World’s Strangest

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What Is the Mystery Flavor of Dum Dums?

Image credit: Temptation Candy In 1924, the Akron Candy Company in Ohio had developed a small, spherical hard candy on a stick whose size was perfect for children, but could be enjoyed by adults as well. When it came to naming the confection, sales manager I.C. Bahr came up with “Dum Dums” because he thought it [...]

Sculptures of Extinct Birds Made with Discarded Chicken Bones

It reads like the plot for a great horror movie, but so far this is just an art exhibit. Christy Rupp takes chicken bones from fast food restaurants and assembles them into now-extinct birds. These are Carolina Parakeets, which were last seen in the wild in 1913. They’re back, and they want revenge. There you go, [...]

History of the U.S.: The Not-so-microwave

The same year that saw the invention of the atomic bomb also gave the world another hot device: the microwave oven. The principle behind microwave cooking was discovered by Percy Spencer, an engineer who worked for defense contractor Raytheon. After noticing a chocolate bar melted after accidentally being placed in front of a new “magnetron” [...]

Our Top 5 Stories of 2009

We’ve been counting down the year’s most-read mentalfloss.com stories. First we rattled off #20 to #14. Then came #13 to #6. At long last, here are the five most popular stories of 2009. 5. Why Does Bottled Water Have an Expiration Date? by Matt Soniak Why do bottles of water have a “drink by” date when common sense [...]

Month in Review: September’s Most Popular Stories

If you’re keeping score at home, September was the second-best month we’ve ever had. (The halcyon days of August ‘09 will be tough to top.) Thanks to everyone who has made mental_floss part of your routine, especially the folks who’ve been here for years and have aggressively spread the word about our site and magazine. [...]

mental_floss on The Today Show!

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy Well this just about made my month. This morning, Al Roker, Ann Curry & Natalie Morales spent a Today Show segment discussing Stacy Conradt’s blockbuster story on secret menu items at fast food restaurants. I’m going to celebrate with a Neapolitan shake. If anyone [...]

Climbing the CNN Charts

Stacy Conradt’s round-up of secret menu items at fast-food restaurants is challenging for the top spot on CNN.com’s Most Popular list. Based on this chart, it looks like lazy people are more interested in little-known burger orders than getting ahead at work. Well done, Stacy!