Historical Facts That Seem Unbelievable But Are Actually 100% True
History is one of those subjects that often gets a bad wrap because of all the dates and cities we had to memorize to pass a test in high school. But when we actually take a look at what our history entails, it's pretty interesting.
Some historical details are so interesting, in fact, it's hard to believe they aren't made up.
Fascinated by this, Redditor jdward01 asked:
"What is a historical fact that seems unbelievable?"
"The first 200,000 years or so of being highly sentient human beings are lost in history. We only know the last circa 2000-4000 years from texts."
"The first recorded joke, a fart joke that is 4000 years old, uses the term 'since time immemorial' (or the Sumerian version). Even though one should not take that literally, it suggests that you could travel back in time to find people who consider their civilization ancient already."
"And it was. When that joke was written down in cuneiform, the Pyramid of Djoser had already been standing for 700 years. And when that pyramid was built, the city of Catal Höyuk was 3000-5000 years old!"
"And still, that was built during the latest 2.5% of human history."
"We have lost so godd**n much history, it hurts to think of it."
"We live closer in time to the T-Rex than the T-Rex did to the Stegosaurus. Dinosaurs were here forever."
Only in Ohio?
"In 1895, the entire state of Ohio had only two cars."
"Both cars managed to still smash into each other."
The Space-Stegasaurus Continuum
"The rings of Saturn are younger than Stegosauruses."
"Stegosauruses roamed the earth approximately 150-180 million years ago. Saturn's rings have only existed for approximately 100 million years."
"The last execution by guillotine was in the 70s."
History Keeps Going and Going
"There were archaeologists in Ancient Egypt studying about even more ancient Egypt."
"Bobby Leach was the second person to ever go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. He survived, but his injuries kept him hospitalized for six months."
"He died 15 years later from injuries sustained after he slipped on an orange peel."
A Long-Held Position
"Elizabeth II was on the throne for over a quarter of the United States' existence."
A Shrinking Population
"In 90 years from 1841 to 1930, Ireland's population halved, from 8.4 million to about 4 million."
"The Famine started the decline, but emigration sustained it. Ireland's population didn't start growing again until the 1960s, and there are still about 2 million fewer people living there (Eire and NI) than in 1841."
No Invitation Necessary
"Abraham Lincoln's son (Robert Todd Lincoln) was present at three different presidential assassinations."
"After McKinley, he decided not to accept any more invitations."
A Bittersweet Ending
"There was a molasses flood in Boston in 1919 that was 25 feet high that killed 21 people."
Whose Weather Station Is This?
"In 1943, a group of German sailors on a U-Boat emplaced a weather station on the Canadian coast (Labrador) so the Germans could more accurately predict the weather for military operations (since the weather in the Northern hemisphere generally moves west-to-east)."
"The weather station was marked with fake signs, indicating that it was a Canadian military facility and for unauthorized personnel to keep out."
"The weather station was eventually discovered by the Canadians..."
Storm of the Century
"In 1972, as much as 26 feet of snow fell on small towns in Iran, killing 4,000 people."
They Finally Got Off His Lawn
"The first battle of the American Civil War was fought on land owned by Mr. Wilber McLean."
"After the battle, he decided to move further out in the country to avoid the war... where four years later, General Lee surrendered to General Grant in Mr. McLean's house."
"The war started and ended on his property."
Who Came First
"The University of Oxford is older than the Aztec Empire."
Some of these are so hard to believe, but they truly put history and its chronology into perspective.
So often, we think of an event occurring in another decade or another lifetime, and we fail to realize just how closely connected some of these events are.
- People Describe The Most Bada** People In History ›
- Little Known Historical Figures Who Completely Changed The World ›
People Break Down Which Major Historical Events Many Folks Don't Realize Happened Around The Same Time
History is fascinating, because while we're busy thinking about important events, sometimes we lose context of how long ago that event actually happened.
We might forget that two important figures in history were alive at the same time, or we might picture an event as if it happened 100 years ago instead of 20.
Remembering the context in which these events happened makes them all the more powerful.
Redditor drichm2599 asked:
"What are two historical events most people don't realize happened at about the same time?"
Diary of a Young Girl
"Anne Frank was born the same year as actor James Hong, who attended the Oscars [this year]."
