of the 2nd Republic. He changed his name to Napoleon III and declared himself Emperor after he was supposed to step down after his 1 term Presidency. Because of this, the 2nd French Republic only lasted 4 years since he was the only President of that particular Republic.


TheNewGirl76

Just off the top of my head, 1. King Henry I died from eating a giant plate of lampreys ~~(a type of small eel)~~ too fast EDIT: As selacophile has pointed out, lampreys aren't eels, they're a type of jawless fish 2. Then American Vice President Andrew Johnson was so drunk at his vice presidential inauguration that he could not swear the new congress in and rambled incoherently during his acceptance speech 3. Pope Stephen VI put the months dead corpse of Pope Formosus on trial for crimes against the papacy, serving as a bishop without being appointed to the clergy, and a couple of other crimes, too. He was dug up, propped up in a chair, and a deacon was made to stand behind the body and speak for him. Formosus was found guilty and punished by having his fingers chopped off and buried in an unmarked grave, *then he was dug up and thrown into the Tiber River* but the conviction was annulled by a later pope, and reinstated by one of that pope's successors. ~~I believe Formosus is still considered guilty.~~ EDIT: No he isn't. 4. The Roman Emperor Caligula once declared war on ~~Poseidon~~ Neptune, and had his soldiers fight with the waves and collect conch shells as proof of their victory Some people pointed out issues with what I said or had things to add, so I edited the post to reflect this


I_might_be_weasel

The fax machine predates the American Civil War.


DoomsdayRabbit

And Nevada send their whole constitution, which is the one still in use today, to DC via telegraph a week before the 1864 election at a cost of the equivalent of over $70,000 in today's dollars just to give Lincoln a 3 vote bump in the Electoral College... which he didn't need anyway.


PaulBradley

Spain was invading Europe, I think it was the *eighty* years war, they got as far as Belgium and documented some pretty horrific atrocities, killing and raping civilians and burning whole towns. They let a couple of survivors go to spread fear. Didn't work. By the time they got to the Netherlands people were pissed off with the invaders. It was also nearly winter. The Spanish tried to march on a Dutch city and the Dutch said, fuck those guys and flooded the plains between the army and the city. The Spanish didn't fancy wading and drowning so they hopped on their support ships and tried to approach the city from the water except they fucked up and by the time the got there the water had frozen and the ships were useless. They formed up on the ice and began once again to march on the city. By this time the Dutch had set boobytraps everywhere, lots of the invaders pitched into freezing water, and where they did manage to engage the Dutch in direct combat, the Dutch turned out on ice skates and fought back, often quickly skating into range, taking a shot and then skating back to safety. The Spanish didn't know what the fuck was going on and got their asses kicked by an army on skates. I really want to see this movie one day but I doubt anybody would believe it. Edit: Eighty years war, not hundred.


letithail1

Americans/British used inflatable vehicles that looked like jeeps and tanks to fool the Germans before D Day.


modzer0

And we still use the same tactic today, setting up inflatable units so satellite and long range recon photos see units where there are none. Russia and China have a number of them. Tactics wise the majority of them are tanks and SAM systems. The SAM systems being a good choice since they'll be prime targets.


awebbC-132

Everything Olga of Kiev did after her husband was killed by an opposing tribe (the opposing tribe killed him by tying his legs to trees they'd bent down and then releasing the trees) Cliffs: -Buried 20 men alive -Burning another 20 alive after she'd lured then into a bath house - Slaughtered 5000 of the opposing tribes solders after she'd gotten them piss drunk. -Telling the opposing tribe she'd end the assaults if each house gave her "3 pigeons and 3 sparrows". She then had her soldiers tie sulfur to each of the birds and set them free so that they would return home to nest in their original villages. Eventually the villagers bedtime fires would ignite the sulfur and burn the town to the ground. Also she's a "saint" in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic church.


judgmentalbookcover

She also saved herself from having to marry a Byzantine Emperor by making him her godfather during her Christian baptism (for the purpose of marrying him). Only afterwards did he realize he couldn't marry his own goddaughter.


franticsloth

William Henry Harrison was elected president. The day of his inauguration it was rainy and cold and he didn’t wear a hat or a coat, thereby thumbing his nose at moms everywhere. Then later he died of pneumonia. 31 days in office. Edit: Pneumonia diagnosis was probably wrong and it was more likely typhoid, thanks for the citation u/Comfortable_Ad_1128. In this case, this story is so stupid that it’s actually not real!


