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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Years ago, I used to be bullied for being a bookworm. It was odd. I even had a classmate take one of my books, rip it up, and throw it into the trash bin. Nowadays, I see kids reading openly without having to hide their books. What was up with the anti-intellectual attitudes when I was younger? It's nice to see that that's not generally accepted.
So much has changed since I was younger––it's okay to be a "nerd" in more ways than one. Does anyone really get bullied for reading comic books anymore, for instance? Especially when Marvel films dominate the box office?
People were keen to share their observations after Redditor xtaliaw asked the online community,
"What is something you were bullied for growing up that has now become a trend?"
"I used to get bullied..."
"I used to get bullied for my thick eyebrows. Now I get complimented. Weird to hear, "I like your eyebrows." Never thought that would be something to compliment."
"Then Nirvana and grunge blew up..."
"My freshman year of college in the early '90s my roommates all made fun of me and called me a hillbilly for wearing flannel/plaid shirts. Then Nirvana and grunge blew up and it was a sea of flannel as far as the eye could see!"
My, how things change.
Everyone wants to be as cool as Nirvana––still!
"Kimchi and lettuce wraps..."
"Korean food. Kimchi and lettuce wraps were not cool when I was a kid."
Shame, because they're delicious. I hope those people regret their bland diets!
"Now it's cool..."
"Wearing hand me down clothes. Now it's "vintage" and "cool" to shop at places like Goodwill or secondhand stores."
This correct. The style nowadays is "Manic Pixie Dream Girl Who Lives in Bushwick and Wears Clogs."
"Now there are cheerleaders..."
Like, I had a cool symbiote Spider-Man shirt. But I didn't dare wear it in school.
Now there are cheerleaders wearing Thor shirts, and people on the street know who the Guardians of the Galaxy are. Granted, none of the characters they know were in the Guardians that I grew up with. But they know the title."
"I get stopped..."
"My hair. I have tons of it and it's very curly. Sometimes my cousins would call me Marge Simpson.
Then natural hair care actually became a thing and I learned to embrace my hair. Now it's my signature. I get stopped a few times a week (sometimes a few times a day) by people to tell me they love my hair."
"Women have surgery..."
"Having a big butt. Women have surgery to get butts like I've always had now, but being a young person in the late 90s/early 2000s when the trend was to be underweight with a flat @ss was loads of fun."
The Kardashians really changed things around there, didn't they?
Ummm... thanks, Kim? We guess.
"They took a huge jump in popularity..."
"Video games. They took a huge jump in popularity from now I was a kid, and now all my high school bullies are posting about Animal Crossing."
"It blows me away..."
"Freckles. It blows me away that people get freckles tattooed on their bodies now."
Wait... wait... wait...
People do this?!
"I was both."
"Being weird. Being alternative. I was both. Made fun of horribly, and now the people who bullied me are going around embracing their 'weird' side."
I guess you could say things have largely changed for the better. It's nice to see kids being more accepting nowadays. Bullying just isn't tolerated on the same level it was when I was a kid. That's a plus in my book.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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The human body is an amazing instrument and whole handful of mess. Like, what was God thinking? Was he thinking?
Or is it evolution's fault? So many questions left unanswered. And as much as I tried to pay attention in anatomy class, there are still spaces without detail.
Like... why does anyone have nipples? And so much hair, everywhere.
Even in this new, body positive era, the human body may be beautiful, but it ain't perfect.
Redditor u/The-Regal-Deathless wanted to discuss, the body and all of its mess by asking:
What's the biggest design fail of the human body?
Dogs. Dogs have a way better design. We tend to be far more clunky. We could've all be calibrated with more precise measurements at least. Let's see who agrees...
Tiny Issuesfact toes GIFGiphy
"Little toe, that tiny mf just there to get brutally abused by furniture."
