Have you ever listened to a podcast or read an article about a time or event that you thought must be a work of fiction? We have. And while these events are often tragic or heartbreaking, though sometimes they’re just outlandish and kinda funny, we just can’t stop our brains from being super interested and simply need to know more. So if you’re a little morbid, twisted, or just have a great sense of humor like us, you’ll appreciate learning about these moments in history that seem fake, but totally happened. And since we’re educated, hopefully, we would speak out against them and prevent said events from ever happening again. So really we’re doing the world a service. Let’s get started!
We’ll start with a more lighthearted historical tidbit in the year 1845. President Andrew Jackson had passed away and his beloved pet parrot attended his funeral. The parrot’s attendance was short-lived, however, due to becoming overexcited at the number of people also in attendance and he began to shout obscenities. And yes, the parrot did have to be removed.
(image via: nga)
Keeping it lighthearted but getting a little gross with a fact about urine. Yes, urine. Back in Roman times, this bodily fluid was used not only as a sort of laundry detergent but also as a mouthwash. Now, of course, we still think this is pretty gross and do not recommend these practices, but research today tells us that medicine derived from urine has been proven to fight fertility and menopause symptoms.
Okay, let’s get a little morbid. When you think of the guillotine you probably imagine this being used like, a long time ago, right? Well, as it turns out, beheading wasn’t actually abolished in the UK until 1973, and the last recorded beheading in France took place in 1977.
(image via: the paris review)
Nobody likes their alarm clock, but we’re glad they exist because we would be even later than we already are for functions. But what did we do before alarm clocks? Well, if you lived in Britain pre-1970s, someone would shoot dried peas at your window. Now, this service did cost money, but the problem with this was that neighbors, whether they wanted it or not, received this service for free. Because who wouldn’t hear dried peas hitting their window?
Do you fear being buried alive? People in the 18th and 19th centuries did. Like a lot. So much so that a special coffin had to be invented for the “deceased” to alert those above ground that they were in fact not deceased. There was one little problem. The safety coffin, as it came to be known, was a system of string and an above-ground bell; the idea was that the string would be tied around a person’s finger or wrist so they could easily ring the bell. One thing that wasn’t considered? The process of rigor mortis, which causes our dead muscles and joints to stiffen. Which means they move a little. Which means those bells were ringing. And dead bodies were being exhumed. You see the problem here.
(image via: vox)