Johnny Appleseed Was Actually Giving The Gift Of Liquor

We all have a very distinct picture of Johnny Appleseed. He’s the barefoot tramp, walking across America, spreading apple seeds wherever he goes. That’s only part of the truth, and the best part usually isn’t mentioned. The trees that Chapman was planting weren’t the ones that would be used to grow apples we eat. Instead, he was planting the sour apples that would be used to make hard cider. Once America’s drink of choice, hard cider fell out of fashion when Prohibition agents took their axes to Chapman’s orchards, and it’s only recently that hard cider is making a comeback in the states.

Trap-Neuter-Release Isn’t The Most Effective For Controlling Feral Cats

According to Tufts University, the popular trap-neuter-release program for controlling feral cats isn’t the most efficient. Replacing neuter surgeries with vasectomies and hysterectomies will keep established colonies more stable, and with a male cat still producing hormones but unable to make kittens, he’ll be more capable of protecting his female cats from unaltered males. The cats won’t have the extended lifespan that neutered cats do, and simulations show that a policy of TVHR has the potential to humanely eliminate entire colonies of feral cats over a handful of years.

What The Shroud Of Turin Might Suggest About The Crucifixion

To believers in the Bible’s New Testament, the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, showing the image of His crucified body. However, many nonbelievers feel the image on the shroud is an artistic hoax. In 2014, researchers decided to re-create the path of the blood flow shown on the image to determine the crucifixion position. They found that the spots on the shroud were consistent with a crucifixion, but the arms had to be in a “Y” position above the head rather than the commonly depicted “T” position. The “Y” position would have been especially painful, creating difficulty in breathing as well.

The Myth Of The ’27 Club’ (And The Creepier Truth)

We’ll get this out of the way first: The 27 Club is a myth. Even though you can undoubtedly name a handful of musicians that died tragic deaths at the age of 27, a recent study found that there’s an age that musicians are even more likely (that is, slightly more likely) to die at: 56. They did find, however, that musicians are likely to die much younger than the general population (late fifties for men and early sixties for women) and that the type of music the musicians are known for can have implications in pinpointing how they’re going to die.

Why It’s Surprisingly Easy To Discover A New Species

For many of us, the coolest thing we could possibly do would be discover a new species. The idea that an entire branch of life could be out there, bearing our name, is the stuff of fantasy. But to do that you’d probably need millions in funding and an expedition team, right? Not quite. According to scientists, finding a new species is remarkably easy. You don’t even need to leave your hometown to do so.

The Nazis’ Olympic Torch Relay And The Prankster Who Protested It

In 1956, college student Barry Larkin made a fake torch (out of a chair leg and some burning underwear) and jumped into the Olympic relay. He picked up a police escort before he handed the torch off to the mayor of Sydney, who nearly started his Olympic speech holding a flaming plum pudding can on a stick. He pulled this prank in protest of the continuation of a ceremony that had been started only two decades before, by Nazi Germany, as propaganda for the Third Reich and symbolic of the torch they believed they were carrying from ancient civilizations to the present.

GMOs Are Actually Thousands Of Years Old

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been a hot topic of debate ever since we developed the technology to muck about with our food on a genetic level. It’s nothing new, though, and researchers have found that if it wasn’t for Mother Nature’s own experiments with using bacteria to alter the genes of the sweet potato, we might not have one of our Thanksgiving Day favorites. Corn was genetically altered with generations of selective breeding, too, but whether or not that means we should be interfering with nature is still up for debate.

Mesopotamia May Not Be The Cradle Of Civilization

For many years, we believed that Mesopotamia was the “cradle of civilization” because the oldest evidence of a written language was found there. However, archaeologists have discovered the Dispilio tablet in Greece which dates to 5260 BC. More recently, they’ve also found tablets in the Danube Valley that appear to contain a written language. Those tablets date to 5500 BC. A debate rages among archaeologists as to whether these Danube Valley symbols are decorations or a written language. If found to be the world’s oldest written language, it would mean that, as far as we know, civilization began in the Danube Valley, not Mesopotamia.

Lenin’s Body Isn’t Getting Older, It’s Getting Better

Lenin is the poster child for long-term embalming. For 90 years, his handlers have kept his body looking relatively the same, although everything is not as it appears. They re-embalm Lenin’s entire body every two years, giving him microinjections, or booster shots, of embalming fluid between those times. They also replace his body parts as needed. From the 1950s to the 1980s, as many as 200 people worked at Lenin’s mummy lab, much of it on research. In the 1990s, they suffered funding cuts, but private contributions allowed the lab to continue its work.

Queen Victoria Was Faking Her Domestic Bliss

We’ve been led to believe that Queen Victoria was madly in love with her husband, Prince Albert, and that she went into mourning for the rest of her life after he died. But she and Albert were engaged in a constant power struggle while he was alive. While it’s true that Victoria wore black for the rest of her life after he died, she spent her time scheming to control her rebellious children instead of mourning her lost husband.