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The Records the FBI Might Never Be Able to Find

A version of this story originally appeared on Muckrock.com.In order to preserve their value to the historic record, FBI files on prominent individuals and groups are routinely handed over to the...

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When Tomatoes Were Blamed For Witchcraft and Werewolves

No other vegetable has been as maligned as the tomato (and it is a vegetable, by order of the United States Supreme Court). We call tomatoes killers. We call them rotten. We call them ugly. We call...

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The Victorian Era's Strange Love of Disembodied Hands

In its backward glance at the 1870s, Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (1920) treats readers to a peculiar spectacle on the occasion of an engagement. As the young bride-to-be, May Welland, presents...

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We Put All 10,000 Places in the Atlas on One Map

After seven years of working with our community of explorers to uncover the curious and wonderful places around the world, we've hit a milestone.Thanks to all of you, there are now more than 10,000...

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What in the World Are These Bats Doing?

One evening last month, I was standing with my family on a landing looking out over Cayuga Lake, in Ithaca, New York, when we heard a loud thud. Just a few feet from where we standing, some animal,...

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Watch the Devil's Fingers Rising From the Underworld

Picture this: You’re out on the woods on a fair autumn afternoon when you’re stopped in your tracks by the horrific sight of the devil’s fingers emerging from the earth. Your mind flashes back to that...

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The Greatest Teen Job in the World Might Be Reopening Italian Catacombs

Walking through the Catacombs of San Gaudioso is a study in intergenerational cooperation. As you enter, you're greeted by a fifth century fresco of the Apostle Peter, his hands clearly beckoning you...

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The Exquisite Drawings from the First Map of the Entire Sky

Since the very first star charts carved into mammoth tusks 32,500 years ago and the first recorded constellations in 17,300-year-old French caves, humans have come up with a variety of interpretations...

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The U.S. Has Hired Rats To Combat Wildlife Trafficking

There are a lot of amazing things about the African Pouched Rat. For one thing, they're enormous—more cat-sized than rat sized, they're about three feet long from tail to nose. For another, those noses...

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A Massive Celtic Cross Is Secretly Growing in an Irish Forest

VIDEO: Mysterious Celtic cross discovered in Donegal forest: https://t.co/qyoWkLJ7SMpic.twitter.com/PtUQrSWSOO— UTV Live News (@UTVNews) October 24, 2016Flying over Ireland is always a magical...

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How to Read The Secret Language of Starfleet Uniforms

It’s Halloween time again, and as it has been for the past 50 years, a Star Trek costume is a safe bet for anyone looking to dress up. But do you want to be a Starfleet captain in 2268? A ship's doctor...

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The Future of Death Could Be a Shiny Cemetery Beneath the Manhattan Bridge

Imagine the Manhattan Bridge twinkling from underneath with hundreds of small pods filled with decaying biomass – the final resting place of many former New Yorkers, shining like stars in an otherwise...

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The Vivid Blue Mineral That Grows on Buried Bodies and Confuses Archeologists

In 1861, a railway engineer by the name of John White passed away, was buried in a cast iron coffin, and began a slow transformation from White to blue.The explanation for this spooky color change,...

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How the ‘Fast and Furious’ Set Designers Made SoCal the Focus

Action films are often described as “rides”, and that description could not be more accurately applied to The Fast and the Furious. From the chrome-plated opening credits to the final vehicular barrel...

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Man Dressed As Tree Arrested

Police say "tree guy" is 30 year old Asher Woodworth? He told police he wanted to see how his act affected "people's natural choreography." pic.twitter.com/ZHauVGI4mL— TVTEDDY (@TVTEDDY) October 24,...

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The Medieval Movement of Holy Women That Shaped Belgian Cities

On June 1, 1310, a woman named Marguerite Porète was burned at the stake in Paris after she had refused to retract her book, The Mirror Of The Simple Souls. She was a particular kind of woman, devout...

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Take a Virtual Tour of One Man's Strange World of Stuffed Animals

Have you ever wanted to attend a grand banquet with kittens or have a drink with squirrels at a club? In this 1965 clip archived by British Pathé, dolled-up dead animals are brought back to life in...

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The Long, Weird Transition from Analog to Digital Television

A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail.The Federal Communications Commission had a hard job in front of it at the turn...

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The Beautiful, Forgotten and Moving Graves of New England's Slaves

Most of New England’s colonial-era graveyards hold the bones of slaves. This is true not only of the urban graveyards of Boston and Newport, but also of the sleepy little cemeteries nestled among the...

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Presidential Campaigns of the 1800s Involved A Surprising Amount of Flags and...

President William Henry Harrison may be best known, rather unfortunately, for being the country’s shortest serving president. But he’s also credited with two other unusual facts. It's because of...

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