The swashbuckling truth: 20 things you didn’t know about (the real) pirates
Arrrr, did you know?
Andrew Jackson’s 1,400 pound block of cheese
Jackson was a legend. And, at some point, he was gifted a humongous wheel of cheese. This is the story of that cheese.
15 murderers’ infamous last words before being executed
When you're being executed, you get an opportunity to sum up your existence with something profound. Or maybe just a joke.
The true story of a Victorian swindler and his spectacular underwater bachelor palace
Upon first glance, Witley Park in Surrey, UK is just like any other extravagant Victorian mansion. But look closer.
Book of Nature: 10 hilarious sex lessons from 1861
Always carry to bed a napkin, and eat plenty of phosphorous. Come get your Civil War era sex education on.
Did this bizarre 19th century sex cult make your silverware?
The Oneida Community, a biblical communist cult, practiced free love as early as the 1840s. You may have some of their products in your home.
The world’s oldest jokes reveal we’ve always laughed at the same things
The world's oldest known joke is from 1900 BC Sumeria and it's a fart joke. A familiar journey through the ancient world's recorded bits of humor.
10 most absurd deaths from medieval Europe
The Darwin Awards are annual and don't concern themselves with historical (ig)noble sacrifices. Let's correct that injustice.
The cheese caves: why the US govt stores billions of pounds of cheese underground
They're real, and they're hiding right under our feet—as long as our feet are in Missouri.
How people used to download games from the radio in the 80s
Downloadable games are the format of the future, but they’re not a modern invention. Eager computer users were downloading wirelessly over 30 years ago.
46 things I learned from being gulaged
Varlam Shalamov spent much of the period from 1937 to 1951 gulaged in the arctic cold of Kolyma. This is what he learned from the experience.
Enter Sandman: the strange evolution of Europe’s oldest sleep fable
Children who fight the effects of his magic dust risk a sentence of mutilation, a life of torturous nightmares, or even death.
6 mental ways to have sex like an ancient Roman
Age-old inspiration to put chariots of fire in your loins and give your erection a new direction.
10 LSD facts as crazy as the drug itself
#2. 90% of all acid in the world for a whole decade came from one man—holed up in a missile silo.
The 22 most iconic hairstyles of the 20th century
From bobs, to Afros, to mullets, to “The Rachel,” hair has been just as important as clothes in understanding the beliefs and cultural influences throughout history.
7 popular styles you’ll never believe used to be controversial
We're still shaking our heads at dress codes that reign today, but let's plumb the depths of the last century for offenses to be offended about.
The urban underground: secrets under today’s modern cities
Many cities have rich histories that date back millennia, and the source of that history lies right below the structures and streets that make their modern versions.
Unraveling the mystery of Shakespeare’s “second-best bed”
Shakespeare left his wife his "second-best bed," commonly believed to be a mean-spirited gesture. But the bed tells a different story.
This 1950s science kit for kids came with real uranium
What’s even better than a nice refreshing huff of DDT? Giving children uranium to play with to their heart's desire, of course.
Eilmer of Malmesbury: the flying monk of medieval England
The first known serious flight attempt in world history occurred about a thousand years before the Wright brothers, in an English abbey.
Love and sex in Georgian England, according to this vulgar 1785 dictionary
Grose's dirty dictionary published in 1785 gives us a peek into sex and the seedy underworld of England's Georgian age.
From super glue to the Slinky: the odd stories behind 15 accidental inventions
Necessity is the mother of invention, but this list proves that sometimes the best inventions are created by accident …or maybe fate?
Pages of Death: this hilarious 1962 PSA is the anti-porno version of Reefer Madness
Magazines with ladies in their underwear used to have the power to sway "even grown men" to wanton murder.
The first documented vampire stalked his widow and was impervious to crosses
In 1672 Jure Grando became the first real person to ever be described in history as a true vampire.
The amazing life of Bozo the Clown included astronaut training, cannibals
Bozo the Clown (Larry Harmon) ran for president, trained to be an astronaut, and hung out with cannibals. And he did it all in full costume.
Inspiration from the 7 most stubborn people in history
You think your kids are stubborn? You have no idea how bad it gets.
The human wonders of America’s long lost sideshows
The freak show lives on as reality shows, but the fantasy world dreamed up by PT Barnum lies as a relic in the depths of the American imagination.
8 rumors about Founding Fathers that just refuse to die off
The dead bodies in Ben Franklin's basement were actually sacrificed by the Hellfire Club.
Black teeth and dilated pupils: 15 extreme beauty trends of the past
Hold off on fluffing those brushes — these are beauty trends you may not want to blend with.
20 vintage ads that will make you squirm
Advertising is a Mad Men world minus anything that can conceivably offend someone. It wasn't always that boring.
Secret language of the road: how hoboglyphs guided the depression’s homeless
Sketched with coal or chalk in places where migrants were likely to pass, hoboglyphs–the secret code of hobos–were pointers for other travelers.
From ballet to nylon: the strangest things to cause riots
Some riots will be leaving historians scratching their heads forevermore.
The Christmas party that stopped a world war
They defied the orders of their superiors, laid down their rifles, and celebrated Christmas with the enemy in No Man's Land.
Colonial Americans were pretty much always drunk
The American Revolution was built on a foundation of booze, led by tavern addicted Founding Fathers who could drink any frat boy under the table.
The true history of absinthe, and the reason it was banned for 100 years
The drink has a colorful history involving everything from medical miracles to murder.
Adorable facts about history’s greatest dictators
Finally an excuse for those kawaii dictator memes.