There's no way to keep track of all the weird stuff we've gotten up to over the past 5000 years of recorded history. Some of these stories are heartbreaking, some are creepy, some are downright outrageous. All of them have one thing in common they're pretty darn unbelievable. Thankfully I've added sources at the bottom of each story, so you can see for yourself. Enjoy!
The 1904 olympic Marathon was definitely one of the weirdest events in history.
The first runner to arrive at the finish line was Fred Lorz. He was hailed as the winner, had his photograph taken with Alice Roosevelt (the daughter of the U.S. President at the time, President Theodore Roosevelt), and was just stepping up to get his gold medal when ....wwwwwwaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttt just a gosh darn minute!
As it turns out, Fred Lorz had gotten a little tired midway through the race, and had hailed himself a ride back to the finish line. He actually intended this to be his self-disqualification (or, dropping out of the race), and was waving at fans and spectators along the ride. However, the car broke down at the 19th mile, and Lorz hopped out and jogged across the finish line. When they told him he had won, he decided to go with it.
After the scandal came out, Lorz said he had been joking. The AAU wasn't laughing they banned him for the competition for life. Turns out, they gained a sense of humor the next year and lifted the ban.
Okay, so what about the real gold medalist?
Thomas Hicks, from Britain (who ran for the US), won the event, though it was under extremely bizarre circumstances that definitely wouldn't be okay today. Hicks was 10 miles away from the finish line, and in the lead, and he wasn't feeling so great. It turns out, his coach had been giving him small doses of strychnine sulfate a common rat poison, which stimulates the nervous system in small doses mixed with brandy. At that point, Hicks had started hallucinating and stumbling, barely able to hold himself up. So what did his support team do? They gathered around him and held him up, and two others moved his feet back and fouth as if he were still running, for the rest of the race. The man was literally almost blacked out, and was being propped up by a team of ill-prepared coaches. The judges (somehow) decided that this was still acceptable, and awarded him the gold.
So what happened to poor Thomas Hicks? He had to be carried away from the track, couldn't accept his medal, and nearly died, but thanks to immediate medical treatment from nearby doctors, his life was saved. He never ran professionally again.
But wait. It gets even better.
The fourth place winner was a man who wasn't even supposed to run in the race. He was a Cuban postman named Andarn Carvajal, who decided he wanted to "try out the race" after he had lost all his money in New Orleans. He thought maybe the marathon would be a shot to earning some money. So, what did he do? He hitchhiked to St. Louis, but forgot his running shorts, so he cut off the legs of his trousers to make them look like shorts. Oh, he also had forgotten to eat before the race. In fact, he hadn't eaten anything in the past forty hours, because he had run out of money, so part way through the race he spotted an apple orchard and decided to take a snack break. Well, it turns out the apples were rotten, which made his stomach churn. Despite all this, he finished fourth.
This marathon was also the first Olympics that allowed Black Africans to compete. Len Tau (Len Tauyane) and Yamasani (Jan Mashiani) weren't actually supposed to be competing that day. In fact, they had been brought to St. Louis as part of the Boer War exhibit. They finished 9th and 12th, though this was a huge disappointment to a lot of people, who believed that Len Tau probably would have finished 1st if he hadn't been chased for a mile in the wrong direction by a pack of dogs.
Seriously. Why isn't this a movie, yet?
Some time around the year 400, an ex-Christian monk named Simeon the Stylite (the Greek word style means "pillar") decided he had had enough with contemporary society. He went to great lengths to shut himself off for the world, but people sought him out for spiritual advice, which kind of cramped Simeon's hermetic lifestyle. He tried a couple of tactics:
First, he secluded himself in a hut for a year and a half. During this time, he went for the entire 40 days of Lent without eating or drinking, which was hailed a miracle, upon his emergence from the hut. This didn't do well for Simeon as it positioned him as a kind of spiritual leader that people turned to for advice. Simeon wanted to spent time on his own devotions, though, so he climbed up to the top of Sheik Barakat Mountain, and chose to live in a teeny tiny space less than 20 meters in diameter.
