World’s Strangest

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4 Animals That Change in Captivity

Put a wild animal in a cage, and it’s bound to act differently. Zoologists and vets have many strategies to help an animal get settled and normalize its behavior in captivity. Psychological changes can be overcome with animal enrichment programs that keep creatures entertained and mentally stimulated—but some of the internal and physical changes in [...]

Alternate Histories: 7 More Ways the World Could Be Completely Different

We covered some of the many alternate histories out there. Here are seven more intriguing ways the world could be completely different. 1. What if the Romans won the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest? Effect: No one would speak English. Explanation: In What If? (1999), edited by Robert Cowley, historians pondered what would happen if historical events had [...]

How One Pilot’s Sweet Tooth Helped Defeat Communism

by Greg Volk In 1948, the Soviet beast was hungry. Three years into the postwar occupation of Germany, the USSR had tired of sharing Berlin, so it blockaded ground and water access to the two million residents in the American, French, and British zones. The Soviet hope was to starve them into submission. In response, from [...]

8 Lovely Libraries in Australia and New Zealand

We’ve covered Europe’s, Asia’s, Africa’s, North America’s and South America’s most beautiful libraries; now it’s time to take a look at Australia and, while it isn’t technically a part of the continent, New Zealand as well. Victorian State Library, Australia This library is not only massive – containing over 2 million books – it also has some [...]

How Did the Chicken Cross the Ocean?

At some point in the last few thousand years, someone in India or Southeast Asia decided to try catching one of the wild fowl than ran through the jungles and roosted up in the trees. We don’t know exactly what that person was intending, but the bird probably wasn’t destined to be stuffed and roasted or [...]

Man Spent 11 Years Walking Around the World

When you and I got the itch to walk, we usually go around the block a couple of times. But not Canadian Jean Béliveau. He went walking for 46,600 miles through 64 countries. And perhaps [...]

Dietribes: The Green Bean Caper

• A bean by any other name … would still be a bean. Green beans are also known as French Beans (if you’re British), string beans or snap beans. • The Green beans we eat today are not, as many think, a native of North America but rather of Central and South America. Early varieties were especially [...]

Profiles in Scourges: Pablo Escobar

© HO/Reuters/Corbis Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was born December 1, 1949, in the town of Rionegro, nestled in the northern Andes not far from the city of Medellin in the Colombian province of Antioquia. The son of a peasant farmer and a schoolteacher, there was nothing in Escobar’s background to suggest the meteoric and spectacularly sociopathic [...]

55 Two-Letter Combinations That Actually Count in ‘Words With Friends’

“THAT’s a word?” If you play Words With Friends and are frequently demoralized by opponents scoring very big points using very small words, this list will help you up your game. If you don’t play Words With Friends, perhaps you can work these into conversation. Aa – Noun of Hawaiian origin describing volcanic rock consisting of angular [...]

Fox on Stilts?

No, it’s not a fox at all, but a maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), the largest canid in South America. The maned wolf is actually neither a wolf nor a fox, but is a canid with its own genus. With those long legs, this dog can grow to be three feet tall! See more pictures at [...]