Monthly Archive: February 2014

The Many Different Types Of Megalith

The British and Irish countrysides are home to thousands of massive standing stones. Some are contained in stone circles while some, called menhirs, are single, solitary monuments. Others form ancient burial grounds, like dolmens and court cairns. Passage graves, like Newgrange, are massive burial grounds.

The Aztecs Didn’t Mistake The Spanish For Gods

When the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 16th century, the conventional narrative declares that the native Aztecs (properly: the Mexica) mistook the conquistadors for gods. That, along with Spanish steel, guns, and horses, was the reason for the small Spanish retinue’s unlikely conquest. Except no one, not even the Spanish, initially suggested there was any case of mistaken identity. The story was likely an apocryphal invention of the conquered Mexica to recast their defeat as a result of religious symbols, not military failings.

The Difference Between The Kraken And Leviathan

The kraken and Leviathan are often considered vaguely interchangeable sea monsters, but they’re actually very different creatures with many misconceptions built up around them both, largely because of the influence of pop culture. (Sorry, Liam Neeson, but the kraken wasn’t even actually Greek.) The kraken was a squid-like monster from Norse mythology said to be so large it would attack ships and most likely born from real sightings of giant squid. Leviathan was a whale-like monster from Hebrew folklore.

Tolkien Almost Wrote A Fourth ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Novel

JRR Tolkien wrote many more works besides his two most popular (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings). These mainly included more short stories, most set within his fictional world of Middle Earth. However, after his death, his son Christopher Tolkien published many of his notes and unfinished works, one of which included the failed, discarded draft of a final novel in the Lord of the Rings series.

The Difference Between Gray, White And Black Propaganda

During World War II, propaganda was an important tool on all sides. It was from this extensive use of propaganda tools that the formal definitions of white, black, and gray propaganda were developed—and it wasn’t always possible for either side to tell the difference. White propaganda was that whose origin was clearly labeled and which had a transparent purpose. Gray propaganda is information of questionable origin that is never sourced and whose accuracy is doubtful. Black propaganda is information put out by an opposing government or institution and made to look as though it came from a friendly source.

Abhartach, The Original Vampire Chieftain Of Ireland

Many people are under the impression that the original vampire is from Transylvania, however, this is not quite accurate. See, the first ever known record of a vampire story is the Celtic legend of the undead Irish Chieftain Abhartach. Not only that, but Bram Stoker studied in Ireland for a long time and was thus likely to be familiar with the tale. Even if it was not the sole inspiration, it was likely part of what became the vampire we know today.

No One Knows What Christopher Columbus Looked Like

While there are many different portraits available of Christopher Columbus, all of them are simply the artist’s take on what they thought he looked like. Columbus, as far as history can tell us, never actually sat for a portrait. Some people speculate that one might have been requested by Queen Isabella during his time at her court, but no such portrait was ever found in her collection upon her death.