12 Punishing Bits of Trivia to Atomic Leg Drop Into Your Brain’s Face From the Top Rope
Hulk Hogan blames the Atomic Leg Drop for jacking up his back and prematurely ending his wrestling career. And for that, we thank it. Let’s see how these 12 tough-as-nails trivia tidbits fare. Good luck out there, brothers.
The Pope’s Favorite Murderer
Giovanni Battista Bugatti was the official Papal executioner for most of the 19th century, having killed 514 people over his 68-year career. He was such a professional — always well-dressed, and referred to his victims as his “patients” — that everyone kind of liked the guy. He even sold painted umbrellas to tourists with his wife when he wasn’t cutting people’s heads off.
There’s an Even Worse Skunk Out There
The striped polecat is a relative of the skunk that lives in Africa, and has a stink so powerful, it can be detected by humans a literal mile away. If spraying a predator doesn’t work, it’ll actually play dead — so confident is it that it smells and tastes too putrid to be consumed.
Fossilized Fish Teeth Confused Everyone on the Planet Until Recently
The Greeks thought they were ugly little jewels that came from inside the heads of toads (and could cure epilepsy, for some reason). The Japanese thought they were the fingernails of the dreaded Tengu spirit. Europeans also thought they were evil, but that they were specifically the tongues of devils. Then Danish scientist Nicolas Steno came along in the 1600s, and pointed out that they look a lot like shark teeth you might find on the beach.
The Bones of Saint Wolfgang
Wolfgang of Regensburg lived in the first century A.D. Soon after his death, he was canonized by the Catholic Church, towns named themselves after him and lots of local churches chose him as their mascot. In 2020, thieves broke into Regensburg’s Church of St. Wolfgang and stole the guy’s bones. A few shards were encased in glass, at the heart of a stone statue of Wolfgang, and the burglars punched it open like an “in case of emergency” box.
The Most Boring Social Media Network in History
You know how tedious it is to hear about someone else’s dream? In 2010, someone invented a social media network just for that. REMCloud was a place where you could log on and describe your dream, and then a bunch of other people would speculate on what it meant.
Elvis Really Wanted a Little Sheriff’s Badge From Richard Nixon
The story behind that picture of Elvis and Nixon is even goofier than it looks. Elvis, notoriously a big drug guy, hatched a plan to convince Nixon that he hated the stuff. He talked his ear off about what a bad influence The Beatles were, and said he’d been studying the ravages of drug culture and communism on the American way of life. This was all to get an official Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge. As Priscilla Presley later put it, “With the federal narcotic badge, he could legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished.”
The Most Boring Part of Your Salad Used to Be Exciting As Hell
Cucumbers were once used to treat scorpion stings, and were believed to improve bad eyesight. Pliny the Elder described their use as a talisman for childbirth, saying that women and midwives would tie them around their waists. Also, and much weirder, he said, “Labour is easier if, without her knowledge, the seed, wrapped in ram’s wool, be tied to her loins; but it must be hastily carried out of the house immediately after delivery.”
The Phantom Squid That Took Out a Navy Warship
In 1978, the USS Stein had to return to port because its sonar system suddenly stopped working. They discovered a series of four-foot long gashes in the exterior of the ship, with sharp squid barbs embedded in the cuts. The largest giant squid ever seen was 59-feet long, and it’s estimated that the squid who attacked the Stein was three times larger than that.
Henry Ford Owned Thomas Edison’s Dying Breath
Ford and Edison were best buds, and Ford wanted something to remember his friend by. Edison’s son, Charles, said there were eight test tubes sitting next to his deathbed, and “immediately after his passing I asked Dr. Hubert S. Howe, his attending physician, to seal them with paraffin. He did. Later I gave one of them to Mr. Ford.”
Tim Allen Made a Bunch of Kids Call a Smutty Hotline
Allen makes a joke in The Santa Clause when he’s handed a phone number: “1-800-SPANKME? I know that number.” That kicked off a rash of kids calling the hotline and either showing “signs of being disturbed and upset” or racking up huge phone bills.
Google Maps Booth-Sides’d the Annexation of Crimea
Ukrainian Google Maps users see Crimea as part of Ukraine, while Russian residents see it as part of Russia. Outside of the two countries, it’s marked as its own separate entity, the Crimean Peninsula. As recently as October, the first lady of Ukraine has requested that Google “ensure that when people look at Ukraine on a map, they see the whole country, including Crimea.”
Lincoln Played Dress-Up to Escape Assassination
Kate Warne, the first recorded female detective in U.S. history, infiltrated an underground plot to assassinate Lincoln in Baltimore before he could be sworn in as president. Lincoln still had to travel through Baltimore, so Warne and famed detective Allan Pinkerton arranged for him to sneak by through a series of decoys — including dressing him up as Warne’s “invalid brother.”