World’s Strangest

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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 [...]

Messing with Mother Nature: Snakeheads

Fish normally occur in three places: in the wild water, in aquariums, and on our dinner plates. But fish can move from one of these worlds to another. Fish imported to eat or to keep as pets sometimes get into the local ecosystem, which is not their native habitat. The population controls of the species’ [...]

Determining Migratory Patterns of Early Humans — With Earwax!

Dan Lewis runs the popular daily newsletter Now I Know (“Learn Something New Every Day, By Email”). To subscribe to his daily email, click here. Earwax is mostly gross, but it serves a few purposes: protecting our ear canals from bacteria and dryness, assisting in cleaning and lubrication, and — surprisingly — helping anthropologists determine the [...]

The Planning of Pearl Harbor

Photo: Bob Landry/TIME & LIFE Pictures On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched an incredibly daring, technically sophisticated combined naval-aerial surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, just northwest of Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The devastating aerial attack carried out by Japanese fighters, dive-bombers and torpedo planes crippled [...]

5 Foods People Die For

Gathering Iwatake at Kumano. Woodblock print by Hiroshige II. When making soup requires scaling a cliff, and grabbing a few olives involves avoiding gunfire, it’s time to find some comfort food that’s a little more comfortable. 1. Iwatake The annals of Arctic exploration are filled with accounts of frostbitten limbs and near starvation. In fact, many adventurers have [...]

Maneki Neko

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Unstoppable Bathroom Reader. There are countless superstitions involving cats, most of them focused on the bad luck that they supposedly bring. In Japan and other Asian countries, however, the cat is a symbol of good fortune. THE BECKONING CAT If you’ve ever walked in to a Chinese or Japanese business [...]

Couple Encounters 6 Natural Disasters on Honeymoon

Stefan and Erika Svanstrom of Stockholm have had an eventful honeymoon. So far, they’ve endured a snowstorm in Munich, Germany, a cyclone that struck Cairns, Australia, the floods of Brisbane, Australia, the wildfires in Perth, Australia, the earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand, and then the earthquake in Japan: The family returned to Stockholm on March [...]

A World Map of Video Game Villains

Complex made an chart of where the bad guys in video games come from. They used a sampling of 20 games from the last 10 years to determine which countries have the most bad guys (according to video game developers, anyway). Topping the list? Russia. With Homefront out this week predicting how a unified Korea might [...]

The Snake That Can Shiver

Snakes are generally known for being unable to control their own body temperature and for being terrible parents. But by these standards, the reticulated python of Southeast Asia is terrible at being a snake. Rather than laying a clutch and leaving, like most snakes, the python curls around the eggs and incubates them until they [...]

Underground Animals: Cool Cave Critters, Part One

Cave animals just might be some of the strangest animals on Earth. Adapted to living somewhere with little to no light and practically no vegetation, these animals have evolved to survive in extreme environments and the results are often unbelievable. A troglobite is an animal that exclusively live in caves and has adapted to its dark [...]