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A Sheep Head Truck Spill Closed a Road in New Zealand

It was a stomach-turning scene as a truck filled with offal flipped on its side and blocked a small highway in Wairoa, New Zealand, the New Zealand Herald reports.The crash occurred Friday at 7 a.m.,...

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Why Did Medieval Artists Give Elephants Trunks That Look Like Trumpets?

The animals in the image above are elephants. They were drawn sometime around the 13th or 14th century in a medieval bestiary, a type of book that described animals large and small, real and fantastic....

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It's Not Always Easy Being Iceland's Best Witchcraft Museum

Tucked away in a small, unassuming building in the town of Hólmavík, in Iceland’s Westfjords, is a museum that holds some truly gruesome displays of 17th century sorcery. There are pants made of human...

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The World's Tallest Sandcastle Has Been Completed in India

We have successfully created a new World record of tallest sand castle which is 48ft.8 inch for #GuinnessWorldRecord at Puri beach of india pic.twitter.com/j2EJKw4c3i— Sudarsan Pattnaik (@sudarsansand)...

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Found at the Airport: A Hidden Sword Inside an 80-Year-Old Woman's Cane

80-year-old SC woman did not know her cane contained hidden sword, TSA says https://t.co/8lusTtOC9Fpic.twitter.com/G8QZSS0BWK— WYFF News 4 (@wyffnews4) February 10, 2017While passing through airport...

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There's a 'Snow Moon' Tonight Amid a Rare Lunar Eclipse

As the sun shines on Earth, it creates three distinct long shadows in a triangular shape behind it. The darkest of these, as you can see in the video above, is a triangle within the wider triangle,...

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Found: A Lost Wedding Dress From 1870

Back in June of 2016, Tess Newall wore her great-great-grandmother's wedding dress to be married. The lacy dress had been made by hand in 1870, and it was still in tact all those years later—Newall...

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The Original Seed Pod That May Have Inspired the Heart Shape

The heart shape, with its rounded top and pointy end, is pretty innocent for a graphic: ❤️️  lacks the ribald connotations of a lipstick smack, or the peach emoji. But when using it to mean "I love...

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'Missing' Sailors From the USS Turner May Have Been Buried After All

On January 3rd, 1944, the USS Turner was undergoing routine drills off the coast of New Jersey when an explosion tore through its stowage. As blast after blast rocked the naval destroyer, nearby ships...

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When Heart Transplant Patients Were Celebrities

The nurses, clad in pink, crowd around the man on the hospital bed. Posing, their bodies are pressed against his. Even though you can’t see their mouths through their face masks, you can tell from the...

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For Sale: Photos From Hawaii in the 1890s

In 1893, when Herbert Smith arrived in Honolulu after sailing from Liverpool, England, the island kingdom was in disarray. American immigrants had overthrown Queen Liliʻuokalani and taken over...

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The 2017 Atlas Obscura Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be about candlelit dinners and heart-shaped boxes of candy. For those of you still scrambling, we've compiled a list of last-minute gift ideas that, much like our 2016...

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'Poisonous Parsnips' Are Washing Up on Beaches in Scotland

On Monday, the North Ayrshire Council, which represents some 136,000 people in southwest Scotland, issued a warning on their website: beware, they said, of poisonous parsnips at the local beaches. The...

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The Enduring Mystery of the 'Fool's Cap Map of the World'

The symbol of the jester, or joker or fool, has inspired thrones, playing cards, and comedic fart acts. But there's one particular image of the king’s fool that has remained a true mystery among...

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Found: Tiny Pebbles Ritually 'Killed' by Paleolithic People

Sometime around 12,000 years ago, a group of Paleolithic people went to the a beach on the Mediterranean Sea and gathered up pebbles. They were looking for a certain size and shape of rock, small and...

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The Ships That Helped Silence the Early USSR's Intellectuals

The USSR was first established in December of 1922, but months earlier, the new nation's future leaders ordered the deportation of a large number of Russian intellectuals. The idea to exile the...

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What Animal Has the Weirdest Heart?

Sure, the human heart is a wonder—it keeps us alive, it's literally electric, it's the metaphorical seat of the soul, and so on. But can it regenerate itself? Does it pump exclusively clear blood? Can...

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Medieval Europe Couldn't Quit This Story About a Woman Eating Her Lover's Heart

Some stories are so good that they’re told over and over again, morphing in their details but staying the same in their essence. In Europe’s High Middle Ages, one of the most persistent stories was a...

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A 17th-Century French Couple Traded Hearts Before Being Buried

#Cœur en plomb retrouvé sur le #cercueil de Louis de Quengo #archeologie#rennes#carhaix#reliquairehttps://t.co/adpqjSvzkSpic.twitter.com/l9D9nGUsCl— MémoiresKreizBreizh (@MemKreizBreizh) January 5,...

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The Long, Slightly Strange History Behind Fingernail Clipping

A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail.Fingernails have a functional purpose—they’re shells for our fingertips—but they...

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