World’s Strangest

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30ft prehistoric crocodile discovered

A skull of a giant crocodile that lived 95 million years ago has been unearthed in Morocco. Known as Aegisuchus witmeri, the crocodile had a large ar…

Meteorites from Mars Rain Down on Earth

Didn’t Starship Troopers feature aliens hitting the Earth with rocks? Well, I’m sure that it’s nothing. Anyway, we’re getting hit by meteorites of Martian origin: Scientists are confirming that 15 pounds of rock collected recently in Morocco fell to Earth from Mars during a meteorite shower last July. This is only the fifth time in history scientists [...]

7 Giant Fences Dividing Good Neighbors

The existing 650-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border has been a hot political topic in the States for the last few years, and with the Republican primary campaign in full swing, it’s making headlines again. Already, Michele Bachmann has promised to build a “double-walled fence” along the entire 2,000-mile border, while Herman Cain has said [...]

World War I Centennial: Countdown to Catastrophe

The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, mental_floss will be taking a look back at the lead-up [...]

Burrows criss-crossed pre-dinosaur world

Subterranean animals dug vast networks of warrens long before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Evidence unearthed in Morocco suggests the prehistoric u…

8 Candidates for the Next New Nation

On Saturday, South Sudan declared its independence, becoming the brand-spanking newest nation in the world. While peace and prosperity is still a good way off for this newborn, Texas-sized country—ethnic tensions are high, the economy is in shambles, and a half-dozen rebel groups have already vowed to take down the new government—the South Sudanese people [...]

Let’s Paint the Town Blue

I can’t imagine living in a city where every paintable surface is the same color, even this lovely blue. But that’s how they roll in Chefchaoen, Morocco; the city’s buildings, walls, stairs, railings, flowerpots, doors–everything, all blue. Founded in 1471, the entire city was painted with tekhelel, a natural dye made of shellfish. In the bible, [...]

How 8 Dictators Spent Their Exile Years

What do you do with your life after you’ve ruled a nation with an iron fist? There are plenty of examples from history of dictators who were offered a chance to live out their lives, just as long as they did it somewhere else. But where? The Shah of Iran had a hard time finding [...]

Get Out! How 8 Dictators Spent Their Exile Years

As civil war rages in Libya, many observers are calling for Qaddafi to step down and go into exile. This wouldn’t be the first time an oppressive leader has stepped aside in exchange for a relatively comfortable retirement abroad. We’ve compiled this handy list of famous exiled emperors and dictators for reference. 1. Napoleon Bonaparte (Elba [...]

The Middle Classes of Africa

When it comes to African culture, it seems all Westerners hear about is the poor, starving children, the rich warlords who control them and the corrupt politicians who do nothing about it. In actuality though, Africa does have a middle class, albeit smaller than those seen in more economically developed areas. A recent photo essay takes [...]