Chilling Photos From History Explained
Historical photos often show us things that we don’t want to see, but that we can’t look away from. This collection of photographs show us extraordinary moments from our past that send chills down our spine. Some of these shots show moments that are hard to look at, but others will give you goosebumps in the best way possible.
We are warning you, some of these photographs are downright hard to look at, and some will astonish...they all deserve a closer look as they explain some of the most chilling moments in history. Click ahead for more, but remember viewer discretion is advised.
Judy met Jerry Griffin at Woodstock in 1969
Hundreds of thousands of people went to the Woodstock music festival in 1969, but how many people can say they met their significant other while they were there? Judy and Jerry Griffin met when Jerry’s friends stopped to pick up Judy while she was hitchhiking after her car broke down. Judy was unsure about riding with Jerry’s friends, but after she hopped in the VW Beetle she and Jerry made fast friends. Judy told People:
I was just thinking, ‘Damn, now we can’t go,’ and we were dying to. Then Jerry and his friends pulled up. I stuck my head in and I saw that there was a woman in the car. I’d never hitchhiked before, but I figured, ‘Well, since there was a woman, it was fairly safe, and I probably should just get in the car.’
That ride culminated in a 50 year marriage, two sons, and five grandchildren. However it wasn’t until 2019 when the two found this photo that was taken of them at the festival. They’d known each other for less than 48 hours when the photo was taken.
An underage 16 year old Demi Moore illegally bares it all for “Oui” magazine in 1981
Before she was setting hearts on fire and stunning audiences in films like Ghost and A Few Good Men, Demi Moore worked for the Elite Modeling Agency in Europe. Most of her work consisted of pin-up shoots, but one spread for Oui magazine may have been a little too risqué. She claims that the photo shoot where she bares all was taken after she lied about her age, and that she was 16 at the time of the shoot.
At the time, Moore was desperate to get into the business and did whatever she had to in order to get her face out there. The photos were mostly forgotten until they showed up in Celebrity Sleuth in the late ‘80s. Moore didn’t let the creepy members of the press stop her momentum.
He's the "Man with the Golden Arm," James Harrison has donated blood 1,173 times from the age of 18 to 81
A true hero, was inspired to start giving blood after undergoing a major chest operation when he was just a boy. He lost a lot of blood while under the knife and had to stay in the hospital for the months. When he was 18 he vowed to give blood as much as possible in order to make sure that no children ever went without.
Shortly after his 18th birthday doctors discovered that Harrison’s blood contained antibodies that helped fight Rhesus Disease which made him one of the most important donors in Australia. After giving his last donation Harrison told CNN:
It becomes quite humbling when they say, 'oh you've done this or you've done that or you're a hero. It's something I can do. It's one of my talents, probably my only talent, is that I can be a blood donor."
An exotic dancer arrested by undercover cops testifies in court, Florida 1983
This stunning photo may look like it shows a woman disrespecting a judge, but in reality it’s an exotic dancer pleading her case. After a group of exotic dancers were arrested for exposing their bits at a Florida club, this woman testified that it would have been impossible for anyone to see what was under her dance bottoms because of their size. Photographer Jim Damaske explained how he caught the image to the Tampa Bay Times:
I was shooting freelance for the Clearwater Sun and UPI when the Sun got a tip what was going to happen. I got the call. Exotic dancers said that their shorts were too big to show what the undercover officers said they saw. The judge agreed with the dancers after they bent over. The photo went out on the UPI wire, which is how it got picked up everywhere.
The photo was later run in Playboy and it was selected as one of the “Magazine Pictures of the Year” by the National Press Photographers Association.
black police officer helps demonstrator at KKK rally
Regardless of race, gender, or creed, the police are tasked with defending the free speech of someone whether they like what they’re saying or not. In this instance the officer was tasked with keeping klan members safe during a rally in Austin, Texas after things got out of hand. According to UPI, in 1983 2,000 protestors surrounded 70 klansmen during their march near the Capitol and started throwing bricks and rocks.
During the rally 13 people were arrested and 11 people were injured, including four officers and one reporter. Hopefully someone bought this officer a cold one after a hard day.
A researcher stands on top of the Portal to Hell in Kamokuna, Hawaii
While not a literal portal to Hell, this spot in Kamokuna, Hawaii looks particularly creepy because of the masses of different lava flows that have led into what the USGS Astrogeology Science Center calls the “lava skylight.” The lava that’s cooled around the skylight has taken on the form of shared bodies, which makes the area look extremely creepy.
The skylight is made possible by pieces of the area that break off and expose the tubes running beneath the area that are filled with molten lava which gives off an eerie glow. The area is worth checking out, but keep in mind that it’s very dangerous.
At least 10 men being buried at sea from the USS Intrepid
People are so used to burying someone six feet underground that when any kind of other disposal comes along it sounds barbaric or strange. But burials at sea have a long standing tradition in many cultures. A burial at sea offers some cultures a chance to go back to their beginnings after they pass away, while in modern instances it’s a chance to say goodbye in a practical way.
A strict set of rules surrounds burial at sea today, so you can’t just go and toss anyone out into the water and wave goodbye. Often a family or organization will need a permit as well as a a coffin meeting regulatory requirements. Bodies are not allowed to be embalmed, and they have to be sewn into a weighted shroud or entombed in a metal casket.
