World’s Strangest

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Monstrous, Angelic, Unusual Bridge Sculptures

“QUANTUM SHOT” #801 Link – article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams Monstrous, Angelic or Just Plain Weird – Unusual Bridge Sculptures, Part One There are bridges in every country, all over the world, each one serving a very functional purpose, so it’s nice to know that some of the [...]

9 More 2012 Presidential Candidates

The third party presidential candidates we told you about a couple of weeks ago were only the top of the list of those running for president in 2012. There are plenty more, but as you go down the list, information becomes harder to find. Here are a few that are either on the ballot somewhere [...]

Music History #6: “American Pie”

“American Pie” Written and performed by Don McLean (1971) Getty Images The Music “I can’t remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride But something touched me deep inside the day the music died” The phrase “The day the music died” is familiar to us today as shorthand for the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, [...]

Honest and Creepy, Satire and Homage: Grant Wood’s American Gothic

Getty Images No American artwork has been parodied more than American Gothic. Zombies, dogs, Beavis and Butt-Head, the Muppets, Lego figures, and even Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton have taken a turn with the pitchfork. But the painting itself is no joke—American Gothic is as recognizable as the Mona Lisa and The Scream. During the Great Depression, [...]

10 Strange and Wonderful Boat Races

The races are strange, but the title refers to the boats. With a little ingenuity, you can build a boat, loosely defined as a “flotation device,” out of anything! 1. Beer Can Regatta The Beer Can Regatta is an annual event at Mindil Beach organized by the Lions Club of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. The participating boats [...]

Armchair Field Trip: Iowa’s Stonehenge

Have you ever wanted to speed across a bridge that’s half a mile long and 13 stories in the air, pretending you’re in Tron? Yeah, me too. Good news: the next time you’re in Madrid, Iowa, you totally can. But before we get to Tron, we have to go back a few years. Hundreds of years [...]

Mammoth bones found in Iowa back yard

One Iowa family got the surprise of their lives when they discovered mammoth bones in their garden. The 12,000 year-old bones are being hailed as one …

Man Took Zebra and Bird Out on the Town

Jerald Reiter of Cascade, Iowa, was arrested Sunday night for drunk driving with a blood-alcohol level of .148. Police had stopped him to check on the welfare of the passengers in his truck: a zebra and a macaw. Reiter, 55, told The Des Moines Register that the zebra and parrot are like friends to him and [...]

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 [...]

Teen Life in 1947 Iowa

Photo: George Skadding/LIFE Archives Ah, the life of a teenager. Long before the era of Facebook, texting, and clubbing, there’s the hopping soda shop scene. LIFE photographer George Skadding documented the lives of Iowa [...]