From Napoleon being attacked by a pack of rabbits to a war between two countries that lasted more than 300 years, we bet you won’t find these strange facts in your average history book.
Napoleon attacked by rabbits – After signing Treaty of Tilsit, which ended his war with Russia, Napoleon decided to celebrate by going on a rabbit hunt with his dignitaries. The strange thing happened during the hunt, as rabbits didn’t run away from the guns, but actually started running towards the hunters. Even stranger, a lot of them targeted Napoleon, who had to retreat to safety full of embarrassment.
King Tutankhamun’s parents were siblings – Yes, believe it or not, recent DNA tests confirmed that King Tut was born out of an incestuous relationship. His parents were brother and sister.
Pope who killed cats – We bet you didn’t know Pope Gregory IX wrote a letter called Vox in Rama, which was the first document of the Catholic Church where black cats were describe as incarnations of Satan. This is why many felines were killed during his 14-year-long reign.
Urine for whiter teeth – Ancient dentists recommended buying bottled Portuguese urine to those who want to keep their teeth white. Apparently, they believed the ammonia helps whiten teeth.
Monkey soldier – Have you ever read about a baboon called Jackie the Chacma, who fought in the WWI in your history books? Thought so! Some thought he was just a pet, but Jackie actually acted like a sentry and was able to detect enemies before men could. In 1918, Jackie was awarded the Medal of Valor.
Trial by ordeal – Criminals had it rough back in the day. Just imagine having your guilt or innocence decided by whether you could survive eating a poisonous bean, remove a stone from a vat of boiling oil or similar ordeal.
Contraception in 16th century – As you probably know, condoms didn’t exist four centuries ago. Different kinds of contraceptions were used, and one in particular caught our attention. Women in Canada were trying to prevent conception by soaking dried beaver testicles in alcohol and then drinking the infuse. Crazy!
Heroin as a cure – Late 19th century was pretty weird. Not only could you get your hands on just about any drug legally, but doctors were actually subscribing heroin to people. It was used as a painkiller and cough medicine.
Hitler was an artist – Did you know that Hitler was actually an artist before he got into politics? He lived in Vienna, where he created and sold many paintings. However, he gave up on art after the Academy of Fine Arts rejected him twice. Pictured above is one of his paintings.
Freud advocated the use of cocaine – Can you believe that Freud endorsed cocaine? Apparently, he believed it was a cure for numerous mental as well as physical illnesses. No wonder he had so many crazy ideas.
Eating corpses – Believe it or not, people actually ate corpses in the past, especially in the 16th and 17th century. Many believed that you could cure your ailments by eating the dead.
United States’ gift to Saddam Hussein – Believe it or not, the US gifted Saddam Hussein keys to Detroit, Michigan, after he donated hundreds of thousands to a local church. This happened back in 1980.
Salem witch trials – Most people believe that the Salem witches were burned alive, but they were actually hanged.
King Tutankhamun’s knife – According to a recent study, King Tut was buried with a unique dagger that wasn’t made of steel, but meteorite. Was it a gift from aliens? We may never know…
Cleopatra wasn’t entirely Egyptian – It appears that the famous queen descended from the line of Ptolemy, who was a general under Alexander the Great.
Einstein had a chance to become the president – Israel offered Albert Einstein presidency in 1952, but he declined, saying: “All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions.”
The first interracial marriage – Not many history books have shared this historic photo taken during the first interracial marriage in the US in 1967.
Cat mourning in Egypt – Cats were much-loved pets in Egypt. So much that when a family cat died, the entire family would shave off their eyebrows and remain in mourning until the eyebrows had grown back.
Christmas was illegal in the US – It was believed that it was a pagan holiday, which is why Christmas was illegal in the United States until 1836.
Size of the Roman Empire – We’re all taught about incredible size of the Roman Empire. But did you know that it was actually only the 19th biggest empire in history?
Origin of the US flag – Did you know that the current flag of the United States was designed by a 17-year-old student as a part of a school project? He received a B- for his effort, but after his design was adopted by presidential proclamation, his teacher altered his grade to an A+.
Construction of pyramids – Contrary to popular believe, recent findings tell us that the pyramids weren’t built by slaves, but by paid laborers.
Longest war ever – The longest war in history was between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly. It lasted 335 years (from 1651 to 1986) and guess what — there were no casualties.
US Air Force in World War I – Believe it or not, at the start of World War I, the United States Air Force consisted of just 18 pilots and 5-12 airplanes.
Arabic numerals – We use them every day, but contrary to the popular belief, they weren’t invented by the Arabs. It was actually Indian mathematicians who came up with them.
Great Fire of London – Despite the fact that 13,500 houses were destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, only 8 people were actually killed.
Animal trials – Believe it or not, criminal trials for animals were held in Europe from 13th to 18th century. If convicted, it was pretty usual for an animal to be executed.