World’s Strangest

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The Missing Links: Russia’s Secret Diamond Stockpile

News From the Springfield Precincts The election is still several weeks away, but at least we know how Homer voted: * My Favorite Phrase of the Week: Diamond-Filled Asteroid Crater The Russians may have a secret diamond source that contains TRILLIONS of carats worth of dazzle. * The Nutritional Value of Last Meals Earlier this week, Matt Soniak served [...]

Our Top 16 Stories of August 2012

In case you weren’t obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all month, here’s what you missed: 1. 24 Vintage Photographs of Abraham Lincoln Being Awesome, by Lucas Reilly * 2. 11 Geeky Wedding and Engagement Rings, by Jill Harness * 3. 11 Time Traveler Urban Legends That Pretty Much Debunk Themselves, by Bill DeMain * 4. Why Do Olympians [...]

Let’s Ask Matt Soniak Some Questions

Matt Soniak is our in-house answer man. Since 2008, he’s answered hundreds of Big Questions, and saved me valuable time whenever I’m wondering anything. (He’s my ChaCha.) We’re working out his August schedule today, so if there’s something you’d like him to consider, let us know! If we use your question, we’ll give you a shout [...]

What Would Happen If You Drive Off With the Gas Pump Nozzle?

Relax, said Matt Soniak of mental_floss, the engineers have actually thought of this possibility and designed the gas pump accordingly: Rest assured that you won’t be causing any fireballs or explosions. [...]

Funny and Fabulous Fortune Cookies

Many years ago, my mother got a fortune cookie that said, “You got the wrong cookie!” That particular message has cropped a couple of times since then. Americans crack open so many fortune cookies that it keeps the industry busy coming up with sayings, pithy or not, to make us think, laugh, or even cringe. [...]

If You Eat a Person Who Has an Infectious Disease, Will You Get the Disease Too?

I’m glad you asked! No, it’s not creepy and I don’t judge you at all. Neither does Matt Soniak of Mental Floss, who answered this burning question. From his response: Malaria parasites can spread among mice through cannibalism and blood-drinking, and scientists think that the simian immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis spread among chimpanzees the same way. [...]

Last Week’s Most Popular Stories and an Enjoyable Wikipedia Screenshot

In case you weren’t obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all week, here’s what you missed: 1. 119 Amazing Facts for National Trivia Day, by Jason English * 2. Why Do Dogs Walk in a Circle Before Lying Down?, by Matt Soniak * 3. 25 One-Word Answers to Very Important Questions, by Ethan Trex * 4. How Do Magic Eye Pictures Work?, by Matt Soniak * 5. [...]

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 Abraham Lincoln Argued a Murder Trial

This week we’re running a series of posts by Matt Soniak about Abraham Lincoln’s foray into forensic meteorology. If you missed the first or second installments of the series, check them out. May 3, 1858. Cass County, Illinois. The Circuit Court of Cass County convened on Monday May 3rd, 1858, to begin Armstrong’s trial. Abraham Lincoln [...]

Abraham Lincoln: Amazing Wrestler

This week we’re running a series of posts by Matt Soniak about Abraham Lincoln’s foray into forensic meteorology. If you missed the first installment yesterday, check it out. In the summer of 1831, 22-year-old Abraham Lincoln arrived in New Salem, a small town along the Sangamon River in Menard County, Illinois. He had come there to [...]