World’s Strangest

Your source for the strangest things around!
Ads

How the French Revolution Gave Birth to the Restaurant Business

The next time you’re at your favorite cafe, raise a glass to the aristocrats who lost their heads so that you could enjoy your foie gras. France gave birth to restaurants, but it was no civilized affair. In fact, today’s restaurant business is actually a byproduct of the class warfare that arose during the French Revolution. Back [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The South

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. (1) Kentucky Kentucky got its royal blue team color from a piece of clothing. In 1891 the school needed a set of team colors before a football game against in-state rival Centre College. After some debate, the students settled on [...]

11 Dare-Devil Stunts That Pushed Human Limits

An Austrian dare-devil named Felix Baumgartner plans to break the world record for highest skydive in August. After taking an air balloon to 120,000 feet, he’ll step out of his helium cocoon at the edge of space and break the sound barrier on his way back to earth. Sound exciting? It’s already been done. Here’s a [...]

Three More Coaches Who Lied About Their History

By now, you’ve probably heard the story of Yale football coach Tom Williams, who resigned this week for lying on his resume. He claimed to have been a Rhodes scholar candidate, and was even cited as a finalist during several stories about quarterback Patrick Witt’s Rhodes application. However, a New York Times investigation revealed that, [...]

6 Freakishly Effective Ways to Court the Muse

Some writers can just sit at their desks and bang the keys. Others need to get naked and climb a mulberry tree before they’re sufficiently inspired. Right now, we’re only interested in the latter. 1. Take Orders from a Dog Sometimes the only thing standing between an artist and true greatness is the lack of a good [...]

11 Reasons Athletes Change Their Names

Lakers star Ron Artest made waves this summer when he announce he was changing his name to Metta World Peace. Although it’s one of the more extreme moves, it’s far from the first time an athlete has adopted a strange name. Here are 11 great (and not-so-great) reasons athletes make the switch. 1. To get more [...]

From the Dictionary to a Book Called “Horse”: The Surprising Complaints Against 6 Books

This week (September 24 through October 1, 2011) is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, an “annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.” We’ve all heard about books like Lolita and The Awakening being banned, especially from schools, for overly sexual content; other books are banned—or at [...]

The Time Notre Dame Played the New York Giants (for the Unemployed!)

“Knute Rockne’s Notre Dame all-stars arrived in New York for their battle with the New York Giants pro team in a charity grid battle. They were received by Mayor Walker at City Hall in New York.” © Bettmann/CORBIS When the Great Depression started squeezing New Yorkers’ job prospects, the city got creative. In October 1930, New [...]

We Are All Americans: The World’s Response to 9/11

© Michel Setboun/Corbis A decade ago this week, people all over the world stood shoulder-to-shoulder in mourning, solidarity, sympathy and friendship with the people of the United States. Here are few of those international reactions, both organized and spontaneous, that occurred in the days following September 11, 2001. In London, the Star Spangled Banner played during [...]

Diner en Blanc: "Secret" Flash Mob Dinner for 10,000 People

Remember that flash mob you went to? Well, that ain’t nothing compared to this – what we can seriously call the mother of all flash mob: a “secret” picnic called Dîner en Blanc, where 10,000 participants gather to have dinner and dancing: Three weeks ago, in the golden light of an early-summer evening, thousands of Parisians [...]