Historians Share The Strangest Chain Of Events That Played Out In The Past
Historians have a frustrating job, presumably because there are so many people out there who seem pretty intent on repeating our history... which sort of goes against the very point in the first place.
History is also chockfull of chain reactions, some stranger than others, that shaped the world as we know it today. Quite a few were explored after Redditor unchainedrobots asked the online community:
"Historians of Reddit, what is the strangest chain of events you have studied?"
"President Andrew Jackson..."Giphy
"President Andrew Jackson was walking out of the Capitol Building with his buddy Congressman Davey Crockett. A man approached them, drew a gun, but it misfired. The man drew a second gun, which also misfired. Andrew Jackson, fairly old at this point, lifted his cane and began beating the would be assassin. Normally, people would react with "justice served," but Jackson was beating him so badly that Davey Crockett had to pull Jackson off his would be assassin, who was arrested shortly after."
"The would be assassin stood trial, represented by lawyer Francis Scott Key, author of the Star Spangled Banner, and was the first American to be found not guilty by reason of insanity."
"Pretty much the fall of the Berlin Wall. The USSR was already crumbling by this point and so they agreed to allow the wall to be opened for a bit. Well the guy in charge over in Berlin didn't really get the point across to the public very well and as a result everyone assumed that the wall was permanently coming down. This led to pretty much all of East Berlin flocking to the wall and demanding to be let through. The guards there knew there was no way to restrain all these people without a massacre occurring and the Russian government had no real way of easily fixing the huge mistake. And so the Berlin Wall fell, all because of a misinterpretation."
"The events that led and culminated in the War of the Bucket for sure. Essentially one Italian State who followed Holy Roman Emperor stole a bucket from another Italian State who followed the pope. War broke out, The papal state highly outnumbered the HRE state, but HRE state won. Then stole another bucket. Was a trip for sure when I learned about this one."
"They invented tonic water."
"British officers in India in the 18th century were eating quinine powder to help treat malaria. Quinine is so bitter on its own so they started putting it in their club soda to make it easier to down. They invented tonic water. Brought the water back to Europe and they started putting it in their gin. Hence, gin and tonic."
"Horses evolved in North America, spread during pre-historical times into Asia, and then later went extinct in North America. If things had been only slightly different, horses could have been native only to the Americas, or just completely extinct by pre-history. Not having horses would have made a huge difference to Asian & European history: no Mongol invasions, no European knights."
"This leads to..."Giphy
"Recent history but it still boggles my mind."
"Jeri Ryan gets cast on Star Trek: Voyager as Seven of Nine."
"Jeri Ryan divorces her husband."
"Her ex husband, Jack, with a really strong resume and a lot of money, announces a Senate campaign in the state of Illinois in 2004. His entry in the race is enough that it is now considered a tossup."
"Because both Jeri and Jack are public figures journalists push for their divorce records to be released and a major factor in their spilt was Jack's desire to have sex in public locations."
"Jack Ryan drops out and the GOP struggles to find a replacement."
"This leads to an overwhelming victory from the Democratic challenger, Barack Obama."
"The entire Obama presidency exists because some writers in the 90s wanted a Borg girl in their show."
"Probably how Pepsi..."
"Probably how Pepsi briefly became the 6th largest military in the world."
"In 1959, President Eisenhower wanted to show the Soviet Union how great America was, so the government set up an "American National Exhibition" and sent Vice President Nixon there."
"Well Nixon and Soviet leader Khrushchev got in an argument over Communism vs Capitalism. As it got heated the President of Pepsi stepped in and was like, "Bro Khrushchev, chill out, have a Pepsi."
"Khrushchev must of loved that, because then the Soviet Union wanted to permanently bring Pepsi over to their country. The problem is that their money wasn't accepted throughout the world. Instead, like true Russians, the Soviet Union traded vodka for Pepsi."
"This was all good until the late 1980s when their contract was going to expire and vodka wouldn't cut it for payment. So instead they traded Pepsi a ton of submarines and warships for 3 billion dollars worth of Pepsi."
"Sadly instead of terrorizing the seas and shooting harpoons at their enemies, Pepsi decided to sell the fleet to a Swedish scrap metal company."
"As a boxing historian..."
