12 Cryogenically Frozen Bits of Trivia That Must Remain in Stasis Until Science Devises a Cure for Knowledge
These trivia tidbits are far too powerful for the common human brain. It’s crucial that they stay sealed away in frozen slumber until Elon Musk is able to implant a Neuralink into the brain of every living human. Only then will the scourge of knowledge be rendered powerless.
William Ferguson was both of those things, and yet, he managed to create the Cosmic Circle of Fellowship in the 1950s. He convinced his followers that, through extreme relaxation, he met a divine alien who escorted him to the sixth dimension, the seventh dimension and Mars.
The okapi looks like a half horse, half zebra hybrid. European colonists heard of the animal through Africans and Egyptians who were well acquainted, but it sounded so nuts, they called it “the African unicorn.” They didn’t believe it was real until they’d colonized Uganda hard enough that a white person finally found a pelt and a skull, in 1901.
Freddie Mills was the lightweight boxing champion of the world. He was also fingered by a gangster snitch, Jimmy Tippet, as the man behind the “Jack the Stripper” murders in 1960s London. There was a lot of anecdotal evidence, but the biggest clue came after Mills’ suicide — the Stripper murders mysteriously stopped.
Dr. Walter E. Reid ran a pretty nifty business in the 1890s — people would mail him questions for their loved ones who had passed, he would definitely not read them, and then transcribe the spirits’ answers. For an extra few bucks, you could send him letters that were sealed with wax, so you knew it was the real deal. Tragically, he was charged with mail fraud and had to shut the operation down.
Exactly who the song is about has been the source of much speculation since it first came out in 1972. She’s left a True Detective season’s worth of clues over the years, but as far as we know, she’s only ever directly told one person. She held a charity auction in 2003, and NBC bigwig Dick Ebersol paid her $50,000 to whisper the name in his ear.
Nitobe Inazo’s book Bushido: The Soul of Japan didn’t invent the word or the concept of “bushido” — the samurai code of seven virtues — but it did condense and communicate it in the very specific way that we understand it today. Inazo wrote the seminal Japanese work in English, while in America, and it wasn’t translated or published in Japan until after it was popularized by Teddy Roosevelt.
Bromo-DragonFLY is a drug synthesized in 1998 that can make a user trip for up to three days. It’s named that because its molecular shape resembles a dragonfly (and because the ’90s were kind of lame). It’s so potent that any more than a milligram might kill you.
Marble Arch Caves occasionally hosts an intricate stage show, like a nearly pitch-black performance of Samuel Beckett’s Not I, that culminates in a terrifying underground boat ride that sounds like that one scene from the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Around the time of the Revolutionary War, Spain and France really wanted to capture Gibraltar from the British. At a certain point, they decided to jointly send their militaries to seize it, under the guise that they were helping the Americans (even though they didn't actually give a shit about us). Ultimately, the Brits held on to it and killed a whole bunch of French and Spanish soldiers over the course of several years.
Hughes Ball Hughes was a British kid who in 1819, at the age of 23, suddenly inherited £40,000 per year. He’d bet the equivalent of millions of dollars on things as frivolous as a coin flip, and spent the rest of his money on clothes, food, wine and an armed posse. After losing more than a year’s worth of his fortune in one night, he ran off to Paris to go be a menace in a foreign country.
California pastor Randall Radic forged some documents to make it look like he personally owned his church, which he then sold for half a million dollars. He thought he could escape to Colorado, but was, of course, retrieved and held in jail. But he used his godly credentials to extract a confession from a sex offender, which he then used as collateral to get most of his charges dropped and avoid further jail time. He had the audacity to return home and start a blog about his journey.
Or, more accurately, it’s secessionist propaganda. July 4, 1776 is the day we declared independence, but we didn’t technically achieve sovereignty until the Definitive Treaty of Peace was signed on September 3, 1783.