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'He Randomly Bought Me A Taco!' Starstruck People Share Their Most Heartwarming Celebrity Encounters Ever.

Some celebrities are known to be funny. Others are outright jerks. But these celebrities will forever go down for their heartwarming acts of kindness. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories.

1. I met Kesha in a pizza place. I was eating with some new friends and I was telling them about an experience I had with ghosts as a kid. They were making fun of me because they didnt believe. All of a sudden Kesha turns around and gets up from a table next to us. She walks up and says, Hey. Sorry for eavesdropping, but you caught my attention because you have the prettiest hair Ive ever seen. Also I totally believe you! Ghosts are real!


2. I met Jeff Goldblum years ago, before a performance of a play he was in. We stood on the sidewalk and he talked to my friends and me for about 15 minutes and was so incredibly friendly and funny. A few weeks later I was walking down the sidewalk when I heard someone say my name it was Jeff Goldblum! I couldnt believe he remembered me. He gave me a hug and we chatted for another minute and then he went into his theater to get ready for a matinee. It was absolutely surreal.

Liz Adams

3. My sophomore year of high school I met Ed Sheeran. It was before he was famous in the US, so after he played this super-tiny venue I went out back to chat with him. He was the most down-to-earth and just kind human being Ive ever met. We talked for around half an hour and he even recorded my voicemail message for me! Now every time you call me and I dont pick up, youre greeted by Ed Sheerans voice.

Meredith Warren

4. Was walking down the street in LA and, next thing I know, Ben freaking Affleck comes along and starts walking next to me eating a Subway sandwich. Casual.

Actual conversation between him and I:

Him: Whatcha up to?

Me: *trying to not freak out* Just finished taking a dance class.

Him: You need food after doing physical activity like that. *hands me the rest of his sandwich* *walks away*

Long story short, got mother-henned by Ben Affleck, and the sandwich wasnt bad.


5. I was on a family vacation in a ranch in Montana and it turns out Stephen Moyer was there also with two of his kids. We ended up playing softball together and he literally (Continued)

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We ended up playing softball together and he literally saved me from crashing into a tree with my horse. It sounds fake, but I promise you its not.


6. Before a middle school play, a handful of us went to go grab Taco Bell for the cast. A Baldwin brother asked what all the tacos were for, found out about our play, came to our school, paid $20, didnt ask for change, and posed for a photo afterwards. Being 11, I was clueless. I thought it was cool he paid $20, which was a lot of money to me.

Freedom VanPelt

7. Tracy Morgan comes into the supermarket I worked at and he is the nicest guy ever and we consider each other friends. He is always very talkative and he always asks me how school is going and gives me advice sometimes when he sees Im in a bad mood. He will always stop and take pictures. He and I once had a 30-minute conversation on how boys should respect me and it honestly was amazing. He is the nicest celebrity ever.

Erin Saunders

8. On my 16th birthday I was in Vegas. We were staying at Caesars Palace and I was walking around the lobby, tripped and face-planted. I look up and Elijah Wood was standing there. He offered to help me up I was a huge fangirl at the time, so I panicked and quickly got up and ran away.

Kristin Johnston

9. My mom met Kim Kardashian in an airport a few years ago. Kim didnt know it, but my mom was on her way to her best friends funeral. When my mom approached her, Kim was incredibly kind and gracious, and actually signed her boarding pass and gave it to my mom as a gift for my sister. Im sure Kim doesnt remember that random encounter in an airport in Alberta, but her kindness to my mom won her fans in all of us for life.

Brittany Rae

10. Im a server at a caf in Southern California and have had the chance to meet a bunch of celebrities. Matthew Gray Gubler is hands down the best. He took a photo with me, then sent the restaurant an autographed photo a month later as a surprise!


11. I was working on a movie with Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth called The Last Song. During a break, I went into the restroom, which was totally empty except for Miley, who was (Continued)

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who was sitting up on the wall of sinks, and her makeup artist, just chatting. I really had to go, so I just sheepishly apologized and said I would be quick, in case I was interrupting. As I was heading into the stall Miley said, Do you want me to turn the water on for you?? I get SO pee-shy. Here, Ill just turn it on for you. I chuckled and said, It was OK, I lived in sorority house with 30 other women, you learn to get over that quickly! But thanks! As I washed my hands, she divulged how she wished someone had been there to turn the water on for her at the Grammys when Mariah Carey was in the stall next her.

