World’s Strangest

Your source for the strangest things around!
Ads

17 More Offbeat Holidays and Anniversaries to Celebrate in January

Forget weight loss and penny-pinching, make a resolution to keep this year a little more unconventional. What better way to start than with a few offbeat holidays and anniversaries you can easily observe? 1. January 1: First Foot Day A Scottish New Year tradition, the first person to step into someone’s home is called the “first-footer” and [...]

The Eggheaded, Noggin-Filling Story of Eggnog

There’s something deeply polarizing about eggnog. People either love it or hate it and of those that love it, even they are usually at opposing sides when it comes to homemade nog versus the commercial variety. Whether you love it have drank gallons of it this year or hate it and gag at the very [...]

Shop The mental_floss Election Collection!

You may have heard that today is Election Day. So while you’re standing in line to vote or anxiously waiting for the results—and maybe even contemplating a move to Canada—shop our Election Collection. Whether you’re looking for Election Day fun you can take home or a good holiday gift for your favorite politico, there’s something [...]

15 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in August

National Underwear Day/Getty Images At first glance, August might seem light on the holiday offerings. We dug a little deeper to find a healthy helping of celebrations to help you beat the heat. 1. August 1st: National Girlfriends Day Rest easy, boyfriends of the world, this holiday has nothing to do with you. National Girlfriends Day honors [...]

Humorous Street Art Installations By Leon Reid IV

Brooklyn’s own Leon Reid IV brings the funny to the city streets with his tongue in cheek public artworks. This is the kind of street art guaranteed to brighten your day. A melting newspaper box, George Washington dressed up like a tourist, and walking street signs that look like they’re ready to follow you around town are [...]

The Time 18th-Century French Aristocrats Fled to Rural Pennsylvania

In 1793, the French Revolution was in full swing. Royal sympathizers—nobles, military officers, clergy, and other aristocrats—were guaranteed a sharp kiss from the guillotine. Frightened, thousands of aristocrats fled to neighboring countries like Austria and Prussia. A small handful of Nobles, however, escaped to a place so obscure that they were able to start their [...]

15 Dad Facts for Father’s Day

A few years ago, we asked some of our favorite mental_floss writers to send us their favorite dad-related facts and stories for our newsletter. Here are 15 you can use around the grill today. 1. Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain as a tribute to his father, who succumbed to typhoid fever after drinking from a [...]

17 Winning Words From Past National Spelling Bees

KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters/Landov Yesterday, 14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati from San Diego won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the word guetapens, which means “to ambush.” To celebrate Nandipati’s impressive achievement, here are 17 of the most interesting words from the Bee’s 87-year history. 1. Gladiolus, 1925. The word (a type of flower) is notable not due to [...]

The Top Four Forgotten Conflicts in American History

On Memorial Day, we remember those who lost their lives in wartime. But there have been more wars and conflicts in U.S. history than you covered in history class at school, as the school year only allows time to touch the big ones. For example, you may have learned that the Revolutionary War ended with [...]

A Little Bit of Lotto History (Including Thomas Jefferson’s Take on Lotteries)

EPA/ERIK S. LESSER /LANDOV Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is up over $500 million—the biggest lottery prize ever. Whether you call it the poor man’s dream, a casino without walls, or a tax on the stupid, the lottery has deep and widespread roots. Here’s a look at three quick stories about the numbers game. Lotteries of Yore Lotteries have [...]