Artifacts

Christ The Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro: History, Photos, And Why It's There

October 12, 2020

Statue of Christ the Redeemer in clouds, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Paulo Fridman/Corbis via Getty Images) There is much to love about th...

The First Bicycle Is Introduced In New York City, 1819: History Of The Velocipede

May 21, 2020

In 1819, the bicycle rolled across the Atlantic into the Big Apple all the way from Europe. Known as "velocipedes" or "swift walkers,"...

Guillotine: History Of The French Invention That Made Death Into Theater

April 25, 2020

Today marks the 228th anniversary of the guillotine, which sliced its way onto the capital punishment scene on April 25, 1792 with the executio...

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

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...

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

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...

Doomsday Bunkers: These Are The Coolest Bunkers Ever

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 ...

A Brief History Of Toilet Paper

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...

Buddy Holly's Glasses Were Found In Iowa 21 Years After His Death

February 29, 2020

In the wee hours of the morning on February 3, 1959, an airplane carrying three of the hottest entertainers of the day crashed into a snowy cornfield ...

Mardi Gras Beads: Sweatshops, Pollution, And Other Dirty Little Secrets

February 27, 2020

If you've ever been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or if you've even heard of either one of those things, you know that part of the experience is...

Washington Monument: Stories And Facts You Didn't Know About America's Most Underrated Landmark

February 21, 2020

On February 21, 1885, President Chester Arthur (remember him?) unveiled the Washington Monument. The iconic structure is...

Vinegar Valentines: 19th Century's Insulting, Anonymous Card-Sending Trend

February 10, 2020

If you're lucky enough to have a special someone in your life, there's nothing better than giving or receiving a Valentine. Who doesn't like to kn...

Jesus Christ Was A Shape-Shifter, According To This Ancient Egyptian Text

February 5, 2020

You know Jesus, right? Son of God, born in Bethlehem, great with fish, and wine for blood? He was a good guy who could do a lot of cool stuff. Acco...

The Doomsday Clock: What Does It Mean? How Doomed Are We?

February 4, 2020

We hear a lot about the Doomsday Clock ticking closer and closer to "midnight," which is when we're all doomed, but what does that really mean? During the Cold War...

The Pyramid Of The Sun Is Still Revealing Its Ancient Secrets

January 12, 2020

The Pyramid of the Sun, located in the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan, is thousands of years old, yet it is still giving up some of its secrets. Arch...

The Invention Of The Humble Straw: Reeds, Cigars, And Milkshakes

January 8, 2020

Colorful plastic straws: One of our oldest eating utensils. (Photo by JOKER / Walter G. Allgöwer/ullstein bild via Getty Images) Until a year or so ago,...

Why Does The Times Square Ball Drop On New Year's Eve?

December 31, 2019

Americans have a lot of different ways of celebrating the new year. In some regions, people eat black eyed peas for good luck; those of us lucky enough to have a part...

Times Square's Confetti Is Made Of People's Actual Dreams

December 29, 2019

Confetti rains down on New Year's Eve partygoers. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images) When the clock strikes midnight and the ball drops on New Year's Eve, be...

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