World’s Strangest

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World War I Centennial: Schlieffen Is Dead, but His Plan Lives On

The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, Erik Sass will be looking back at the lead-up to [...]

Hotel Comes with a Bed Made in an Antique Beer Barrel

There’s a dream bed for beer lovers at a hotel in Ostbevern, Germany. The Landhotel Hof Beverland took a Nineteenth Century beer barrel that remained in use until 1995 and remodeled it as a bed. Link -via Inhabitat

How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?

The majority of the world’s people become lactose-intolerant as they mature into adulthood. The exceptions are mostly people of European ancestry, who continue to drink milk all their lives. Why? It’s a case of genetic mutation, in which an adult continues to produce lactase, the enzyme that digests the milk sugar lactose. But why did [...]

How Did the Monocle Become a Symbol of Wealth and Prestige?

The monocle was once a status symbol worn by wealthy and powerful men like Canadian politician Sir Louis-Napoléon Casault. How did this fashion develop? Slate’s J. Bryan Lowder explains: Though the exact origins of the monocle are unclear, fashion historian Richard Corson sets their general appearance around the turn of the 19th century in Great Britain, with quick [...]

10 Cool Trivia Facts About The Hobbit

We already presented you with some fun trivia about the book-version of The Hobbit, but if you’re interested in learning more about the behind the scenes actions involved with making the film version, io9 has you covered with all kinds of neat facts. For example: Smaug Stole All Of New Zealand’s Gold (Paint) The greedy dragon’s [...]

WWI Centennial: The Conference of London Convenes

The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, Erik Sass [...]

Bicycle Santa

Photo: Patrick Pleu/AFP/Getty Images German bicycle designer Didi Senft is the builder of the world’s largest bicycle and the largest mobile guitar, which was made out of bike parts. He likes bicycles. He is also known as “El Diablo” of the Tour de France because he always dresses up as a devil for the event. This year, [...]

Zoomorphic Buildings

A zoomorphic building is one shaped like an animal. The list of ten such buildings at Pets Lady has a dog, a sheep, a rabbit, two elephants, and five cats! That’s understandable, because who could resist a building shaped like a cat? Those include a veterinary hospital, a train station, hotel cabins, and the Dee [...]

Tobacco-Firing Pistol

This is the Scheintod gas pistol. It was manufactured in Germany after the First World War. According to some of my sources, this odd derringer fired 12 mm cartridges which contained powdered tobacco–that is, snuff. This would hopefully send the target into a sneezing fit. Link

Mobile Office

A man in Saarbrucken, Germany was pulled over for doing 130kph (about 80mph) in a 100kph (62mph) zone. When police approached his car, they discovered that the 35-year-old motorist had turned his car into a mobile office- equipped with laptop, printer, two phones, sat-nav, and a GPS signal receiver with a wide-screen. You can see [...]