History can often be surprising or fascinating, infuriating or even mind-boggling. Sometimes, though, they're downright unbelievable.

Reddit user UWigsOfficial asked:

"What historical facts sound fake but aren't?"

Guess It Wasn't Meant To Happen

"The fact that two times the Mongols attempted to invade Japan and both times a storm sunk the invasion fleet."


"Same happened both times caesar went to Britain."


Even Kings Draw Phalluses, Apparently

"King Karl XIII of Sweden doodled penises all over his private diaries in 1785, when he was 37 years old."


"Clearly he was the inspiration for Superbad."


Christmas Spirit

"The Christmas Truce of WW1."

"It honestly sounds to good to be true, so I'm glad that it was real. It just goes to show you that deep down none of them were the 'bad guys' in the war, no matter what flag or country they fought for. They were all just soldier's that had to follow orders from their COs. It really sucks that it only lasted once & has become banned ever since."


Prime Ministers Don't Just Disappear, Do They?

"An Australian Prime Minister went missing while swimming at a beach."

"In his honour the US named a warship after him while in Australia his local electorate named a swim centre after him."


"There's a few Harold Holt memorial swimming pools around. I laugh every time I see one."


Operation Acoustic Kitty

Game Forum GIF Giphy

"Operation Acoustic Kitty. A $20 million CIA project in the 1960s which implanted a microphone, radio transmitter, and wire into a cat, for the purpose of spying."

"The first mission involved releasing the cat near a Soviet compound in Washington to spy on two men. The cat was released and hit by a taxi almost immediately, and the project was discontinued."


"Sounds about right for a government project"



"There was a corporal in the Polish army during world war 2 who was a beer drinking, cigarette smoking bear."


"He didn't smoke he ate the damn lit cigarettes."


Who Needs An Enemy?

"Legend has it that the army of the Habsburg Empire lost about 10,000 people in the battle of Karánsebes in 1788 before the enemy (the Ottomans) even arrived. Basically they were drunk and thought the enemy had arrived and started fighting between themselves."

"The legend part is just the casualties. The event itself did actually happen, it's just debated whether it was anywhere close to 10,000 people lost or just a few hundreds killed and thousands injured."


But How Did They Open Them?

Hungry Lets Eat GIF Giphy

"The can opener (1858) was patented 48 years after the tin can (1810)"


"Did they just squeeze em til the tops popped open before that?"


"Cans used to be thicker. They were opened using a chisel and hammer"

"Also cans were significantly less common than jarring"


"Australian troops during ww1 went into no-man's land and dug out/recovered an abandoned german tank that was stuck in mud, pretty much because they were bored and the tank was there."


"The A7V Mephisto. Went and visited it a few months ago."


"As of 2020 at least, President John Tyler's grandson was still alive. That's 10th President if the US, John Tyler, who was born in 1790."

"I haven't seen any stories about his grandson dying so I assume he's still alive. It would be an interesting enough story that it'd be one of the top stories for a day or two."

"Tyler's grandson"


It's commonly said that studying history will sometimes make you upset or uncomfortable, but most folks probably don't expect it to make them incredulous. Sometimes, though, fact really is stranger than fiction.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.

Christmas is upon us. It's time to get those Christmas present lists together.

So... who has been naughty and who has been nice?

Who is getting diamonds and who is getting coal? Yuck, coal. Is that even a thing anymore? Who even started that idea?

There has to be some funnier or more "for the times" type of "you've been naughty" stocking stuffer.

I feel like the statement coal used to make is kind of last century at this point.

Apparently I'm not alone in this thinking.

Keep reading... Show less

I admit, I love my stuffed animals. They're the best.

Some of them have been with me for years and I have them proudly displayed in different spots around my apartment. And when I've packed them for a move, I've done so with all the tender loving care I can muster.

What is it about them that stirs up these feelings?

Believe it or not, it's quite possible to form emotional attachments to inanimate objects!

Keep reading... Show less
Nik Shulaihin/Unsplash

They say your 30's hits different, like one day you're young a hopeful and the next day you're just WAY too old for this.

What is the "this" you're suddenly too old for?

No idea. It's different for everyone, but make no mistake, it'll happen to you too.

Maybe it already has?


Keep reading... Show less

Do all mothers go to the say mom school or something? Because they seem to share the same advice or go on the same platitudes, don't they?

Here's an idea.

Maybe they're just older, have more experience, and are trying to keep us from being dumbasses in public. At least, that's what I think.

I'm definitely grateful for my mother's advice—it's saved me more than once—and it seems many out there are too. And they all seem to have heard the same things from their mothers, too.

Keep reading... Show less