"As a boxing historian probably the story of an ancient Greek boxer named Kleomedes"
"Apparently while in the Olympic final, he killed his opponent by stabbing his fingers into his opponents chest, killing him. Which means he loses due to a strange and awesome rule was if your opponent was killed by the fight, he automatically won. So despite surviving the fight, Kleomedes is judged the loser. No glory or olive wreath."
"Returns home to Astypalaia and lapses into deep depression. Commits the the first mass murder of school children after punching a support beam so hard the school fell down. All the kids die. Angry mob forms to kill Kleomedes who takes shelter in a giant chest in the temple of Athena. Townsfolk storm the temple and try to pry open the chest. End up having to rip it apart board by board. But when they got it open there was nothing in it."
"Naturally the people didn't know what to make of it. So they send people to the oracle of Delphi. Who declared that Kleomedes was The Last True Astypalaian and that he be worshipped as a Demigod."
"That is how an olympic boxer became a deity of fertility after murdering a ton of kids."
"So in 1968..."
"Nixon created a chain of events that I find hard to believe."
"So in 1968 Lyndon Johnson is president, he's a Democrat, and the Democrats are having issues, the party is majorly spit up between segregation issues, and they hate the Vietnam war that the country is stuck in."
"Nixon starts promising to end the draft, and he also proclaimed that he had a plan to end the war."
"Just before the election that year, on Halloween, (a Thursday) LBJ gets on the news, and declares that the war is almost over, and peace is at hand. The North Vietnamese were participating in peace talks, and all war activity had been suspended. They left the peace talks because NIXON HIMSELF told them that if they kept the war going for one extra week, HE WOULD OFFER THEM A BETTER DEAL ONCE HE WAS IN POWER."
"So by Saturday, the North Vietnamese had walked out of the peace talks, and the war was back on. The election on the next Tuesday, went to Nixon, but barely. The war continued for another five years, and in that time 15k Americans died, as well as who knows how many Vietnamese."
"LBJ knew about it at the time, because he had wire tapped the South Vietnamese ambassador as well as several others, and felt he could not reveal the extent of the wire tapping that Americans were guilty of. Even if it meant Nixon got away with treason."
"And it does."
"So, the Han heard the Qin were fond of mega projects and massive infrastructure investments, so they found a hydraulics engineer and sent him over to sell them on an absurd canal idea; build a massive canal to use runoff water from two flood-prone rivers to irrigate worthless plains. Tame the rivers' flooding, irrigate wasteland, everybody wins! And in the Han's schemes, it's an absurdly large project that will keep the Qin diverted and invested for decades."
"And it does. Except about halfway through, the Qin caught on to this and confront their hydraulics engineer; Zheng Gou, presumably confronted with whatever creative thing(s) they do to spies and saboteurs, throws himself on Qin mercy;"
"Yeah, I'm a spy, yeah, it was to sabotage your efforts- but I'm really an engineer, guys, and this will really work, honest! Let me finish it, and please don't do that thing with the cheese grater-"
"The Qin, presumably, conclude they can always torture him to death later, and let him remain in charge of the project."
"And wonder of wonders, it works. Thousands of hectares or rich but fallow desert are turned into fertile farmland. Existing farmland is made safer by giving the flooding rivers runoff channels. The canal makes the Qin rich beyond their already immense wealth, which they turn to larger armies, eventually crushing the Han and (briefly) uniting China."
"We learnt about this is school: in the 1950s in Borneo they were suffering from an outbreak of malaria, so, with the help of the world health organization, they sprayed DDT all over the island to kill the mosquitos. But the DDT also killed the islands wasps which helped control the population of thatch eating caterpillars, thatch that people's homes were made of, and thanks to this, their roofs began to collapse."
"Many other small insects started to get affected by the DDT, which were eaten by geckos, the geckos developed a tolerance to the DDT but the cats who ate the geckos didn't, and the cat population started to die off. This led to the islands rat population increasing greatly. And that's the story of how an island with a malaria problem, lead to cats being airdropped into Borneo."
"A Chinese man wanted to create a potion to become immortal instead he accidentally created gunpowder."
