World’s Strangest

Your source for the strangest things around!

Alan Turing Monopoly Board

Sixty years ago, William Newman designed an alternate Monopoly game for Alan Turing. Now a version of that game is for sale!   In this special edition of Monopoly, the squares around the board and revised Chance and Community Chest cards tell the story of Alan Turing’s life along with key elements of the original hand-drawn [...]

Alan Turing’s School Grades

As an adult, Alan Turing proved to be a genius. Among other accomplishments, he was a pioneer in computer science. But when he was a teenager, Turing was less impressive. Here’s what his English instructor said about his work: Without being lazy, he seems to do his work rather perfunctorily. I should like to see [...]

Alan Turing’s Hand-Drawn Monopoly Board

Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician, computer scientist, and codebreaker, helped win World War II before being prosecuted and driven to suicide for his sexual orientation. The Bletchley Trust acquired some of his personal papers, including this hand-drawn Monopoly board that he made while sequestered from the rest of the world due to his top secret [...]

Using CAPTCHA to Decipher Old Text

If you think that CAPTCHA, the squiggly lines you have to decipher in order to login or place your comments on many websites, are only there to keep out spammers, think again! There is actually another use of the annoying feature: to correct mistakes in scanning old text. Guy Gugliotta of the New York Times explains: For [...]

The Transylvanian Naked Neck Chicken

Research into why Transylvanian naked neck chickens have naked necks reveals a complex balance between genes and chemicals that produce a bird’s (not just chickens) feather pattern while it is still an embryo in an egg. Once the combination was discovered, Chunyan Mou from the University of Edinburgh found that bird necks are naturally more [...]