World’s Strangest

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Vampires at Sea and Other Wacky Cruises

Do you love the Twilight series? Good news! There’s a cruise ship experience designed specifically for you. The Vamp Cruise tours along the coast of Alaska and British Columbia. Everything on board caters to the needs of fans of the “sparkling vampire genre.” It’s one of eighteen oddly themed cruises described at the Travel Channel, including [...]

The Only Footage of Mark Twain in Existence

Thomas Edison once said, “An average American loves his family. If he has any love left over for some other person, he generally selects Mark Twain.” Edison and Twain were close friends. In 1909, Edison visited Twain’s estate in Redding, CT and filmed the famous author. The silent footage is the only known recording of Twain [...]

10 Famous Literary Characters Based on Real People

“Write what you know,” they say. So it makes sense that many authors take a good look around at friends and family when creating characters for their books. 1. Mark Twain once admitted that he wasn’t terribly creative in creating Huckleberry Finn – he based the character almost precisely on his childhood friend Tom Blankenship. From [...]

A Crudely Drawn Penis Almost Derailed Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is about as American as it gets. Funny, then, that the book was released in England well before it hit shelves in the U.S. Funny, except to author Mark Twain, whose greatest work was almost derailed by a strange prank. Image credit: University of Virginia Library Special Collections Twain was unhappy with [...]

5 More People Who Accidentally Found a Fortune

We’ve all found something that we thought might be worth a lot of money. We have not all been fortunate enough to stumble across anything actually worth a fortune. Rob has shared some of these stories before, but here are a few more people who accidentally discovered something incredibly valuable. 1. A 500-Year-Old Pendant Taking a three-year-old [...]

Dr. Zaius Performing Mark Twain

(Video Link) Actor/comedian/statesman John Hodgman searched the Internet to find a video of Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes impersonating Mark Twain. He was rightfully appalled to find that no such video yet existed. Hodgman held us, the people of the Internet, responsible for this grievous omission. But in his mercy, he has forgiven us [...]

10 Things Mark Twain Didn’t Really Say

As Google reminded us this morning with this nifty Tom Sawyer Doodle, today is Mark Twain’s 176th birthday! The man who provided us with some of the best quips ever is also one of the most misquoted men of all time. Here are 10 quotes Mark Twain likely never uttered, despite popular belief. 1. “The secret [...]

Mark Twain’s Second Life

Mark Twain was a ramblin’ man, and was so intent on living life to the fullest that he was brought back from the dead and lived another hundred years, according to Michael Kupperman, who selflessly agreed to illustrate Twain’s autobiography so that folks who can ‘t read all the words can stare at the pretty [...]

Welcome to Bubbleland: Life on a Strange Little Chunk of Kentucky

For most of its journey from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River takes a pretty direct path. Sure, it zigs east here and zags west there, but nothing too crazy. Around Kentucky, though, the river’s course gets a little convoluted. It turns north before heading south again in several places. These detours [...]

14 Literary Settings Inspired by Real Places

At the end of a good book, don’t you just sometimes close the back cover, sigh, and think, “I wish I could be there.” Good news: in some cases, you can. While you’re probably never going to make it to Narnia or Hogwarts (I know – I’m disappointed, too) here are a handful of “fictional” [...]