15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless

Aileen
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Throughout history, humans have done some strange and unbelievable things. Superstitions and beliefs drove some actions, while others were simply products of their time.  These bizarre historical facts often challenge our understanding of the world and how it has evolved.

There’s no limit to the bizarre stories that have taken place throughout human history. Here are fifteen bizarre historical facts that will make you think twice about what you thought you knew about the past.

The Great Emu War

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: JuggaloICP via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, you read that right. Australia had a war against emus in 1932. The country faced a severe problem as thousands of emus were destroying crops and causing significant damage to farms.

The government sent soldiers armed with machine guns to take down the emus in response, but the war was ultimately unsuccessful. As a result, the emus won, and their population continued to grow.

The Dancing Plague of 1518

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: Anna.Massini via Wikimedia Commons

In July of 1518, a woman named Frau Troffea started dancing in the streets of Strasbourg, France. This bizarre behavior soon spread throughout the city, and within a month, around 400 people had joined in on the dancing.

Some dancers even died from exhaustion or heart attacks. To this day, scientists are still unsure about what caused this strange phenomenon.

The Time When People Wore Feathers as Hats

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: Brad from Fort Worth, United States via Wikimedia Commons

In the late 19th century, it was fashionable for women to wear hats adorned with whole birds or bird feathers.

This trend peaked in the early 20th century when up to five million birds were killed yearly for this purpose. Conservation efforts were eventually implemented to protect bird populations, and this bizarre fashion trend died out.

The First Computer Bug

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: Naval Surface Warfare Center via Wikimedia Commons

In 1947, the first computer bug was discovered by Grace Hopper. While working on the Harvard Mark II computer, she found a moth stuck in one of the circuits, which caused a malfunction.

She removed the moth and documented it as “the first actual case of bug being found” in a computer system.

The Deadly Fashion Trend

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: NAVFAC via Wikimedia Commons

Green dresses became very popular in the Victorian era thanks to new synthetic dyes. However, these dyes contained arsenic, which could be absorbed into the skin and cause serious health issues.

The poisonous garments were responsible for numerous deaths, earning them the nickname “The Killer Green.”

The Unusual Olympic Sports

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit; Le Sport Universel Illustré via Wikimedia Commons

At the 1900 Olympics in Paris, there was an event called “live pigeon shooting,” which involved contestants trying to shoot as many birds as possible within a specific time limit.

Over 300 birds were killed during this event, and it is now known as the only Olympic sport that resulted in animal deaths.

The World’s Oldest Creature

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: Bachware via Wikimedia Commons

There is a species of jellyfish called Turritopsis dohrnii, also known as the immortal jellyfish, which can revert to its juvenile form after reaching maturity. This process can continue indefinitely, making this creature potentially immortal.

A study conducted in Spain estimated that this jellyfish could be potentially immortal and could represent the key to unlocking the secret of immortality for humans.

The Eiffel Tower Secret Apartment

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: Benh LIEU SONG via Wikimedia Commons

Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the famous Eiffel Tower, built a secret apartment on the third floor as a private retreat for himself.

The apartment is still there and is occasionally open for public visits. It is estimated that only 1% of visitors to the Eiffel Tower are aware of this hidden gem.

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Flannan Isles Lighthouse Keepers

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: Marc Calhoun via Wikimedia Commons

In 1900, three lighthouse keepers on the remote Flannan Isles disappeared. Their quarters were found abandoned with no signs of struggle or foul play.

To this day, their disappearance remains a mystery. Some speculate that a storm swept them away, while others believe it was the work of supernatural forces.

The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: School of Martin van Meytens via Wikimedia Commons

After Howard Carter discovered King Tut’s tomb in 1922, several strange deaths occurred among those involved in the excavation. According to statistics, there were a total of 26 deaths attributed to the excavation of King Tut’s tomb.

However, only eight were members of the original excavation team, while the rest were family members or associates. This led to the belief that the tomb was cursed, but scientific evidence suggests that these deaths were likely coincidences.

The “Napoleon Was Short” Myth

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: ArchaiOptix via Wikimedia Commons

Contrary to popular belief, Napoleon Bonaparte was not short. He was measured at 5 feet 7 inches, slightly taller than the average height for men during his time.

The myth of his short stature likely stems from British propaganda, as they often portrayed him as a small man to make him seem less intimidating. This false perception has stuck throughout history, but the truth is that Napoleon was not short at all.

The Real-Life “Moby Dick”

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: WolfgangRieger via Wikimedia Commons

In 1820, a sperm whale attacked and sunk a whaling ship called Essex in the Pacific Ocean. This event inspired Herman Melville’s famous novel “Moby-Dick.” This incident is said to have been based on an event in 1820 when a sperm whale attacked and sank the whaling ship Essex in the Pacific Ocean. This real-life “Moby Dick” inspired Herman Melville’s famous novel, showcasing the devastating power of these creatures.

The First Computer Password

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: Tyler Bell via Wikimedia Commons

“The first computer password ever used was “login.” It shows that simplicity in design doesn’t always mean a lack of effectiveness.” It was implemented by Fernando Corbató in the early days of computer systems in 1962.

The Extravagant Roman Banquet

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: Robert Smirke via Wikimedia Commons

The Ancient Romans had a custom of indulging in lavish feasts where they would consume large quantities of food, sometimes to the point of vomiting, so that they could continue eating.

This practice was known as “vomitorium” and was seen as a sign of wealth and status. It is said that the Roman emperor Claudius once held a feast where 600 ostriches and 2,000 flamingos were served to his guests!

The Dubious Diet Fad

15 Bizarre Historical Facts That Leave Us Speechless
image credit: GeorgesB via Wikimedia Commons

During the 18th century, people would consume small amounts of arsenic to achieve pale skin. This practice was believed to lead to a more youthful appearance, but it resulted in severe health issues and even death.

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Author

  • Aileen

    Aileen adds a melodic tone to the Frenz Hub writing team, with her background in agricultural economics and hobbies like singing, reading, swimming, and traveling, enriching her writing with diverse perspectives.

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