"This is an older BBC series called Connections, with James Burke hosting and it is incredibly fascinating. You can watch most of the episodes on Youtube. It's kind of what you're asking about, chains of events throughout history. From the Normans horse stirrups to mine shafts to vacuums to telecommunications, all connected. I highly recommend anyone give this a try."
MP Noel Pemberton Billing
"In 1918, British MP Noel Pemberton Billing caused a major scandal when he accused actress Maud Allan, and Margot Asquith, wife of the previous Prime Minister, of being at the centre of a homosexual ring sabotaging the war effort. Evidence included Allan having performed in a play by Oscar Wilde, and Asquith having attended the performance. He presented his case in an article entitled "The Cult of the Clitoris", in which he claimed the exiled prince of Albania had a black book, listing all the blackmailed homosexuals in Britain."
"Maud Allan (who was in fact homosexual; Asquith was not) sued for libel, but lost. During the trial, one witness claimed to have seen the Albanian prince's black book, and claimed that the judge's name was in it."
The immovable ladder!
"The immovable ladder!"
"Guy leaves ladder leaning against wall of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem some time before 1728. A thing called the Status Quo happens in 1757 which means don't touch stuff on holy sites."
"Ladder is still there."
Fact will always be stranger than fiction.
Do you have similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Most people can be very guarded because of their vulnerabilities, even if you think you know them really well.
These disconcerting memories or character traits are better left undisclosed, for they can be painful for individuals to revisit or acknowledge.
On the other hand, opening up about these disturbing facts can also be therapeutic as long as they are revealed anonymously.
And the opportunity for strangers online to unburden themselves arose when Redditor _Lord_Infamous asked:
"What is a scary, unsettling fact about you?"
Certain facts about these Redditors are perplexing.
"I do not actually remember a decent chunk of my life, whenever I talk about most of my childhood I use words that leave room for mistakes and am generally using memories and ideas I've compiled from hearing other people say things about me."
"There is actually a large chunks of facts about myself that I only think I know, and don't have personal confirmation of."
Dead Or Alive
"I’m convinced with no evidence that my father is still alive and that my whole family is lying to me. I logically know he is not. But every knock on the door I open half expecting my father. Could be something to work through … but it’s not really affecting me day to day. My grandfather died and I thought I would feel the same way. Nope. He is dead and I miss him but he is dead."
Warning: Self-Harm Trigger
"Growing up I had a recurring nightmare set in my grandparents backyard looking at the back of their house. There was just something 'off' about the house. Something mildly sinister. I dreamt this over and over, many times over the years."
"In 2018, my dad (who now owned the house) went into the backyard to that spot and killed himself."
"I haven’t had the backyard dream since."
Nightmares Come True
"I had a recurring super vivid intense dream at like 4.... my uncle was chasing us around a labyrinth with a large knife... trying to kill me and my grandmother. 25 or so years later the same uncle (complete paranoid delusional schizophrenic) murders my grandmother at her condo... with the very nice chef knife I bought her for Christmas the year before..."
"Less scary and more shocking, but when I was 9 years old I survived a home invasion where I was shot 6 times. I played dead on the floor until the man left and called 911 and in my adrenaline rush I thought they couldn't find my house so I crawled with my left are swinging the wrong way and my right leg limp from nerve damage, all the way to the front door when he broke in from the back of the house."
"I lived with only my mother who unfortunately didn't survive. I vividly remember picking out the guy in a photo line up while recovering in the ICU."
"I am very lucky to have kept my left arm, I have 32 pins and screws to make up for my shattered elbow. My left leg has permanent nerve damage and I now have 'drop foot'. Despite my physical injuries and PTSD, I am doing very well."
We are not all born the same.
"I'm one of the lucky few with the CCR5-delta-32 mutation. Why is that relevant? It makes me immune to HIV and a handful of other pathogens, most notably the Bubonic Plague."
"I have 2 lenses in my right eye, so it focuses like binoculars. My doctor wrote a paper about it. Mostly blinded as a baby in my left eye. Dr suspected my right lense split then healed as 2 distinct lenses. Better than 20/20 in my right eye."
"When I was born, I was so premature that my dad, who had quite dainty piano fingers, could slide his wedding ring up my arm to my shoulder. (I weighed 2 lbs, born at 27 weeks)."
