World’s Strangest

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The Sad Story of Alfred Nobel

Despite being one of the richest people in Europe, Alfred Nobel was not a happy man. The Swedish industrialist made his fortune by inventing (and later producing) dynamite. But his work made him a recluse. He spent most of his life traveling to oversee his vast multinational business, and he filled the rest of his [...]

Will They Survive the 70s?

The February 1970 issue of Circus magazine -which I probably bought at the local newsstand- asks the burning question of twenty musicians: Will They Survive the 70s? Four of them did not, and two did not even survive the year 1970. However, most of them are still with us -and still performing- 42 years later. [...]

For Flight Attendants, Seniority Means Shorter Skirts

In the current issue of mental_floss magazine (get a free issue!), veteran flight attendant Heather Poole revealed 10 workplace secrets, including this one about the length of her skirt. Our tenure on the job doesn’t just determine which routes we fly and which days we get to take off; it also affects the hierarchy in our [...]

If the Cops Mistakenly Kick Down Your Door, Who Pays for the Damage?

If the authorities knock down your door while following procedure to catch you in some nefarious act, you’ll be paying for your own door-fixing contractor. But if the cops burst in by mistake, it becomes a trickier issue. Door image via Shutterstock In the United Kingdom, the police pay for their errors, covering the costs on [...]

If You Have Any Questions, Now’s a Good Time to Ask

We’re going to do something different today. Special different. Our latest issue — “The Most Important Questions of 2012″ — is now on newsstands and in mailboxes. We’ve chained Matt Soniak to his desk and, starting at 11:30, he’ll be answering all sorts of questions on all kinds of topics, from China’s one-baby law to [...]

How to Sneak a Cobra Past Customs

It’s time to unlock your body’s full potential. 1. Friends in High Places In 2003, a 28-year-old Swedish man named Johan Adolfsson took a nine-hour flight from Thailand to Australia with eight extremely lethal snakes -four king cobras and four emerald tree boas- strapped to his inner thighs. His plan to cash in on the $3,500 booty [...]

Ohio’s Position on Exotic Animal Ownership

As an Ohio resident, I can say that we have some really great things to offer tourists – beautiful lakes, wonderful cuisine, professional sports, world famous amusement parks, and even an upcoming mental_floss trivia show. (Shameless plug alert). In addition to all those great attractions, it seems that we also offer people the chance to [...]

Mental Breakdown: Is Virginia for Lovers?

Here’s another sneak peek at the September-October issue of mental_floss magazine. Click here to get a risk-free issue! [Click to enlarge] See Also: Mad Scientist of the Month: Who’s Afraid of Taylor Wilson?

All on Paper

Journalism students at Florida Atlantic University recently constructed their final summer issue of the student newspaper. It was a very special and different issue, as they avoided all their digital equipment and did it the old-fashioned way: with typewriters, paste-up editing, and cameras with film- which they had to develop themselves. Managing editor Mariam Aldhahi was [...]

The Creator of the Mad Magazine Fold-In

As a child, I loved few things as much as I loved Mad Magazine. My brother and I would get really giddy when a new issue was out as we anticipated the incredibly juvenile – and often brilliant – satire that awaited us inside. Of course we didn’t refer to the magazine as satire. Or [...]