Oxford May Be Older Than You Think
"Oxford University is older than the Incan Empire."
"It sounds crazy until you know that the Inca were from late medieval and early modern history, rather than ancient history."
Galileo at Harvard
"There was a six-year period in which Galileo could have taught at Harvard."
"Hitler, Stalin, Trotsky, Tito, Freud, and Archduke Franz Ferdinand all lived in Vienna in 1913."
"So a communist, a socialist, a fascist, and a monarchist walk into a bar..."
"Freud: Clearly all their thoughts dwell on their mothers."
The Guillotine Isn't So Outdated
"The last execution by guillotine in France and the release of the first 'Star Wars' movie took place in the same year (1977)."
Meanwhile, 'Toy Story 3' Was Released 13 Years Ago...
"The most recent execution by firing squad in the U.S. took place the same day 'Toy Story 3' was released in 2010."
The Samurai Address
"There was a 22-year period when Abraham Lincoln could have sent a fax to a Samurai."
"The fax machine was invented in 1843. The samurai were abolished in 1867. Abraham Lincoln died in 1865."
"Wooly mammoths were still around when the Egyptians were building the pyramids."
"Cleopatra was born closer to the moon landing than to the pyramids being built. By a lot."
"We generally do not appreciate how long the ancient Egyptian civilization was around. Narmer, Pharaoh of the First Dynasty of the Early Dynastic Period, lived over 3,200 years before Pharaoh Cleopatra VII Philopator died, ending the line of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. And there are Pharaohs before Narmer, such as Iry-Hor, a candidate for the earliest person whose name we know."
"Egyptian culture existed for over three millennia, evolving, changing, sometimes enduring massive fractures, collapses, and invasions. Either via conquest or being conquered, they had an uncanny ability to absorb the cultures of other peoples into their own, creating this mutable yet eternal cultural identity."
"The gods of Egypt were old by the time Hatshepsut sent her expedition to Punt. They were even older when Ramesses II fought the Battle of Kadesh. By the time the Roman Republic was founded, they were ancient."
"Ancient Egypt existed for a really f**king long time."
The Dinosaur Timeline
"One that trips me out is that T-rexes are closer to being alive with us than they would be to the Stegosaurus."
“Tyrannosaurus lived 68 - 66 million years ago, and Stegosaurus lived 155 - 145 million years ago. That puts the gap between those two, 77 million years and 66 million years between the Tyrannosaurus and us.”
"Insane, as I always think of dinosaurs being around in the same basic time period."
"Joe Biden was alive when Nikola Tesla died."
"The founding of the capital of the Aztec civilization in Tenochtitlan (which would become the foundation for Mexico City a few centuries later) and the beginning of the 100 Years War over in Europe are only about a decade apart (~1325 vs. ~1338)."
"In fact, the major civilizations of the Americas that were ultimately taken down by European conquests and diseases all roughly rose and fell over the course of the 11th through 16th centuries."
"I always find it funny if someone refers to the Incan, Mayan, or Aztec civilizations with words like 'ancient', considering they rose and fell during the same periods as the Mongolian and Ottoman empires, and we don't typically call those ancient."
The Summer of '69
"In 1969 in August Hurricane Camille hit the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the rain storm at Woodstock was part of that storm, and Manson’s group had just gone on the murder spree. The US was as crazy as ever."
"The iconic cover photo of the Beatles' 'Abbey Road' album was taken on the same day as the Manson murders."
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
"Fenway Park opened the same week that the Titanic sunk."
Kind of Wild
"We are more years in the future from the release of the movie 'Back to the Future' than the movie traveled back in time."
"If we traveled back in time the same amount of years they did, you could still get a VHS copy of 'Back to the Future' in a bargain bin."
While we may know these different pieces of history, it's fascinating to think about how they all fit together into the world's timeline. Some of it's interesting, but some of it feels mind-bendingly surreal.
People Share The Real Reason Why They Eat Pizza With A Knife And Fork
Pizza is one of those foods that nearly anyone can agree is good, even if we can't find a middle-ground on toppings.
However, one phenomenon that confuses a lot of people are the pizza lovers who choose to eat their pizza with a fork and a knife.
