World’s Strangest

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The Ancient Olympics: a “total pagan entertainment package”

National Geographic talked with Tony Perrotet, author of The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games about how the ancient Olympics compares with the modern version. The Olympic Games were held every four years from 776 B.C. to A.D. 394, making them the longest-running recurring event in antiquity. What was the secret of the [...]

Geologists Found Evidence of the Crucifixion of Jesus Earthquake

The Crucifixion, Currier & Ives/LOC According to the Gospel of Matthew, the earth shook during the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ: “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave [...]

Sex, Politics and Beer Riddles Decoded from 3,500-Year Old Babylonian Tablet

Did you hear the one about the jokes inscribed on ancient Babylonian tablets? No, that’s no joke: researchers studying a 3,500-year old tablet from ancient Mesopotamia have intepreted riddles and jokes about (surprise!) sex, politics [...]

How the Flexible Straw Was Invented

The drinking straw was invented by 3000 B.C., as attested by Sumerian artifacts. Until very recently, these straws were tubes from plant stems, such as rye. Besides dissolving in water, these straws often added unwelcome plant flavors to drinks. In 1888, Marvin Chester Stone patented a waxed paper straw that didn’t add a grassy flavor [...]

The Physics Book by Clifford A. Pickover

When you heard the name Clifford A. Pickover, you might think of the website Clifford Pickover’s Reality Carnival. Or you might think of the book The Math Book: Milestones in the History of Math, which we featured here a couple of years ago. Pickover has done it again, with a new book called The Physics [...]

Dietribes: Simply Radishing

• Radishes were so highly valued by the ancient Greeks that small replicas of them were made in gold; beets were shown in silver and turnips in lead. The Greeks of the third century B.C. wrote of the radishes of their day, and a Greek physician wrote a whole book about the plant (and was mocked [...]

Can You Get Rich Betting on the Weather?

Did you know that you can invest in the weather? Yes, that’s right. The weather. You can take a financial gamble that the temperature in Sacramento will be one degree warmer than average, or even bet that it will be five degrees cooler. Too dull for your portfolio? How about putting some money down on the [...]

Ten Notable Apocalypses That (Obviously) Didn’t Happen

The Bible says in Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” That never stopped people from trying to predict when the world will end. Smithsonian has a list of ten predicted apocalypses from ancient times to 2009 (when this [...]

2000 Year Old Computer Made From Legos

Andrew Carol’s works a day job as an engineer for Apple, but in his spare time uses his skills to recreate ancient computers out of Legos. See link for video. Recently, Carol has completed his biggest challenge yet: a working Lego replica of the famous Antikythera Mechanism, created by ancient Greeks in 100 B.C. as a [...]

Egyptian Mummy Wore World’s Earliest Known Prosthesis

Archaeologists have recovered a three-jointed set of prosthetic toes attached to a mummy in Egypt. Due to its age, this object is likely the oldest known prosthesis. From a 2007 Live Science article: Archaeologists speculated the 50- to 60-year-old woman the prosthesis came from might have lost her toe due to complications from diabetes. The wood and [...]