But, alas, he couldn't deter the pilgrims. They invaded his mountainous seclusion in search of advice or prayer. Still, Simeon wanted more time for his own devotions. He needed to take it to a new level. It has been stated that, as he seemed to be unable to avoid escaping the world horizontally, he may have thought to attempt to try to escape it vertically.
Simeon found a pillar that had survived among ruins in Telanissa (modern-day Taladah in Syria). It stretched fifty feet into the air, and was less than one square meter in diameter, and wrapped with a banister. Simeon, in his near-obsessive search for the perfectly hermetic location, decided to climb to the top of this tall and tiny pillar, and make it his new home.
Then he proceeded to live there for the next forty years.
He asked boys from the nearby village to bring him food and water, which he may have pulled up in buckets via a pulley system.
When the monastic Elders heard word of Simeon on the tower, they thought it would be a good idea to determine whether these extreme feats were due to humility and asceticism, or in pride. In other words, was Simeon just doing this to be famous? They decided that they would order him to come down from the pillar. If Simeon didn't obey, they would drag him down. If he was willing to submit, they would let him stay. Well, Simeon was completely compliant, so they let him stay where he was.
Edward Gibbon in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire describes Simeon's life as follows:
In this last and lofty station, the Syrian Anachoret resisted the heat of thirty summers, and the cold of as many winters. Habit and exercise instructed him to maintain his dangerous situation without fear or giddiness, and successively to assume the different postures of devotion. He sometimes prayed in an erect attitude, with his outstretched arms in the figure of a cross, but his most familiar practice was that of bending his meagre skeleton from the forehead to the feet; and a curious spectator, after numbering twelve hundred and forty-four repetitions, at length desisted from the endless account. The progress of an ulcer in his thigh might shorten, but it could not disturb, this celestial life; and the patient Hermit expired, without descending from his column.
So, how did this plan work for Simeon's hermetic aspirations? It didn't exactly deter the people. In fact, the new pillar attracted crowds from near and far people who wanted to see him for spiritual guidance, as well as people who just wanted to come see the guy who lived on the pillar. Simeon seemed more open to the idea, though, because he was able to restrict when people could visit. He made himself available each afternoon to talk to visitors, who could ascend to speaking distance by climbing a ladder. He also wrote letters, instructed disciples, and lectured to the crowds below.
Looks like it worked out for Simeon.
In 1054 AD, there was a supernova a massive star dying in a fiery explosion at the end of its life which they referred to as a "guest star." This particular supernova was extreme. "The star shone roughly four times brighter than Venus. It remained visible in the night sky for 653 days."
At its brightest, it lit up the whole sky during the night for a month.
Supernovas in our galaxy are very rare we haven't seen one since 1604, which was before the invention of the telescope.
What's really incredible about the supernova in China, though, is that astronomers in the 1920s realized that the Crab Nebula is actually the remnants of that exploded stars.
There has been a lot written about the WWI and WWII. The accounts that often fail to reach the surface, are the first hand accounts written by people who were down in the trenches at the time. Many of these men didn't make it, but their writing outlived them, and provides a stark look into the horrors of the time. The following are excerpts from some of these accounts:
"The sun swelled up the dead with gas and often turned them blue, almost navy blue. Then, when the gas escaped, the bodies dried up like mummies and were frozen in their death positions... sitting bodies, kneeling bodies, bodies in almost every position, though most lay on their bellies or on their backs."
In the trenches...
"The crows pecked out the eyes and rats lived on bodies that lay in abandoned dugouts. These rats were very large and quite fearless, their familiarity with the dead having made them contemptuous of the living. One night one fell on my face in a dugout and bit me."
"Where we fought several times over the same ground bodies became incorporated in the material of the trenches themselves."
Dealing with all the death...
"They were putrid, with the consistency of Camembert cheese. I once fell and put my hand right through the belly of a man. It was days before I got the smell out of my nails."
"Even worse was that each one was crawling with maggots and covered inches deep with a black fur of flies which flew up into your face, mouth, eyes and nostrils."
