Historical Facts That Sound Fake But Are Completely True
History is full of fascinating stories that are brought to life by historians and archaeologists around the world. However, some of the stories can be challenging to believe at first.
We have compiled a list of unusual and mind-boggling historical facts that are so bizarre that they sound fake. Yet, they are entirely true.
Queen Elizabeth Reigned for 30% of United States History
The United States has been one of the most influential nations in the history of the world. Yet, it’s only been around for a little less than 250 years, having been officially formed in 1776.
Queen Elizabeth II of England ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, and ruled for over seven decades until her passing in 2022. That means she reigned for approximately 28% of American history.
Nintendo Existed During the Ottoman Empire
When you think of the Ottoman Empire, you think of ancient Turks who tried to conquer vast sways of Eastern Europe. The empire was founded in 1299 and lasted for over 600 years until 1922.
Nintendo, famous for video games such as Super Mario and the Legend of Zelda, was actually founded in 1889. That means there’s a 33-year overlap between the Ottoman Empire and Nintendo.
The Fax Machine Was Invented Before the Telephone
Once upon a time, if you needed to send important documents from one place to another, you made use of a fax machine. However, did you know this pivotal piece of tech was invented before the telephone?
The first patent for a fax machine was created in 1843 by Alexander Bain. It would be another 33 years before Alexander Graham Bell issued the first US patent for the telephone.
Brain Surgery Before Written Words
In the modern era, few jobs are as complex as being a brain surgeon. While you may assume this is a relatively new profession, humans have been completing brain surgeries for thousands of years.
In fact, brain surgery goes back to a time before writing. During the Stone Age, around 3400 BC, a common practice known as trepanning was being carried out. This is when a surgeon cuts into a skull to relieve pressure on the brain.
Forks Were Once Considered Sacrilegious
The oldest forks date back to the fourth millennium BC in Turkey. It’s highly likely that they were mere tools and not used for consuming food.
However, when they were introduced to Italy in the 11th century, the eating utensil was considered offensive to God. Italian priests claimed that God gave man hands to enjoy his food, and so the forks were deemed sacrilegious.
Professional Alarm Clock
During the early 20th century in Britain, a common sight each morning was the “knocker-upper.”
Their job was similar to that of a modern alarm clock. The knocker-upper would use long sticks to tap on windows and wake a sleeping person in time for their job.
Pope Gregory IX Declared War on Cats
The Middle Ages were a strange time full of superstition. During this era, Pope Gregory IX believed that cats carried the spirit of Satan.
So, like any good pope would do, he declared war on the felines. He ordered the Catholic Church to exterminate every cat they came across.
President Andrew Jackson’s Parrot Had to Be Removed From His Funeral
President Andrew Jackson’s funeral was held in 1845. During the service, his pet parrot began to speak in a vulgar manner and had to be removed.
The pet began to swear profusely, forcing people in attendance to escort the parrot off the premises quickly.
Unusual Mouthwash Used by Romans
The Ancient Romans had an unusual fascination with human urine. So much so that it was collected from public urinals and even taxed when sold.
During the height of the empire, urine was used by the Romans to whiten and clean their teeth in a similar fashion to modern mouthwash.
Peter The Great’s Unusual Trophy
Peter The Great discovered that his wife Catherine had been unfaithful in their marriage.
So, he sought revenge and killed his wife’s lover. Peter The Great would keep the severed head of the man in a jar filled with alcohol. It was stored in Catherine’s bedroom until Peter passed.
President Lyndon B. Johnson's Secret Office
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson had a telephone installed in his toilet so that he could conduct business when he used the bathroom.
While the President was under the impression his methods were productive, many of his aides struggled to hear him speak due to running water.