Life is often far more unbelievable than the stories we create. Look at out current political climate, if you had read about it in a fiction book you'd file it under science fiction. But that isn't a current reality, history is littered with wild tales and stories you think you'd have to see to believe. Thank God for historians and autobiographers. At this rate, when the aliens get here, Star Trek will a documentary.
Redditor u/SkunkytheSkunk7 wanted to know about some of the stories in history that sound like they might have been authored and not done in real time by asking.... What sounds like fiction but is actually a real historical event?
The allies planted a dead body with fake battle plans to trick the Germans into thinking that the allies were going to attack Sardinia when they were in fact going to attack Sicily.
They built an entire life for this dead, fake, military man, dumped him in the ocean, and successfully distracted the Germans.
Edgar Allen Poe wrote a novel in 1838 in which 4 shipwrecked survivors, at the point of starvation, choose to resort to cannibalism. So they kill the young cabin boy, Richard Parker, and eat him.
In 1884, a ship called the Mignonette sank. 4 crewmembers survived. At the point of starvation, they killed and ate the youngest of them: Richard Parker.
Ken Rex McElroy.
The death of Ken Rex McElroy. He terrorized Skidmore, Missouri for decades. Stalking, assaulting, and murdering two 14 year olds who were his "wives." He had an expensive attorney so he was never charged. The law never helped the poor town. One day, the town gathered for a meeting on how to deal with McElroy. Details get a little vague here, but apparently someone alerted the room that McElroy was in the bar up the street.
Quietly and calmly, everyone got up and walked over to the bar. As McElroy got into his truck, someone shot him in the back of the head. The town just went back to their business. When the witnesses (like the entire town) were questioned, everyone claimed they didn't see anything. No one as ever been arrested.
the winter of 1941-42...
The Soviet scientists starving to death saving the seed bank of Leningrad during Hitler's invasion in the winter of 1941-42 despite it being full of corn, wheat and potatoes.
That level of dedication is just unimaginable. To go against your survival instincts and starve to death in order to not eat that food. I can't even comprehend.
Wojtek was a bear who fought Nazis in return for cigarettes and beer. He didn't die until 20 years after WW2.
My favorite part about that story is that after the war he lived in a zoo. It was common for soldiers from the bear's company to come visit and simply jump into the enclosure to play with him, much to the zoo keepers' annoyance.
I'm gonna die laughing!
Apparently, death from laughter is an incredibly rare but a completely legit cause of death.
In the third century BCE, Chrysippus, a Greek Stoic philosopher, died of laughter after he saw a donkey eating his figs.
And Chrysippus' is not the only isolated case. Among the few other cases, a fifth-century BCE Greek painter, Zeuxis, is said to have died laughing at his painting of the goddess Aphrodite for which an old woman (who had commissioned the painting) had insisted on modeling.
Also, Cleopatra, the ruler of Egypt in the first century BCE, claimed that her retainer died laughing at her husband's death.
According to the linked Wikipedia article, the most recent case is that of Ole Bentzen, a Danish audiologist, who saw a funny scene in a comedy film and laughed so hard that his heart rate rose to a point where he had a fatal heart attack, in 1989.
From what I understood from reading up on this topic, it's not the act of laughing itself but rather a fatal repercussion from a fit of laughter, such as cardiac arrest, asphyxiation or aneurysm, which causes death.
For instance, Ole Bentzen suffered a heart attack as a consequence of the terrible fit of laughter he had. It's possible that such was the case of Chrysippus (and others) as well.
(I always thought of 'I'm gonna die laughing!' as a hyperbole, and I myself use it quite liberally. But I guess every hyperbole has a grain of truth to it.)
Codename : "stargate"
The CIA was researching psychic abilities for 30 years as a way to spy on the USSR. After 30 years, the program was terminated, and their conclusion was that psychic powers probably don't exist.
Edit: The actual conclusion was that the evidence for remote viewing was un-falsifiable (and therefore un-provable).
Many of the more promising results were believed to be caused by information leakage, meaning that test subjects had prior knowledge about the subject they were asked about. They were unable to verify any of their results because of this, and even if the psychic abilities were real, they were unreliable at best.
Edit 2: The codename fro the project was "stargate" you can find the documents on the CIA website here.
Lakes of Louisiana....
In 1980 Lake Peigneur in Louisiana drained like a bathtub with the plug removed. Oil Drillers on a rig in the lake had hit a mine shaft below. The rig, barges, a tugboat and part of a nearby island got sucked into the largest man-made whirlpool ever.