"No one could expect the men to handle these bodies unless the officers did their share. We worked with sandbags on our hands, stopping every now and then to puke."
"Churches, houses, woods, and hedgerows had all disappeared. The distance was shrouded by rain and mist, from out of which the boom of gunfire came distant and muffled."
Check out more personal accounts from the war here.
The story of H.H. Holmes is an incredibly haunting part of American history more specifically, the history of Chicago. Buckle up for this one, folks, because it's about to get creepy.
In the summer of 1886, a man named Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as either Dr. Henry Howard Holmes or H.H. Holmes, moved to Chicago. When he arrived, he went into Elizabeth S. Holton's drugstore at the southwest corner of South Wallace Avenue and West 63rd Street in Englewood, to apply for a job. H.H. Holmes scored the job, and proved himself as a hard working employee to Elizabeth Holton. He remained an employee there for a while, and eventually bought an empty lot across the street.
H.H. Holmes started construction of a three-story, mixed-use building, complete with apartments, retail spaces, a new (competing) drug store, and a hotel. During the construction of the building, H.H. Holmes constantly replaced workers, rotating people in and out, and firing them halfway through jobs with the claim that they were "insufficient." This served two purposes one, he didn't have to pay for as much labor, because he constantly told people they weren't good enough. Two (and here's where it gets creepy), he wanted to ensure that no one caught wind of his master plan: murder. The bizarre hotel was filled with stairways that led to nowhere, doors that opened onto brick wall, and doors with perplexing locks that could seal a person inside.
Every bedroom was soundproofed. Some were equipped with gas lines that were controlled from the other side of the wall. One of the rooms was sealed up, and could only be entered through a trapdoor in the ceiling. Some doors were rigged with alarms to track the movements of guests. One secret room on the second floor was deemed the "secret hanging chamber" by Holmes.
Yep. H.H. Holmes was building a murder castle.
One of Holmes' earliest known murders was that of Julia Smythe. Julia Smythe was the wife of Alex Conner, but was also acting as mistress to Holmes on the side. Conner had moved into Holmes' building and got a job at the pharmacy's jewelry counter on the first floor. After he found out about Smythe's affair, he moved away, leaving behind not only Smythe, but their daughter, Pearl. Smythe remained in the hotel, taking care of her daughter, and continuing her relatinship with H.H. Holmes. That Christmas, both of them disappeared. H.H. Holmes claimed that she had died whilst receiving an abortion, though most people agree that they were H.H. Holmes' first ever victims.
Whether or not this is true, there is no denying what H.H. Holmes did next.
Emeline Cigrade began working in the building in May 1892, and disappeared that December. Edna Van Tassel entered the building and was never seen again. Over and over, people went into the Murder Castle, and were never seen again. This serial killer wasn't seeking people out they were coming to him. "In was into this labyrinth that Holmes lured his victims. He would asphyxiate them, hang them, even seal them up in vault-like chambers to let them die of starvation or thirst. Their bodies were placed in a dummy elevator or dropped down a secret metal chute that led to the basement."
In his basement, Holmes would then examine and dissect the bodies. He would sell their bones and organs to the medical communities, and dispose of their remains using a combination of lime pits, acid baths, and giant furnaces. This murder castle was rigged to the nines.
When he was caught, H.H. Holmes confessed to 27 murders, though some sources have speculated there were more than 200. When authorities raided the house, they had a hard time finding victims, as all their bodies had been disposed of very thoroughly. Here is some of the disturbing stuff they found:
- A maze of torture chambers
- Secret chutes (for bodies)
- The dissection area in the basement
- A mound of human and animal bones, including bones of children
- A pile of bloody women's clothing
- A gold chain
- A women's shoe (found inside a large stove on the third floor)
H.H. Holmes was hanged on May 7, 1896. He requested, before his death, to be buried in a coffin encased in cement, and buried 10 feet deep. Ironically, he had a fear of being dissected.
