World’s Strangest

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Couple’s Sunken Floor Turned Out to be a Medieval Well

Colin Steer has been wondering for almost 30 years why his sofa dipped at one corner of his living room. After he retired, he decided to tackle the problem as a home improvement project. [...]

Life in the Middle Ages

This funny medieval drawing of a knight engaged in battle with an enormous snail inspired Donna D. to look up other strange illuminations that apparently had very little to do with the manuscript they accompanied. Images from the British Library have modern captions attached in a collection at Buzzfeed. Link

Using Super Mario Bros. to Explain Medieval Manuscript Illumination

No, you’re not looking at a secret level in a Super Mario game. This is a picture of a medieval illuminated manuscript with a touch of photoshoppery applied. Carl Pyrdum, a medieval scholar, uses our friendly plumber to explain the artistic norms of the medium: In order to keep the man and his goat in the [...]

Batman Armor-Medieval Style

This full leather suit of Batman styled armor may not stop bullets or sharp swords, but it looks badass enough to put fear into the hearts of bad guys, so I’m sure it will serve old Batsy just fine when he hits the streets dirt roads. The medieval version of Batman lives by the credo speak [...]

New study claims Turin Shroud is authentic

Scientists in Italy have claimed that the mysterious shroud couldn’t have been forged in medieval times. The authenticity of the Turin Shroud, an anci…

Patently Bad Idea: Centrifugal Birthing Machine

Because childbirth isn’t painful and horrifying enough on its own, I guess, G.B. Blonsky, et. al. decided to provide “civilised women” with this┬ámedieval torture device birthing apparatus that applies centrifugal force to the mother, thereby allowing her a “quick and normal delivery.” I shudder to think that this was ever tested on a person. Ptak [...]

Plan for New US Embassy Includes Design Features from Medieval Castles

The US is building a new embassy in London with a heavy emphasis on physical security. Pictured above is an artist’s conception of the winning design, which will be built in 2017. Mike Olson of Wired talked with Clifford J. Rogers, an expert in medieval warfare, about how this design incorporates elements of medieval castle [...]

Richard Garriott and his Nerdy Dream House

Old-school computer gamers will likely have heard of Richard Garriott, AKA “Lord British,” the designer of the classic and long-running Ultima series of single- and multi-player fantasy role-playing games. I have to admit to being sort of obsessed with Ultima VII back in the ninth grade, drawn in by its huge, quirky world — fantasy/medieval [...]

The Evolution of Elves

Elves have come a long way from the not-well-liked pranksters of medieval times. Shakespeare gave elves a boost, and Tolkien made them heroes. Cracked examines the split between toy-making elves and fierce video game elves. Toward the end of the European renaissance, it appears the elves diverged into two distinct sub-species. The first consisted of the [...]