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Historical Events So Ridiculous They Sound Made Up

A Redditor asked: 'What’s an event in history that is so ridiculous it sounds fake?'

historical reenactors
Sigmund on Unsplash

We've probably all heard some variation of the saying "Truth is stranger than fiction."

Real life isn't just strange, it can also be downright ridiculous.

History is riddled with moments of absurdity.

So ridiculous that people have a hard time believing real life is, well, really real.


A Redditor asked:

"What’s an event in history that is so ridiculous it sounds fake?"

Moostaken Identity

"Hannibal saved his army by tying torches to the horns of 5,000 cows and driving them in one direction."

"The Romans thought they were the enemy army and converged on them, while Hannibal quietly snuck his 10,000 man force out of the valley by another route."

~ Marxbrosburner

War Without Casualties

"That time Denmark and Canada (I think) had a 'war' over Hans island."

"Every time a Navy vessel drove by they picked up the flag of the over nation, planted their own and left a bottle of alcohol."

"I heard it stopped not that long ago."

~ FairyQueen89

"It also means that both Canada and Denmark now share a land border with more than one country."

"Also (jokingly) means that Canada could potentially join the EU, as it now borders an EU nation."

~ millijuna

Oh, 💩

"The Erfurt Latrine Disaster occurred on 26 July 1184, when Henry VI, King of Germany (later Holy Roman Emperor), held a Hoftag (informal assembly) in the Petersberg Citadel in Erfurt."

"On the morning of 26 July, the combined weight of the assembled nobles caused the wooden second story floor of the building to collapse and most of them fell through into the latrine cesspit below the ground floor, where about 60 of them drowned in liquid excrement."

~ amerkanische_Frosch

Running On Empty

"The 1904 Olympic Marathon in St. Louis."

"32 athletes took part, but only 14 were able to finish—there was only one water station in the entire 26-mile course. The 'winner' was later disqualified because they found out he drove half the race in his car."

"The new winner (the guy who came in second) had to be carried over the finish line by his trainers because they’d been dosing him the whole time with a strange mixture of strychnine, brandy, and egg whites."

"Several people almost died of internal injuries. Multiple runners stole things from passersby."

"Most people in the race weren’t even Olympic-level athletes, just amateur runners, many of whom didn’t even have to run a full marathon to qualify."

~ Blacl-Owl

Stonewalled

"When two perfectly working pistols failed to fire on US President Andrew Jackson who then beat his would-be-assassin so badly that the presidential security detail had to pull him off to save the man's life."

~ sleepwalkfromsherdog

The Log Shot First

"The guy who founded Scientology once engaged in a multi-day naval battle with a log. He would then go on to commit an act of war against Mexico."

~ Duck_Whistle

"In June 1942, Hubbard was given command of a patrol boat at the Boston Navy Yard, but he was relieved after the yard commandant wrote that Hubbard was 'not temperamentally fitted for independent command'."

"In 1943, Hubbard was given command of a submarine chaser, but only five hours into the shakedown cruise, Hubbard believed he had detected an enemy submarine. Hubbard and crew spent the next 68 hours engaged in combat."

"An investigation concluded that Hubbard had likely mistaken a 'known magnetic deposit' for an enemy sub. The following month, Hubbard unwittingly fired upon Mexican territory and was relieved of command."

"In 1944, Hubbard served aboard the USS Algol before being transferred. The night before his departure, Hubbard reported the discovery of an attempted sabotage."

"I believe he had his men fire into hills in Baja California. He must not have realized that you can’t just use another country for target practice."

~ csfshrink

Bling, Bling

"The Field of the Cloth of Gold, where King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France tried to out-bling each other."

"The fact that two monkeys covered in gold leaf were far from the most ostentatious display is a good indication of how tasteful it was."

~ notatravis

"I assumed you meant two statues of monkeys in gold leaf."

"But no, actual real-life monkeys. Somebody painted actual real-life monkeys gold."