Pope Gregory IX lived from 1145 to 1241 AD. He was born Ugolino di Conti, but took the name Gregory when he became Pope, at age 80.
Pope Gregory had a thing against cats, most specifically black cats. So, as one of his first orders of business, he created a public degree, known as a "Vox in Rama", that condemned any form of devil worship. In that document, he included cats, stating that they were the animals of the devil.
He then had cats exterminated in droves.
Well, it turns out that cats are pretty darn useful, especially in a time where rats, mice, and other rodents ran rampant in the streets and in homes. It wasn't a huge deal until...
About 50 years later, the Black Plague broke out in Eurasia. It was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, snatching the lives of 75 million to 200 million people across Europe and Asia. To put that into perspective, that meant that about 50% of the entire population of Europe died. If you didn't die, half your family and friends did.
One of the leading theories of the carriers of said plague? Rats. Well, to be more specific, fleas that travelled on the backs of travelling rats.
In the fifty years following the reign of Pope Gregory IX, people everywhere started hating on black cats. It was incredibly common to kill all black cats, as a "service" to the community, because, as Pope Gregory would have it, these were devil cats.
So, by the time the rats started spreading themselves all over Europe, carrying the Black Plague, there were no cats to keep them away or kill them.
Obviously, there is no way to directly link Pope Gregory IX to the spreading of one of the most horrifying diseases of all of human history, but there is pretty strong evidence to suggest that he had a strong hand in how far and wide it spread.
Who knows... maybe Pope Gregory was right all along, and black cats are the devil. After all, starting the Black Plague would have been a pretty great revenge.
Thanks for reading!
Books are life. Recently studies have been published that reading for fun, reading for knowledge, just interest in reading in general is down, and that is a tragedy.
We've become too obsessed with our binge watching and ADHD mindset that we've lost focus on one of life's greatest joys... literature.
There are some stories and books that should be a mandatory read for life. There should be age benchmarks that require knowledge of certain books in order to progress. I know, how "1984" of me. ;)
Redditor u/bugtanks33d wanted to hear about what literature we should all be familiar with sooner than later by asking:
What's a book everyone should read at least once in their lives?
One of my favorite books is "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It was a key element in unlocking what I could see with my imagination. No adolescent should go beyond sixth grade without knowing it. What else?
"ANNOUNCEMENT FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE READING THIS THREAD:"
"MANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED HERE ARE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN AND IN AUDIO BOOK FORM. GO THROUGH YOUTUBE/RANDOMHOUSE/AUDIBLE/OVERDRIVE FOR ALL THE CLASSICAL GOODNESS YOU WANT."
"It almost totally eliminates the financial/time commitment that many will cite for not picking them up. I listen to books on double speed all the damn time. I am working my way through "A Tale of Two Cities" now."
Meaningwondering simon cowell GIF by X Factor GlobalGiphy
"Man's search for meaning - Viktor Frankl."
"The Phantom Tollbooth."
"Milo: "Many of the things I'm supposed to know seem so useless that I can't see the purpose of learning them at all."
"Princess of Sweet Rhyme: "...what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover the wonderful secrets of tomorrow."
"Johnny's Got His Gun. It's so intense, but it's so good. Metallica's song One is based off this book. Guy has his arms and legs blown off, goes blind and deaf, and is left to live like that. I only read it once, but it's forever engrained into my memory. It hits you like a freight train."
"Surprised I haven't seen it here already so I'll add it... The Brother's Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. In Slaughterhouse 5 Vonnegut said it could teach everything that we needed to know about life, except that wasn't enough anymore."
"If the only thing that book did was make you marvel at how people centuries and oceans removed from you in time and place, could experience the exact same emotions about life as you did, it would be worth the read. There's so much more to it, but Dostoyevsky had such a knack for digging deep into universal human experience. And it's just a hell of a good story too."
Classicsdiva read GIFGiphy
"Speaking as somebody who isn't religious, the literary value of the Bible (and the Hebrew Bible) is severely underrated."