"The fact that we have the tail bone but no tail, WE COULD HAVE A TAIL, BUT WE DON'T. Oh yeah, AND WE COULD HAVE STRIPES, under a certain light (forgot which type) you can see stripes on our skin. HUMANS COULD BE SO MUCH VISUALLY COOLER BUT WE JUST AREN'T. And funny bones, never hit it too much but when I do, it sucks, evolution just wanted to mess with us I swear 😤."
"Period, wth were they thinking."
"What I don't get about periods/cramps is why they are painful. Pain is supposed to be the way your body lets you know something is wrong. But periods are completely normal and occur regularly… so why do they hurt? (Even without medical issues I mean) Just freaking expel the blood/uterine lining and be done with it. I don't need the drama!! Haha."
"Hair, particularly in males, has a tendency to "slide" downwards as they age, growing on the back, chest, and butt but leaving the top of the head exposed. There needs to be a stronger epoxy in our hair that keeps in on top of the head where it belongs, an a repellent on the rest of the body where it doesn't belong, to prevent this downward "slide."
LashedLady Gaga Makeup GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Eyelashes getting into your eyes and them feeling horrible. Also inhaling little bit of spit and you suffer a tiny death while coughing up what feels like all your innards."
Now eyelashes I love. I do, real or fake. I'm here for body flare but some of those other thoughts, I'm in agreement. I'm sorry for women and that "time of the month." God may definitely be a man with that one.
GO!!!black and white dancing GIFGiphy
"Knees. Seriously. These things get damaged so easily and just cause so much pain. Sure, they look cool, at first. But damnit, when they go - THEY GO."
"Spinal cord. In general. Look at how pressure and weight get applied, then look at spines for bipedal creatures, and it's kind of darkly funny."
"Well, everything here... but we also evolved as quadrupeds. Why you get so many back problems, knee problems, hip problems, organs not hanging but compressing each other. Lungs can't drain. We aren't really meant to walk upright. But it sorta worked. Just like everything else... it sorta works..."
"That those with penises have to expect them to stop working efficiently as they age, while those with vaginas have to experience random symptoms presenting out of nowhere (menopause) until they die, after years of their uterus ripping itself apart when an egg isn't fertilized. We got some problems."
"Wisdom teeth. Just, why?"
"Mine are weird. Still have all 4. Upper right is on an 45 degree angle. Lower ones are out for the most part. Upper left was supposed to come down when I had a molar next to it pulled… never appeared 6 years later. They aren't causing me problems but I'm probably getting them taken out this year. Might as well."
AirwaysHasan Minhaj Netflix GIF by Patriot ActGiphy
"Breathing and eating through one hole. I guess it's common among all animals not just humans but still, the Devs should be fired for that one."
Knees need more strength and I'd kill for more ways to breath, especially on a treadmill. The body is a mystery and a conundrum. But, it's all we've got, so take care of it.
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In an ideal world, every relationship has open, clear communication and there are no surprises when it comes to the state of the relationship. It's simply about laying the groundwork and creating a partnership.
But we don't live in an ideal world and some people do not have the skills to communicate like this. Instead they completely blindside their partners and put them in impossible positions.
So when Redditor u/JJBoB159 asked:
"What is the coldest way you found out your relationship was over?"
Here were some of the icy answers.
And The Fish Died Too
"I was heading home from college for three days, and I had asked my girlfriend to take care of my fish, I had an aquarium in my dorm room."
"I knew that we were having some miscommunication, so I wrote a letter to share what I was feeling."
"It was a very nice letter, and I was explaining that she meant a lot to me and that I was willing to do what it takes to keep the relationship working. And thank you for taking care of the fish."
"When I got back to college, when she saw me she said, 'We have to talk.'"
"I thought it was about the letter. She told me her friend asked about her relationship, and at first, she said it was fine, but her friend pressed her and said, 'is it really though?'"
"Then she began to realize it wasn't fine. So she decided to break up with me. I said, 'Did you read the letter?'"
