World’s Strangest

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Lake in France turns blood red

The river delta of Camargue in France is home to the peculiar spectacle of water that turns blood red. Scientists believe that the reason this happens…

Movie Trivia for Universal’s 100th Anniversary

The Universal Film Manufacturing Company was officially incorporated in New York on this date in 1912. According to company legend, Carl Laemmle named his company Universal after seeing “Universal Pipe Fittings” written on a passing delivery wagon. To commemorate the 100th anniversary, we asked the good people at Universal to share some of their [...]

Operation Eagle Claw: The Disastrous Rescue Attempt During the Iranian Hostage Crisis

© Mahmoudreza Kalari/Sygma/Corbis The Iranian Hostage Crisis, in which Iranian student revolutionaries held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, was an unprecedented act of state-sanctioned terrorism and a profound humiliation for the United States. In many ways “Operation Eagle Claw,” the ludicrously ambitious plan to rescue the hostages, was the nadir of the whole affair. Intended [...]

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 [...]

The Worst War Movies Ever

From Delta Force to The Empire Strikes Back, Danger Room skewers eight war films for their inaccuracy, political bias, poor strategy, or all-out cheesiness. Take Rambo III, for example, which did not age well. John Rambo goes to Afghanistan to join the mujahideen who are fighting the Soviets. This is 1988, back when the exigencies of [...]

The Late Movies: Jump Blues

Jump blues is a type of up-tempo blues that first gained popularity in the 1940s and experienced a renewal in interest during the (dreaded) 1990s swing revival. Billboard has described jump tunes as having a “bright bounce in the medium tempo and a steady drive maintained.” I usually think of it as Big Band [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Famous Beauty Pageant Contestants

Whether it’s becoming Wonder Woman or, you know, Oprah, many beauty queens have parlayed their time on the pageant circuit into bigger things. 1. Oprah. Her first stop on the road to world domination? Winning Miss Black Tennessee in 1972. 2. Cloris Leachman. The Des Moines native (had to throw that in there, you know) participated in [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Film Set Tragedies

If you’ve seen the movie based on Stephen King’s Pet Sematary Two, you probably remember the horrifying scene at the beginning when the actress is electrocuted on set while her son (Edward Furlong, back in his dreamy days) looks on. While that particular incident comes to us courtesy of Mr. King, film set tragedies aren’t [...]