ItssHarrison

Back in like elementary school my school had “become a famous Ohioan” day where everyone in the 4th grade would become a famous Ohioan for a few hours in the gym and the other classes would come by and you’d give a little speech. Naturally I chose William Henry Harrison and there wasn’t much to talk about other than his name.


scott60561

Bill Clinton, who hasn't been president in 20 years is 4 years younger than Joe Biden


rangatang

Trump, GWB and Bill Clinton were all born in the same year within 3 months of each other. There has also never been a US president born in the 1950s


uthglow

People used to think women's uterus would go flying if they rode the train


malgranda_azeno

Astronaut shit is fine and dandy on the moon. Because bringing back as much moonrock as possible for research was vital, extra space was made in the LM by dumping as much stuff as possible that wasn't esencial for the return voyage, including tools, gear, manuals and of course, human waste containers. Edit: Actually it had nothing to do with space but more with weight. The rocks were packed in a sealed case that had it's own compartment in the LM, so you couldn't bring more rocks than can fit in the case. However, those rocks weighed anywhere between 2/3 and 3/4 as an astronaut, so bringing them back would mean using more fuel, travelling slower and other assorted risks. To offset that ballast, stuff used on the moon never made it back... including astronaut brownies.


[deleted]

[удалено]


bakedmaga2020

A man from New York missed his friends who were fighting in Vietnam. So he traveled thousands of miles to track them down in a combat zone to personally give them beer and letters from home. He even wrote a book about it called The Greatest Beer Run Ever


slutataurusrex

This is the best thing ever. I’m envisioning a drunk dude in a Hawaiian shirt with an upside down map walking through the jungle in Vietnam yelling, “Hey, Mikey! George! You guys here? It’s Tony.”


matt2993

Should I buy the book or does this pretty much some it up


bakedmaga2020

Buy the book. It talks a lot about the neighborhood they were from and how they managed to find their friends. It reads like an adventure novel


Toby_O_Notoby

When more people began started switching to skim milk dairy farmers had tons of milk fat left over so they stored it all in some caves in Missouri. This lead the USDA to open a department on Dairy Management to figure out what to do with it. Want to know why almost every fast food item comes with so much cheese? That’s why.


Plethorian

I've been in those caves, driving my semi to make deliveries and pickups. There are multiple refrigerated/ frozen goods cave complexes in Missouri. It's slightly surreal.


crocmage

I go there all the time! I'm always telling people how cool it is there.


abby315

Cheese caves!


Der_genealogist

In 1793, the new United States needed a common measure system. So T. Jefferson wrote to France and they sent some continental measurements to establish new system in the States. Unfortunately, a big storm forced the ship way south and it was intercepted by British pirates. And that is a reason why the USA has imperial and not metric units Edit: here's the link https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/28/574044232/how-pirates-of-the-caribbean-hijacked-americas-metric-system


KingAlfredOfEngland

The guy that my username was named after, King Alfred, pushed back the invading Viking armies and then revolutionized the educational system, social system, legal system and like a dozen other things - there's a reason he's called Alfred the Great. He was also very famously yelled at by an old lady because he was too busy plotting a military campaign to watch the cakes that she had in the oven. I just find it silly that one of the greatest monarchs in English history was yelled at by an old lady for the same kinds of trivial things that people have been angry at eachother over forever - it's an odd juxtaposition.


KingBlackers

Not only did Australia lose its 17th Prime Minister at the beach (he drowned) but we named a public swimming pool after him.


kiwiphoniex666

Remember it's a presumed drowning as the body was never found. Some people think he just run away from his responsibilities. But yeah naming Melbourne's busiest pools after him is just werid.


-Glitter-Herpes-

A Greek philosopher called Chrysippus died from laughing too much at a drunken donkey eating rotting (therefore fermented) figs.


blisteringchristmas

Unfortunately, like a ton of similar accounts in the classical Greek world, it's *probably* apocryphal. The account comes from a biographer named Diogenes (not that Diogenes) who lived about 5 centuries after Chrysippus. The biographer in question even gave an alternate version of events, where Chrysippus just drank way too much.


A_zuma2007

The 6th president had a pet alligator and Ryan Reynolds failed drama class


coyotebored83

I wonder how the teacher and the top drama student feel about that now.


-ChecksOut-

I don't see why their opinions on John Adams alligator would be different from ours


BruhCoinInvestor

A Finnish sniper named Simo Häyhä was able to kill around 500 Soviet soldiers in the Winter War of 1939 by literally hiding in the snow and taking random shots every couple hours. In March 1940 he was struck in the jaw by an explosive bullet and seriously wounded. He was very disfigured, unconcious, and presumed dead when he was found, and later he was thrown onto a pile of bodies. A fellow soldier noticed a leg twitching in the pile and they brought him home alive. He lived to be 96.


THExBEARxJEW

Pretty sure he still holds the record for most confirmed kills. More that Chris Kyle and Carlos Hathcock combined.


ppardee

Live pigs were hung from battlements as a defense against siege elephants.