Erin Berson

12. I once met Tom Felton while hiking, and although I was really nervous about asking for a picture, he was super sweet and let me pet his dog and apologized for having wet hands because he was giving water to his dog. Even called me lovely. Made my little Slytherin heart swoon.


13. Colin Firth opened the door for me, nodded, and wished me a good evening.

Eliza Gray

14. James Franco taught me how to pump gas. I had just gotten my license like a week prior and was really struggling at the gas station. I heard an oddly familiar voice ask if I needed any help. I turned around, and there he was.


15. A few years ago, I was flying home for my birthday. My girlfriend was living in New Zealand at the time and was flying back to celebrate with me, but she could only stay for less than two days. Well, my flight was delayed, and I immediately sat down and started crying. I tried to be discreet, but it was very obvious that I was balling. A beautiful girl (both in looks and soul) sat next to me, offered me a tissue, and asked me if I was going to be OK. She sat and talked with me for almost a full hour, listened to me gush about my girlfriend, about my grandmother, and we talked about being queer. It wasnt until about a year later that I saw a picture Cara Delevingne and lost it over the fact that the gorgeous and amazingly kind woman I talked to was Cara freaking Delevingne.


16. A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Hudson. Well, actually I was hired to do a home inspection for her. I was really amazed at how (Continued)

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sweet and humble she was. Even though Id just started learning to play the ukulele, I asked her if she wouldnt mind singing if I played her a song. I was floored when she agreed to it. She was more than happy to humor me and was gracious enough to do a duet with me. Dang, to this day it still gives me goosebumps thinking about how extremely talented she is. I was completely gobsmacked at how amazing her voice really is when you hear it in person. Which pales in comparison to how incredibly nice she is.


17. Luke Wilson was a regular at my old Starbucks, so I would always have his iced coffee ready by the time he got to the register. During the holidays he said, Here, Kiana, this is for you, and hands me $20. I still have it framed and never told anyone, since I wouldve had to have split it with my other co-workers.


18. Before the Kim era, my sister and I ran into Kanye at a movie theatre. Though he was a bit hesitant to take pictures, he did oblige. We had a short conversation and after all was said and done (and he did compliment my shoes), we were on the guest list for his show the next night front row, it turned out.


19. Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) came into the bistro I worked at and Michelle complimented my tattoos; Kit proceeded to tell me all about his first trip to Canada. They ended up doing cartwheels in the little garden that we had there. (They had drank some wine.) So lovely that such big stars are so down-to-earth. It was such a pleasure meeting them.


20. Im an enormous Survivor fan (read: watched all 32 seasons multiple times) and actually ran into Jeff Probst at Starbucks. This was my first actual starstruck experience, but I went up and just said, Hey, Im a huge fan and before I could get any other gibberish out, he got out of the line and immediately started (Continued)

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asking me questions about what I thought about this season, previous castaways, past seasons, etc. We talked for over 20 minutes and HE asked if we could take a picture. Dream. Come. True.


21. I was a seat filler at the first-ever Guys Choice Awards. There was free food and drinks, but the seat fillers werent allowed to partake in any of it. Will Ferrell was randomly seated at the table I was at he was so nice! He chatted with us and showed me pictures of kids. He ended up getting the waiter to bring the whole table of seat fillers multiple shots of tequila. Andy Samberg even stopped by to take a shot with us as well!


22. Met Carlos Santana in a Las Vegas mall. My mom said, You probably hear this a lot but you look like Carlos Santana. He chuckled, then my mom began talking to his wife (aka Lenny Kravitzs drummer). She told us he was in fact Santana himself. He was super cool, gave our family of five free tickets to his show, let us hang out backstage, and even gave my brother (whos a guitar player himself) an iPod loaded with never-before-heard live music.


23. Long story short, I was very, very drunk at a very fancy party, and it was definitely time for me to go home. As I walked to the door to leave, I could feel myself starting to fall over. I was drunk, I was wearing 5-inch heels There was no stopping it. I didnt even try, kind of just let myself fall until someone caught me. I looked up, and it was Sebastian Stan. Sebastian Stan caught me in his arms. Like something out of a movie. He looked down and me and laughed and said, Having a good night? and I have no chill at all and responded with a super-suave line: I am now.