~ Youre_so_damn_fat

Sorry We Can't Shoot You

"When America went to war with Spain, the Spanish forgot to tell their territory, Guam.

"The US sent a single warship to the island where they took 13 shots at the fort."

"The leaders on the island rowed out to apologize they couldn't return their 'salute' because they had no gunpowder."

"That is why Guam is a US territory."

~ Wetworth

Ribbit

"The Great Windham Frog War."

"In 1754 Windham, Connecticut was still a frontier settlement. One hot night the residents awoke to gruesome sounds that convinced them that the local Natives were attacking."

"Throughout the night they strove to drive off the attackers with steady gunfire. In the morning they crept out, to find thousands of dead frogs who had spent the night competing for the dwindling water."

"Rather than being ashamed, this has become a central part of the town’s character. The town’s symbol is a frog and the bridge is decorated with large frogs at each corner."

~ DdraigGwyn

Psych!

"Operation Mincemeat."

"Basically, the British dressed a random dead guy in a military uniform, put fake invasion plans in his pocket, and dropped him on the shore of Spain."

"The Spanish found the body (and invasion plans) and informed Germany."

"Germany, believing the invasion plans were real, sent an army to Greece—which is exactly what the Brits wanted, because they were actually going to invade Sicily."

~ ThePinkTeenager

They Got Worms

"For a very long time the Roman empire was able to acquire silk through trade over 'the silk road' to China, but never able to unlock the secrets of producing it domestically themselves."

"Until 552AD, when two monks preaching in India then travelled to China, where they witnessed the guarded methods of using the live silk worm to spin the famous thread."

"Knowing the importance of what they'd learned, the monks returned to Constantinople to report directly to the emperor Justinian."

"He personally met the monks, heard all the details of what they'd seen, then asked them to return to China and find a way of smuggling these worms back to the empire."

"They agreed, and prepared for the 2 year ~6,500km (4,000mi) trek back to China on foot, hoof and wheel."

"Once back in China they acquired either eggs or young larvae, since the adults are too delicate for transport, and tucked them into hollowed bamboo canes for the long journey straight back home."

"Once the monks made it back to Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), domestic silk production slowly ramped up and the need for long journeys along the 'silk road' ramped down."

"Over time, this allowed the same type of silk monopoly which China had enjoyed through the prior centuries to now be established in the Mediterranean, becoming one of the bedrocks of the Byzantine economy for the next 700 years.It's crazy to think about these two guys."

"1500 years before you or I were born, making their second multi-year, 6,500km trek back from China, smuggling two bamboo canes full of bugs which would fuel the economy of one of the world's largest civilizations for the next 700 years."

"I wonder if they knew and understood these possibilities when they went to scoop the worms from their baskets in China...Imagine the anxiety trying to keep them hidden and alive the whole way back!"

~ ChipHazardous

Ape 💩

"The Gombe Chimpanzee War."

"It sounds like something right out of a Planet of The Apes movie."

"The Gombe Chimpanzee War, also known as the Four-Year War, was a violent conflict between two communities of chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in the Kigoma region of Tanzania between 1974 and 1978."

"The two groups were once unified in the Kasakela community. By 1974, researcher Jane Goodall noticed the community splintering."

"Over a span of eight months, a large party of chimpanzees separated themselves into the southern area of Kasakela and were renamed the Kahama community. The separatists consisted of six adult males, three adult females and their young."

"The Kasakela was left with eight adult males, twelve adult females and their young."

"During the four-year conflict, all males of the Kahama community were killed, effectively disbanding the community. The victorious Kasakela then expanded into further territory but were later repelled by two other communities of chimpanzees."

~ DeadalusJones

Hong Xiuquan Christ?

"The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864)."

"Hong Xiuquan, who failed the imperial exam on the third try to become a civil servant, had a breakdown and dreamed that he was the brother of Jesus Christ."

"He later led a revolution resulting in between 20 to 30 million deaths. That's the bloodiest civil war in the world and the toll of death surpasses the totality of casualties in WWI."