"I had 6 toes on each foot at birth and got them cut off you can see the place they cut them at."
People live with the unfortunate risk that their lives can be cut short at any given moment.
Ticking Time Bomb
"I have an enlarged aortic root. It's very unlikely, but it could spontaneously rupture leading to the medical term adjusts glasses... 'instantaneous death'. I would pass out, bleed to death, and then fall over. Dead before hitting the ground. And it could happen at any time. My wife is very uncomfortable thinking about it lol."
For The Sake Of Survival
"my immune system backfired and tried to murder me and almost succeeded. I now have to take multiple injections every single day all day or i'll die a painful death within a week."
"Just trying to write diabetes in the most bad-a** way."
A friend of mine once told me that the name I've known him by was not his real name.
He had gone by an alias, which everyone at work assumed was his actual name, to protect himself and his identity after he had been violently hunted down, stalked and threatened for his life for witnessing a murder.
The suspects involved were eventually caught and locked away for good.
I don't remember all the other details about the traumatizing incident because I was completely stupefied.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
We never leave two movies feeling the same way.
In some cases, we are so moved by what we just saw, that we are sobbing so loudly, we're getting concerned looks from our fellow moviegoers.
In other cases, we waste no time in leaving, as we have just spent two hours or so of our lives we'll never get back again watching something which could have been made by second graders.
And then, there are the times when we leave the theatre, and all we can think is, "what the f*ck?"
Not necessarily because it was bad, but because we can't process exactly what we just saw.
It could be something we can appreciate more over time, with repeat viewings... how many views did it take you to fully understand Inception? Be honest!
Or, we are befuddled beyond words as to how such an inane, amateurish creation ever saw the light of day.
"What is your "WTF did I just watch?" movie?"
Dystopian Doesn't Even Begin To Describe It
"You have a certain time to become married and if you fail to find a spouse you get sent to an asylum where you must find a spouse from among the other singles."
"If you again fail to find a partner, you must choose which animal you want to be turned into, and then they turn you into that animal."- Leemage
Chloë Sevigny Knows How To Pick Them...
A Podcaster's Worst Nightmare
With A Title Like That...
"Antichrist."- EwoksEwoksEwoksWillem Dafoe Smile GIFGiphy
Only 67 Minutes... But Plenty Of Gore
"Tetsuo the Ironman (would very strongly not recommend for people with weak stomachs)."- PeruvianPolarbear14
A Homicidal Car Tire... Yes You Read That Correctly...
Beyond Love, Beyond Death...
Glad It Didn't Disappoint... I Guess?
"Salo, or 120 days of Sodom."
"Granted, I had a phase where I was purposely looking for disturbing movies and this one sure didn't disappoint."- Reddit
Was The Title An Actual Apology?
"Sorry to bother you."- kappaidan
Darren Aronofsky At His Strangest...
"Mother."- dank-yharnam-nugsjennifer lawrence mother movie GIF by mother!Giphy
Meet The Parents gone wrong...
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things."- Vandalatwork
Charlie Kaufman Strikes Again!
"Being John Malkovich."- getlough
Not The Kind You're Thinking Of...
"Teeth."- timyorbaHappy Dance GIF by benjamin lemoineGiphy
One thing that can be said about all these movies, those who see them will never forget them.
Which may or may not be a good thing...
Now, which film should we add to this list?
Franklin D. Roosevelt once famously said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Words of encouragement to all Americans during his inaugural address, as America was in the midst of the great depression, with countless people having lost their jobs, their homes, and even their will to live.
While America did, indeed, bounce back, it hasn't stopped people from constantly living in fear.
Sadly, we're not talking about unfounded fears, such as ghosts or superstitions.
Unfortunately, there is plenty to be afraid of in this world, and horrifying evidence to prove it.
"What is a fact that scares you?"
"That something like close to half of murders reported in the US are never solved."
"That’s just of the reported ones."- YAYtersalad
It Could Happen To Anyone
"Any day, you could have a stroke and lose all your autonomy and become as dependant as a baby."- FrenchMaisNon
"That any of us could have a brain aneurysm right now and not even know it's coming."- becomingNope
Just The Way Things Work
"The number of people older than me will never increase."- Vinny_Lam
At Least You Wouldn't Feel It?
