30 Bizarre Facts Stranger Than Fiction – Part 1

11Baltic Sea Anomaly

A sonar image taken by a diving team in the Baltic Sea in 2011 revealed a 60-meter (200 ft) circular rock-like formation with a 300-meter track leading to it at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The visible non-natural origin promoted speculation that the object was a sunken UFO. Although Swedish explorers generally convinced everyone that it is a rock and not a UFO, their research has raised a lot of questions. Firstly, the rock didn’t have a silt-layer on it, which is usually the case when rocks have been lying still at the bottom of the ocean for any period of time. Furthermore, the rock seems to be covered by construction lines and boxes and it appears to be propped up by a 26 foot (8 m) high pillar.


12Hashishin

The word “assassin” derives from “hashish”, referring to Nizari Ismailis, who operated out of Lebanon. They were a medieval sect of fanatical Muslims who only answered to a leader known as the “Old Man of the Mountains.” They had a penchant for covertly murdering many leaders of opposing forces after consuming large quantities of hashish. Hashishin (or “pot addict”) was a derogatory term applied to this sect by their enemies, as marijuana is outlawed under Islam.


13Batman City

In Turkey there's a province named Batman, in it there is a Batman city, through it flows the Batman River, on the river is the Batman dam, which creates the Batman reservoir, and near the dam on the Batman River is the Robin spillway. In 2008, the city of Batman sued Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros for using their town’s name without getting permission first. The mayor of Batman, Huseyin Kalkan, stated, “There is only one Batman in the world” in his defense of the lawsuit and claimed that the city should receive royalties for the use of the Batman name.


14Child of Rage

Child of Rage was an unnerving documentary that came out in 1992. It was about a 6-year-old girl named Beth Thomas who displayed disturbing and violent behavior while in the care of her adoptive family, including killing baby birds, being sexually inappropriate with her grandfather, stabbing the family dog with needles, and molesting her little brother. She was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder which left her unable to form any attachment to a caregiver. After years of therapy, she turned her life around and now she is a qualified nurse and has published a book.


15Yanomami Tribe

The Yanomami are one of the most numerous, and best-known, forest-dwelling tribes in South America. They can count only up to 2 and anything more than that is called “many.” They fart as a greeting to each other. Yanomami girls experiencing their first period are isolated, forced to whisper, and fed with a stick. In 1978, anthropologist Kenneth Good, while living with the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon, was offered a 12-year-old girl as a wife, in accordance with tribal customs. They consummated the marriage soon after her first period (he says she was 15, but the tribe doesn't record ages) and had kids. The tribe cremates their dead and the resulting ash is mixed with fermented banana. This mixture is then consumed by the tribespeople, as a way of making sure that the spirit of the deceased member continues to live among them.


16Cure for Cough

In the 17th century, the best remedy prescribed to someone suffering from persistent cough was slugs and earthworms. They were to be mashed, cut up and added to a pot of spring water and brought to the boil. Straining out the solid bits was optional, but drinking a pint of this concoction mixed with a pint of milk was said to cure even tuberculosis.


17Chopin’s Heart

When legendary composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin was on his death bed he asked that when he died his body be cut open and the heart removed because he was afraid of being buried alive. Upon his death, his sister pickled his heart in cognac and smuggled it out of France, delivering it to the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw, where it still exists.


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18Siege of Leningrad

During the Siege of Leningrad in World War 2, extreme famine led to civilians becoming so starved that they would eat the plaster off walls and even resorted to cannibalism. Half-eaten bodies littered the streets and parents wouldn’t let children leave the house. Cannibalism became so prominent that a special division of the Leningrad police force was created to combat it. When the siege was broken after nearly 900 days, the Soviets wanted to prosecute those who had resorted to cannibalism. Over 2000 people were arrested and they were divided into two groups; ‘corpse-eaters’ and 'person-eaters'. The former were jailed and the later were shot.


19Human Leather

A company in the UK advertises to sell human skin as the smoothest, softest leather on Earth which they make from donated skin. According to the website, the smaller grain size of human hide creates leather superior to any other animal skin put through the tanning process. Customers pay thousands of dollars for these products (a wallet costs $14,000) and prefer anonymity.


20Super Soldiers Experiments

In the 1920s, Josef Stalin set in motion a plan to create a race of super-soldiers by crossing human and chimpanzee genetics. He tasked his top veterinary scientist Ilya Ivanov with this job. Ivanov specialized in the field of artificial insemination and the interspecific hybridization of animals. He tried to create a human-ape hybrid by inseminating three female chimpanzees with human sperm (including his own), but he failed to create a pregnancy. He then tried to use ape sperm to impregnate a human female but was delayed by the death of his last orangutan.

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