Photographer Michio Hoshino was killed by a bear, was this his final photo [HOAX]
Photographer Michio Hoshino passed away while filming bears on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. Acclaimed for his wildlife photography, Hoshino was working on a documentary crew that was shooting footage of brown bears in 1996 for a Japanese TV series. The New York Times reports that he was mauled at four in the morning and that his crew heard him screaming in the middle of the night. His body was found in the woods after the attack.
It’s been reported that this is his final photo, but it remains unclear if that’s true or not. However, if it is his final photo it’s definitely a good one.
[Fact Check]: The putative victim named in the text accompanying this image, Michio Hoshino, was in fact a real wildlife photographer who died after being mauled by a brown bear on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia in August 1996. However, this picture was neither taken by Hoshino nor recorded the circumstances of his death: it’s an entry from a Worth1000 Photoshop competition in which contestants were tasked with creating “a last-photo hoax: the final photograph of the victim, whoever he might be, had a camera on him right before ‘it’ happens.”
Irish guards remain at attention after a fellow guardsman faints in front of the Queen, 1966
Irish guards are trained to be at attention at all time when they’re on duty. They have to march at attention, stand at attention, and even fall at attention. Their outfits are a standard military suit but with a heavy bearskin hat on top that definitely doesn’t breathe. This photo was taken in June 1966 during the Queen’s birthday celebration, so it was definitely a very hot and stressful day, no wonder this guy fell over. Photographer James Blair explained how he snapped such an iconic photo to National Geographic:
In June, the Queen has her birthday celebration, and she rides her horse around this square, and all of the soldiers are lined up, and I was there to get pictures of the Queen riding around, and anything else that would happen. This was a very long telephoto lens, an 800-millimeter. I was on the press stand and was able to photograph across the whole courtyard, when this guy fell over...
He was almost immediately scooped up. The medical people came out about 30 seconds after I took this picture and scooped him up and took him back to the infirmary and took care of him. But I was told afterwards that you’re literally trained to fall at attention. If you’re standing at attention, you fall at attention, and it was just like a toy soldier falling over. I don’t think I got the falling process. I think I saw it out of the corner of my eye and I was focused on the Queen, and I swiveled around, click, click, click, and made that photograph.
Princess Diana on a yacht in Portofino, Italy, one week before she passed in 1997
One year after divorcing Prince Charles, Diana, Princess of Wales, spent her last weeks with the Fayed family. They moved from city to city aboard private planes, they lounged on private yacht’s, and they stayed in the best hotels. Often surrounded by staff, PR people, and security, this photo shows one of the few times that Diana was alone. She and Fayed began dating in July of ’97 while he was still with his fiancé Kelly Fisher.
According to the Telegraph there were many days when Fayed had Fisher on one yacht while Diana was on another, the Jonikal, a 150ft luxury yacht bought specifically for the princess. Days after this photo was taken Diana passed away while trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris.
In 1996, Binti Jua, an 8-year-old female Western lowland gorilla, tended to a 3-year-old boy
Most stories about children who fall into an animal pin in the zoo end horribly, but when a toddler fell into a gorilla’s enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois she was kept safe safe and sound by Binti Jua, an 8-year-old female. The child suffered a gash on their face and they broke their hand after a 24 foot fall.
Binta Jua seemed to understand the drill, and while cradling the boy she walked it to her enclosure’s service door and handed it off to the zoo officials. Binta Jua is still alive today and she’s a fan favorite among the crowds at the zoo.
Extreme tree pruning in the late 1800s.
If you loved climbing trees as a child then tree pollarding is the job for you. Well, assuming that you have a time machine that takes you back to the 19th century. Pollarding was hard work and it took team work and practice in order to trim trees and keep them in line while making sure they live a longer life.
To trim these incredibly high trees men had to use ridiculously tall and unstable ladders which were more dangerous the higher a pollard rose. From there the trimmers had to maintain their balance as they move across the limbs.
American soldiers recusing children in a Vietnamese war zone
Soldiers in Vietnam were tasked with one of the worst jobs on the planet. While fighting a war against an enemy who knew the terrain better than they did, and were more prepared for jungle warfare. While the Americans had boots on the ground they not only had to constantly fight, they also had to protect the villagers who lived in heavy trafficked areas.
Many of the families who lived in villages within the jungle were caught in the crossfire and had nowhere to go when fighting broke out. Troops had to do everything in their power to keep the Vietnamese people safe. They were truly in a rough spot.
Robert Irwin, son of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, feeds the same croc, in the same place as his father 15 years later
Robert Irwin was nearly three years old when his father passed away after being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb. Since his father’s death, Irwin has worked in the conservation world and he appeared alongside his family in the TV series Steve Irwin's Wildlife Warriors. In recent years he’s started to fill his father’s shoes by taking animals onto the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He recently explained his draw towards working with animals as a way to get in touch with his father. He said, “I feel closest to Dad when I’m working with the animals that he really loved.”