"'What letter?' she said. 'The one I taped to the front of the fish tank.'"
"'Oh, after I decided to break up with you, I didn't think about feeding your fish.'"-Pongfarang
"Back in 1988, my mom's long term boyfriend went to go buy the Sunday paper and never came home. My mom thought he had been murdered, cops were involved, etc."
"If he was found at the time, my mom never heard of it. She spiraled into depression and ended up in the psych ward at the hospital. She learned later that he had abandoned us and moved to Nebraska to be with his ex wife."
"I found his address once the internet exploded and asked my mom if she wanted to contact him, but she declined. F**k you Jeff."-decanderus
Straight Up Cold
"One girl I was dating gave me a big basket of snacks and puzzle books for a week-long road trip I was taking."
"I tried calling her all week and never got ahold of her, when I got home at 3 am I found that she had left me a break up note the day after I had left, and had started sleeping with a co-worker the day I left."-JustAnoutherGeek
People sometimes just don't have the gall to actually break up with their partners.
Just The Worst Kind Of Person
"I visited my parents one weekend. While I was gone, he changed his relationship status to single and f**ked some other girl in our bed."
"His reasoning? We weren't Facebook official at the time, so it was ok. I came home to her picture on the nightstand instead of mine, so the he had planned the whole thing in advance."-0w1
"My girlfriend was cheating on me with 2 other guys. She tried asking out a third guy, and me and him happened to be close friends and he knew I was dating her, so he told me about it."
"I texted her saying that you have some explaining to do, and she played dumb, so I finally told her about it and her first response was 'WHO TOLD YOU THAT?!'"
"Yeah. Apparently getting revenged mattered more to the little sh*t than my feelings."
"I told her that it doesn't matter but she said she wouldn't explain if I didn't tell her, so (with my friends consent) I told her that he told me and she instantly started going on this long tirade about how he had ruined everything or some sh*t."
"I blocked her afterwards."-DiggityDog6
Such A Sad Moment
"This is a 3rd party story. I was a car insurance agent and when people split up and moved addresses they would call us and we'd split the policy."
"Car A with person A at address A and the rest at address B etc. When one person calls in, once the policy is split we call the other party to confirm the address, coverages etc."
"Well one day a woman calls in saying she and her husband are splitting up and she's moved. I separate the policy then call her husband."
"He was puzzled why I was calling and I explained (which is never comfortable) and he started sobbing. He just kept saying 'what do you mean she wants a divorce?! I thought we loved each other?' Etc."
"I felt awful for this guy. According to him this came out of left field and he had no idea she was going to divorce him. So I was used to tell this guy that she wanted a divorce."-CaraAsha
The Worst Kind Of Human
"First high school boyfriend, everything had been fine, we'd talked on the phone over the weekend. Go to school and strangely don't see him all day until I get to my fifth hour."
"He's standing outside the classroom door with a girl on each arm, calls me a b*tch as I get there, and leaves with the girls. I go in the room in shock to have a classmate say to me they heard P and I broke up. Well yeah I guess so."-Intelligent_One445
And while it's cold, it certainly says a whole lot more about the person being cold than the recipient.
"Not me but a friend. He came home from work to find his apartment empty except for his clothes in a pile in the bedroom and a pile of unpaid bills on the kitchen counter."
"Turns out she had been planning it for a few months stopped paying all the bills (including rent) saved the money and then just took off. Not even a f**k you letter. Just gone!"-TheTrollys
Always A Sidepiece, Never A Bride
"Heard from her sister and a friend of hers that she had slept with her 'ex' the previous weekend. We were all due to meet up for drinks on this particular night as I was struck down with an illness the weekend before."
"My heart sank when I heard the news and honestly it was quite embarrassing."