But the cutlery fans argue that there are good reasons to skip picking up that slice of pie next time.
Curious, Redditor Ok-Treacle-9312 asked:
"People who eat pizza with a knife and fork... Why?"
"I eat donuts with whatever I can pierce them with, whether that be a fork, knife, chopsticks, or whatever. I just hate getting my fingers dirty."
"Pizza barely gets a pass because you can hold the crust."
"But if grease drips onto my hand somehow, it's irritating."
Protect That Keyboard
"Typically I'd do it because I'm working at my PC and don't want to have to wipe my hands off every time I need to type something."
"I use a fork and knife to slow me down."
No More Overeating
"Using the fork and knife slows me down, it gives me more time to realize I'm filling up, and I end up stopping before I overeat."
Depends on the Pizza
"Depends on the pizza, if it's thick and unwieldy absolutely laden with toppings, I might reach for a fork. But if it's a standard slice, I'm picking it up."
Beating the Heat
"I'll use a knife and a fork when I want it right now, but if I bite into it when it’s too hot, the cheese will slap itself onto my chin, and I’ll scream."
"I don't have a single freaking tooth left in my head. Just about anything I eat requires a sharp knife."
"I've got plenty of teeth, but the ones in the front don't do a good job of meeting. So if I try to eat pizza without a fork and knife, my first bite doesn't go completely through the toppings, I pull the pizza away from my mouth... and all the toppings on the slice fall in my lap."
"You ever tried to lift a slab of deep dish to your face?"
"That's the normal way of eating a traditional Italian pizza."
"I just watched an Anthony Bourdain episode, and everyone at this Naples pizza place was eating with a knife and fork."
"It's a perfectly valid and convenient way to consume pizza."
"Source: I'm Italian."
Listen to Seinfeld
"How do you eat it? With your hands? (scoffs)."
"Maybe because they want to?"
"It looks neater, if you are in a setting with people you want to impress and want to come across as super tidy then a knife and fork would look okay."
"Sometimes I have a little too many (inconvenient) ingredients on my pizza that make it hard to eat it with just my hands."
Signs of Aging
"Because I instinctively take unmanageable bites if I'm manhandling food. That was okay before I hit 40 and my metabolism lost its sense of adventure."
Enjoy the Food
"Mainly, it forces me to slow down and appreciate the pizza instead of just shoving it in."
"Also, it makes eating pizza more of a sensory experience. I can feel and hear how crunchy or thick the crust is by cutting into it. I can tell how much sauce is on it by how much I have to spoon it up after cutting. I can also see how stringy the cheese is by having to twirl it around my fork."
This just goes to show that we all have our preferences, even when it comes to how we want to eat our pizza.
Now, the most important thing is to respect everyone's choices here... and maybe go grab a slice of pizza for lunch.
People Who've Spent Time In A Psych Ward Describe The Strangest Things They Ever Witnessed
Patients who have severe mental illnesses can pose a physical threat to themselves and to others, which is why they are often sent to psychiatric care facilities.
Those who have visited these institutions or individuals who work in one know firsthand how intense some of these patients can be.
Curious to hear examples from those who've witnessed extremely unusual behavior at these facilities had plenty to share when Redditor N3SSDOGGDOGG asked:
"People who have spent time in a Psych Ward what is the craziest thing you’ve witnessed?"
One thing is certain. There is never a dull moment.
Consequences Of Enabling Drug Addiction
"In our tiny community some kids are smelly because typically the parents are addicts who either didn't pay their water bill, don't own a washer/dryer or are too brain dead to care. The nearest laundromat is now 30 miles away because the local one got broken into and robbed too many times by. Our school is awesome, there are staff members who do laundry for these kids and make sure they get showers. It's discreet so they're not ridiculed. I hate how our society enables addiction and even celebrates drug use, but I don't know how we can fix it at this point. It's gotten completely out of hand."
Taking You To A Live Commercial
"My brother-in-law had a stint in a psych ward a little over a year ago, and on a particularly manic day they were in the middle of the community room and started singing."
“I have a structured settlement and I need cash now”
"This was then met by about 40-50 psych patients shouting back."
“CALL J.G. WENTWORTH!!! 877-CASH-NOW!!!”