-eDgAR-

In 1956 a man named Tommy Fitzpatrick stole a small plane from New Jersey for a bet and then landed it perfectly on the narrow street in front of the bar he had been drinking at in Manhattan. Two years later, he did it again after someone didn't believe he had done it the first time. What's also crazy is that the punishment for the first time ended up being only a $100 fine, since the charges were dropped by the owner of the plane, and the second resulted in only 6 months in jail. [Here is an article about it.](https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/long-ago-a-pilot-landed-on-an-uptown-street-thats-where-the-bar-was/)


blue7999

Imagine pulling that insane stunt just for someone else to call bullshit years later.


pssht07070707

This might be my favorite fact of all time


Flight2000

There was an instance in the 18th century when the 8th French hussar and the 15th line infantry regiment captured a Dutch fleet of ships because the water froze over while they were docked. The French just rode up and told them to surrender and this is the only example of a calvary and infantry regiment defeating a naval fleet out in the water


TheRenraw

A guy from Nashville, William Walker, became the president of Nicaragua and later was murdered in Honduras bc he tried some more bullshit there.


Strongbow219

The world’s first submarine attack took place September 6, 1776 during the American Revolution. The craft was called the Turtle and was essentially a giant oak and metal Christmas ornament powered by two hand-cranked propellers. It was designed to attach waterproofed explosives to the hulls of British warships. However, the pilot kept hitting metal plating when trying to attach the bomb and abandoned the mission due to dwindling air supply all subsequent missions were failures as well, and eventually the ship transporting the Turtle was sunk with the vessel onboard. Also, during WW2, Americans tried to develop pigeon-guided missiles. The idea was that they would be guided by a pigeon inside the missile, pecking at the target, visible through a windshield in the missile. All the simulation tests proved it could be done, but sadly Project Pigeon, as it was called, was never given the funding it needed to become a reality.


AdvocateSaint

> the ship transporting the Turtle was sunk with the vessel onboard. A sub so cursed its only confirmed kill was that of the vessel transporting it


Shocksplicer

There was a genuine plan, that was championed by its supporters for decades in the early 20th century, to create a colossal dam across the Strait of Gibraltar, in order to lower the sea level of the Mediterranean by roughly 200 metres. The plan was called Atlantropa, and those who believed in it thought it would lead to huge amounts of new land from the lowered coastline, unlimited energy from the hydroelectric dam, and improved relations throughout Europe and North Africa. These people apparently failed to realise that the new land would be salt pans, utterly useless for settling, and that there literally wasn't enough concrete on earth to build the dam.


Turbulent-Speech-119

Sylvester graham invented graham crackers to prevent masturbation


bobakittens

During 1774 Frederick the Great of Prussia had a free potato policy to help the people through the famine. A lot of people initially rejected the potatoes and so he had guards feign patrol of the potato fields so they looked more valuable and people would steal them in the night. Even though they were totally free. EDIT: So this blew up and I want to share more dumb history stories. During WWI's Christmas Truce, there was a cat that walked back and forth between German and French lines. Because of this, the French general got concerned and had the cat executed for treason. EDIT 2: So I'm off work now and these comments have brought me so many smiles that I'll add some more stories. America had ice cream barges. During WWII most countries banned treats like ice cream to save on rations, but not america. The navy used its ice cream as a reward for any soldiers who spotted pilots downed at sea. It is said one sailor spotted a downed American Ace and called out "How much ice cream is he worth?" EDIT 3: here's the last few stories I owe you guys lol. Mussolini was reluctant to join Hitler and genuinely considered being an Allied power. Except Hitler was such a HUGE fanboy that he felt he had little choice, because that would have been extremely awkward. After Mussolini was removed from power and Hitler went through all the trouble to rescue the guy, he just asked to be let go into retirement. Hitler, needless to say, was not happy. Americans screened for spies by doing pop culture tests. They quizzed soldiers on movie stars and baseball teams and if the soldier couldn't answer, they were immediately put under arrest. During WWI on the Eastern Front, the Germans attempted to use chemical warfare against the overwhelming Russian forces. Except it was too damn cold. They were testing a design of launching the chlorine gas with artillery but as the gas vaporized in the explosion, the cold of Russia immediately condensed the gas back into a liquid. It was a spectacular failure. Emporer Napoleon III attempted a coup to overthrow the new French monarchy and got himself jailed for it. When he got bored he decided to leave. He basically just walked out the door. Especially fun fact, because he had 2 embarrassing failures of a coup, when he got elected as the French president, no one suspected him of a thing until he already amassed enough of his own supporters in the government to perform yet another coup.


maracuja124

Hence he is often called the potato king. I grew up in Potsdam where he is buried and it’s a tradition to bury potatoes next to his grave. The authorities regularly have to remove them. He also loved his greyhounds and they are buried with him in the same grave at Sanssouci. He really was ‘great’!


T-MinusGiraffe

>The authorities regularly have to remove them. Man they're *still* struggling to give the darn things away! What is it with people not accepting the free potatoes


[deleted]

They felt guilty so they turned themselves in, not knowing it was Free Potato Day


Tantantherunningman

Can’t do the time don’t do the crime


zapdos227

“But.. but sir. We stole the potatoes” “Lmao yeah. On Free Potato Day”