24. I used to work for Disney World, and part of my duties included what we called PAC; Parade Audience Control. Basically my job was to go out there, set up the safety barriers, watch for kids trying to stampede out in front of floats, and also to provide a bit of amusement for the people while they were waiting. There's also a position called 'alcove' which is where celebrities sit for a better view. I happened to be on alcove duty one day, and lo and behold, up comes Shakira. I had a brief moment of sheer fanboy before my training kicked in, and we spent a good 20 minutes just talking and chatting the same way I would have with any guest. She's a very down to earth and friendly person, and I'm really glad that I got to meet her, especially in the way I did.

Peter Bear

25. Just a couple weeks ago I saw Mara Wilson perform at a comedy club in Queens, and she hung around the bar after with all the rest of us "regular folk." I went up to her and told her (Continued)

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I was fan and would she mind taking a photo? She smiled and said, "Yes, why not? I'm wearing make up for once." We laughed and took the photo and then she said she loved my skirt. I beamed and blurted, "Thanks, it was 5 bucks at H&M!" She told me that made it even better. It was just a lovely interaction all around--thanks, Mara!

Ali Arduini

26. Before a Middle School play, a handful of us went to go grab Taco Bell to bring for the cast. A Baldwin brother asked what all the tacos were for, found out about our play, came to our school, paid $20, didn't ask for change and posed for a photo afterwards. Being 11, I was clueless. I thought it was cool he paid $20 which was a lot of money to me.

Freedom VanPelt

27. Ed Sheeran was opening for Snow Patrol (this was way before he was headlining sold-out arena shows lol) so my friend and I decided to go to the venue even though we didn't have tickets. Long story short, we waited outside with a security guard for two hours and he ended up bringing Ed out to see the two of us (this man is still our hero for helping us out). Ed brought out a Lego figure that he put together on his tour bus and gave it to us because he was so grateful for our support. He then made sure we were getting back home safe and suggested we go eat at a Greek restaurant nearby. Couple of months later, we go to a small show of his and he remembered us! Love that guy.

Sophia Shetterly

28. Don Sweeney, former Boston Bruins player and coach, Stopped a photo line to help me get my infant and toddler back in their stroller, and he called me "Super mom."

Erica Sloan

Sources to individual storytellers linked in their username.

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Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

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Our ancient ancestors had their own habits; some were strange and bewildering, others were nearly identical to those we practice today. Looking back through history, one might be surprised to find the daily lives of the ancients weren't so unrecognizable. But then again, there are still plenty of ancient habits that leave us scratching our heads.

1. Ground-Breaking Discovery

Recently, archaeologists working in Italy’s Caverna delle Arene Candide found a heap of rocks. Not exactly headline news, but these rocks had been carried up from a nearby beach and broken in a consistent, uniform fashion, and similar-sized pieces had been taken from each one. It appears that Neolithic Italians broke the rocks as a funerary rite—the rocks themselves may have represented lost loved ones, and breaking them symbolized the person dying.

2. Shake On It

person holding hands of another personPhoto by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

The tradition of greeting another person by shaking hands dates at least as far back as the Ancient Greeks. One column at the Acropolis even shows the Greek goddess of marriage, Hera, shaking hands with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena.

3. A Little Pick-Me-Up

Nowadays we have Viagra and Cialis, but Pliny the Elder suggested a bevy of ancient Roman aphrodisiacs that reads more like a witch’s shopping list than a doctor’s prescription. To put the pep back in your step, Pliny suggested the yolks of pigeon eggs, in honey, mixed with hog’s lard, or sparrows eggs, or a lizard drowned in one’s own urine. If that didn't work, you could always wear “the right testicle of a cock.” I’ll pause long enough for you to stop giggling.

4. For The Ladies

brown falcon on treePhoto by Photos By Beks on Unsplash

Got it out of your system? Ok, moving on: For ladies with low libido, Pliny advised ingesting a vulture’s tongue, or wearing a patch of wool soaked in bat’s blood on top of the head. It seems so obvious, doesn't it?