"After getting a few verses in the orderlies stepped in and kindly requested they stop, which was kinda a shame since it sounded like they were all having a good time."
"I've worked in one for about 2 years now. The staff are just as crazy."
"Here's some highlights"
"Patient got into the ceiling, couldn't get them down for a while."
"Patient milked themself into their coffee. Did you know some anti-psychotics make you lactate?"
"The entire adolescent unit escaping because maintenence forgot to lock the gate. Don't worry. They all came back eventually."
"And myself getting a concussion from a patient trying to escape, they weren't successful, but at least I didn't work for 6 weeks."
"The funniest thing I ever saw (spent total of about three years in in my teens and early 20's): a kid in seclusion who was having a genuinely good time making staff's life a living nightmare while he was in there, took apart the plastic mattress, tore the foam inside into small pieces, donned the empty mattress and started yelling 'I'M GUMBY, DAMMIT!' while tossing the pieces of foam around like confetti. Even most of the staff were laughing about it."
Physical violence seemed to be a common occurrence.
He Had A Violent Streak
"Not a patient but an employee. Had a 16 year old kid come in who was about 6'2 220 pounds. Built like a linebacker. I found out since he was technically a child he somehow ended up at an autism school for children with very little security. He ended up inflicting a TBI on one of the teachers and got sent to us. The kid had a violent streak the likes I hadn't seen before, he knew he was stronger than most and liked to fight unprovoked and it always took 4 to 6 people to restrain him. I never seen a patient spend more time than him in the 'safety room' an incredibly small padded room with nothing in it. His parents wouldnt authorize his move somewhere else and they wouldn't take him home either. We were not equipt for someone with his level of violence. So there he sat... For one and a half years..."
"It wasn't like a single incident that was crazy, it was the entire situation."
David And Wendy
"I was in an adolescent inpatient facility for 30 days. One kid named David who was very tall for his age, I think he was only 13. He insisted on watching Friday the 13th movies on movie nights and everyone was afraid to disagree with him because of his violent nature and frequent homicidal fantasies. He hated taking his meds, and probably 2 or 3 times a week he'd brawl with the psych nurses over it. No joke, it took 5 to 6 large grown men to overcome this kid. He was scary."
A Mother's Experience
"My mother worked in an asylum in Ireland when she was about 15. This was in the early 60s. She loved working there, despite the fact that some of the patients would physically try and kill her. One patient always stuck out to her, every day he would tell my mum he was going to kill her when she finished work. She knew he loved music, so would tell him she was out dancing that night, and could he wait until the next day, which he agreed to. The next day he would forget what he had said, and would threaten her again, and she'd say the say thing again. This went on for a couple of years that she worked there."
Turns out some patients weren't seeing a change of scenery any time soon.
Fighting To Stay
"I work inpatient and we had someone who was in for 2 1/2 years. They would try to take him out but he would start fighting immediately and eventually said he preferred it."
I was a social worker at an institution that had a hall for what we called 'lifers,' it was essentially for people who had no hopes of ever being released due to their conditions. Anyway, my hall had 14 beds and it was full. There was this one guy who was huge. He was 6’7 and about 350. His name was Simon. He suffered from drug-induced schizophrenia and had bipolar disorder. He talked to himself all day, but never talked to others. All the other men in the ward were scared of him."
"It was my day to do first shift. I got there early to start on some paperwork I needed to finish. When I got my keys in the door, I heard Simon hit the door with his fists. I looked through the tiny window on the door and he and the hall was covered in blood. I panicked and called security for backup because I thought he had killed somebody."
"Turns out, Simon was in the throes of an extreme manic episode and had managed to walk the literal soles of his feet off. Other medication he was on thinned his blood and led to him bleeding all over the place."
"We checked the camera footage and he had walked and talked all night. The orderly (who was fired that day) had slept through his whole shift and never heard Simon walking back and forth."
Some of these examples sound like they could patients in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, without Nurse Ratched tormenting them.
But props to the real humans who are compassionate and look after those who can't function alone in society.
Even before these far too frequent cases of violence in schools, not all students felt safe going to school every day.
As bullying continues to be an ongoing problem, with students being bullied by fellow students and teachers alike.
Sadly, bullying has become so commonplace that many students and teachers might witness it and not think much of it.
