World’s Strangest

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Weddings Complete with Kidnappings

Photo: Vadim Ghirda Weddings are precious moments everywhere, but in Romania it comes with a little side of kidnapping for ransom. So forget veils, there brides wear blindfolds … Here’s the country’s strange tradition [...]

The Missing Links: It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I’m Making Money)

The (End of the) World Economy Is Booming The world will end sometime. So you might as well make some money off of the apocalypse while you can. And if you do, make sure you spend it soon, because when the end comes around I don’t think all that cash will do you much good. * Darwin Didn’t [...]

We Now Have a New York Times Best-Selling Author on Staff

Congrats to Ransom, whose book debuted at #7 on the New York Times Best Seller list! Kid Lawyer Theodore Boone better not get too cozy in the top spot. Thanks to everyone who preordered Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. You helped put him on the list!

The Accidental Sea

(YouTube link) Ransom Riggs of mental_floss takes a haunting tour through the history and current state of California’s Salton Sea. Music by Michael Picton.

Stupid Hockey Tricks: Pinpoint Puck Perfection

Ransom Riggs recently brought you a post on professional golfers taking out clay pigeons with a perfectly played shot. This video of NHL superstar and Russian native Alex Ovechkin taking aim at Russian nesting dolls is another remarkable example of athletic accuracy.

Woman Tests Husband with Fake Kidnapping

Spanish police have arrested an unnamed woman who faked her own kidnapping. She sent a photograph of herself with her hands and feet tied, along with a ransom demand of 20,000 euros. The ransom request was repeated in later text messages as well as warnings that the man not go to police, which he ignored. Police launched [...]

Last Month’s Most Popular Stories on mentalfloss.com

In case you weren’t obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com in November, here’s what you missed… 1. 4 Bizarre Experiments That Should Never Be Repeated, by Megan Wilde * 2. Talking Pictures: Glamor Shots, by Ransom Riggs * 3. 10 Buildings Shaped Like What They Sell, by Ethan Trex * 4. Talking Pictures: Times of Trouble, by Ransom Riggs * 5. 5 Geniuses Who Renounced Their Work, [...]

October’s Most Popular Stories (So Far)

In case you weren’t obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all month, here’s what you missed: 1. What 10 Classic Books Were Almost Called, by Stacy Conradt * 2. 10 Awesomely Geeky Birthday Cakes, by Jill Harness * 3. Found Snapshots: Hide This Please, by Ransom Riggs * 4. 10 Amazing Costumes for Halloween, by Miss Cellania * 5. 10 Abandoned Psych Wards Photographers Love Sneaking Into, [...]

The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien — Two Weeks Later

It’s been two weeks since Conan’s final Tonight Show. On the off chance you’re wondering what’s become of that big empty studio, former Tonight Show blogger Aaron Bleyaert took some depressing photos on Friday and posted them on his site—here and here. The place is crying out for Ransom Riggs to give it the Strange Geographies [...]

The Most Popular Stories of 2009: #20 to #14

This week, we’ll be counting down the year’s most-read mentalfloss.com stories. I know the suspense is killing you, but we’ll start with #20. 20. Strange Geographies: The Mojave Desert’s Airplane Graveyard by Ransom Riggs Out in the Mojave Desert, two hours from anywhere, you can see the silhouettes of a hundred parked jetliners. A mean-looking perimeter fence keeps [...]