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Weird Facts

The world’s history books teach us about famous figures, ancient civilizations and important events that have shaped our world. But there is so much more to history than just the ‘big moments’. History is full of weird and wonderful tales, bizarre events, quirky people, and strange happenings, and it is these ‘weird facts’ that bring to life our past in a way that is fun, amusing and sometimes shocking!

The El Colacho baby jumping festival. Source: Viaggio Routard / Flickr.

El Colacho: The Spanish Festival Where Men Jump Over Newborn Babies

In the heart of Spain, the quaint village of Castrillo de Murcia becomes the epicenter of a centuries-old tradition known as El Colacho, where men vault over newborns to ward off evil—a spectacle as...
Sky burial in Tibet. Source: CC BY-SA 3.0

In Tibetan Sky Burials, The Dead Are Given To Vultures to Feast Upon

Tibetan sky burials present a striking and somewhat shocking funeral tradition, where the deceased are offered to vultures. This practice, deeply ingrained in Tibetan culture , is also known as the '...
Orange festival of Ivrea. Source: Umur / Adobe Stock.

Italy’s Battle of the Oranges Signifies a Maiden’s Revenge Against Her Lord

When one thinks of battles, the imagery that comes to mind usually involves swords, shields, and soldiers. But in a small town in Northern Italy, the weapon of choice is... oranges? Each year, Ivrea...
Brihadeeswarar Temple. Source: krishna / Adobe Stock.

India’s Mysterious Brihadeeswarar Temple Doesn’t Cast a Shadow

India's history boasts numerous architectural masterpieces. Among them is the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu, known for a very unique feature : its shadow seems to completely vanish at noon! An...
At Tlacaxipehualiztli, Aztec priests wore the skin of sacrifice victims. Source: de Art / Adobe Stock.

At this Aztec Festival, Priests Wore Capes of Human Skin from Sacrifice Victims

Few festivals of the ancient world are as strikingly eerie and gruesome as the Aztecs' Tlacaxipehualiztli. Held annually during the second month of the Aztec calendar, Tlacaxipehualiztli was a...
Mesopotamian cylinder seal showing Sumerians drinking beer with straws. Source: Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative / CC by SA 4.0.

Sumerians Used Straws to Drink Beer from Shared Vessels!

In the quest to uncover the everyday lives of ancient civilizations, archaeologists have stumbled upon some fascinating finds. Among these intriguing artifacts are the beer pots of ancient Sumer ,...
Detail of ‘The Love Potion’ (1903) by Evelyn de Morgan. Unlike the creation of this woman, Locusta of Gaul’s potions were made in hatred. Source: Public Domain

Mithridatism is An Ancient Method to Become Poison-Proof

Defying death one sip at a time, mithridatism is the audacious ancient art of self-immunizing against poisons . Named after its most famous proponent, King Mithridates VI of Pontus , this practice...
Naki Sumo Baby Crying Festival. Source: lensonjapan / Flickr.

Sumo Wrestlers Make Babies Cry at the Ancient Naki Sumo Festival

History is replete with oddities and peculiar rituals that have stood the test of time, and Japan, with its rich tapestry of culture and traditions, is no exception. Enter the "Naki Sumo Baby Crying...
A Roman wearing Tyrian purple. Source: AI generated.

Roman Citizens Could Be Punished with Exile for Wearing Purple

The ancient Roman Empire was not only a marvel of architecture, politics, and warfare but also a hub of societal regulations and fashion statements. One might believe that the color of a garment...
Human remains of bones and skulls at a traditional cannibal site.  Source: simanlaci / Adobe Stock.

Fiji’s Rampant Cannibalism for 2,500 Years Earned it the Name ‘Cannibal Isle’

Fiji , the idyllic paradise in the South Pacific, carries a dark historical secret. Long before it was renowned for its scenic beauty, early European explorers knew it as the foreboding 'Cannibal...
Red feathers. Source: Thewonderalice / Adobe Stock.

Red Feathers Were More Valuable Than Gold in Ancient Hawaii

From the gold coins of the Roman Empire to the jade treasures of ancient China, every culture has its emblem of wealth and status. But in the lush landscapes of ancient Hawaii , an unlikely item...
Leech Finders, from the print collection Costume of Yorkshire (1814), by artist George Walker and engravers Robert and Daniel Havell.             Source: New York Public Library.