I took a class on it in college, with a prof who'd once allegedly gotten into a bar fight over Beowulf. We would sometimes spend half a class discussing a single verse or two because there's so much stuff going on under the hood."
I know so many of those. And sadly, I'm already behind in my studies. I love books and I'm always on the path to find more to consume. Let me ready my already lengthy list.
WARWar Shockwave GIFGiphy
"All Quiet on the Western Front. Everyone should have to reckon with the reality of what war actually means."
"Night, by Elie Wiezel. It is absolutely heartwrecking , and I hated every moment of reading it, which is exactly the effect it is supposed to have."
"Came here looking for this one. I had to read it back in high school and it blew me away how moved I was by it. Stories like his need to be remembered for all time, no matter how hard it is to get through (emotionally-speaking; it's actually quite an easy and short read). I'm so grateful that my English teacher assigned it."
"The Westing Game."
"A Librarian here, such a terrific book. I have gotten so many kids to read it by hooking them with the fact that the reader can play the game and has all of the clues. And good luck as it is fiendishly clever."
All the Good Crazy
"The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Such a great book."
"Oh my god yes. I love this book for being the sex, drugs and rock and roll of the classics world. It is lengthy but has revenge, treasure, plots and schemes and drugs. There is nothing stuffy about this classic."
"The Giver- that book made my 9-10 year old mind really think about what was important in society. It was the first time the idea of "good" things having a negative consequence was presented to me. I think what makes it work is that we are learning how this whole society really works along side a character who has lived in it his whole life."
"As the facade of the utopian society begins to fall away to show devastating consequences of the "perfect life and society" the reader not only feels their shock but the main character's shock. This was a book I read in school 4 times- once in 5th grade and once in 10th for English and then in both high school and college sociology classes. This book written for 9-13 year olds made for great discussions."
Good and Bad of Liferead ford GIFGiphy
"The Grapes of Wrath and/or Of Mice and Men. Both are heartbreaking, but not for the sake of being heartbreaking - instead they provide a glimpse of how freaking hard life can be, but also how beautiful it can be."
That is a lot of good advice. And a lot of great storytelling and advice giving. Did anyone miss anything that should be there? And make sure you read anything by Harlan Coben, he's a fav.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
It's always our high school dreams, as shown by every high school teen movie ever, to marry the popular girl or the jock. But high school is high school for a reason; life does not really last outside of the walls of high school in the way it did within.
Jocks tend to fall off their athletic bandwagons. The popular girls have a hell of a time making their way in the working world when their popularity means nothing. People's lives sometimes completely freeze in place.
Or sometimes those people really do completely change, and live their lives for the better.
Here were some of those answers.
"My mom was the elite Atlanta debutante and lived a very cushy life at a budding Miami country club. Beautiful and very popular at the private school. My dad grew up on a farm in Virginia. They weren't poor but they were definitely not refined."
"Eventually my father's family made it down to Miami after selling the farm. He became the lifeguard at the country club pool where my mom spent days lounging about."
"My parents say they saw each other and that was it. The scandal was great - the debutante and the lowly lifeguard...."
"They just celebrated 54 years of marriage. My 'lowly' lifeguard father made quite the life for my mom regardless of what all those elite twats said was going to happen."
"She gladly left the country club life for him and they are still so utterly in love it's crazy. He carries a photo of her at the pool where they met. The only references she makes to being 'that girl' are that they proved everyone wrong."
"They are beautiful and I love their story."-wadinglimpkin
Just Because He's Hot Don't Mean He Can't Be Smart Too
"Not me but my mom married my dad who who was hot sh*t. They met in college when he was an absolute hellion."
"But since then he became a doctor, still a really fun dude. He's also a licensed contractor so when he was bored he built a 6000 square foot barn in our backyard over 10 years completely on his own."
"Absolutely stand up dude."-GravityMyGuy
"I married the cool girl. Super athletic, everyone was her friend. We started dating in high school."
"She's kept up everything people loved about her. Nowadays she isn't as interested in other people, and focuses on herself, her career, us and our future."
