History’s Hidden Gems: 45 Unbelievable Facts That Will Rewrite Your Understanding – Part 2

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1Catarina Sforza-Riario

Catarina Sforza-Riario

In 1488, an Italian noblewoman named Catarina Sforza-Riario locked herself in a castle to save herself from her enemies. Her enemies managed to capture her children and threatened to kill them if she wouldn't surrender. She climbed on ramparts, lifted her skirt to expose her female parts, and shouted "Fools! Don't you see that I can make myself more children?"

2. A female Nazi doctor named Karin Magnussen collaborated with Josef Mengele to conduct experiments on hundreds of Jewish people to make them "Aryan." They injected blue dyes and other chemicals into their eyes to change their eye colors. No change of eye color ever took place during these experiments and many of the test subjects were blinded.

3. In the early 19th century, a doctor-in-training named Stubbins Firth tried to prove that yellow fever isn't contagious by smearing himself with the blood, urine, sweat, and vomit of yellow fever patients and even drank their vomit. He didn't get yellow fever because it is transmitted by mosquito bites.

4. Shi Pei Pu was a Chinese opera singer and a spy who obtained secrets from a French embassy worker for 20 years by masquerading as a woman during their sexual affair. He even took a child and pretended it was theirs.

5. When Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry VIII was taken from Syon Abbey to the Tower of London to prepare for her execution, she sailed in a barge down the River Thames. She passed under London Bridge, where the severed heads of her alleged lovers Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were waiting for her, displayed on spikes, rotting and picked at by birds.

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6Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

President Lyndon B. Johnson often peed in public, even during his presidency. One time, a gust of wind blew his urine onto the leg of one of his Secret Service agents. When the agent informed him he was being peed on, President Johnson replied, "I know. That's my prerogative."

7. The Royal Air Force and US Air Force dropped 3,316,000 magnesium incendiary bombs on Munich alone during World War 2. That’s 4 bombs for every inhabitant of the city. What’s even crazier is that USA dropped more bombs on Vietnam during the Vietnam War than they dropped in the entire World War 2.

8. Ilya Ivanov was a Soviet biologist who specialized in the field of artificial insemination and the interspecific hybridization of animals. He is famous for his controversial attempts to create a human-ape hybrid by inseminating three female chimpanzees with human sperm (with no results).

9. Drukpa Kunley is a famous 15th-century Tibetan monk and poet who was known for his crazy methods of enlightening people. Women sought his blessing in the name of sex, earning him the nickname "The Saint of 5,000 Women," and his penis is often referred to as, the "Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom."

10. Members of Mother Teresa's order would secretly baptize dying patients of other religions. Patients were asked if they wanted a 'ticket to heaven.' While pretending to cool the patient's forehead, words were quietly recited and the ceremony performed.

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11Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, lost her virginity at a cemetery where she would secretly meet her future husband. After Shelley died, her family searched her desk and they found a copy of a poem written by her deceased husband, along with some of his ashes and the remains of his heart.

12. Mark Antony's wife, Fulvia, stabbed Cicero's tongue, after his decapitation, with hairpins before displaying his head on the Rostra. Supposedly this was to damn his power of speech.

13. When Roman Emperor Nero's wife died, he found a boy looking like her, removed his testicles, and had him appear in public as his wife.

14. John Kellogg, the inventor of Corn Flakes and founder of the Kellogg company, worked tirelessly to "reform masturbators" by wrapping their genitals in sharp wire to prevent arousal, burning their genitals with acid to desensitize, and circumcising small boys without anesthetic, among other things.

15. The Roman Catholic Church used to hire castrati. These were young male vocalists who had been castrated before their puberty. This allowed them to sing soprano, mezzo-soprano, or contralto well into their 40s. The practice started in the mid-1500s, reached its height in 1730, and ended in 1903. The last castrati died in 1922.

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16Cannibal Island

Cannibal Island

In 1933, Stalin deported over 6000 "unfit" people to an obscure island in Siberia. Around 4000 died, many from cannibalism, including a pretty girl who was tied to a tree and had her breasts cut off as food by starving people.

17. In 1876, Sigmund Freud dissected 400 eels looking for their testicles. To this day, the eel's mating habits remain a scientific mystery.

18. Henry VIII awarded sons of noblemen with the coveted title of "Groom of the Stool." The groom was responsible for wiping the king after defecation and keeping the facilities clean. It was an entirely honorable position that led to great intimacy with the monarch.

19. Genghis Khan's generals, Jebe and Subutai, after defeating the Russians laid thousands of them bound and stacked like cordwood, and built a platform above where he and his generals feasted, all the while the men below suffocated and were crushed to death.

20. In 1919, the British Imperial army opened fire, without warning, on a peaceful gathering in park named Jallianwala Bagh in the Punjab province of India. The crowd had gathered there to protest against the inhumanities of the colonialist government. On the order of British officer Gen. Reginald Dyer hundreds of unarmed men, women, and children were killed. The incident is known as Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

21King of Ireland

King of Ireland

You could not have been King of Ireland without nipples, as the kissing or sucking of King's nipples was a form of submission. If one attempted to become the Irish Monarch and was not successful, your nipples were removed. They were also cut off if you were sacrificed.

22. In 1984, during the Iraq/Iran war, Iraqi forces had laid hundreds of exposed electrical wires in the Majnoon Marshes which they knew the Iranians had to cross. Those wires were all snaked together and connected to large electrical generators. When Iran attempted to cross the marsh with boats, Iraq used just enough concentrated artillery to force the Iran Soldiers out of the boats and walk through the marshland. As soon as that happened, the Iraqis fired up their generators and electrocuted thousands of Iranian Soldiers in an instant. The Iraqis then sent in a road-building detail, collected all of the Iranian dead, and stacked the bodies like cordwood, 5 corpses high, and 5 across, covering them with lime, and then a bunch of sand. They used the Iranian dead to build a road for their trucks to cross the marshlands.

23. Johan de Witt was a Dutch Prime Minister who became so unpopular during his reign that a bunch of rioters lynched and partially ate him in 1672. They were never prosecuted.

24. ‘The Miracle of 1511’ was a festival in Brussels in which peasants built approximately 110 satirical snowmen. Some were even satirical and pornographic in nature, performing sex acts, to protest against socioeconomic inequalities between the peasants of Brussels and the ruling House of Habsburg.

25. Shah Jahan, who constructed the Taj Mahal, had his minions cut off the hands of the workers after the structure was completed so that he could preserve the mausoleum's blessed significance.

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