"British diplomats at the time wanted to support the revolution but later discovered that Hong Xiuquan literally never read the Bible and they thus deemed it would be disastrous if he were to get the throne."

"This historical event feels like a fever dream everytime I hear about it."

~ Freezemoon

Pied Piper

"John 'Mad Jack' Churchill was a British officer in World War Two. He’s famous because he brought along a Scottish claymore, bagpipes, and a bow and got the 'only confirmed longbow kill of the Second World War'."

"One time he was with part of his commando unit and a shell exploded and injured everyone but him, so he played a Scottish Jacobite song on his bagpipes until the Germans captured him and sent him to a prison camp."

"He promptly escaped via a tunnel he dug and almost got to the ocean before he got recaptured."

"By then, it was April 1945, and the German military was falling apart, so they let him go pretty quickly."

"He’s famous for the quote 'any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed'."

~ 3000ghosts

What absurdly, ridiculous event would you add?

People Reveal Which Non-Horror Movies Absolutely Traumatized Them As A Kid

Reddit user alina_love_ asked: 'What's a non horror movie that traumatized you as a kid?'

No matter how long ago we saw it, there are some scenes or images from movies that still send shivers down our spine or keep us awake at night to this very day.

Pennywise appearing in the sewer in It, Janet Leigh surprised in the shower in Psycho, Freddy Kreuger's tongue popping out of the telephone in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Of course, some of the scariest, most disturbing, or most emotionally traumatizing scenes from films might have been featured in films outside of the horror genre.

Even more shockingly, some of these films were primarily marketed towards children!

Redditor alina_love was curious to hear which non-horror films the Reddit community saw as children still send shivers down their spines today, leading them to ask:

"What's a non horror movie that traumatized you as a kid?"

It Was Tim Burton, After All...

"'Pee Wee's big adventure'."

"Large Marge scared the crap out of little me."

"I was even scared of the fortune teller."- BlueStarrSilver·

With A Title Like "Temple Of Doom"...

"'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'."

"The scene where the guy gets his heart ripped out traumatized me for years."- Pbhf

That Funeral Scene Though...

"'My Girl'."

"Fear of death, fear of losing a friend, fear of bees, fear of puberty."- heidismiles

macaulay culkin kiss GIFGiphy

Jurassic Park's Got Nothing On This...

"'The Land Before Time'."

"Watching Little Foot’s mother die was awful."- HourglassSass

He'll Always Regret Not Bringing Her To The Museum...

"'Bridge to Terabithia'."- jumpstart-the-end

"Everything goes so well and it falls apart SO FAST and your left absolutely traumatized."- VortexDestroyer99

The Reason People Hold On To Their Appliances For As Long As They Do...

"The Brave Little Toaster'."- Catgurl

"The junkyard scene alone was responsible for so many nightmares."- ManChildMusician

brave little toaster animation GIF by Coolidge Corner TheatreGiphy

And Let's Not Forget The Coachman's Smile...

"Disney’s version of 'Pinocchio'."

"The scene where kids are turned into donkeys and kept on the island and then resold was f*cking weird."

"You felt bad for that bully kid after he looked sad and nobody understood what he said because he was a donkey."- earnestlikehemingway

Few Things More Sad And Scary Than Deforestation

"'Ferngully: The Last Rainforest'."

"That evil tree scared me so bad."- slutsdotnet

Anything But "Truly Scrumptious"...

"The 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Childcatcher guy!"

"I'm still scared of him!"- Jet_Maypen

child GIFGiphy

Offing Children One By One...In A Children's Movie!

"'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' boat scene."

"Honorable mention of claustrophobia when Augustus gets stuck in the chocolate tube."

"UGH!"- looseseal-bluth

At Least We Know He Had A "Sole"...

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit."

"That poor shoe….."- dalalice5555

At Least The Song Is Catchy...

"Neverending Story."

"Not even Artax, which was awful, but the Rockbiter and his good strong hands."- marxychick1

Neverending Story 80S GIFGiphy

Dorothy Gettying Electro Shock Therapy Says it All...