Many bars in Istanbul offered to take drunks home in a basket, this photo from the 1960s shows that it wasn't so easy
We’ve all been here. You just plan to go out for a couple of drinks and then boom, suddenly you’re ranting and raving in the back of a wicker basket on the back of a stout man’s back. In the 1960s many bars in Turkey had at least one man on staff who was paid to take patrons home after they had too much to drink. The rule of thumb was that if someone couldn’t stand up then it was time to go.
The basket men were called “küfeci,” which translates to “the porter.” This comes from Istanbul’s large service industry. There are a lot of jobs in the city that aren’t available in other major areas. Hopefully the “küfeci” craze catches on around the world.
The Þrídrangaviti lighthouse is one of the most isolated spots in Iceland
There are jobs that offer a solitary lifestyle - librarian, freelance writer - and then there are jobs that a man can take when he wants to get away from it all. Lighthouse keeper is one of those jobs that someone takes when they’re trying to escape something, and in the case of this lighthouse in Iceland, there’s no chance of the keeper receiving visitors.
This lighthouse is known as Þrídrangaviti, and it stands near the Westman Islands, six miles from shore. Built in 1939, the lighthouse is one of the most isolated spots in the world, and it served as the inspiration for for the Icelandic thriller Why Did You Lie?
Neil Armstrong's family watching him launch to the moon, July 16, 1969
When the Apollo 11 rocket was launched on July 16, 1969 no one knew if the the astronauts on board would make it to the moon and back alive. The families of the astronauts weren’t the only people who were in attendance, Former US President Lyndon B. Johnson and then-Vice President Spiro Agnew were also in attendance at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
To get to the moon it took the astronauts 76 hours to get from the Earth to the moon. The Apollo 11 team made it home safe and sound when they landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.
Mr & Mrs DeForge, a couple with Down syndrome who were married for 26 years
Kris and Paul Scharoun-DeForge met in 1988 and married five years later. They were together until Paul passed away from a lengthy battle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2019, and their family believes that their marriage is one of the longest between two people with disabilities. While speaking about their relationship Kris said that the thing that attracted her to Paul was his humor. She told CBS:
I proposed to him. I whispered in his ear, ‘Would you marry me?’ And he looked up at me with this big beautiful smile and he shook his head ‘Yes,’ And that's when I knew. 'He got me laughing, he was the one for me.'
It took the couple five years to win the right to marry from the state of New York. During their five year legal battle they had to prove that they were able to consent to an adult relationship.
A colorized version of "Homecoming Prisoner, Vienna" by Ernst Haas
Ernst Haas spent 40 years working as a photojournalist and photographer. His early work, the “Homecoming series” ended up winning him assignments for Life magazine. The “Homecoming” photos came about while Haas worked on assignment for small European rags. While scouting locations for a fashion shoot in Austria in 1947 he noticed prisoners of war returning home after long stays in prison camps.
The entire collection showed the pain of searching for a loved one after a war, and the heartbreak of realizing that you’ve waited too long to mourn someone. The stark photos have a sad beauty that succinctly sum up the end of World War II.
Monica Seles moments after she was stabbed on the court in 1993
In 1993 Monica Seles was considered to be one of the most powerful tennis players in the world, male or female, but all of that changed when she was attacked by a mentally unstable fan of Seles’ tennis rival Steffi Graf while she was playing a match in Hamburg, Germany. Günter Parche calmly walked through the stands and dug a boning knife into Seles’ back.
Seles was rushed to the hospital while Pache was taking in by German authorities. He only served six months in pre-trial detainment before being found psychologically abnormal and assigned two years of probation. Seles has vowed never to play in Germany again.
There are hundreds of motorcycles at the Harley Davidson graveyard in Peru
Anyone need any parts for their Harley? If so, there’s an ocean of Harley Davidson located in Lima, Peru and all you’ve got to do is bring some cash. Local police had to ditch their motorcycles because of budgetary issues, which created a massive parking lot of bikes that just need some tender loving care.
Many of the bikes were sold at auction for $1,300, but some Harley-heads came through Lima and purchased them in batches, more than likely to use them for parts. Even if you don't have money for a bike, this ocean of Harley Davidsons are worth seeing.
WW2 1911 sweetheart grips are little known ways for soldiers to keep their best gals close
There are a million ways to take down the Axis of Evil, but the most romantic way was to use a sweetheart grip. These personalized handgun grips were a way to carry a piece of home with them while they were overseas. It was more prevalent to tuck away a photo of a gal, or carry a letter into battle, but some fighters were keen on using plexiglass from downed bombers to keep photos of their best gals, or pin ups if they didn’t have a girlfriend, on their weapons. Some sweetheart grips were better designed than others, and many that came back from the way suffered major water damage, ruining the photo.
The Gargoyle of Notre Dame overlooking Paris, 1910
When the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire in 2019 much of the roof was destroyed but at least some of the gargoyles survived. These concrete buttresses have been attached to the Cathedral since the 14th century as way to shed water when it rains. Which is definitely a creepy way to make sure the roof doesn't cave in.
The carved figures spray water from their mouths similarly to the mythological Gargouille - a dragon like creature with an extended neck and bat wings. The fire breathing creatures were said to have been defeated by St. Romanus with his crucifix before affixing them to the walls of Notre Dame.