"We're planning to buy a house and have kids soon. I'm the breadwinner today but I'm not so sure if that'll be true in a few years lol"-WakeAndVape
See, not all the cool kids go on to have horrible, boring lives after. Sometimes the cool kids were cool because they deserved it.
"As it turned out, I married one of the mean girls, didn't go to her school, didn't find out she was considered that until after the divorce. That's how it turned out."
"Then I dated one of the cool chicks. Did go to her school, did know she was considered that. And she was the most amazing human being I've ever known. That one didn't work out either."
"Now I'm just retired from relationships for a bit, strike 3 would kill me right now."
"This was very therapeutic. I have friends and family that are awesome. Hopefully, I'll have more Someday. For now it's me and my kids I'm focusing on."-read110
A Tale Of Strength (On The Outside)
"My mom was the cool girl all through high school, undergrad, grad school. But life didn't go that well. For most of her life, she had to be caring for someone in the family who was ill, and that took a huge toll on her."
"First it was her dad, then it was me (I had childhood illnesses), then her in-laws in quick succession, then her dad again, and finally she had to nurse my dad until he passed away from a terminal illness."
"She was meant to be social and have fun, and instead she was forced to be around sickness and sadness for her best years."
"But she is a very happy and mentally strong person in general who made the best of things. She hosted a lot of people and events."
"My house growing up was full of people visiting and having fun. She's very charming and easy to talk to, and has a lot of fans all the time."
"Though, my siblings and I find her social side rather annoying. She isn't like that with us, and she tells us her charming side is just an act, and the real her is the lady who is constantly critical of us 'for our own good.'"
"She likes having groupies hanging around, people who are happy to take her help and be grateful to her. She has very few friends who could be considered her equals."
"She also expects a lot from other people and is constantly disappointed. She wants to be the center of everything. She doesn't know to be a guest at anything, she somehow ends up running every event she's invited to."
"She sincerely believes she's helping, but it's just disrespectful sometimes and when we tell her that, she doesn't get it."
"She likes to dominate everything and make decisions for everyone. We joke that if the prime minister was her friend, she'd somehow end up running the country for him."-sensitiveinfomax
Sometimes, Chase The Waterfalls
"My mum was the nerdy girl who got all the As and had zero social skills, and somehow managed to start dating my dad who was the popular, good-looking guy who everyone thought would peak in high school."
"She was actually advised by her family and friends that he wouldn't give her the future she was hoping for. They got married at 19, had me when they were 20, and while they were pretty broke the first few years of my life, he paid for my mum to attend law school, started his own business and 25 years later with 3 kids, they're still so in love and have a pretty cushy life."
"My dad actually met one of the loud voices who told my mum she was making a big mistake marrying him, and she had said how she always knew he would turn out well, which he found hilarious."-samknowsbest8
"Found out recently (30 M) that my dad was extremely popular in highschool from my aunt. I had no idea he was an all-star football player with lots of college offers and was prom and homecoming king."
"Never talks about it, but he's doing well. 2 kids, a dog, and a loving wife, imo he's still winning."-ZoatDGoat
And what counts as successful in high school doesn't necessarily count toward success in later life.
What Kind Of Woman?
"My brother was one of the hottest guys in high school and went on to be a model. He's still cool and hot to many but now he's a bit fat."
"He's my brother so ewww on the hot part in my opinion. But women still swoon and he's so obnoxious. Think Matt Dillon, etc…. Era."
"He got dumped by his model 17 years younger wife for a 26 year old. He has impossible standards and it's making him miserable. He's into these flashy shallow women. Overall he's doing really well and his business is thriving."-RunRevolutionary9019
Always Take The Risk
"I sat next to the popular guy every day pretty much for five years and I was so afraid of speaking to him. I'd watched him and his friends picking each other up and shoving the chosen one into lockers, or chasing each other round into a pile on and throwing their shoes at each other. Typical school sh*t."
"They were rowdy and loud and intimidating, but he was the quiet yet seriously funny one and I crushed on him HARD for years. He remembers me as the little blonde girl who didn't speak to anyone (because I was so anxious all the time)."