5. Just ’Browsing

Nothing made a Greek woman feel more attractive than having a thick, swarthy unibrow. To the Greeks, the unibrow signaled a combination of beauty and brains. Greek women would go to great lengths to get that perfect forehead mustache, lining their brows with kohl or soot, or even using tree resin to affix fake eyebrows made of goats’ hair to their foreheads.

6. Of Corset Was!

white and brown striped textilePhoto by Jamie Coupaud on Unsplash

You probably associate the fitted corset with those breathless Victorian women who, though they maintained their figure, looked constantly on the verge of fainting, but they weren't the first to wear them. The corset goes all the way back to the Ancient Minoan women of Crete, who wore similar restrictive bodices. The Minoan corsets were likely the first fitted garments ever worn.

7. To Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt

Popular superstition states that, if one should spill some salt, one can counteract the bad luck by throwing a pinch of salt over the shoulder. That practice actually goes all the way back to the ancient Assyrians. The superstition was passed on from them to the Egyptians, and then the Greeks, and the Romans, all the way to today.

8. Stairway To Heaven

an egyptian scene with a man offering a bowl to a womanPhoto by British Library on Unsplash

The same is true of walking under ladders—the Egyptians came up with that one. Because a ladder leaning against a wall formed a triangle, representative of the holy trinity of Egyptian gods, to walk through was considered sacrilegious. Naturally, that superstation lent itself perfectly to the early Christians. I always just thought it was because you're likely to get something dropped on you if you walk under a ladder.

9. As It Nappens

Just like the Spaniards with their customary siesta, the Ancient Greeks would insist on taking a quick mid-day nap throughout the summer. One 5th-century medical text advised that a brief nap around noon kept the body from “drying out.”

10. That Sucks!

In ancient Ireland, one showed submission to tribal kings by sucking their nipples. Bog-bodies (ancient remain found well-preserved by the chemicals in a bogs) have been found with slashed nipples, indicating that they had been driven from the throne.

11. Pour One Out

Even if you're completely out of touch, you’ve probably seen a rapper “pouring one out” in a music video. Feel free to pour one out in memory of Pac or Biggie, but you should know the practice actually began with the Ancient Egyptians, who first spilled their drinks as a tribute to their god of death, Osiris.

12. The Good Book

person's hand holding book pagePhoto by Rod Long on Unsplash

The practice of libations was continued by the Greeks. There is even mention of “pouring one out” in the Old Testament: Genesis 35:14 states “Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him [God], even a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it.”

13. Beer For Breakfast

While the pharaohs had no shortage of delicacies to choose from—fruit and honey and wine and cured fish and all manner of roasted beasts—the Egyptian working class had a significantly shorter menu. The typical Egyptian breakfast consisted of bread, beer, and onions.

14. Sand Gets Everywhere

a group of people riding horses in a desertPhoto by Veronika Biró on Unsplash

And sand. Lots of sand. Keeping sand out of their food was a huge problem for Egyptians, and coupled with their rough, fibrous diet and the fact that they had no real culture of dental hygiene, it meant that Egyptians of modest means usually suffered severe dental issues.

15. Chickening Out

Roman navies always kept chickens on board their ships, but they never intended to eat the birds. Rather, the chickens were offered cake. If the chickens pecked the cake, the Romans were sure to have luck in their upcoming battle. One Roman admiral, furious that his chicken wouldn’t peck, shunned superstition by throwing his chicken overboard and declared, “If it won’t eat, it can drink instead!”

27. The Stash

green palm tree during sunsetPhoto by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

According to Herodotus, certain tribes to the east liked to throw bushels of marijuana on bonfires and enjoy a nice stone. As with a lot of stuff that Herodotus said, historians took this with a grain of salt, but in 2008 archaeologists discovered the tomb of a 2,700-year-old mummy in the Western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

In addition to the mummy—presumably, a shaman of the Yuehzi people—was nearly 800 grams of marijuana, worth about $8,000 to modern consumers. Also found in the tomb, a stack of Bob Marley records and a poster bearing the phrase “Legalize It.”

17. A Different Period

To cope with severe menstrual symptoms, Roman women used tampons soaked in opium, while Egyptian men were allowed—and even encouraged—to take time off work to care for their menstruating wives or daughters.