Smoke billowing from the twin towers in his chilling photo of September 11
Everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. Whether they were in New York City or sitting in class, there’s not one person who was alive during that terrorist attack that doesn’t remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. At 9:03 AM Easter Time United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center's south tower.
Evacuees flood the Financial District as they escaped the destruction. People ran through the streets to safety, hoping to outrun potential threats that could be on their heels. New York City’s skyline wasn’t the only thing that was changed that day, the very fabric of America was reconstructed in a few fateful hours.
This 1960s vintage cigarette ad makes the art of seduction sound easy
It’s easy to see why so many men enjoy this vintage ad for Tiparillos, and it’s not because of the thin cigars. Aside from offering a busty woman with a violin (Side note: are violinists notoriously sexy? Is that a thing?), the copy below the photo explains how it’s always best to offer a woman something to smoke because she might just come home with you and “start to play.”
Overtly sexual cigarette ads were common place in the late 19th century and the practice still continues to this day, although the ads have transitioned to vapes and smoke pens. Everyone knows that sex sells, it’s just wild to see it in practice.
Stella Grassman and her husband Deafy were both tattoo artists, and she worked as a sideshow exhibition
It’s not wild to see a young woman covered in tattoos today. Most people under the age of 30 have a couple. It’s cool, it’s normal, there’s nothing untoward about it; but that wasn’t the case in the 1920s. Back then, Stella Grassman was such an oddity for her tattoos that she worked as a attraction with the Ringling Brotheres, Barnum & Bailey Circus.
When she wasn’t traveling with the carnival, Stella and her husband worked as tattoo artists in Newark, New Jersey before moving to Charleston, South Carolina. The couple split up in the mid-‘50s but they share a grave plot in South Carolina.
Just a photo of Johnny Cash eating cake in a bush like a normal person
If you don’t think about this photo of Johnny Cash eating cake in a bush at least twice a day then you’re not a real country fan. The common thought about this photo is that the Man in Black was as high as a kite when he posed for this shot, which isn’t a bad call because the man liked to imbibe. However, it was actually taken for his live album “Strawberry Cake,” recorded at The Palladium in London, England.
Cash says that the idea for the photos came from an afternoon in New York City when he and June came across a homeless man and said aloud that he could have been just like the man on the street. Cash picks it up from here in the album's liner notes:
I saw his eyes flutter as the bright sunlight hit his face. He didn’t open his eyes, but I knew he wasn’t dead. ‘What are you doing?’ June asked ‘I’m thinking about my friend here,’ I said ‘that could be me, you know’ June came over closer and smiled at me. “That was you a couple of times. Then she said again, ‘Come on lets go’ The rest of the story is in the song. I became that man. I put myself in his place and my mind, he finally won. I wish I knew who he is, and where he is. I’d send him a piece of Strawberry Cake.
This East German soldier was removed from service for helping a little boy sneak across the Berlin Wall
Leading up to the construction of the Berlin Wall Germany was in chaos. People were trying to make sure their families were kept together. People lost their jobs and people lost their families when the wall officially went up on August 13, 1961. During the anarchic energy of the day this boy was separated rom his family, but the East German government said that people weren’t allowed to cross the line no matter what.
This soldier helped get this child across the wall into East Berlin and he was caught shortly afterwards. There’s no word about what actually happened to the soldier, although there are rumors that he was imprisoned or shot. Although it’s likely that he was just removed from his position.
Young Madonna at the University of Michigan in 1976.
Before she was one of the most famous people on Earth, and arguably the most popular musical artist of the ‘90s, she was just a young girl wth a dream. After attending Rochester Adams High School where she was a straight A student. Following high school she won a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
Two years after beginning school she dropped out and moved to New York City in order to chase her dreams of performing. Madonna said that the move shook her life up, and that it changed her at a molecular level:
It was the first time I’d ever taken a plane, the first time I’d ever gotten a taxi cab. I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I’d ever done.
The SwimMobile made it so inner city kids could beat the heat. Detroit, 1960s
Summer can be unbearable if you don’t have a way to cool off, and if you don’t have anything to do, the summer can be even worse. The muggy air, the sweat, that sticky feeling that’s just so uncomfortable, the only thing that can make the summer manageable is a pool. Unfortunately not everyone has a pool, especially in the inner city of Detroit.
In the 1960s the SwimMobile made life easier for urban kids in Detroit. The truck was a trailer on the back of a semi truck filled with water that drove from place to place, stopping long enough for kids to get in a good swim.
Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall get their ya-yas out crossdressing in 1996
With his hair slicked back and his face made up to accentuate his more feminine features, Jagger was 53 when he and his then partner Jerry Hall posed for Brigitte Lacombe in this gender reversing photo. Taken outside Jagger and Hall’s French chateau, the outfits and makeup belong to the couple. Lacombe told the Daily Mirror that she wanted to do something special with Rolling Stones singer because he only agreed to take one photo. She explained:
Mick had agreed to do one picture. He suddenly appeared in full make-up. The gown was his idea, he thought it would be fun. I love that the image is so genuine, not too jokey, not too camp.
After nine years together, Jagger and Hall had their common law relationship nullified in 1999.