The Battle for Castle Itter near the end of WWII saw US soldiers, French POWs, and the German army fighting on the same side to hold the castle against an SS tank division.
To make it even weirder, the French prisoners included several prime ministers and a tennis star.
I'd still like to see the Tarantino version, though.
Hilariously, this article is titled 'The Battle of Itter Castle: The Day When Reality Exceeded Tarantino'. They refer to the story of Castle Itter as 'a real Tarantino adventure that no one has told yet'.
What an absolute legend.Giphy
In 1971, a teenage girl named Juliane Koepcke was on a plane that was struck by lightning and disintegrated in the air. She plummeted 3,000 meters strapped to her seat, and landed in the Amazon rainforest.
Her mom had been on the flight with her, and Juliane searched in vain for her mom, but Juliane was the sole survivor of the crash. She survived 11 days alone, treating her maggot-infested wounds with fuel and using tracking techniques her father had taught her, before she found a boat that she used to make her way back to civilization.
What an absolute legend.
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Some things are deceptively simple.
Oh, skydiving? That's easy.
Love yourself? Simple.
Who can't open a can of pickles?
ME! ME! That's who. I can't do any of the above simply.
It's all hard. And you know it too.
It's just designed to" look" easy only to bamboozle us.
Approach everything as a burden and live by a motto...
Redditor pterv2112 wanted to hear about the things that are truthfully not so simple.
"What looks easy peasy lemon squeezy but is actually difficult difficult lemon difficult?"
Monopoly. For the life of me, I can't get the hang of that game. I don't care anymore.
Play it...Saturday Night Live Happy Dance GIFGiphy
"Playing the triangle. A lot of my non-musician friends joke about how easy it is to play it. Then they actually hold the damn thing and look stupid."
It's A Lot!
"Work. I'm a lawyer and had a client call saying she needs a help with a merger, but 'don't worry, it's super easy peasy lemon squeezy.' That project took 6 months and I almost had a breakdown. She didn't understand why the bill was so high since it was SO easy."
"Gotta love how the layman lumps all lawyers together as the sleazy snakeoil salesman type without realizing or appreciating the sheer complexity of the legal work involved."
"Dancing. I wouldn't say it looks 'easy,' but when I see people do it, they're so good at it and it flows so well it looks easy. But damn, I just CANNOT get my body to do anything more than a bop and maybe some stupid arm moves. I'm 25 and dance like a 50 year old at a reunion. Dancers are so delicate and make it look so easy, it's honestly amazing. It's just hilarious when I try to do literally anything and fail horribly."
"Whistling with your fingers."
"My cousin taught me when we were in our tweens. It's come in very helpful whistling for the dogs and horses at feeding time."
"What I always wanted to learn was how my grandpa whistled without having to stick dirty fingers in my mouth. Nothing like cleaning stalls, then trying to whistle for horses with sh*t-covered hands. Washing them in near-freezing buckets of water wasn't a first choice either."
It's a...Studying Hand-Made GIF by Philippa RiceGiphy
"Drawing something from memory. Like a bird or something. In mind - yep that's a bird On paper - that's... a bird?"
Drawing birds is impossible; mine look like mules.
Go DeepDigging Blue Collar GIF by JC Property ProfessionalsGiphy
"Digging. Anytime it's shown in movies or TV it looks easy AF but the second you have to grab a shovel and break dirt... bleh."
"A basic physical exam at the doctor. Looks like a simple 'look at the throat' - 'listen to the chest' - 'yup they have a heart all right.' When in actuality Doctors spend thousands of hours practicing it so that when you come in with a murmur or 'Funny-looking-kid-syndrome' they can recognize it immediately."
"And yes, there are entire class sections on how to respectfully ask your patient to turn their head and cough as you push on their testicles (they're looking for hernias)."
"Street names. Everyone thinks it's great fun and likes to offer suggestions but every tree, lake, and other natural feature has at least a dozen variations which you can't repeat for emergency service reasons. That and you get cities which want a street name change anytime the road changes direction regardless of a logical break point like an intersection."
"'Natural' makeup. More work than 'regular' makeup."
"To be honest this reminds me of a video I watched of a visual effects artist explaining his job, If no one notices your work on the footage you've done your job well, its only when you mess up do people notice."
"This is painfully true for a lot of jobs. When nobody notices, it means you did an excellent job but no one will give you credit because they aren't even aware there is credit due. But the moment you slightly f**k up, you're the worst person in your profession."