"For some reason, the fact that you poop/pee yourself when you die."
"I know that it won’t matter because I’ll be dead, anyway, but I’ve always been weirded out by that."- EllieK24601
Cherish Your Time Together
"That my parents and grandparents are slowly getting older and it's just a matter of time before I start losing them all one by one and there's nothing I can do about it."- Kysman95
When Nothing Ever Seems To Be Alright...
"I logically know I am fine, but my anxiety won’t let me accept that."- HotSpicedChai
Next Time you Think About Putting It Out There To The Universe...
"That outside of our planet, zero of our achievements/history/language/currency matters."
'It can all be erased in a second and there would be no knowledge of us ever existing in the first place to anyone else in the universe."
"We are meaningless outside of this sphere."- EmergencyNoodlePack
It Really Doesn't Seem That Long
"We only live for about 4,000 weeks."-_Light_The_Way
"That Dopplegangers exist."
"They say that there are at least a couple people in the world that look exactly like you without being blood related and I met mine."
"He was a f*cking criminal and got into trouble so many times with the law that I myself had been mistaken for him three times."
"The only difference was me having sleeves."
"My tattoos saved me from being mistaken for him."
"I was brought in and put in a lineup, and she said herself, 'that looks like him, but he doesn’t have a single tattoo'."
"4 hours later they found him and the sheriff’s department was dumbfounded that we weren’t twins."
"Like looking in a mirror."
"I was released, and a more than needed apology was given by the chief of police and arresting officer."- TinyoneT33
They Need Something To Keep Them Going
"The most well-educated and intelligent people are also those most afflicted with issues like despair, depression, and existential crises."
"Reality is a nightmare of horrors lying just beneath the surface, and the more aware of how things really work you are the more truly miserable you are, generally."- Emperor_Cartagia
It Could Be Comforting?
"When I die, I will be able to hear what people are saying, my last bit of brain activity will be processing those words or sounds and they will be echoed into my forever dream."
"Hope nobody says anything f*cked up.
"According to recent studies, auditory stimulus is the last sense to be lost, it's anticipated that people actually listen long enough to hear they’re pronounced dead."- TheUpsideDownWorlds·
Where Does The Time Go?
"The fact that the past 10 years of my life have flown by, and it means I got about a decade before I become the same age as my parents when I was born."
"Meaning that I’m just slowly going to age till it’s time for me to pass."
"And I still don’t even know why I’m living or what I want to do, or even feel like I’m happy."- Unhookingsnow6
"I've lived over half my life already."- Lucky-11
It's hard not to be scared by any or all of these facts.
But being afraid of just about anything almost never does anyone any good, as there is also plenty in this world to be hopeful and optimistic about.
As famously quipped in Baz Luhrmann's classic Strictly Ballroom, "A life lived in fear is a life half lived."
Every generation has its own trends.
As a millennial, I’ll be the first to admit we had our fair share of silly or stupid trends.
Remember the cinnamon challenge? Or all the Harlem Shake videos? We were not the brightest crayons in the box.
Girls wore only skinny jeans, boys adopted Justin Beiber’s side-swept haircut, and we spent more time on YouTube than any other social media site.
Those who belong to Generation Z think we were pretty stupid too, but everyone else thinks Gen Z have their fair share of weird trends. Tide pods, anyone?
If we turn to Reddit, those Gen Z trends can be easily identified.
Curious to find out more, Redditor Distinct_Bee_4580 asked:
“What’s a trend among Gen Zs you find weird?”
"Documenting themselves committing crimes then posting them to social media."
"was at a (car) accident reconstruction engineering office this summer and a 20 ish yo guy drove of the edge of the road and died and his snap story from the night was a video of his speedometer at 100+ in the dark in the rain and he was bragging that he was going fast (and also drunk)"
Look How Stupid I Am!
"They film EVERYTHING"
"I went out drinking with a mixed age group. We got silly drunk, and had a good time. A few months later, one of the younger girls posted a "hilarous" video of me blackout drunk and acting stupid. Nothing illegal, just embarrassing. It was horrifying. Like, why would you video someone that vulnerable, and then put it out in public? Like, what other videos did they take? She took it down, but didn't understand at all why I was so angry at her - because "she posted dumber sh*t of herself all the time!""