An elderly lion in his final hours in the Kruger National Park
This heartbreaking photo of a malnourished Skybed Scar was taken in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. The full set of photos shows the final moments of the lion after he was kicked out his pride. When a lion loses to a challenger he’s removed from his pride and forced to scavenge for food. They grow emaciated and slowly fade away. The photographer wrote that he saw the lion drinking from a watering hole before lying down to end his life:
After he had his fill of water he struggled to his feet hardly able to stand. What you did not notice while he was drinking, he literally was nothing but skin and bones.
Following his last drink he slowly staggered up a hill before collapsing on the ground and passing away.
Juliane Koepcke was the sole survivor aboard LANSA Flight 508, she lived in the jungle for 11 days following the crash
After LANSA Flight 508 was struck by lightning on Christmas Eve 1971, Juliane Koepcke was sucked out of the plane when it cracked in half. She was strapped in her seat as she fell 10,000 feet to the middle of the Peruvian rainforest. She woke up on Christmas morning with a concussion and a series of gashes across her body.
For the next 11 days she followed a small river downstream until she came across a small fishing hut. She laid down to sleep and was later discovered by the people who lived there who took her to a hospital. She later wrote a memoir about the experience called When I Fell From the Sky.
Six Flags Over New Orleans, abandoned after Hurricane Katrina
The sound of roller coasters careening through the air, children screaming with joy, and the smell of cotton candy, amusement parks are a respite from real life for the young and old. Unfortunately even amusement parks aren’t immune to the ravages of Mother Nature. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, drowning the city and turning Six Flags Over New Orleans into a twisted pile of metal.
The 140 acre plot of land is still standing in one way or another, but it’s been deemed unsalvageable by park owners. The site is now covered in graffiti and exists as a monument to what could have been.
Ronald Reagan with Serena go to the net with Venus Williams at Nancy Reagan's Celebrity Tennis Tournament, 1990
At Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No to Drugs celebrity tournament at the Riviera Country Club in L. A. in 1990, Venus and Serena Williams were the toast of the event. At the tender ages of 9 and 10 the sisters gave autographs, posed for photos, and gave interviews. They were even being followed by national sports magazines. Aside from their age not much has changed with these two.
As children the Williams sisters had to practice on courts in Compton and Watts, and during the early ‘90s this was ground zero for gang activity. Their father described their practices as “hell.” He told Sports Illustrated, “We've been shot at on the tennis court. But now gang members know us and protect us when the shooting starts.”
These two young athletes have proved that with hard work and determination no situation is too dire.
Debbie Harry, photographed in 1977 while in Los Angeles
Blondie’s Debbie Harry is without a doubt one of the most gorgeous woman who ever walked the planet, let alone that walked the stage and grabbed a microphone. She looked cool and sexy whether she was on stage in full hair and makeup or dressed down in a cut off t-shirt. While speaking to Interview Magazine about Harry, Tina Weymouth from the Talking Heads said that Harry knew how to “turn it off” so she could just be a regular person, but even then she was still beautiful. Weymouth said:
I’d be walking down the street with Debbie and she’d just turn it on and everyone would recognize her. Then she’d turn it off and they wouldn’t recognize her at all… No matter how beautiful another person can be, Debbie will always be the most remarkable beauty. Because it’s like the sunshine to the moon, you know, the sun comes up and the moon is eclipsed.
A scary bear chasing a cyclist in Yellowstone National Park
It’s time to face facts, this photo doesn’t actually show a bear chasing a cyclist, it’s just a clever bit of photoshop. The picture was taken in Yellowstone National Park, and weirdly enough the bear is the real figure in the photo which means that there was just a bear running down the road in the middle of winter. Maybe he was trying to work off a heavy meal.
Even if the photo was doctored it offers an important lesson to everyone, don’t mess with bears. We’re not sure if they’re fast enough to chase a cyclist, but why tempt fate?
This Siberian bear hunting suit keeps you safe and makes you dangerous
Not only does this suit keep you safe, but it makes sure you never have to hug people you don’t like again. It’s believed that this vintage armor wasn’t used to traipse through the Siberian woods in search of a bear, but rather it was worn when a bear hunter was seeding the area for bears so to speak. According to a commenter on the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation message board:
I suspect it is more likely to be for bear bating than hunting, since I can't imagine anyone could run around the woods in it. It consists of leather pants and jacket (and an iron helmet) studded all over with 1-inch iron nails about 3/4 in. apart. The nails are held in place by a second layer of leather lining the whole thing and quilted into place between the nails.
Have you ever used one of these to bear bait? Or do you know anyone who has? Let us know because this suit is nuts.
No one looks good in these creepy masks for the "Miss Beautiful Eyes" contest in the 1930s
There have been a lot of weird beauty contests throughout the years, but Miss Beautiful Eyes is definitely at the top of weird mountain. In order to properly judge the contest, the eye experts had the women cover their faces up with formless masks that only showed their eyes. You know, a totally normal thing to ask women to do.
These contests were supposedly for “non pin-up types” who wanted to get into the ribbon cutting game. Different Miss Beautiful Eyes Contests had women hold up paper under their eyes, while others had them wear huge stovepipe hat looking things. Still, these masks may be one of the creepier things that women have ever had to wear.
Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin dated for seven years before Mercury came out, they remained friends until the end of his life
When Freddie Mercury sang, “You’re my best friend,” he could have very well been speaking directly to Mary Austin, the woman who served as his confidant throughout his life. The two met at a clothing store in 1969 and the two couldn’t have been more opposite. He was outgoing and brash, she was introverted and meek.
Even after Queen signed their first contract and began playing to adoring fans Mercury kept Austin close, he wanted her to be a part of his life and the rock ’n roll carnival that was swirling around them. After Mercury came out to Austin the duo broke ended their romantic relationship and Mercury purchased an apartment for Austin next to his. In 1985 Mercury expounded on his relationship with Austin, saying:
The only friend I’ve got is Mary, and I don’t want anybody else… We believe in each other, that’s enough for me.
86-year-old Lao Huang, a cormorant fisherman living in Yangshuo, China prepares for a day's catch
Fishing has been a way of life for seafaring cultures for centuries. Each culture has its own way of doing things, and cormorant fishing is definitely one of the most fascinating ways of getting the job done. Practiced by everyone from the Ancient Egyptians to the people of Korea and even Peru, this style of fishing only reached the commercial scale in Japan and China.
With this method fishermen relay on a cormorant, an aquatic bird that dives into the water to catch fish. Fishermen tie a snare to the base of the bird’s throat that only allows small fish to pass through, any large bird that the fish catches has to be removed by the fishermen. No longer commercially viable, this practice is now only practiced as a way of passing on tradition.
Sophia Loren is disturbed by Jayne Mansfield's assets
The most famous side eye in history, Sophia Loren’s very judgey look at Jayne Mansfield’s chest spilling out of her dress at a Paramount party in Beverly Hills that was put together as Loren’s coming out party. It turned out that the only things coming out were Mansfield’s blonde bombshells and Loren really didn’t know what to think.
Mansfield’s barely there outfit was designed as publicity stunt to draw attention away from Loren, but in spite of the rude look she’s throwing to Mansfield she says that she didn’t really care. There are more photos from the even that show Loren laughing and hanging out with Mansfield so it seems that his famous Hollywood story is just the product of drama.
Yikes, this giant octopus engulfing a scuba diver can be seen at the Oregon Undersea Gardens
Okay, so, it’s time to come clean. This isn’t a real octopus feasting on an unlucky diver. It’s actually a statue at the Oregon Undersea Gardens that’s meant to entertain viewers while warning about the possibility of a cephalopod attack. While these attacks are rare they do happen whenever a diver finds themselves at the wrong place and the wrong time. In 2014 a Giant Pacific octopus attacked a diver off the coast of Carmel when the diver attempted to take a photo of the animal. It must have been camera shy. Everyone was okay, but the divers won't be trying to get a selfie with wildlife any time soon.
Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland married in 1968 and often appeared as husband and wife on screen
Charles Bronson was known as an actor who relished playing tough guys and gun toting men who didn’t take no for an answer, but in his home life he was as meek as a church mouse. After marrying Jill Ireland in 1968 they had two children, one of which was adopted, which made a total of seven children between the two of them.
Bronson made sure that Ireland appeared onscreen as his wife in most of his films after they wed. When Ireland was diagnosed with breast cancer in the ‘80s Bronson reportedly turned down great roles so he could stay with her and act as her nurse. She passed away in 1990, and Bronson hung around until 2003.
She doesn't care that a scientist hoses her down, Continental Oil Company, 1952
Everyone knows that scientists love hosing women down and women love tone hosed down by a scientist. It’s in a print ad so it has to be true. If you’ve never seen one of these ads it’s hard to know exactly what it’s selling, but from the copy this isn’t some kind of special MILF hosing service, but rather an ad for and oil plating technique that Conoco claims will protect a car’s engine.
It’s clear that Conoco knows that the average driver doesn’t care about oil plating, but they do care about sexy images like this. Honestly, they’re right.
Lynda Carter wanted to be in a band before she was cast as Wonder Woman
Long before she was cast as Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter was attempting to find a career outside of crime fighting - she wanted to be in a band. She studied music while attending Arizona State University, but after she was voted “Most Talented” she left school and joined a band called The Garfin Gathering, and with a name like that you now they were successful.
The group mostly toured the Nevada “Silver Circuit,” which took them to casino lounges in cities like Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Reno, and Las Vegas. Carter played with the band for a couple of years before retiring from the rock life to pursue acting. However, it would be until 1974 that she made her first appearance in the police procedural Nakia.
Draft horses are built to work and they look good doing it
Even though this horse is a sweet beauty of a galloping creature, most draft horses don’t look like they just jumped off of a Lisa Frank folder. Draft horses are a large breed that are meant to plow fields and help with farm labor. There a bunch of different breeds of draft horses depending on where the horses are born.
If you’re not sure if you’re dealing with a draft horse then check out their broad, short backs and the gorgeous feathering on their lower legs. They’ve also got incredibly heavy bones, so if you have a way to test bone density that would be a great way to check.
Bill Paxton, Liam Neeson, and Patrick Swayze played brothers in "Next of Kin" 1989
Obviously Swayze, Neeson, and Paxton aren’t brothers, but when you slather them in dirt and faux sweat they look weirdly related. Next of Kin follows Swayze as Truman Gates, an Appalachian good ol’ boy turned cop who returns home to investigate the death of Bill Paxton’s character. Swayze has to choose between justice and the law.
