50 Funniest Real Events From History Too Hard to Believe

21Defenestrations of Prague

Prague had not one, but two historic defenestrations (the act of throwing someone out of a window). The second one, where two Catholics were thrown out of a 21-meter high window sparked a 30-year long war. The two men survived. According to Catholics, they were caught by the Virgin Mary, while Protestants say they just fell into a dung pile.


22War of the Bucket

In the 1300s, some fellows from Modena stole a bucket from Bologna (both in Italy), resulting in a great deal of humiliation for the Bolognese. They declared war, had a battle with around 2,000 casualties (split between both sides) and failed to reclaim the bucket.


23Juan Pujol García

During World War 2, a double-agent named Juan Pujol García went by his codename Garbo. Juan was from Spain and had become disgusted by fascism. He wrote letters to the UK and the US saying hey, I’ll spy on Germany for them, but both refused his help. So he went ahead with it without their help. He posed as a Nazi-loving Spanish government official to become a German agent. He was assigned to spy on London, but instead, he went to Lisbon and made up phony reports based on English magazines and newsreels. After a while, the UK realized someone was doing a jolly good job diverting Nazi resources and took him on as a spy. He worked throughout the war, with Germany funding his fake network of imaginary spies. He was responsible for diverting many German troops during the invasion of Normandy. He was also awarded medals by both the Nazis and the Brits for his work.


24Cargo Cults

After World War 2, some tribes in the Pacific islands got their first exposure to “civilization” when US military bases were set up on their islands. The military would bring supplies and food with them which the villagers liked. When the war ended, cults formed that built new runways, mimicked army drills, and even built straw planes to try and bring back the “Gods” that gave them food, medicine, and supplies.


25Farting at a Noble

After the conquest of modern-day Mexico City by Spanish they held king Montezuma hostage. While he was being held hostage, he still had gold and was a king, so he was treated half-decently. One of the Spanish guards accidentally farted in his face. The guard was embarrassed and apologized profusely for humiliating a noble. To show that there were no hard feelings; Montezuma gave the guard a gold piece. The stupid guard then farted again hoping to get another piece of gold.


26Dardanelles Operation

The Dardanelles Operation of 1807 was a fairly minor skirmish during the Napoleonic wars. The Ottomans aligned with the French against Britain and Russia. The British sent a fleet to intimidate the Turks and force them to reopen the strait. As the British fleet sailed towards Constantinople, French engineers worked with the Turkish army to repair and improve shore defenses. Part of this included reactivating a 340-year-old super cannon modeled on the one used in the famed Turkish conquest of Constantinople in the 1400s. This cannon weighed 17 tons and fired stone cannonballs that were two feet in diameter. After meeting little resistance from the Turkish fleet, the British were forced to withdraw after taking heavy damage from the shore batteries, including from the colossal "Dardanelles Gun". So yeah Trebuchets are nice, but can they fire a 360 kg projectile over 2400 meters?


27Pawning Guns

During the First Sino-Japanese War, a Chinese admiral pawned one of the main guns on his flagship to a scrap dealer, in order to pay off some gambling debts. This was the same war where the Empress embezzled from the army to fund her palace renovations.


28Robert Liston

In 1847, Robert Liston performed an amputation in 25 seconds, operating so quickly that he accidentally amputated his assistant's fingers as well. Both patient and assistant later died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known surgical procedure with a 300% mortality rate.


29Hat Pirate

Notorious pirate hunter Benjamin Hornigold once attacked a ship just to steal all of the crew member’s hats. His men had gotten drunk and lost their hats during a party the night before and they decided to board a ship to get replacements.


30Challenging Beethoven

Daniel Steibelt, a top pianist in his own right once challenged his contemporary Beethoven to a musical improv duel. Steibelt did believe he had a shot. He was no kid, and had already composed for Marie Antoinette and operatized a successful version of Romeo and Juliet. He showed up to the improv and played one of his own works, for which he’d brought the sheet music. Once it was his turn, Beethoven turned the sheet music upside down and beautifully screwed the piece sideways and backward, overturning Steibelt's style all the while like a cat teasing a particularly boring mouse. No one ever challenged Beethoven to a musical improv again, least of all Steibelt, who never again set foot in Vienna.

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