Boomerangs Don’t Work The Way You Think

Many people assume boomerangs are for throwing directly at animals during hunting, with the assumption that if you missed, the boomerang would return and you would get another shot. But that’s incorrect: they were actually used to imitate hawks.

Every Octopus Is Venomous

While they seem harmless enough, every known species of octopus and cuttlefish, and some species of squid, are venomous.

The Bataan Death March

In April 1942, the Allied forces in Bataan fell to the Japanese after a four-month siege. The following 105-kilometer (65 mi) death march became one of the best-known atrocities of the war, as harsh conditions and sadistic guards killed up to 10,000 prisoners.

The Most Isolated Man In America

Locked away in federal supermax prison, Aryan Brotherhood member Thomas Silverstein has been held in solitary confinement for 30 years. Known for murdering fellow inmates, he was very carefully monitored, but in 1983, he managed to kill a corrections officer. Since then, he has passed barely a word with another human being.

Women Can Swear To Become Men In Albania

Albania and Macedonia are currently the only places in Europe that have a socially defined set of rules that will permit a woman to obtain the rights of a man. In order to do this, the person must take a vow of chastity and become a sworn virgin.

An Ancient Tribe’s Metal From Outer Space

While Sir John Ross was exploring the arctic in 1818 he happened upon an Inughuit tribe in Greenland. Curiously, the tribe, despite believing themselves to be the only people on Earth and having no ability to mine or even smelt metal, were in possession of iron tools.

It was later discovered the Inughuit had found several meteorites and that they were the source of their iron. They had literally been eating and hunting with metal sent from space itself.

The Disgusting Swedish Torture Drink

Schwedentrunk (“The Swedish Drink”) was a form of torture used by Swedish marauders and mercenaries on German peasants during the Thirty Years’ War. It involved forcibly making a person consume a mixture of human and animal excrement (often served up boiling hot) until they passed out.

No Last Meals On Texas Death Row

Despite executing nearly five times as many prisoners as any other state in America, Texas does not offer a customary last meal to a condemned prisoner. The practice was abolished in 2011 when Lawrence Russell Brewer, a murderous criminal, ordered an exorbitant feast and then refused to touch a bite of it.

Trial Of A Dead Pope

By the end of the ninth century A.D., the papacy was run by powerful Roman families and had many problems including corruption, murder, and immorality. Pope Formosus I, ruling from 891-896, made political enemies while in office. After his death, his successor had Formosus’ corpse exhumed and tried the dead man for supposed crimes during the Cadaver Synod or Synodus Horrenda, one of the Catholic Church’s more gruesome episodes.