Leech Collectors Used Amputated Legs to Procure Leeches

When it comes to historical jobs that will make your skin crawl, leech collecting certainly tops the list. While today, leeches might be an oddity or a relic of ancient medicine, they were once...
The Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi. Source: Bikashrd / CC by SA 4.0.

The Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Defies Gravity in Indian Temple

In the heart of Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh, India, lies a marvel of ancient Indian architecture that has puzzled both historians and architects alike – a temple with a pillar that doesn’t completely...
Sumerian priestess. Source: Oleksandr / Adobe Stock.

Sumerian King Iddin-Dagan Copulated with a Priestess in a Public Annual Ritual

In the annals of history, we have witnessed a myriad of unique, and at times, bizarre traditions that have defined civilizations and their leaders. One such tradition that stands tall in its peculiar...
Tycho Brahe Had a Drunken Moose Pet. Source: Andrew / Adobe Stock.

16th Century Astronomer Tycho Brahe Had a Drunken Pet Moose

In the realms of ancient history, the enigmatic quirks of historical figures never cease to amaze. Among these eccentricities, Tycho Brahe, the esteemed 16th-century astronomer , stands out not only...
Jwala Ji Temple, India. Source: Nswn03 / CC by SA 3.0.

India’s Jwala Ji Temple Has a Flame That Has Been Burning for Over 100 Years

In the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh lies a marvel that eloquently blends natural phenomenon with spiritual fervor – the Jwala Ji Temple , famed for its eternal flame. Home to a so-called eternal...
Crocodile eyes. Source: Георгий Лыкин / Adobe Stock.

The Expression ‘To Shed Crocodile Tears’ Has Bizarre Medieval Origins

Today, when someone accuses another of shedding " crocodile tears ," they are suggesting that the person is displaying fake or insincere sorrow. But how did this phrase come into being? The answer...
The painting ‘Edward II and his Favourite, Piers Gaveston’ (1872) by Marcus Stone. Source: Public Domain

Chivalric Love or True Bromance? Did Edward II Have a Secret Husband?

Ah, medieval England – a time of knights in shining armor, ladies in distress, and... bromances? While Arthur had his Lancelot (just good friends), it was King Edward II and his closest confidant,...
Men visiting Okinoshima Island must be naked.  Source: Kapawtord / Adobe Stock.

Only Men Can Visit Okinoshima Island in Japan and They Must Strip Naked First

In the rich tapestry of the world’s ancient history, there stands a mysterious island steeped in ritual and reverence – Okinoshima. Nestled between the islands of Kyushu and Honshu in Japan,...
Ancient Roman feeding chicken. Source: AI generated.

Ancient Romans Used Chickens to Predict Battle Outcomes

Few tales capture the peculiarities of ancient Roman beliefs as much as that of the sacred chickens. These were not ordinary birds but revered animals, consulted as avian oracles before significant...
Koro is the extreme fear of genital shrinkage or retraction. Source: Kate / Adobe Stock.

Koro is an Ancient Psychiatric Condition Involving Fear of Genital Shrinkage

The annals of ancient Chinese literature are rife with fascinating tales and medical accounts, some stranger than others. Among them is " Koro ", a delusional disorder that embodies a peculiar blend...
Wife-carrying. Source: Алина Битта / Adobe Stock.

In Finland, Carrying One's Wife is More than Affection – It's a Sport!

In the tapestry of ancient sports and traditions, some activities are surprisingly unconventional. One such sport that has captured global fascination, emerging from the picturesque landscapes of...
A Hippopotamus. Source: Aintschie / Adobe Stock.

Hunting Hippos Was a Royal Sport in Ancient Egypt

To the modern observer, the hippopotamus might seem a curious creature - large and often languid in its watery habitat. However, in ancient Egypt, the hippo was regarded as one of the most ferocious...
Villagers in Shani Shingnapur, India. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Great Big Story.

Shani Shingnapur Village in India Has No Doors, No Locks and No Crime

In the vast tapestry of India's ancient history, filled with tales of grandeur, mysticism, and unique cultural practices, the village of Shani Shingnapur stands out for an intriguing feature – its...

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