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Plague Masks: A Brief History Of The Strangest Medical Mask We Ever Used

Medical History | April 5, 2020

As if the Black Plague—the terrible pandemic of bubonic plague that decimated medieval Europe—wasn't terrifying enough all by itself, the "doct...

Mysophobia: History Of The Fear Of Germs, Washing Hands, And Famous Germaphobes

Medical History | April 4, 2020

A paramedic wears a protective mask and complete sterile dressing to avoid contact with COVID-19. (Photo by Olivier Matthys/Getty Images) ...

Humans In Dark Isolation Develop 48-Hour Sleep Cycles, Sleep 30 Hours

Historical Facts | April 3, 2020

Isolation messes with our heads. Humans who lose contact with other people and the normal stimuli that occurs during the day react in strange ways. One...

Howard Hughes: Facts And Stories You Didn't Know (All The Weird Stuff)

People | April 2, 2020

Long before the term "social distancing" entered our everyday vocabulary, there have been people who chose to self-isolate. We called them reclus...

History Of The Gas Mask: How Need Brought Us The Weirdest-Looking Common Tool

Artifacts | April 1, 2020

The gas mask has come to be an international symbol of wartime atrocities, but it began as a tool for people tasked with unenviable and dangero...

The Hays Code: Hollywood's Golden Age's Hard Rules, Explained

Movies | March 31, 2020

If you pull up most American movies from the 1930s and '40s, you'll find that they're sweet to the point of cavity-inducing, with a hardened spine of morality ...

The Mad Bomber: George Metesky's Bombs Terrorized New York City

People | March 30, 2020

As millions of people file for unemployment and still more lack health insurance, it's easy to understand, here in 2020, why someone might get salty wit...

Terracotta Army: The 1974 Discovery Of 8,000 Ancient Clay Warriors

Artifacts | March 29, 2020

The Terracotta Army guards the Emperor's tomb. (Photo by API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) Like many stories of fantastic discoveries from the past, t...

Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd: The Depression-Era Robin Hood

People | March 28, 2020

One of the most colorful Depression-era criminals was the cherub-faced, Robin Hood–esque Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Floyd's love for his machine gun and habi...

Gary M. Heidnik: The Real-Life 'Buffalo Bill' Who Kept Women In A Pit

People | March 27, 2020

Buffalo Bill—the unhinged villain of Silence Of The Lambs, not the greatest showman of the wild west—feels too evil to be real. However, the most frigh...

The Gympie: Stinging Trees Make People Kill Themselves

Medical History | March 26, 2020

We're gonna say it: Plants are jerks. Considering that we need them to live, they don't even have the decency to taste good, and sometimes, they flat-out kill us...

'Hillbilly' Music: Billboard Debuted Country Hits For The First Time

Historical Art | March 25, 2020

Today's country and rock music owe their beginnings to "hillbilly" music. (Photo by D. Corson/ClassicStock/Getty Images) For a long time, country mu...

Harry Houdini: Stories, Myths, And Facts About Magic's Godfather

People | March 24, 2020

Harry Houdini may have passed away in 1936, but he remains the most well-known magician of the 20th century. He was the scourge of false mystics and imitato...

Okay Etymology: Why Do We Say "Okay" And Where Did It Come From?

1800s | March 23, 2020

As one of our most commonly used colloquialisms, "okay" is so much a part of our language and culture that it is hard to imagine a time when it wasn't ...

FDR Ends Prohibition: The Immediate Aftermath And How The U.S. Settled Into Normalcy

1930s | March 22, 2020

View of men and women celebrating the repeal of Prohibition with a toast and bell-ringing, Chicago, 1933. (Chicago History Museum/Gett...

Jimmy Carter Announces The 1980 Olympics Boycott

Events | March 21, 2020

The opening ceremony of the 1980 Olympics. (RIA Novosti archive, image #487025 / Sergey Guneev / CC-BY-SA 3.0) This summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo are currently in lim...

Doomsday Bunkers: These Are The Coolest Bunkers Ever

Artifacts | March 20, 2020

Everyone on Earth will someday have to confront the fact that they will die. Some people leave it at that, content to literally shrug off this mortal coil. Others ...

Why The Past Smelled Absolutely Horrible

Weird History | March 19, 2020

It's time to face facts: People are disgusting. It's not that you're a lazy or unhygienic person, it's just that the human body is a cesspool and there's nothing to be done about i...

A Brief History Of Toilet Paper

Artifacts | March 18, 2020

TP, bathroom tissue, mummy wraps, bum stuff—whatever you want to call it, toilet paper is a big business. In the 21st century, it's an industry estimated to be worth $30 billion dollars, an...

Saint Patrick Blue: He Wasn't Always Green

Ancient History | March 17, 2020

The altar at Saul Church before the annual Saint Patrick's Day service shows the patron saint of Ireland wearing a blue robe, not a green one. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) ...

My Lai Massacre Details: How The U.S. Became War Criminals During The Vietnam War

Vietnam War | March 16, 2020

Have you ever wondered why Vietnam veterans are regarded as "baby killers" by certain political factions? It was because of the My Lai...

The Assassination Of Julius Caesar: History And Stories You Might Not Know About

Ancient History | March 15, 2020

The death of Caesar. (Leemage/UIG via Getty Images) Beware the Ides of March! If you're like most of us, you were introduced to this phr...

The History Of The FBI's 'Ten Most Wanted' List

Recent History | March 14, 2020

For the last 70 years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list has put the fates of some of the most hardened and dangerous criminals in th...

The Irish Republican Army (IRA): A Troubled History

Recent History | March 12, 2020

The history of the IRA, or Irish Republican Army, is long and complicated, filled with religious tensions, political uprisings, and lots of mayhem. So who exactly a...

Horatio Nelson's Body: When The British Pickled Their Dead Leader In A Barrel To Bring Him Home

Military History | March 11, 2020

At the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic War, Britain's most beloved naval hero, Horatio Nelson, was struck by a musk...

The Weird History Of Babies In Advertising

1800s | March 10, 2020

It's no secret that babies are popular. As a species, we have about 258 of them every minute, so if we weren't designed to find their squishy little faces adorable enough to...

The Notorious B.I.G.: Theories And What Really Happened

Events | March 9, 2020

American rapper Notorious B.I.G. attends the 1995 Billboard Music Awards, New York, New York, December 6, 1995. (Larry Busacca/WireImage/Getty Images) In the ear...

Ladies' Ordinaries: Women-Only Restaurants That Shielded Them From 19th-Century Men

1800s | March 8, 2020

The Gloppe patisserie on the Champs-Elysees, two women eating pastries, 1889, Jean Beraud. (M. Seemuller / De Agostini Picture Library ...

Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor Of The Telephone, International Hero

People | March 7, 2020

Although several noted inventors of the day, including Thomas Edison and Elisha Gray, were also tinkering with communication technology, it was Ale...

Aspirin: The History Behind The Heroin Addict Who Invented It

1800s | March 6, 2020

Not to alarm you, but those little white pills that make your headaches dissolve and soothe inflamed muscles have more in common with heroin than you think, i....

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