"Return to Oz."- Jeff_Steelflexx

"Horrifying! What about the animated wig heads?"- weensfordayz

The Reigning King Of Childhood Trauma

"Old Yeller."- IceTech59

"I remember watching this on TV during, I think, Wonderful World of Disney (Sunday nights were Disney night on TV)."

"Cried and cried and cried."

"I've never been able to watch it again and I've never shown it to my kids!"- crowwitch

Not All Friendships Are Tenable... A Terrifying Thought

"'The Fox and the Hound'."

"Still makes me incredibly sad, lol."- mental_reincarnation

best friends friendship GIFGiphy

Sometimes, writers and filmmakers simply overestimate what might go over a child's head.

Or, for that matter, they might underestimate their emotional capacity.

Regardless, ask any of Fairuza Balk's fans which is scarier, Return to Oz or The Craft, and their answer will be immediate...

(... and it won't be The Craft...)


Close-up of a man wildly smiling with his face painted like the joker
Photo by Mihail Tregubov

Sometimes it's fun to toy with someone.

Especially if it's an enemy or a loved one who simply deserves a good ribbing.

Some cryptic sentences can send anyone into a tailspin.

And oh the fun that can be had.

You have to be as vague as possible and as sincere.

You have to sell the sincerity. That's vital!

And then just watch them implode.

Redditor theary18 wanted to hear about the most creative ways to throw somebody off their game, so they asked:

"What is the best thing to say to someone to subtly f**k with their head?"

I love to come up behind someone and say "I can't believe they would treat you this way. I got you girl!"

Then I scurry away.

Tee-hee...

It's YOU!

For Me GIF by Liz HuettGiphy

"Just tack on the phrase 'given your history' to any question you ask someone."

"Are you sure you want another drink? Given your history?"

"Do you mind driving? Given your history?"

hamletreset

Mean Kids...

"I moved to my elementary school in the 5th grade. Mid-year, a boy came up to me and said, 'I really thought you were gonna be somebody.' I'm now 45 and I'm still like, what the f**k was he talking about?"

NicklePlatedSkull

"Likely something they heard a parent say to someone. Kids love to repeat the dumb stuff you say the next day at school."

itsallgoodman2002

"All jokes aside he probably thought you were someone else. I've done the same things countless times and it's happened to me a few."

Download_more_ramram

"I would interpret this as this kid hearing there's gonna be a 'new kid' and then their imagination ran wild as to who this new star is going to be, that it will be like in some kid movie or something, but you turned out to be just another kid student."

i_was_planned

I Like You

"I don't get why other people don't like you."

Dependent_Main2643

"Another variant is..."

"I don’t care what everyone else is saying. I think you’re great!"

"They’ll take it as a compliment at first but then they’ll think about it and it’ll eat away at them."

Oh-Cool-Story-Bro

"A guy I work with says this time to me every time I help him 'I don’t care what everyone else says about you you’re alright. Literally everyone else. We did a poll.' XD guy says some crazy s**t. When he started he tried to convince us he was a flat earther. He just likes fucking with people."

ThreeBeatles

Rumors

“'I heard about you.'"

ignorantpigeon

"Whenever I hear this I always respond with 'if it’s all good, it’s all lies.' Usually shows my sense of humor and if it is bad things they heard it usually lightens the mood."

ElApolloLoco

"Years ago I worked at a cafe and function venue which was sold after a few years to a new catering company. The first time I met the new restaurant manager I introduced myself and she exclaimed 'Oh, you’re winoforever!' and I was a bit weirded out. Then not long later I met the new owner and she also said 'Oh, you’re winoforever!' I still wonder twenty years later what they’d both heard about me."

winoforever_slurp_

Problems

Drunk Party Girl GIFGiphy

"Go up to someone at a party and say: 'I just want you to know that personally, I have no problem with you being here.'"