Every now and then, however, people will witness something happening within the presumably safe walls of a school which still keeps them awake at night.
Something so shocking or horrific that should simply never happen anywhere... let alone in a school.
"What was the most f**ked up thing you saw at your school?"
A Stupid Dare, Or Just Plain Stupidity?
"The ambulance in front of the school because two guys glued their eyelids shut with a quick-dry adhesive."- Teapunk00
An Accident That Should Never Have Happened
"A new kid at our school grabbed the art teacher's scissors and threw them over a dividing wall when the teacher left the room."
"They hit some girl in a different art class on the other side and one of the blades went through her cheek."
"We were held after class until he finally confessed, and we saw the police at the school later."
"He had been at our school for about a week, and we never saw him again after that day."- HairyDowntown
There's A Reason They Warn You Not To Play With Your Food
"Some guy got a concussion because someone threw a kiwi(fruit) and he got hit in the head."- BobbyLeFourbe
What Lesson Could They Have Possibly Learned?
"Some kids were punching a mason jar lid that we used to seal a jar with some bug in it."
"They were doing it as some sort of whose tougher test."
"When the teacher sees this and sees they have small scratches on their knuckles she proceeds to tell them that the bug was poisonous and they will die very soon since they drew blood punching the lid."
"We were maybe 10 at the time."
'She made them write goodbye notes to their parents and make goodbye speeches to the class."
"We were all tripping because we believed her too."
"It was wild."- country728
The List Goes On and On...
"Girl had the sewing machine needle go right through her finger."
"The left with the needle and thread just hanging out."
"Another kid had an exacto knife stabbed right into his wrist, by accident, so close to the artery."
"Girl was run over by a bus."
"It backed over her, then pulled forward over her again!"
"We had fundraisers and pep rallies for her."
"She made a full recovery and is still playing sports at almost 40 now."
"Sex in the bathroom."
"Endangered turtle was found during construction."
"All construction had to stop until the turtle moved out."
"PE teacher…you know how that one goes."- Dyltra
What A Way To Go
"The EMTs wheeling out the Spanish teacher after she had died in the girl's bathroom of a heart attack."- CapG_13
So Many Questions...
"A jeep ended up in the swimming pool."
"The student crashed through the wall during lunch, rumors about DUI flew, but never did find out exactly what happened."- Taladrac
Things Aren't Always What They Seem...
"When I was at 1-2 grades, we had this extremely friendly janitor, who could be found in his small office, and he would close the door and give you some candies."
"I heard about this, and never believed my friends, but I decided to go see him on one of the brakes."
"I know what you think, but stay with me."
"I knocked, he opened and asked me what my name was, and what I would like to do when I grow up, he gave me 2 candies and said thank you for visiting."
"Yep, just a normal dude who likes kids."
"Also, we had computer class where we were taught stuff like paint, word, PowerPoint."
"We had about 20 pentium 1 computers."
"One day, all the computers were gone, disappeared."
"And so was he, the candy giving nice dude."- EastOrganization2392
Strangest Thing About This Was That He Wasn't Watching It...
"Some guy in college sat in front of me in a studio."
"We were on stools so there was no back to the chair."
"He had his phone in his back pocket, screen facing out with porn playing on his phone, he had his headphones on."
"I wasn’t the only one who noticed, but I certainly didn’t want to break the silence by telling him."- ireallyamtired
Some Would Say They Deserved Much Worse...
"A bald girl crying as she walked to class."
"Someone had stolen her wig and run away with it."
"They knew she had brain cancer and couldn't chase after them."
"The wig was only returned after a popular boy made the girls give it to him."
"The girl died a few months later."
"Only bright side was that the girls who stole her wig had to change schools because no one would let them forget what a bunch of monsters they are."
"Play stupid games win endless harassment because you bullied the quiet dying girl who was nice to everyone."- godwins_law_34
So Much Wasted Talent
"We had a teammate drop dead mid-run during basketball practice in 8th grade."
"It turned out he had an undiagnosed heart defect and he just had a sudden heart attack with no warnings."- fightwallace
Everyone has at least one or two unpleasant memories from their time at school.
These sorts of things, however, no one should ever have to witness anywhere, at any time in their lives.