The SqueezeAs If Lol GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Making lemonade. Sure squeezing one lemon is easy peasy, but do you know how much juice that makes? Not a lot."
I love Lemonade... the drink and the album... but I have no patience to make it.
Art is subjective.
As much as movies are universally loved, there are some that leave a big question mark.
Sometimes films, plots, and characters make no sense. AT ALL.
And that is uncomfortable for the ego.
Is it art?
Am I just dumb?
Why do I care?
Redditor erin214 wanted to discuss all the movies most of us just don't get.
"What movie do you just not get?"
There are so many movies to bring up. But we don't have all day... let's discuss.
I'm Lostdavid lynch GIFGiphy
"Mullholland Drive. David Lynch once said there is definitely a coherent story and you can figure it out if you just pay attention. I don't believe him."
"The Nut Job. I get that it's a kid's movie and the expectations aren't high but that movie feels 15 years older than it is and it's full of the cheesiest one liners over and over. It feels so low budget yet the cast is nothing but stars."
"It's just mediocre. Saw it once when it came out, laughed about it and enjoyed it then but never have had the urge to watch it again."
So many twists...
"Primer. Can’t follow it. I tried; I even looked up the diagrams. I cannot follow that movie for the life of me."
"I think it's just ok to not get it all. When I watch Primer I don't try to follow it all, I just understand the gist of it and understand that it does all make sense on paper and enjoy the show. Don't get too caught up in following all of the twists, it's too clever for it's own good. Really great movie, though."
"I consider myself a mild movie buff and pay attention diligently when watching any movie. But when I watched I’m Thinking of Ending Things with Jesse Plemons I had no sweet clue what was going on."
"In a nutshell: the only 'real' character in the movie is the old janitor who freezes to death at the end. Everything else is his delusional fantasy of how his life could/should have been, mixed with memories of the grim reality of why it turned out the way it did. We're observing his thought process."
Headaches...Screaming Jennifer Lawrence GIF by mother!Giphy
"I feel like mother is how I feel during a migraine. Everything is happening way too fast and I have no idea what’s going on."
Mother. Oh brother. That movie.
Bad MouthChristian Bale Oooo GIFGiphy
"American Psycho. It’s one of my favorite movies so I’m by no means bad mouthing it, but that ending drives me insane. I can’t figure it out. It makes no sense to me. What was the point supposed to be?"
Second Time Around
"Just to clarify, I didn't (don't) hate the movie, I even found the plot cool. But when trying to give it sense, I can't, because a don't fully get it."
"I actually liked it better the second time and I think it's because I watched it on a crappy sound system that drops all the low end bass and is mostly mids and highs, making the dialogue easier to hear. The basic entropy reversal premise is still too stupid to consider interesting or clever though. I can't suspend my disbelief in that idea."
I see the light...
"The Lighthouse. But I still loved it."
"I think it's about a man who is mentally ill and gets isolated along with someone he cannot stand, middle of the movie he does say that a coworker died and the film indicate that he killed him, which explains the scene where he smokes a cig by the beach and see all those logs approaching and he sees a body and he walks right towards it, maybe he regrets what he had done, his mind is certainly playing tricks on him, that's just my take."
"Cloud Atlas. I’m pretty sure you need to go on a mushroom samba to understand it."
"The book makes more sense. It's weird because there is a whole lot in the movie that is lifted very faithfully from the book but there are lots of little intangible bits that don't translate onto the screen well."
"I loved this one! I can see it's a confusing movie, though."EmileWolf
Jake AlwaysBlack And White Movie GIF by hoppipGiphy
"Donnie Darko. Do I really need a website, a book, and a director’s cut to understand a movie? A little exposition, please."
"I love this film and have seen both versions a number of times over the years. I can't explain it though, it's just a vibe I guess. Like that feeling you get when you've just woken up from a vivid dream and haven't adjusted to reality yet."
So many of these movies are on my list. It's them not us.
They say it's hard for workers to get fired from their jobs. That is unless, of course, the employee is self-sabotaging and has nothing at stake.
While there are many unemployed people desperately looking for work, there are apparently just as many of those who want nothing more than to leave a situation that makes them miserable, despite having a steady paycheck.
Curious to hear about terminated employees, Redditor bartertownbeer asked:
"What is the fastest you have ever seen a new co-worker get fired?"
Fired? How about arrested?
"During their onboarding training, they stole my bosses wallet on camera.... 1 hour in.."