"She texted me a few days later explaining that she wasn't back with him and in had a lot going on etc. Eventually it came out that she never really broke up with him at all and I was just her bit on the side at the weekends."-Isfeidirlinn90
We Love Being Gaslit And Blindsided
"I had been going through a really tough time, my mom was fighting breast cancer, my boss was incredibly toxic and I started to feel like I was just going through motions but wasn't really there."
"My therapist finally convinced me to take a stress leave and get back on track, so I discussed it with my boyfriend and he said he would support me in my decision."
"Well, on the last Friday of work right as my stress leave was starting I got home and was actually excited to get back on track I got in the door and my bf said 'don't smoke weed!'" and I thought, 'nice a surprise date night!'... I was super wrong."
"He sat me down and broke up with me. We dated for 3.5 years and lived together and his main concern was who was going to keep the cat, he came armed with the fact that it was his house so it was better if he kept her."
"I bought the cat and loved her so much, but in that moment I felt defeated as hell so I agreed. I had been telling my mom just a week before that our relationship was going really well and I felt like he was going to propose so I was completely blindsided."
"I essentially lost my job, my house, my relationship and my cat in the same day. And went into an even more insane depression and he kept throwing more gas on that fire months after."
"I am very good now, my mom kicked cancer, I have a new job, a new boyfriend, and a new cat (though I still think about my old cat a lot, I know she is well.. but I still miss her). That sh*t was bleak AF though."-blondeboomie
It seems like sometimes people really just lack the courage to express how they're really feeling as it moves from moment to moment.
They end up blindsiding the people that thought they cared for them the most, leaving them by the wayside. Is it better to just express your feelings from the get-go? Or would you rather just let it all out at once?
If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!
As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.
Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked:
"Home inspectors of reddit, what are some horrible things that almost went unnoticed?"
Here's some horror stories that shed a little light on the home owner unknowns.
Behind the closet wall.
"Going through a home with [the] home inspector, didn't find any issues, bring my dad in to look through the house too and he was [incessantly] checking everything. Looks at the Zillow listing with the floor plan, measures the basement, finds out the actual measurements smaller than the floor plan which led us to go looking in a closet and realize they finished a wall and closet around the old oil tank, never decommissioned it, never planned to tell anyone about it, and we would have had to rip walls out to get to it to remove it. It was a non starter and we walked away. So happy to have my dad's sharp eye while home shopping."
If you need a good prank idea when you're renovating, here's one:
"I saw a post once, this guy said his dad's house had a diagonal outer wall and he was installing a combination wall and bookshelf to square the room. Since there was a small dead space on one side, the dad (who was a doctor), got a life-size plastic human skeleton from work and tossed it in there."
"So if someone tore the wall out to remodel in 30 years or whatever, they'd see it and freak out."
Man cave mayhem.
"Not a home inspector, but I did ask our home inspector what crazy stuff he had seen over the years. He had two stories."
"He inspected a modest three bedroom house and found that were very strange structural cracks in the walls. The area where the house was built is primarily clay soil which leads to a lot of foundation issues, but these were really abnormal cracks. He headed to the attic to wrap up his inspection; it was located over the garage so there was absolutely no structural support there. He poked his head up into the attic and couldn't believe his eyes: the owner had a fully furnished man cave in the attic over the garage. It had a couch, big screen tv, weight set, and a huge gun safe. He said he had no idea how in the world all of that stuff didn't come crashing down through the garage ceiling or how the guy had managed to get the giant gun safe up there without some sort of elaborate winch system. He said it was only a matter of time before the house collapsed."
"The only other weird thing he encountered was a cistern (an old well) in a crawlspace underneath a house. He said he was crawling along on his stomach when he almost fell into it; it was left uncovered."
A rats nest of wires.
"I'm sure there will be some stories about wiring above drop ceilings. When I was looking at houses, I saw (not the home inspector) one once where like 10 different wires came into one rats nest of a cluster. To make it even better, there was a regular lamp cord that ran from it to power the hanging kitchen light above the table. And if you want whip cream and sprinkles on that.... the power came into that mess through knob and tube."