18. Don’t Sweat It

gray concrete building during daytimePhoto by Federico Di Dio photography on Unsplash

After a big day at the Colosseum, Roman fight-goers liked to celebrate the trip by buying souvenirs. Gladiator sweat was a favorite, as was lard from the animals who had been killed during the show. The sweat was mixed with olive oil and sold as a perfume. It was also considered a powerful aphrodisiac. I'll pass, thanks.

19. Decisions, Decisions

According to Herodotus, the rule of thumb among the Ancient Persians was if something was decided upon while drunk, all people involved must wait until they’ve sobered up, and decide again. Later writers added that, if something were decided while sober, the Persians would again put the decision under scrutiny by getting drunk and seeing if the idea held up. At least they covered all their bases!

20. Puking Party

girl in grey tank top holding purple flowerPhoto by Дмитрий Хрусталев-Григорьев on Unsplash

As everyone knows, the Romans loved to party, but of course one can only party so much. The idea of any Roman feast was to eat and drink as much as physically possible. When a Roman began to feel too full, or too drunk, it was socially acceptable, and even encouraged, to induce vomiting, thereby making room for more.

It should be said, however, that it's a misconception that they had special rooms called "vomitoria" for this purpose. Vomitoria did exist, but they were special passages in theaters or auditoria designed to efficiently allow many people to exit at once. The name comes from the Latin word vomo, which means "to spew forth."

21. No Pants Allowed

The Greeks and Romans had pants, they just didn’t wear them. The Greeks thought they looked silly, and the Romans considered them “for the barbarians,” since they were customarily worn by Germanic peoples to the north.

22. Spitting Image

man spitting waterPhoto by Asael Peña on Unsplash

It wouldn’t be unusual to see a Roman spit on himself; it was something they did any time they encountered a mentally ill person or someone with epilepsy. Not only were these traits undesirable, they were considered contagious as well. By spitting on himself, a Roman was protecting himself from the spread of a disease—an action that had no basis, even in Roman medicine, but remained a widely held superstition.

23. The Cure-All

For everything that spitting couldn’t cure, the Romans swore by "theriac." The compound, invented by Nero’s personal physician, was made of 64 different ingredients, including opium and viper flesh, and was said to cure everything from poisoning to plague. Theriac remained a common item in apothecaries and pharmaceutical shops well into the 19th century, because if nothing works anyway, you might as well eat some snake parts.

24. Ancient Times

grayscale photo of round analog clockPhoto by Timo C. Dinger on Unsplash

Punctual Romans carried around portable sundials, not unlike our more modern pocket watches. Each sundial came with specific instructions on how to use it based on one’s geographical coordinates and the season. But the Romans didn’t rely on a regular 60 minute hour like we do: rather, they followed the Egyptian example of keeping a 45 minute hour through the summer and a 75 minute hour in the winter. How could that not have confused people?

25. Fast Food

The Romans were a busy, on-the-go people, so it’s not surprising that, just like us moderns, they loved fast food. There were restaurants all over the Rome, many of them with windows that opened onto the street so customers could just order their food and go. I wonder if they had drive-thru windows for chariots?

17. Pompeiians Can’t Cook

brown and white concrete buildingPhoto by Yaopey Yong on Unsplash

There were more than 200 take-out restaurants in Pompeii alone. Taking dinner out was so common that many Pompeiian homes didn’t even have kitchens.

16. Vend Diagram

The Romans even had vending machines. Or at least they had the technology—the only known example, built by Roman-Egyptian inventor Hero of Alexander, was coin-operated and dispensed holy water.

28. Cone Heads

brown concrete statue of manPhoto by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

Long before the spray bottle was invented, the Egyptians developed a unique way to apply perfume. They wore tall cones of resin or ox fat on the top of their heads. The cones would be infused with aromatic oils and myrrh. As the balmy night wore on, the cones melted, leaving the Egyptians coated in fragrant oil. It was considered good hospitality to offer these cones to guests at a party.

29. The Best Part Of Waking Up…

Coffee came from Africa, tea from the far east. Neither seemed to have caught on among the Romans. Given the dearth of caffeinated beverages, the Romans began their mornings with a beverage made of goat feces and vinegar. I'll stick to my bean juice, thanks.

30. Just Do It

File:15-07-05-Schloß-Caputh-RalfR-N3S 1528.jpg - Wikimedia

According to Pliny the Elder (this guy again...), the goat dung and vinegar beverage was especially popular among chariot racers; it was kind of like an ancient version of Gatorade. The emperor Nero personally endorsed the drink, saying that it gave him extra strength.

