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Why The Heck Do Some Countries Have Weird Panhandles?

If you look closely at a map, you’re bound to find some really weird stuff. Countries you never knew existed pop up, bodies of water reveal themselves and the borders of countries look totally random. What’s more random about those borders is when they have weird panhandles or salients, basically appendages of land that have been hastily slapped onto the main body of a country. How did these tiny stretches of land get added?


8 Things That Happened In History Way More Often Than Everybody Thinks

We learn in history class that certain events were a Big Deal, and we assume they were unique and unprecedented. But many of these things, from technological breakthroughs to political shake-ups, used to happen all the time. Here’s a list of eight not-quite-so-special things that occurred regularly throughout history.


How Aluminium Changed The World

Video: Aluminium started as one of the world’s most expensive materials because it was difficult to refine — even though it made up eight per cent of the world’s crust. But eventually aluminium became one of the cheapest materials after methods of mass producing it were invented in the 1880s. It went from $US1200 ($1576) per kilogram down to a dollar in 50 years.


Here Are Some Words That Seem Like They Should Be Related But Actually Aren't At All

Video: Did you know the words “male” and “female” aren’t actually related to each other? As in, there’s no “male” in “female”. The word “male” is derived from the Latin word masculus, while the word “female” comes from the French word femelle. It sounded close enough so we just made them both pronounced like male. Damn, patriarchy.


The 1904 Olympic Marathon Was Essentially The Hunger Games

The marathon is one of the most grueling and extreme events of the Olympics, holding pride of place on the very last day just before the closing ceremony. You can usually pick the exhausted marathon runners in the ceremony, but these modern marathons are basically a walk in the park compared to the 1904 event that left multiple competitors on the brink of death, with less than half of the athletes actually finishing. Here’s how it went down.


Shipwreck Hunters Bag An Amazing Discovery At The Bottom Of Lake Ontario

A group of retirees-turned-shipwreck hunters have discovered the remains of the Washington, an 18th century trading vessel that sank to the bottom of Lake Ontario in 1803. The 16m sloop is the second oldest shipwreck to ever be found in the Great Lakes.


More Sketchy Evidence For Fabled Nazi Gold Train Reignites The Hunt

In the bowels of the Owl Mountains near Wałbrych, Poland, legend tells of a hidden train, armed to the teeth and packed with up to 300 tonnes of Nazi gold. According to geologists, it isn’t there. According to historians, it may not exist. But naysayers haven’t deterred treasure hunters from setting out in search of the train and its fabled riches once more.


Smart Animation Taught Me More About The US Civil War Than History Class

Video: I’m pretty sure I could pass a high school history test about the US Civil War armed with only the knowledge that was dropped on me from watching this highly entertaining 10-minute animation from John D. Ruddy. I’m actually halfway certain I would do better on that test after watching this YouTube video than I would have if I read a sterile textbook.


2000-Year-Old Scrolls Inscribed With Ancient Curses Uncovered In Serbia

Archaeologists working in Serbia have discovered tiny parchments of gold and silver inscribed with what appears to be a series of ancient curses.


This Is What The Site Of Britain's Largest Non-Nuclear Explosion Looks Like 70 Years Later

On Nov. 27, 1944, 4,000 tons of bombs went off at RAF Fauld, a munitions facility in the English countryside near Hanbury, Burton. The explosion was so great that it caused a mushroom cloud and could be felt as far as Morocco.


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