"I am an apprentice electrician and this comment just made my soul cry."
"I found an uncapped steel conduit with live wires behind my sink while remodeling. There wasn't even a cap on the wires."
"While ripping out our old kitchen we cut the old crappy countertop with a sawzaw, to our surprise saw a spark and blew a breaker. some mother f**kers who previously renovated this kitchen ran the wiring for a new outlet on the wall around the studs in a crevice in the back of the countertop...."
"My family flipped a house a few years ago. There were four ceilings, each a couple inches lower than the one before, and all but one had old wiring in it. It was like cutting into a weird lasagna, trying to find the studs in that house."
"Grandma was shrinking with old age, but her kids didn't want her to realize."
"Not me, but one I spoke to. Place almost passed, until out the corner of his eye... bam... jack stand holding up a beam under the house."
"Same with a house daughter was interested in. The place was a flip and totally redone. Beautiful. And down in the basement was a brick holding up a big beam."
This inspector had a full list.
1. "Furnace exhaust flue inlet at the attic furnace disconnected and a dead bird below it. Would have dumped all the furnace exhaust straight into the attic area. Obvious safety implication."
2. "Long time vacant house in a very secluded area. Reeked of cat p*ss and burnt plastic. No cats or cat feces in sight and no entry point for cats. Found small balloon in the corner of the floor where the fridge would be. Picked it up (with gloves) and white powder came spilling out. We came to the conclusion there was possibly the presence of methamphetamine in the home at some point and in some fashion."
3. "5 year old house, nice neighborhood, great shape, vacant. Everything looked good visually. In the attic, just after it had started raining heavily, a slight but constant drip was noticed from the roof sheathing in one area. Got lucky on that one. Sunny day, there would have been no evidence of any issue whatsoever."
4. "Homeowner DIY replaced the microwave and thought it would be 'clever' to run the exhaust vent into the wall cavity between the kitchen and adjacent laundry room. Just dumped the moisture into the wall. Mold city after a while if you do a lot of cooking while using the exhaust fan."
5. "60s house, well renovated. Range was a gas/electric dual fuel setup. Noticed broiler took forever to even start to warm up and never got hot enough that I couldn't touch it real quick (they usually glow red after like 30 seconds). Found out the range was plugged into a 110v outlet (enough to power the control panel and light) and not the proper 220v outlet (not even present). Oven was essentially useless. That one also had an incomplete drain line from a bathroom sink dumping everything directly into the crawlspace."
6. "New build. Got into the attic and just a quick 360° scan, something was off. Looking closer found a truss web beam that was completely gone, just ripped out (gusset plates bent to hell). Probably knocked out by the framing crews crane or something and they thought no one would notice. Time is money right? Lol"
They saved the day with this good catch!
"I used to work in a hospital, in IT. We were in a back corner of the oldest building. I used an out of the way stairwell, that had a 4 inch cast iron sprinkler main running through it."
"One day when I was leaving, I noticed a little tiny bit of water on the outside of the pipe. I went back to my desk, called maintenance, and asked them to send someone down so I could show them what I noticed. Walked the guy down to the stairwell and showed him, went on home."
"The next day I get to work and there's a letter on my desk. I open it, and it's from the director of maintenance. Seems that they shut down and depressurized the sprinkler line, and when they went to disconnect the section with the leak, the pipe just crumbled. They figured that my call prevented a major flood in materials management (which backed up to the stairwell on the floor below us) as well as a FD call-out, as the alarm would have gone when the pipe ruptured and water started flowing. The director sent me a very nice thank-you, and referred the situation to the cost-saving committee to see if they could get me a bonus based on preventing an accident."
The internet might just save homeowners on a whole lot of money by taking a closer look during the inspection. Thank goodness for this Ask Reddit post shedding light on the horror stories of homeownership and renovation mishaps.