31. Urine Luck

The Romans used human urine in industries like leather tanning, and some of these companies even paid a “urine tax” for the privilege. But that’s not all: Urine was used by the Romans as a laundry detergent, a fertilizer, and even as a mouthwash. Because, you know, nothing makes your mouth cleaner than...

32. A Brush With The Egyptians

blue and white plastic bottlePhoto by 莎莉 彭 on Unsplash

In this instance, at least, the Egyptians were centuries ahead of the Romans, and even ahead of pre-20th century Westerners. The Egyptians invented the toothbrush, and used it in conjunction with a toothpaste made of gum arabica, soot, and water that actually would have done an OK job.

33. Mint Condition

In fact, one 4th century Egyptian text offers a complete—though different—recipe for toothpaste: one drachma of rock salt, one drachma of iris flowers, 20 grains of pepper, and, of course, two drachmas of mint for kissably fresh breath. Hey, if it's not human urine, I'll take it!

34. Getting Around To It

man and woman statue under blue sky during daytimePhoto by Sergio García on Unsplash

Let’s talk about bad habits for a minute. Here in the modern world, many of us have trouble getting motivated—we tend to put off starting things, even if they’re important or good for us. But don't feel so bad, even our ancient ancestors struggled with procrastination.

Putting off crucial business was so common in Ancient Greece that the Greeks had a word for it: akrasia, “the state of acting against one’s own interest.”

35. So Stupid, It’s Smart

One Greek statesman discovered a trick to help him defeat akrasia: Demosthenes shaved one side of his head (seriously). Funny, but how does it help? Demosthenes reasoned—rightly, perhaps—that he would be less tempted to go outside if he knew people would make fun of his stupid haircut. Rather than risk the mockery and taunts of his fellow Athenians, he stayed home and studied. Something to remember next time you’ve got a big exam coming up.

36. Moldy Medicine

sliced bread on tablePhoto by Helena Yankovska on Unsplash

The Ancient Egyptians applied moldy bread crusts to burns. This practice has also been found in ancient Greek, Chinese, and Serbian cultures. While none of these ancient cultures had any way to know specifically, they did seem to intuit that the microbes and antibodies active in the mold were good for fighting off infections.

37. An Eyebrow Raising Habit

Eyebrows were important to the Ancient Egyptians, as well. The death of a household cat was a serious tragedy—the Egyptians literally worshipped the furry felines—and families would often demonstrate their grief by shaving their eyebrows off.

38. The Cat’s Pyjamas

Free Images : animal, monument, statue, cat, egypt, sculpture

Cats were idolized by the Egyptians because of their skill at killing vermin like rats and snakes, and because they also represented fertility. When a cat died, even the cat of a laborer, it was given a noble burial, mummified, and laid to rest surrounded by pots of milk and mummified mice. We should all be so lucky.

39. Pretty Disrespectful

The practice of mummifying cats was so common that, over the course of the 19th century, British industrialists were able to import nineteen tons of mummified kitties for use as fertilizer.

40. Not Monkeying Around

black monkey sitting on rock during daytimePhoto by Benjamin Ong on Unsplash

Cats weren’t the only pets loved by the Egyptians; they were also known to keep monkeys. Big monkeys. Really big monkeys, like baboons, in fact. Baboons don’t live in Egypt—they had to be imported to Egypt specifically—but their popularity led them to develop a wealth of cultural and religious significance to the Egyptian people, and one was considered lucky indeed to have one of the simians in their home.

41. The Hogs Of War

The Greeks and Romans employed an unlikely ally when they went to war: Because their rivals in the east typically employed elephants, the Greeks and Romans enlisted the help of war pigs, whose squeals terrified the giant beasts.

42. The Romans Treated Their Kids Like Garbage

a statue of a person holding a staffPhoto by Clemens van Lay on Unsplash

Roman families did have adoption practices—even Julius Caesar adopted his great-nephew Octavian, later known as Augustus—but it was mostly a way for the wealthy Roman elite to ensure they had an heir. For poorer families, unwanted children were often just left at the dump.

If those unwanted babies didn’t die, they were usually taken to be raised as slaves.