"He also protected his sister from some a**holes every break time and she'd come to find him for safety from bullies."
"Should have spoken to him sooner when school finished, because we have the same music taste and we get on well enough now at 26 that we have a 6 month old daughter together, my daughter from a previous relationship and we just got engaged last weekend. I adore him, he's handsome, charming and funny and I would do anything for this man as he would for me."-hospital-flowers
High School Never Ends
"I married the Student Council President/ Prom King. He jokes that he peaked in high school. Graduated 20 years ago. He dropped out of three colleges and hasn't found a career path he is passionate about."
"He hates his job, but he's actually really good at it. He's kind of trapped in it because it would be incredibly difficult for him to find a new job without a degree."
"He's a good husband. He's an amazing father. He struggles with anxiety and some depression. A lot of self-doubt. He's incredibly social and the pandemic hit hard."
"He's put on weight and hates his body. He admits that he worries about what other people think of him and wants people to like him."
"He's introspective and wants to be a better person, but anxiety gets in the way sometimes. He married a theater nerd lol, but we didn't meet until college. I felt a little intimidated by his popular past, but he's very down-to-earth."-madestories
We really want our lives to fit neatly into these stereotypes, but at the end of the day, we are all just people repeating a cycle of wanting more for ourselves over and over again. We can't shove that into a stereotype.
Even the student council president, the prom king, the homecoming queen, and the jocks can't run away and hide in a single identity forever. Life makes you into a more rounded person whether you want to be one or not.
Movies' strong focus on creating drama through conflict inevitably has lead to countless on screen deaths.
Some of those movie deaths occur to minor characters we don't care much about (enter Wilhelm Scream). Nonetheless, they can still pack a punch if the manner of the death was gruesome or sad enough.
On the other side of the coin, a death doesn't have to be spectacular to create drama if it happens to a character we've grown to love throughout the film.
And sometimes, a beloved character faces a gruesome end. That's the double whammy.
Redditor Boston_Strong_CQB241 asked:
"Out of all the deaths you seen in movies, which one really stands out to you as the worst?"
Many Redditors recalled the deaths that drew their intensity from the connection they'd felt with the character who did the dying.
And, yes, sometimes the manner of death only heaped on the drama.
"The soldier in Saving Private Ryan that had the knife slowly plunged into his chest after a hand to hand fight and he was begging the other soldier to stop. Intense."
That Etched Wooden Beam
"The old man (Brooks) who hangs himself from The Shawshank Redemption."
" 'Get busy living or get busy dyin.' "
A Very Different Boxing Film
"Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. Almost becoming World Champion, then paralyzed, her family only caring about the money she won from boxing, then having her limbs chopped off because of bed sores that got infected."
"All this just to be put down as a act of kindness like the story she foretold of her dog she grew up with. I will never watch that movie again."
Stoic Until She Wasn't
"Vesper Lynd drowning in 'Casino Royale.' That moment when she goes serene and calm, to a panicky and frenzied last gasp for air.... that really bothered me."
Others were spooked by the pure violence of some onscreen deaths. They could barely watch the gruesome moments when they erupted.
But now they can't forget them.
Slam, Slam, Slam
"That f**king wine bottle scene in Pan's Labyrinth. The casual brutality is so horribly realistic." -- Darth_Mufasa
"My jaw dropped the first time I saw it and it still haunts me. In fact, that movie gave me nightmares for two weeks" -- TheSilverCrystal
"The curb stomp." -- AUTheatreNerd
"American History X. The curb stomp. It haunts me." -- DigitFisher
"Ryan Reynolds getting his insides eaten out by an Alien in the horror movie Life. It still traumatized me."
And some people recalled the deaths they witnessed as children movie-watchers. All grown up now, they still can't unsee those old images.
"That shoe from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it was so happy and friendly and then it gets slowly dipped to death. The smoke and its cries of pain are burned into my mind 25+ years later."