"Never again. I'll just stick with my older friends who know not to film anyone doing stupid sh*t."
"this. gen z getting themselves fired from work over tiktoks is such a common occurrence."
"Gen Z here. Romanticization of mental illness or crime."
"fr it’s embarrassing because they treat it like it’s a competition or something quirky like… no it’s not? stop making your mental illnesses your only personality traits"
Evolution Of Hair
"Brocoli haircut. Will definitely age like milk"
"Ahh the “Meet me at mcdonald's haircut”, no seriously that’s it name, you can google it"
Like e.e. cummings
"Finally I can ask this. Why do a large amount of gen Z's not use capital letters? Is capitalization going the way of cursive writing?"
"It's probably because of texting. Over time, texting with capitalized letters became seen as too formal, and people began to intentionally remove capitalization to seem more laid-back and informal."
"Millennial here and a lot of people my age used to not use capital letters either in our early twenties. Might be regional, might just be a general "trying hard to appear chill" kind of thing"
Use A Dictionary
"Saying gaslighting every f*cking day with no comprehension of the word."
"I know what it means stop gaslighting me"
Here's My Life Story
"Oversharing personal struggles, overdramatizing common anxieties/struggles, and flaunting "going to therapy" to the point where it's clearly a means of seeking attention and staying relevant."
"On a related note, since I see it on dating apps all the time, when every other bio puts "going to therapy" as a green flag. Like yeah, that should be normalized, but mental health practices are turning into a new form of virtue signaling."
"Bothering people just trying to go about their day in the name of "pranking.""
"I've seen one that regularly goes into a store like Home Depot and pretends to be an employee and then films the real employees who seem to be going a little overboard in their reactions; but I'm just like this poor guy is just trying to get through his workday without this bullsh*t."
"I just saw a man was getting charges pressed against him for attacking a kid that was "pretending to steal his luggage as a prank." The 'prankee' grabbed the kid by the hair and probably did go a little overboard but the number of comments I saw defending the kid amazed me. JUST LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE!!"
Feel The Beat
"Stupid Tik tok dances"
"At least they're getting some exercise"
"Trying to “cancel” singers/rappers/actors for things they said 30 years ago when social norms were different"
"Gen z is the most pretentious moralistic and puritanical gen since maybe the lost gen"
The Capacity To Care
"For me it’s the insinuation that I’m supposed to care about every problem/issue in the world. It’s not realistic- we as humans don’t have the emotional bandwidth to care or even keep track of all the issues in todays world. Social media is constantly bombarding these kids with the most recent catastrophe and everyone is expected to be an activist for it until the news cycle breaks. Pick an issue you’re passionate about and do something, but letting every atrocity in the world affect your emotional state is counter-productive and makes you feel like the boot is against your neck at all times"
"My opinion is that this contributes to the rise of mental health issues like depression-"
Let People Be Who They Are
"Queer discourse. Not in general, but the way I see now. People fighting each other over Pronouns, attacking each other because they don't believe someone else should go by the label they use."
"It feels like the LGBTQ community is running around in circles, nibbling at its tail and not realising its bleeding to death."
Cause And Effect
"For me it's claiming everything as abuse..."
"*got punished for doing or not doing something they were told/asked to do or not do a thousand times... gets punished... that's abuse... wtf... actions and inaction have consequences... Don't want the consequence then don't do or do what I asked/ told you to do or not do... It was that simple when I was growing up..."
The Internet Can't Help You
"As a gen-z myself, I'm also confused on why everything has to be posted on social media:"
""OMG I'm gonna die 😭😭😭""
""He made it into my house 😭😒🥺🥺""
""Idk what I should do now 😔😔😟😭😓""
"So you decided to post about it on social media rather then calling the police or ANYONE ELSE FOR HELP?"
"Or the other way around"
""Look what a fun life I have, I'm here on the mountains with my entire family" nobody is home for 2 weeks pls come rob me"
"They are really the first generation with the capability to do that easily. They’re like the oldest siblings who makes all the mistakes so the younger ones can learn from it. I salute their sacrifice."
Do you have any trends to add? Let us know in the comments below!