World’s Strangest

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Curious George’s Great Escape

How the inquisitive monkey and two bicycles saved a German couple’s lives. German-born Jewish couple Hans and Margret Rey were starting to feel nervous in the fall of 1939. The Nazis were getting uncomfortably close to their adopted hometown of Paris, where they had moved four years earlier to work on children’s books. Rather than tempt [...]

The Missing Links: The SNL Reality Show That Might Have Been

Stare At The Sun Well, not the actual one. But you won’t want to take your eyes off this video of the sun. * He Put the E&O in Epcot As Stacy Conradt pointed out earlier today, Epcot opened on this day in 1982. If you visited the park in the 80s (or in the last few years [...]

Our Top 16 Stories of August 2012

In case you weren’t obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all month, here’s what you missed: 1. 24 Vintage Photographs of Abraham Lincoln Being Awesome, by Lucas Reilly * 2. 11 Geeky Wedding and Engagement Rings, by Jill Harness * 3. 11 Time Traveler Urban Legends That Pretty Much Debunk Themselves, by Bill DeMain * 4. Why Do Olympians [...]

The Missing Links: Baby Diets Have Changed a Lot Since the ’50s

A Nice Cool Bottle of 7UP. A Baby Bottle of 7UP, That Is. “For 7Up is so pure, so wholesome, you can even give it to babies and feel good about it.” Oh, 1950s advertising, you’re the worst. * Going Beyond Chess Have you ever played any of these 10 super-involved strategy games? * Another College Class [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The Midwest

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. Last up, the Midwest! (1) North Carolina © Duomo/CORBIS Yearning to learn more about your kidneys? Head to the University of North Carolina’s Carl W. Gottschalk Collection. The 12,400-item collection houses legendary medical professor Gottschalk’s passion: historical items related to the study [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The East

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. (1) Syracuse Syracuse’s colors were originally pink and blue, but the class of 1890 changed it to orange. A member of that class explained the switch at his 50th reunion in 1940: “What kind of ‘whoopee’ can be made with [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The South

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. (1) Kentucky Kentucky got its royal blue team color from a piece of clothing. In 1891 the school needed a set of team colors before a football game against in-state rival Centre College. After some debate, the students settled on [...]

19 Outstanding Words You Should Be Working Into Conversation

There are some of our favorite words that appeared in mental_floss stories in 2011. Some are foreign words. Others come from medical dictionaries. And there’s a surprising amount of hobo slang. Have fun working these into conversation this holiday season! Gene Lee / Shutterstock.com 1. Kummerspeck (German): Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon. 2. [...]

10 Stories Behind Dr. Seuss Stories on the 20th Anniversary of His Death

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the day we lost Theodor Seuss Geisel, who passed away on September 24, 1991. Here are some Dr. Seuss stories Stacy Conradt collected a few years back. 1. The Lorax. In case you haven’t read The Lorax, it’s widely recognized as Dr. Seuss’ take on environmentalism and how [...]

Nuts & Bolts: The Skinny on Your Favorite Cocktail Treats

PECANS The All-American Nut (Image credit: Flickr user Mevrouw Cupcake) With more than 80% of the world’s output produced in the United States, pecans have been an American favorite since the days of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (both of whom grew them in their gardens). The nuts even helped fight communism during the Space Race! Apollo [...]