The movie isn’t the best thing you’ve ever seen, but every single one of these guys oozes charisma and it’s impossible to turn off the DVD when they’re on screen together. If you like ultra violent final acts or revenge films, then give Next of Kin a shot.
Madonna appearing in the Egg Film, a student production from 1974
For those of you wondering, “Where did Madonna learn her chops for Swept Away?” May we present you with a little short called The Egg Film. The student film was produced in 1974, and shot on Super 8 for a film class and while there’s not discernible story it does sound really weird and totally up Madonna’s alley.
Director Wyn Cooper, another student, says that Madonna was down for anything, and that she was okay with eating a raw egg on camera. Following Madonna’s feast another student bakes an egg on her stomach before eating it. Rumor has it that the original lyrics to “Like a Virgin” were, “used as a frying pan for the very first time.
Debby Boone, Joyce DeWitt, and Maren Jensen take a break from the "Battle of the Network Stars," 1976
The Battle of the Network Stars, the only place where audiences could really see who really was the greatest celebrity on television. Who didn’t dream of watching the stars of Welcome Back Kotter face off with the cast of Happy Days in a Wild World of Sports spin-off? The actors on the show took the summer sports series seriously, if only because there was a $20,000 prize allotted to the winner, and who didn’t want to watch Joyce DeWitt get knocked into some mud during the tug of war? The competition was fierce on the Battle of the Network Stars, which shows that stars are just like regular people - they really want to win a bunch of money.
The first woman of drag racing, Shirley Muldowney poses with one of her custom cars
Before Shirley Muldowney was on the drag racing scene women were rarely seen anyhere but the sidelines. She started racing in spite of the pushback from men on the track and in the stands in 1965 with a 1940 Ford that was fitted with a Cadillac engine. This baby had some real power. She raced with stock cars, Funny Cars, basically if it had wheels she could drive it.
In 1977 Muldowney won the National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel championship while racing in the Top Fuel division. When asked about her methods by Sports Illustrated she said, “I do not rattle on the line. I simply do not rattle."
The nightmarish skeletal stage at Bregenz Festival 1999
No, this isn’t the stage for the most metal band you’ve ever seen, it’s a one off stage built for the Bregenzer Festival, a performing arts festival that began in 1945, but didn’t become an tradition until 1993. Each year there are different performances and different sets. 1999 saw a performance of Verdi’s A Masked Ball, an opera that “unites antitheses like Dance and Death,” which gave the folks behind the festival to create this stunning skeletal stage. There’s no info about what the organizers do with their stages once the season is over, but it’s likely that they repurpose the materials for later use, or this skeleton is still being used to scare children around Europe.
Raquel Welch dances with troops at the USO Christmas show in 1967
There wasn’t much to look forward to about the Vietnam War, but one thing that soldiers fighting overseas could look forward to is Bob Hope’s USO tour and Christmas show. During the shows Hope brought out as many celebrities as he could to give the troops something fun to do, he knew that it was especially important to bring actresses who loved to dance with the boys.
Christmas 1967 was a huge year for the troops because Hope brought Raquel Welch along with him to entertain 25,000 men and women at Long Binh. Welch danced with the troops and even if they weren’t fans of Hope you can bet they loved getting to shimmy with the star of One Million Years B.C. and Bedazzled.
Nothing to see here, French troops march past a dog wearing goggles and sporting a pipe, 1915
Are there better dogs than war dogs? Obviously it would be great if there were no dogs that ever had to go to war, or war in general, but they had some of the toughest jobs during World War I. Dogs are known to be hard workers and they were sent to the trenches with the men to take care of menial tasks that happened in small spaces.
Some canines worked as sentry dogs who watched over the men as they slept while others worked as casualty dogs that located wounded or dying soldiers on the battlefield. The dogs also carried medical equipment to wounded soldiers.
Drag racing legends 'Jungle Pam' Hardy learned her trade on the job
After a chance meeting with Jim Liebman outside of West Chester, Connecticut Pam Hardy was transformed into “Jungle Pam,” a buxom young woman in tight fitting clothes who ensured that all eyes were on Jim’s car. He was known for his outlandish style, but adding Pam to the mix kicked things up a notch. Aside from being eye candy, Pam worked as the "backup girl” who put Jim’s 1973 Chevrolet Vega in place before Jim hopped in.
Pam was able to make backing up a car into an erotic art that kept the audience’s eyes on her. Pam wasn’t happy to settle for a life as a backup girl so she learned on the job and went from not knowing anything about cars to working as a member of the crew. She topped off the car with water, loaded the parachute, and made sure it was fully oiled. Pam was truly a woman doing things for herself.
Yvonne Craig was nerd's dream in the 1960s. She played Batgirl and an Orion slave girl in "Star Trek"
Even though she’s famous for playing Batgirl in season 3 of Adam West’s Batman and fulfilling every nerd’s dream for getting painted up green and traipsing around on Star Trek in a barely there outfit, Craig says that didn’t see any of her performances, and wouldn’t have regardless of who was on the show because she wasn’t much of a TV watcher. She told Closer Weekly:
I had done a couple of pilots that didn’t go, but then they called me and said they were thinking of adding a girl to Batman. I had never seen the show, even though everyone was crazy about it. Even when I was shooting Batman, I had a black and white TV. I’m a book reader and not much of a TV watcher, so I just didn’t pay attention. The producer, William Dozier, said, ‘I’m sure you’ve seen our show,’ and I said, ‘Actually, I haven’t, but if I get the part I’ll spend the summer watching re-runs so I know how I’ll fit into the scheme of things.’
