BY Mansib Ahmad

History is incredibly vast. It can be easy to miss or forget some events, dates and people. 

These facts are so weird, though, they might stick around your brain for a while.

1. During the 19th Century, a popular medicine for children known as ‘Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup’, which promised to “allay all pains” was heavily laced with morphine. 

Image via the US National Library of Medicine.

2. In Ancient Rome, families were dominated by men. In fact, fathers had the legal right to sell, disown or even kill his family members.

3. When Israel was first formed, Albert Einstein was offered presidency, but he declined.

4. King Henry VIII of England hired four men who regularly checked his faeces, monitored his bowel movements and wiped his bottom. They were appropriately called ‘Grooms of the King’s Stool’ and all of them were eventually knighted.

5. Since 1945, all British tanks have been equipped with tea making equipment and facilities. Naturally.

6. Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini have all been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

7. One of the most feared, successful and respected pirates in all of history, was actually a Chinese prostitute named Ching Shih. She commanded a fleet of more than 1500 ship and 80,000 sailors. 

Image via YouTube/Wikimedia Commons/ATI Composite.

8. Roman Emperor Gaius, more famously known as Caligula, loved his horse so much he appointed him as senator.

9. The shortest war in history was between England and Zanzibar, and only lasted 38 minutes.

10. Alternatively, the longest war in history lasted 335 years, between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly. No one was killed during the entire war.

11. Between 1900 and 1920, Tug of War was a legitimate event at the Summer Olympics.

12. The world’s tallest married couple was Anna Haining Swan (7’11) and Martin Van Buren Bates (7’9).

13. Lord Byron, angered that his college Trinity College didn’t allow dogs in dorms, kept a pet bear instead.

14. Edgar Allen Poe’s 1838 novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, tells the story of four crewmen on a whaling ship who end up stranded. In order to survive, the crewmen draw lots to see who among them should be eaten. The lot lands on their cabin boy, Richard Parker. Forty-six years later, four crewmen abroad the yacht Mignonette capsized on their way to Sydney from London. Three of the crewmen decided to eat and kill the youngest and weakest among them – their nineteen-year-old cabin boy, Richard Parker.

15. Before Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini became Pope Pius II, he wrote a bestselling erotica novel called The Tale of Two Lovers.

Mansib is a Journalism & Communications student and a lover of history, culture and workplace comedies. Her hobbies include reading, writing, annoying her cat and preparing for a future where society is ruled by robots.

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