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The Horrifying Legacy of the Victorian Tapeworm Diet

From horrifying foot-binding practices in Imperial China to life-threatening surgeries in modernity, humanity has been finding harmful ways to modify the body since the dawn of civilization. The...

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What’s A Woggin? A Bird, a Word, and a Linguistic Mystery

On December 20, 1792, the whaling ship Asia was making its way through the Desolation Islands, in the Indian Ocean, when the crew decided to stop for lunch. According to the ship's logger, the meal was...

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Watch a Serial Killer Play the Dating Game

It's not just the stilted dialogue and cringe-worthy innuendoes that make this Dating Game clip from 1978 seem off somehow. Bachelor number one is Rodney Alcala, who would be sentenced to death for the...

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The Strange Story of Why Belize is Full of Chicago Cubs Fans

Less than four years after gaining independence from the United Kingdom, the Central American nation of Belize notched a smaller, yet somehow lasting, triumph in 1985. That winter, the Chicago Cubs...

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The Inept Story Behind 100 Missing Brains at the University of Texas

A version of this story originally appeared on Muckrock.com.A couple years ago, a story started to make the “news of the weird” rounds about roughly 100 brains missing from the University of Texas at...

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Investigating the Mystery of One of America's Most Endangered Bees

A version of this story originally appeared on bioGraphic.com.In 1998, a UC Davis entomologist named Robbin Thorp explored the forests of southern Oregon and northern California, hoping to learn more...

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The Nearly-Solved Mystery Behind the Missing Corpse of One of the Richest Men...

On the morning of November 7th, 1878, Frank Parker, the assistant sexton of Saint-Mark’s-Church-In-The-Bowery noticed a pile of fresh dirt at the center of the graveyard.The flat tombstone beside the...

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We Asked a Vexillologist How to Design a Great National Flag

The United States of America's flag is iconic, important and more or less timeless. We are extremely proud of its design, and we are very attached to the story of Betsy Ross sewing it.But let's take a...

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Watch the Domino Effect of 8,000 Matches Going Up in Flames

For reasons science has not been able to discern, we are all inexplicably fascinated by the domino effect. Like moths to a flame and vampires to a pulsing vein, we can't help but be transfixed by the...

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How A Fake British Accent Took Old Hollywood By Storm

If you’ve ever seen a movie made before 1950, you’re familiar with the accent used by actors like Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman: a sort of high-pitched, indistinctly-accented way of...

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Was it Hershey or Reese That Made Peanut Butter Cups Great?

The Indigo Girls sing about them, Run DMC raps about them, artists draw them. Their Facebook page has over 12 million likes. They’ve been mixed into cocktails, baked into pies, and stuffed into...

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In 1961, Roald Dahl Hosted His Own Version of 'The Twilight Zone'

Roald Dahl was many things. A fighter pilot, a renowned author, a spy. But few people know that he was also the host of his very own Twilight Zone–style sci-fi/horror anthology show, Way Out, a macabre...

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Found: The Original Walls of the Cave Where Jesus Was Buried

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, there’s a large rotunda, with stories of arches flying high. At the center sits a small, freestanding structure called the Edicule, which contains the slab...

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The Forgotten Halloween Games That Predict Who You'll Marry—And When You'll Die

If sticking your face in a barrel filled with cold water and trying to grab an apple with your mouth seems a touch sadistic for a casual game, then you're really not going to like its sister pagan...

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There's Only One State Embassy In Washington. Of Course, It's Florida's

In the 1960s, a station wagon full of overtired Florida children looped endlessly around Washington, D.C.'s bewildering traffic circles. The campground where they'd planned to stay was gone. The car...

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This is How New York City Celebrated Halloween in 1993

Twenty-three years ago, in 1993, Gregoire Alessandrini was a student living in New York City. As a new arrival from France, he found the city to be an intoxicating mix of constant surprises—ones that...

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Exhausted Geese Are Falling Out of The Sky in Canada

It’s raining geese on Canada’s Sunshine Coast. According to the Coast Reporter, tired geese have been dropping out of the sky, and landing in people’s yards, simply too tired to continue flying.Over...

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Watch This Artist Create Kaleidoscope Masterpieces With Single-Celled Algae

Algae kaleidoscopes were among the many creatively biological ways that Victorian scientists entertained themselves. Using the end of a piece of hair, they moved tiny single-celled algae known as...

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In the 1800s, Sick People Would Consult Cookbooks Before Doctors

In most middle-class British households in the 18th and 19th centuries, you would find a booklet filled with recipes collected and curated over generations. But these guides were more than the...

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Inside the Final Days of New York City's Last Dairy

On a recent Friday between 2:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., Anthony Vasquez wound his truck through midtown Manhattan, making 40 stops to deliver milk for Bartlett Dairy. New York City is America’s largest,...

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