Sophia Loren at her Roman Villa
In 1964 LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt took a trip to Rome snap shots of award winning actress Sophia Loren at the massive estate she shared with her husband Carlo Ponti. The lavish home was a 16th century villa with 50 rooms which included a guest house and expansive grounds, and a field for sheep to graze. LIFE even shows Loren in an apple orchard near the home.
Loren retired to the home whenever she wasn’t working - which was kind of all the time. Throughout her career she’s won an Academy Award for Best Actress, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a Laurel Award. Do you think she keeps her awards in one room or that she spreads them throughout the estate?
Drag racing's sweetheart of the track, "Jungle" Pam
Anyone who was kicking the tires and tearing up the asphalt in the ‘70s remembers Jungle Pam. She turned fans into cartoons wolves with hearts in their eyes when she assisted driver "Jungle Jim" Lieberman with his Funny Car races. Her tight outfits and bodacious bod made up for the fact that she didn’t have any experience with cars when she got into the industry.
When Pam took to the track she wore daisy dukes, hip hugging jeans, and go-go boots with short skirts fans stayed in their seats to see what she would do. She didn’t just change drag racing, she changed the world of sports forever.
Lady Diana dancing with Clint Eastwood in the Travolta dress, worn specifically because she was meeting John Travolta that night
When Princess Diana visited President Ronald Reagan and his wife at the White House in 1985, Nancy Reagan constructed the evening so Diana would have some great guys to dance with. She invited John Travolta, Tom Selleck, and Clint Eastwood and made sure they knew it was their American duty to dance with the Princess of Wales - not that they would have had a problem with that.
On the night of the party Diana wore what’s now referred to as “The Travolta Dress,” specifically because Diana chose it to wear while she was dancing with the Saturday Night Fever star. The can be seen at the exhibit “Diana: Her Fashion Story” at Kensington Palace.
Pat Benetar hated the sexy ads for her 1979 debut
When Pat Benatar hit the airwaves in 1979 with her debut album “In the Heat of the Night” she showed the world that a five foot, 90 pound young woman with a powerful voice rock just as well as the guys. Even though she liked being sexy, she hated her record label trying to use sex appeal to sell her records. She just wanted to be seen as a rocker. Benatar told Rolling Stone:
The sh*t the record company puts out is embarrassing. I came back from the last tour and found out they’d made a cardboard cutout of me in my little tights. What has that got to do with anything? They also took out an ad in Billboard and airbrushed part of my top off. They knew I’d never pose like that, so they took the cover of the new record, moved the bottom line up a bit and airbrushed it to look like I’m naked. If that is gonna sell records, then it’s a real sorry thing.
Lynda Carter at the 1977 Emmy Awards in a barely there pink dress
In the late ‘70s Lynda Carter gave little girls everywhere a hero that they could cheer for - Wonder Woman. On the show Carter was a bastion for good, a hero who could leap over cars and make villains tell the truth. While most of her stunts where performed by stuntwoman Jeannie Epper, Carter performed a few of them herself. Or at least she tried to. Carter told Johnny Carson:
On the first day, we did all the biggest stunts, the hardest stunts, and the first one that we did, practically the first shot of the day, I was on one of the Peter Pan wires, and I was supposed to jump over a car. They hooked me up to this, and I'd only practiced in a gym, without a car. So, they hook you up and they hold you back, and the first time, I slammed right into the car.
Jamie Lee Curtis in the late 1970s.
Jamie Lee Curtis spent the first few years of her acting career on a $235-a-week contract with Universal that had her appearing in TV shows like Quincy and Operation Petticoat, and that was fine and good, but her real break came when she was hired to play Laurie Strode in John Carpenter’s Halloween. Even before the movie became a cultural phenomenon she realized that it was her big break. She told Rolling Stone:
I remember the discussion of whether my Halloween credit should say STARRING or INTRODUCING JAMIE LEE CURTIS. My dream was to have INTRODUCING. I was finally able to say, ‘That’s mine. I did that. That’s all me.’ Halloween was my deb party. It was a pretty weird party, but it was my coming out. My emotional coming out.
Helen Mirren works her magic as Morgana in "Excalibur," 1981
For a generation of nerds, Helen Mirren as Morgana was an awakening of epic proportions. However, audiences almost didn’t get to see Mirren’s very busty version of Morgana because Mirren didn’t think that the script was all that interesting. She admits that once filming got underway things fell into place. She said:
That one didn’t leap off the page. It was quite difficult to follow and I think it was very much to John Boorman’s credit that he crafted this very magical world out of what could have been a real mess! Some of those scenes when we read them during rehearsal sounded absolutely embarrassing! We were all like, ‘My God, how can we say these lines?’ But with all the other elements, it all started falling into place, especially the lighting and the beauty of the film.