"Artax in the swamp of sorrows. Made me cry so much as kid, Atreyo was so hopeless." -- kirby60
"Don't you dare do this to me right now" -- OmgOgan
Multiple Movies' Worth of Sadness
"Stoick from How to Train Your Dragon 2, I still cry every time I even think about it, and the flashbacks in the third movie just break me, great trilogy. Full of emotion and great everything, best Dreamworks movies, in my opinion"
The worst part is that this is only a small handful of the tragic movie moments that are out there. And we have so many unknown future deaths we'll see too.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
It might feel like a challenge to come back at someone who has just insulted you, but it's easier than you think.
What's the most memorable comeback you've heard in your life?
No one knows you like your family, hence why they're usually the one who know the best way to eviscerate you using only their words. Anyone with an older brother and/or sister knows what's going on with these comebacks.
She Can Stay
"My son and his newlywed wife were poor college students living out of state. When I went to visit them I took them to the grocery store and let them fill up a couple of grocery carts that I paid for. As we were leaving the store I said, "Now, when your kids are poor married college students trying to get by, don't forget this". My new daughter-in-law piped up and said, "Oh we won't forget. We're going to tell them to go get grandpa!" Haa haaa haaa...I love that gal."
Got That Sacred "Dad Laugh"
"I don't care if it's self-congratulatory, I'm proud of this one:
"Having dinner with my dad and older sister. I got straight As in school or something, and she's doing the older sibling thing."
"Sister: You may have gotten the book smarts in this family, but *I* got the street smarts."
"Me: The corner doesn't count."
"Dad: *chokes whiles laughing*"
Oh, Good Lord...
"My uncle to my husband. "When are you guys having a kid?"
"My husband. "Please don't ask me about my sex life with your niece"
Like, in public. Where people are. Other people. People you don't know, who might just be going about their day-to-day business, and they just so happen to hear someone being roasted alive?
What's Keeping You Alive, Grandpa?
"Was standing behind these two older adults and this teen girl at the gas station last year. She was on her phone and the guy snapped at her for "not knowing how to live without technology" and without looking up she went "don't you have a pacemaker?".
When The Store Hates You...
"Someone yelled out in a Walmart , "I'm not ashamed of who I am".
"Another voice echoed back, "that's your parents job"
You Would Really Walk Up To Someone You Don't Know And Say This?
"Young pregnant co-worker had a stranger stare disapproving at her in a restaurant, then walk up and say "pregnancy isn't very becoming on you." She replied, "well, being a nosey rude bi*ch isn't becoming on you, but here we are."
And then there's these clapbacks. Unplanned, zero preparation, and with little prior knowledge, there needs to be a call placed to some local medical center with how much damage was done with these comebacks.
If You Pantsed It, Fix It
"My friend got pantsed, underwear and all at a party. Instead of pulling his underwear and pants up, immediately, he just kept going about his business, while hanging dong. Those of us that knew him already thought it was hilarious. The people at the party that didn't know him, looked really uncomfortable due to this dude having his pants and underwear around his ankles, with his wiener hanging freely. Our friend/the host said "dude, why don't you pull your pants up?" Pantsed guy said "I didn't pull them down." Then took his turn in beer pong. The host then found the guy that did pull them down and made him pull our friend's pants back up."
Definitely Seems Like You Got Tricked Here
"When I was working as a bartender one Halloween, I came dressed as an old Western style bartender (complete with mustache and accent). We had the evening split up into a little costume party for kids and families in the earlier hours, and then an adults only costume piss up later on."
"One of the regulars laughed at my costume and said I looked stupid, so I told him"
"You should probably come back after the kids have gone because you've come dressed as a c-nt".
"He didn't talk to me for weeks after that. It was blissful."
That's A Mom Burn! Those Don't Heal!
"I asked my mum out of curiosity what she would do if she found a used condom in my brother's room."
"Her response: "I would remind him that you can't get HIV from your own hand"
"For context, I live in South Africa where HIV is very common"
If you have some ice nearby it might be a good idea to go and grab some.
These burns spread.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.