World’s Strangest

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The Great New England Vampire Panic

Although European vampire panics died out in the 1700s, America had its share of scares in the 1800s, particularly in New England, and particularly during outbreaks of tuberculosis. Some of the dead were dug up and killed a second time, just to make sure. The particulars of the vampire exhumations, though, vary widely. In many cases, [...]

15 Suspicious Packages That Were Definitely Not Explosives

Getty Images Reports of suspicious packages are common across the United States. Police take all reports seriously — as they should — and they look into every unmanned briefcase or wayward box. More often than not, abandoned gym bags just wind up being lost gym bags. Here are 15 fairly recent suspicious package reports from alert [...]

“Weed Dating”

The rural equivalent of “speed dating,” this activity was developed to allow single people with at least a modicum of interest in gardening to meet others interested in outdoor activities. The women were given a crash course in how to identify a weed versus a vegetable or fruit, and then instructed to pass that information along [...]

11 Obscure Regional Phrases That Describe Excessive Heat

ETHAN MILLER/Reuters The way this summer is going, you’ll soon run out of ways to say, “It’s ridiculously hot.” Lucky for us, we have a direct line to Joan H. Hall, editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English. Here are 11 phrases you can fall back on next time someone asks what the weather [...]

Naked Vermont Governor Almost Eaten by Bears

As you might expect, Gov. Peter Shumlin was naked: “Real Vermont boys don’t wear pajamas,” he said — meaning he was naked. He told WDEV radio host Mark Johnson he was wearing as much as the bears were. He saw four bears looting his bird feeders. Naturally, he ran outside to challenge them. They backed off, and [...]

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 New Hipster Cities of America??

There’s a new-ish blog on the scene here in Austin called Culture Map, which I’ve been enjoying very much during my stay. The blog actually started in Houston and was so successful there that it’s journeyed up to Austin and now has its eyes on spreading into Dallas and beyond. There was a fun post [...]

Vermont Prisoner Pwned State Police

Image: Tony Talbot/AP Look closely. See it? The "pig" in the cow logo was added by a Vermont prison inmate who makes the decals for the state police cruisers: According to the Burlington Free [...]

Vandal Caught Due to Consistent Misspelling

A man in Vermont is accused of vandalizing his ex-girlfriend’s car. He would have gotten away with carving the word “slut” into her car, except that he misspelled it as “sult”. The woman identified him as the likely perpetrator, so the police called the man into their station to question him: Police called Hall into the [...]

Selling Fake Vermont Maple Syrup Will Land You in Prison

Ah, pancakes hot off the griddle, the melted butter … but if that Vermont maple syrup turns out to be fake, you’d be going to jail. That’s Democratic Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy’s promise to protect [...]