World’s Strangest

Your source for the strangest things around!
Ads

Our Top 16 Stories of August 2012

In case you weren’t obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all month, here’s what you missed: 1. 24 Vintage Photographs of Abraham Lincoln Being Awesome, by Lucas Reilly * 2. 11 Geeky Wedding and Engagement Rings, by Jill Harness * 3. 11 Time Traveler Urban Legends That Pretty Much Debunk Themselves, by Bill DeMain * 4. Why Do Olympians [...]

11 More Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

Last summer Bill DeMain shared 15 nuanced words and expressions that simply can’t be said in English. Haley Sweetland Edwards gave you 14 more last fall. It seems no matter how great the English language is, there are plenty of mots justes missing from its lexicon. Here, indulge in a third and final volume of [...]

Music History #4: “Cloudbusting”

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of Bill DeMain’s new(ish) column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” appears twice a month—unless we can convince Bill that twice a month is not sufficient! “Cloudbusting” Written and Performed by Kate Bush (1984) The Music Kate Bush has always had a way of making [...]

Music History #3: “Yes! We Have No Bananas”

Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of Bill DeMain’s new column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” appears twice a month. “Yes! We Have No Bananas” Written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn (1922) Originally sung by Eddie Cantor The Music The story goes that one day in 1922, songwriting duo Frank [...]

Music History #2: “Smoke on the Water”

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of Bill DeMain’s new column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” will appear twice a month. “Smoke on the Water” Written by Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice (1972) Originally performed by Deep Purple The Music It’s the riff that will not [...]

Music History #1: “One Night in Bangkok”

Editor’s Note: This is the big debut of Bill DeMain’s new column, where he explores the real historical events that inspired various songs. “Music History” will appear twice a month. Try it. You’ll like it! “One Night In Bangkok” Written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice (1984) Originally sung by Murray Head The Music With its perky chorus [...]

Last Week’s Most Popular Stories and an Enjoyable Wikipedia Screenshot

In case you weren’t obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all week, here’s what you missed: 1. 119 Amazing Facts for National Trivia Day, by Jason English * 2. Why Do Dogs Walk in a Circle Before Lying Down?, by Matt Soniak * 3. 25 One-Word Answers to Very Important Questions, by Ethan Trex * 4. How Do Magic Eye Pictures Work?, by Matt Soniak * 5. [...]

19 Outstanding Words You Should Be Working Into Conversation

There are some of our favorite words that appeared in mental_floss stories in 2011. Some are foreign words. Others come from medical dictionaries. And there’s a surprising amount of hobo slang. Have fun working these into conversation this holiday season! Gene Lee / Shutterstock.com 1. Kummerspeck (German): Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon. 2. [...]

14 More Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

Earlier this year, Bill DeMain introduced us to 15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent. Now that you’ve integrated those into your vocabulary, here are 14 more. 1. Shemomedjamo (Georgian) You know when you’re really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can’t stop eating it? The Georgians feel your pain. This word means, “I [...]

Masterpieces: Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On

by Bill Demain Only one man could make an album about poverty, drugs, and the Vietnam War sound sexy and soulful. That man was Marvin Gaye, and his vision changed the music industry forever. On what would have been his 72nd birthday, let’s look back at What’s Going On. In November 1970, Marvin Gaye brought Motown Records [...]