Right Place, Wrong Time
"This is the opposite route here but I found it amusing. My boss was out of town and I managed a tea shop near a Starbucks years ago. This kid came in (foreign) and said he was supposed to start today. We were hiring and I trained him etc. My boss came back two days later and had no idea. The kid was in the wrong place but he stayed with us. Hired on the spot without even applying."
"We had a recent college grad that would use his corporate card for personal purchases. He figured that the company would just keep deducting from his payroll until it was paid off. He was fired after three months of constant reminders to stop doing it. I don’t think it qualifies as the fastest, because he lasted three months, but it was so idiotic."
The Longest Errand
"I work construction. We had 2 new hires that were friends starting the same day. Boss told one take a coffee order and come back. Took everyone's money and said he needed his friend to go with him cause it was a big order. They never came back."
"A 19 year old kid got hired to work the seafood counter. See him twice and then never again. Asked a coworker what happened."
"He had closed seafood one night and was walking out of the store and the 5 pounds of crab legs he'd stuffed down the back of his pants fell out in front of the closing manager."
Being under the influence at work never ends well.
"New guy drove a forklift into a fire hydrant, in front of a safety rep for the company. His supervisor was called over, and he immediately tells the supervisor that he won’t pass a piss test, as he used his only bottle of clean piss earlier that day when he hired in."
"Everybody standing there immediately burst into laughter, which continued as security (also laughing) escorted him off site. Even the supervisor was all smiles...just gave him a pat on the back and wished him the best of luck. It was wild."
"I worked in a bar and a new girl started. At work, she seemed a little rough but was fine."
"One day she finished a shift, sat at the bar and ordered a red wine with lemonade and ice in it (not really relevant to the story; just shows she is clearly insane). Her boyfriend came in, they had a huge domestic in front of my manager and several customers and she threw her drink over her bf and dramatically stormed out."
And That's Why We Don't Hire Off The Street
"Worked at a steel processing plant (polishing, cut to length, etc) Everyone started off as temps, some for years, before getting hired in. Management decided they were short-staffed and the solution was to start hiring people full-time off the street."
"So this dude starts, full-time on day one, full benefits, more money, getting trained by temps who've been there for months, if not years. Everyone is mad resentful of this dude, obviously."
"Halfway through his second day he gets escorted out for testing positive for coke on his drug test."
"They didn't hire any more dudes full-time off the street."
Competence is of utmost importance. Having brains is a good place to start as well.
Fast Food, Faster Firing
"Heard this from a manager I worked with when I worked in fast food. There was this one kid who didn’t show up for work. He ditched work often, so the manager called around, couldn’t get anyone to fill in his shift, so she had to fill it for him."
"A few hours into his shift, the dude ditching SHOWS UP, with his friends, and orders food from that manager. She fired him on the spot."
Careful Who You Denigrate
"First day of work, he walks in, says 'what the f'k is up dumba**' to the guy that parked next to (didn't touch) his new Camaro he bought since he got hired."
"The guy was the CEO of the company I used to work for, on visit to our branch."
"Literally ten minutes into his shift he was signing release papers."
"Worked in a grocery store for awhile: new guy took a lobster out of the tank and removed the elastic bands on its claws, then proceeded to put it back in the tank. The thing murdered all the other lobsters in the tank."
Up In Flames
"Guy had been working a few days at a barn. Decided to smoke right by bales of hay. Manager saw him and fired him right on the spot. At farms, you don’t f'k around with fire."
Remember when I mentioned how it's difficult for people to get fired?
Yeah, let's scratch that.
Apparently, it's super easy.
A trial can hinge on one simple piece of information.
All it could take for a suspect to walk free or go to jail for the rest of their lives is one single fact.
With this in mind, some lawyers will do their best to make sure that this information is buried, legally and ethically one hopes, and will never be brought up in trial.
However, for this to happen, Lawyers will still need to know this piece of information from their clients, as it otherwise could be brought up by the prosecution, effectively ending the case.
"Lawyers of Reddit, what is a detail that your client failed to bring up to you that completely lost you the case?"
The Whole Truth...
"Opposing counsel: 'Isn’t it true you hit Victim in the face with a brick?"'
"Client: 'No. Marcus hit him with the brick. I hit him in the back with a piece of wood'."- lizard96golf
Thought She Was Being Clever...
"A buddy of mine case as a public defender."
"A gal was busted on drug charges, and told him she didn't have any drugs on her when they arrested her."
"He thought, ok we'll use that."