LuketheMook

"I once got drunk and effectively said that to a girl at a wedding. 'I don't care what everyone else thinks, I always liked you' or something like that."

Supersnazz

Parties are the perfect setting for these shenanigans.

Especially with the drinkers.

But get them at least semi-sober.

I got You

Okaay What GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy

"If you are chatting with someone and another person walks up look at them and say 'I just want you to know that I was defending you' then turn and walk off. It's a good 2fer."

could_use_a_snack

Hush

"'We know, but don't worry, we'll keep it a secret.'"

ch3rrycsmos_

"A friend in high school (actually still a current friend) said something similar to me and it definitely f**ked with my head. 'You know you're not fooling anyone, right?' He wouldn't elaborate and it took me the rest of the day to figure out he was f**king with me. As a guy with imposter syndrome, especially as a teen, that had me turned for a bit."

ablackcloudupahead

You Again

"If it’s someone you interact with repeatedly, always introduce yourself as if you’ve never met before."

Stillwater215

"I keep doing this to a guy I see very occasionally. He's a friend of my sister-in-law, but I've introduced myself to him at least four times. Right now, I'm trying to picture his face and I totally can't, so if I see him again, I'll introduce myself again. He remembers me though. And I don't have this issue with anyone else, I just can't remember this guy's face for some reason."

KrtekJim

Big Mouth

"You really need to brush your teeth."

setthepinnacle

"Somebody jokingly left a message on the 'tip' line that said 'Take a breath mint.'"

"I'm like 90% sure it was just the first thing that came to his head but it f**ked with me for weeks. I was self-conscious when talking to people, being close to them with my mouth open, and I'd constantly be brushing longer/harder taking mouthwash a couple extra times a day, and using mints."

ToFaceA_god

Head Issues

Think About It GIF by IdentityGiphy

"Give all your friends a few dollars to compliment their hat if they’re not wearing one. When 50 people insist you’re wearing a hat, you start to think you’re wearing a hat. It will drive them insane."

Stillwater215

Hats off for that last one. That's harmless but devious.

Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments below.

laughing woman wearing pink sweater
Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Societal pressures shape how people act most of the time, but every now and then someone comes along who doesn't care what other people think.

They do what they want, when they want without guilt or remorse.

According to President Theodore Roosevelt:

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

Much less rare are the times when otherwise conscientious people decide to throw caution to the wind. Almost everyone had at least one moment in life when they decide to go for it.

Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, right?

How things turn out after such a decision can make for some interesting stories.

Keep reading...Show less
Couple laughing
Photo by Devon Divine on Unsplash

Part of the fun of dating and being in a relationship are the unexpected, impulsive moments.

What's funny is how these could be equally arousing moments, too, even if they're moments that we never expected to make us feel that way.

Redditor thann3 asked:

"What is the weirdest thing your partner did that turned you on?"

Backing Up

"When he backs into a parking spot, he puts his right hand on the back of my seat when he looks behind him."

"Hnnnngggggghhh. Gets me going and I don't know why."

- evilpinkmoney

"Every time someone mentions this, I am reminded of the time I did it and accidentally backhanded this girl in the face."

- kingoflint282

That Reading Voice

"In high school, this girl had a soothing voice. Every time she read out loud, I had goosebumps and she gave me butterflies."

- donbruh

Overwhelmingly Happy

"I can’t think of anything weird my husband did, but the first night of our honeymoon, we were talking about the wedding and our future, and I started crying because I was so happy (and told him that’s why I was crying)."

"He was smiling and gave me a kiss and then whispered, 'I don’t know why, but you crying just now turned me on.'"

"Lol (laughing out loud), it didn’t turn me on, but it did make me laugh, and I thought it was weird-cute."

- snarkylarkie

Safety First

"On the first date, he put my seatbelt on. It surprised me because I heard of men opening doors for their dates but not putting their seatbelt on. It just showed a very caring yet masculine side of him."

"The tension of knowing we wanted of each other but agreed to take it slow just made me go feral in my head."

