15 Of The Strangest Historical Facts

We all love weird random facts that add absolutely no value to our lives other than entertainment right? No? Just me? Cool, cool. Okay so let’s take that concept and add a little history to it shall? Just to spice things up a bit. Check out 15 really strange historical facts that I found so interesting, I thought you all should know about too.

15. Knocker-Ups

Not what it sounds like. In fact, you might be pretty baffled as to what Knocker-Ups or Knocker-Uppers actually were. You see, during the Industrial Age throughout England and Ireland, people had to wake up at some pretty crazy times to make sure they get to work. Alarm clocks were not a thing during those times. So? How did they make sure they got to work on time? Well they hired a Knocker-Upper of course! Knocker-Ups were people who were hired to go to the homes of those who needed to be up for certain times and, get this, would shoot dried peas at their windows until they were awake or bang on the window with a tall staff. What a concept.

14. Boston’s Great Molasses Flood

Image: The devastation after the Great Boston Molasses Flood in 1919.

This one is actually pretty darker than the title entails. In January of 1919, in Boston’s historic North End district, a molasses tank, containing 2 million gallons of the gooey stuff, exploded. This sent gushing molasses at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour hurtling through the community. What resulted from the catastrophe were 21 deaths and 150 injuries, plus about two weeks of clean up time. It was even stated that the wave of molasses reached up to 25 feet high and nearly 160 feet wide. Not so funny anymore huh?

13. Johnny Appleseed Was A Real Person

Trust me when I tell you this is all the information you will ever need on the topic. ENJOY. #bringbackruininghistory

12. Music Played As The Titanic Sank

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Titanic movie and that in many instances it was accurate in it’s portrayal of the event. Well one point in the movie showcases an accurate instance that still baffles many people today. After the Titanic had been hit and was sinking, the ships 8 musicians bravely did not panic, instead they played on the main deck while passengers were being loaded into lifeboats in order to keep everyone calm. Unfortunately all the musicians lost their lives that night, but saved so many by keeping the crowds nerves at bay.

11. Oxford University out dates The Aztec Empire

What?? Yup! It’s true. Oxford University located in Oxford, England started a form of teaching in 1096. Meanwhile the Aztec Empire isn’t recorded to have been established until 1345!

10. Heroin is Medicinal?

Have a headache? Is it the late 1800s or early 1900s? PERFECT. Then do I have the solution for you! Just go on and see your local Doctor and they’ll prescribe you the cheapest option around you get rid of those pesky coughs or headaches, heroin!! Sounds super safe right? Yup, this is true, it was sold as a over the counter drug until future research made the general public realize just how dangerous the headache healer really was.

9. And Gladiator Blood…?

During the times of Ancient Rome it was also believed that Gladiator Blood had special healing properties. Mainly for those suffering from epilepsy or infertility. I would also like to mention that in many cases it didn’t just stop at their blood. Many were recommended to eat raw liver (from HUMANS) to help cure their epileptic episodes as well. When Gladiators fell, onlookers would fight for the chance to get their hands on the corpses blood or body parts.

8. Baby Cages

In the 1930s it was believed that babies needed fresh air to purify their blood (I mean in reality everyone could use fresh air). But in big cities, especially with those living in apartments, there was no real access to the outdoors unless you left the comfort of your home. So what was the solution? Just build a cage attached to one of your apartment windows and let your baby chill outside for a little. Totally safe if you ask me.

7. The Great Rubber Duck Journey

In 1992, a ship lost a crate containing 28,000 rubber ducks inside. TO THIS DAY, they are still washing up on the shore of random places and different continents globally! Next time you find a random rubber duck on the beach, discover where it came from! I think this is actually very cool.

6. Medicine Protective Foil Started in 1982

I’ve watched countless YouTube videos as well as reach a bunch of articles on this case because it is just so eerie. Basically, medicine would to just come in a bottle, no protection under the lid and no warning label about not using a medication if the seal is broken. Ever wonder why? Look up the Tylenol Murders of 1982. Basically someone poisoned Tylenol bottles in Chicago causing 7 deaths.

5. Unwrapping Parties

How did the rich in Victorian Era England showcase their wealth at parties? How about purchasing a mummy and making it the life of the party? Yup. In the early 1800s, many elites among the British communities would come together for ‘Unwrapping Parties,’ where they would come together to literally unwrap a mummy. This was seen as a form of entertainment because you never knew what kind of artifacts would be uncovered from the unbinding. It was the thrill of the mystery I guess.

4. Safety Coffins Were A Thing

When I first heard about this back in like middle school, I kid you not I did not sleep for days. You see back in the day (19th & early 20th century mostly), when someone ‘died’ it was just a statement deemed by doctors of loved ones. Sometimes there wasn’t much else to go off of besides the fact that someone couldn’t feel a pulse or the person hadn’t moved in a while. So what ended up happening? Well a LOT of people started being accidentally buried alive. When they come out of their comatose state, their fever broke, or they simply awoke, they were met with the terrifying realization. There have been so many cases over the years of people dying from being buried alive and left for dead, people being dug back up and saved, or graves being exhumed only to find the skeleton inside had clearly tried to put up a fight in the end. So in order to give the richer folk a piece of mind, they created safety coffins that either had a voice box, a bell system, or a window so that if they were not actually dead they would have an attempt at being saved. Read Edgar Allen Poe’s House of Usher and never sleep again.

3. Ivan The Terrible and Saint Basil’s Cathedral’s Architects

You can’t deny that when it comes to Saint Basil’s Cathedral the architecture takes your breathe away. Even from the pictures (especially considering I’ve never actually been there myself) it showcases it’s beauty. Well, when it was originally created there is a rumor. This is the only thing on this list that has not been verified as fact exactly, but I even remember my history teachers bringing this one up. Apparently the design was so unique and beautiful that Ivan The Terrible wanted to make sure it was never recreated. So the story goes, once the project was designed and well underway, he blinded the architects responsible for creating the idea to make sure it could never be recreated. Guess that’s one way of saying good job.

2. Cleopatra Lived Closer to Our Time Than The Creation of The Pyramids

Guys, get this. The Giza Pyramids were completed in 2504 BC. Cleopatra was born around 69 BC. The year is 2019. SHOOK. That means there was 2,435 years between the Pyramids being finished and Cleopatra being born, but only 2,088 years between Cleopatra being born and modern day. Wowza.

1. Dr. Seuss created War Propaganda

Even children’s authors did what they could when it came to assisting with the WWII war effort. Dr. Seuss, along with other notable figures like Walt Disney, created content that pertained to the adult crowd. This included various cartoons and mini comics that displayed different war scenarios as well as ads for war bonds & stamps. Check out the photos above or Google to a ton more.

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