"Turns out, she didn't have any drugs on her when they arrested her because she just sold them to an undercover cop."- CheapCigars
Choice Of Clothes Can Make A Difference...
"My house was robbed."
"In addition to all the stuff the thief took, he also stole a bunch of my suits and all of my neck ties."
"I had a big collection, like 100 or so."
"However, the thief left fingerprints on a hard plastic box that I kept spare change in."
"Fast forward 3 months, the thief is caught in the act of robbing another house in the same neighborhood, same detectives on my case and this new theft."
"They fingerprint the guy and the fingerprints match the ones from my house."
"At the thief’s arraignment, I see him stroll in wearing my suit and my tie."
"I tell the district attorney, he says there’s really no way to prove it."
"However, the tie he chose to wear was a one of kind street map of San Francisco and I still had all the documentation to prove it."
"The district attorney’s eyes widen and he informs the judge."
"The judge has the thief placed under arrest again for possession of stolen property."
"The thief’s lawyer was dumbfounded."
"It was a nice end to a rough situation!"- West-Operationsuit and tie johnny bananas GIF by 1st LookGiphy
Never Depend On Technicalities
"Obligatory not my client."
"Company I worked for at the time was doing due diligence before acquiring a small tech startup."
"The COO of the tech startup was a well-liked guy in the company, friendly and outgoing."
"Though we had heard rumblings that the COO was rather hands-on with the work and with female employees."
"Apparently there was a walk-away package proposed to the COO that would let him keep a sizable portion of his post-acquisition bonus because a young woman who worked in their sales department had filed HR complaints against the COO and obtained counsel."
"I sat in on the meeting with the COO and the company's retained lawyers while they grilled him about his contacts with the young woman."
"The COO denied ever having contact with her within the company without multiple other people present, those people said his behavior toward her in the meetings didn't raise any flag."
"The COO emphatically denied having any contact with her outside of work."
"The lawyers asked the question a half-dozen different ways and each time the COO denied any out of work contact."
"Later we meet with the woman and her lawyer with the COO not present."
"Her lawyer gives us a rather graphic card that came with a bouquet of flowers addressed to her from the COO."
"The guy had an account with a florist linked to his credit card."
"When the company-retained lawyers confronted him he said, 'but I never had contact with her'."
"'It's not like I delivered the flowers myself'."
"COO got terminated for cause so no walk-away package."
"At her request the woman was given PTO until after the acquisition then moved to another one of the companies under our umbrella."- GuiltyLawyerseason 5 episode 21 GIFGiphy
Who Exactly Am I Talking To?
"We got to the deposition of my client and all set up."
"The first question is 'please state your name'."
"The client looks at me and says 'can we take a break?'"
"We do and she pulls me out in the hall to tell me she's lied to me about her identity."
"She's apparently a serial fraudster and has changed identities 7 times since the 90s."
"She apparently thought the other attorneys had some how figured it out and that's why they asked the question."- Philosopher422
It's The Little Ones That Get You...
"Minor traffic cases can be the worst for this, believe it or not, because they are short and simple and often times the client isn't there, so if you get blindsided by something critical there's often no chance to consult with them to turn things around."
"I had a simple speeding case, 70mph in a 55."
"No big deal, if she does a driving improvement course they court will usually dismiss or reduce those, since her driving record wasn't bad."
"When I showed up for her, I found out that she had been driving 70 up an unplowed snow lane, to get around all the others cars traveling in the lane that had been plowed because they were driving too slow."
"I didn't know it was even possible to drive 70 on fresh snow."
"The officer stated he'd already cut her a break by not writing the ticket for reckless driving, and the judge politely agreed he didn't feel comfortable reducing it under those circumstances."
"When I called her up after court to confirm, she did, claimed she'd just forgotten to mention it."
"Now maybe I've lived too much of my life in the south, but that just boggles my mind as a detail you'd forget when hiring a lawyer for that incident."
"I would have told her in advance that hiring us was a waste of money, not to mention the hassle of taking an 8 hour class, and she should probably just go ahead and pay this one."
"I legitimately do that all the time during consults."
"Give my honest assessment if the case is even worth doing, and so by omitting that detail she harmed herself for no reason."
"At least she took it well and didn't get defensive."- AmberWavesofFlameDriving Get Away GIF by Zella DayGiphy
Despite the longstanding negative connotations which come with them, lawyers are there to help you.
So it's always the best decision to tell them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, especially if you're paying for their services.
That, or just obey the law so you won't need one.