12 Magnificent Bits of Trivia That Bloom But Once a Year and Smell Like an Old Corpse
These trivia tidbits are astounding to behold. So perfect, so beautiful are they, one finds it hard to imagine this world, this universe could be anything but the intelligent design by a benevolent creator. But Jesus Christ, they smell like absolute shit.
Tennessee’s Underground Mall of Vices
Tennessee happens to have the largest underground lake in America, the Lost Sea in Craighead Caverns. Those caverns have at times been home to cock fights and moonshine operations, and in a wholesome twist, public concerts and dance floors.
Sri Lanka’s Tolkien-Esque Mountain Fortress
Sigiriya is an archaeological marvel that was built by King Kashyapa I in the fifth century. He seized the throne from his father and murdered his brother, so he was understandably a bit paranoid. He built his fortress on top of a 656-foot plateau as a result.
The Fake Battle That Cost $300,000
A 21-hour-long battle in the MMORPG EVE Online erupted over a (virtual) territory dispute in 2014. Players spent about $300,000 in actual money on an in-game item called PLEX.
Evander Berry Wall’s Wager-Winning Leather Boots
Wall was one of the richest jagoffs in history. He was a multi-millionaire nepo baby turned fashion icon in 1860s New York City, and he made a habit of making bets with other rich people over who could dress the dumbest. His biggest stunt, somehow, was wearing hip-high leather boots out in a blizzard.
A Prison Chaplain Hid Liberace’s Stradivarius for a Mobster
Chaplain Eugene Klein agreed to help Frank Calabrese Sr. hide his 250-year-old, $26 million violin from authorities. Calabrese told him where to find it via notes hidden in religious literature, and Klein went to the mobster’s summer home as a prospective buyer. He was able to pass it off to other mobsters before the government could get their mitts on it (and sell it to pay restitution to Calabrese’s victims).
Fatwas Are More Like Supreme Court Decisions Than Death Sentences
There’s a misconception, due to both Islamophobia and extremist groups, that a fatwa is a call for someone’s head. In actual Islamic tradition, it’s simply a (sometimes binding, though usually non-binding) religious opinion regarding Islamic law.
The 11-Hour Tennis Match
In 2010, a Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut lasted a total of 11 hours and five minutes, spread over three days. Isner beat Mahut, 70 to 68.
William Parry: Failed 16th Century Double Agent
Parry was a stooge of Queen Victoria I’s whose job was to spy on Catholics in Paris and rat out anyone who gave him bad vibes. After a run-in with the law — he beat up a banker, which was punishable by death — the Queen pardoned him, but he decided to switch sides. He offered up his spying services to a Catholic Cardinal, but was caught and brutally executed (think half rotisserie chicken).
ISIS Recruits Keep Complaining About the Lack of Fast Food
One Belgian expat tweeted, “When I came to the state, I made it very clear the first day, ‘Sorry, I don’t like Arab food... urgh so disgusting.’” And a Russian who styles herself “Green Bird of Dabiq” tweeted, “I know it may be shirk, but sometimes I do miss Starbucks. The coffee here is beyond wretched.”
The 1914 Silent Movie That Killed Two People in Horrifying Fashion
While doing reshoots for Across the Border, a silent Western film, lead actress Grace McHugh was thrown from her horse into Colorado’s Arkansas River. Cinematographer Owen Carter jumped in and pulled her to safety — onto a thick, muddy sandbar. The two sank into it like it was cartoon quicksand, and drowned in front of the rest of the cast and crew.
Pets Can Have Pica
Lots of animals like to absentmindedly or even mischievously chew on random stuff. But they can also be diagnosed with the eating disorder pica — normally a human condition where someone feels compelled to eat non-edible things.
A Colombian Cartel Put a Hit Out on a Dog
Los Urabeños reportedly put a $70,000 hit out on a drug-sniffing dog in 2018. Sombra, a German shepherd, found 10 tons of drugs at an airport — and was later reassigned to the dog equivalent of desk duty after the death threats started.