"A year and a half later, he still does it to this day. He even gets 'mad' when I don't let him. I still blush when he does it, especially when other people are in the car with us."

- eeeeriemarie

Certain Accessories

"It wasn't my girlfriend, but over a Skype call maybe a decade ago when I was a teenager, I was on a call with a female friend I had the hots for."

"I casually mentioned that I had a thing for girls in glasses."

"She gasped, told me to wait there, and scurried downstairs. About 20 seconds later, she rushed back up, jumped onto her bed with her jaw resting on her fists, and low and behold, she was wearing glasses."

"We laughed, I didn't know what to say, but that was the cutest and sexiest way of letting me know she liked me."

- GemoDorgon

Good Chemistry

"I know it sounds weird, but her breath is intoxicating. It’s naturally somewhat sweet, and of course, she thinks I’m crazy."

"Edit: We know it’s not diabetes, ketosis, or any other medical issue. We’ve been together for over 30 years and it’s just good chemistry."

- yoooozername

That Deep Stare

"An ex-girlfriend of mine looked at me in a certain way every now and again that just did something to me, like a bit of a stare deep into my soul knowing she wants all of me. Every day I hope someone will recreate and enhance it."

- SamCham10

The Perfect Sweater

"When she wears THAT sweater, I'm powerless."

- wastedmytwenties

"Can someone link a pic of this type of sweater? Asking for a friend."

- schnaizer91

The Sleeve Roll Trick

"My boyfriend rolled up his sleeves kind of slowly the other day, and I felt like I couldn’t hear anything for like a solid minute, lollllll (laughing out loud)."

- farrah_barra

The Corniest Jokes

"This man will make the corniest joke in the whole world, and then his whole face lights up as he giggles at it. Gets me every time."

- Hobbbitttuallly

The Perfect Wine Pour

"We had our honeymoon in Italy and he noticed the waitstaff poured wine really beautifully, so he replicated it. Now I have him pour all my drinks for me."

"For some reason, the way his wrist moves when he pours really gets me going."

- chicken-and-awfuls

Specific Arm Movements

"Two things."

"When he's working on something mechanical and he starts getting serious, he'll flip his cap backward. It's an absent-minded thing and F**K is it sexy. And when he's working overhead, the way his arms flex. Watching him lift things into our attic is an instant turn-on. It's f**king weird, but godD**N does it do it for me."

"Also when I wear something sexy or low cut and he's not expecting it, he'll stutter if he's mid-sentence. We'll be talking from another room for instance, and I'll toss on a revealing shirt and walk in there and he'll lose his train of thought. Or shake his head like he needs to clear it. Your man making you feel sexy is the ultimate sexy move."

- shimmydownnow

Love Language: Physical Touch

"It's the gentle physical touch in public. That little 'Love you' touch as they scurry away to do a thing. Those random touches turn me on so quickly."

- 1beeratatime

Totally Saved It

"He fixed the shower in my truly horrible, low-rent grad school apartment and changed the oil on my car. Not sure why, but that just did things to me."

"If you were to ask my husband, self-deprecating humor would probably be his answer."

"On our first date, he and I went to see this stage production of 'Jekyll and Hyde.' At the bar, they were selling these cute little shots of Bailey's/Kahlua, with each liquor on separate sides of the glass. Me, being incredibly graceful in all things always, completely dumped the Bailey's half onto my blouse."

"His eyes got all big, not sure how to react, and I just sighed, turned to him, and reintroduced myself like, 'Hi, I'm (my name). This kind of thing happens a lot.'"

"He busted up laughing, I ordered a scotch, and we've been together for the past 11 years."

- anyesuki

Simply Existing

"Exist. My girlfriend could literally just stand there and I could and would get a chill down my spine."

- andytheloser12

While we were expecting these responses to be, well, weird, most of these were actually pretty cute or heartwarming.

Sometimes when it comes to relationships and intimacy, something can feel weird simply because it's unexpected, but maybe the unexpected moments are among the best parts of the relationship!