As they say, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
And that is positively true when it comes to history. It’s fascinating!
You could potentially study one subject or time period or country for the rest of your life and you still wouldn’t be able to learn everything that really happened.
So are you ready to be educated today about some real, crazy historical events that really happened?
Let’s get some history lessons from AskReddit users!
1. Bat bombs.
“During WWII, the US Military researched the idea of dropping bombs filled with bats with attached incendiary devices over Japan. A dental surgeon (Adams) who was an acquaintance of Eleanor Roosevelt wrote the idea to her.
He explained that bats would nest in the wooden buildings of Tokyo and then the delayed timers on the incendiary devices would go off simultaneously and cause a massive fire. President Roosevelt approved the idea for study.
The military found it would be highly effective compared to traditional fire bombing campaigns.
The only reason the plan wasn’t implemented was because the bat bombs wouldn’t have been combat ready until mid 1945 so they used the atomic bombs instead.”
2. Most people haven’t heard of this.
“The Biafran Genocide, aka the Nigerian Civil War. It happened only about 50 years ago and over 3 million civilians died.
My dad fought in the war as a child soldier on the Biafran side. You’ve probably never heard of it, despite its scale and recency, because it’s been almost entirely swept under the rug. They don’t even teach it in history class.”
“The Carrington Event.
In 1859 the Earth was hit by a geomagnetic storm from the sun. It caused auroras as far south as Rome. Telegraph wires caught fire and in general it was chaos.
If this happened today it would likely cause massive blackouts for weeks or even months and cause trillions in damage.”
4. Interesting times…
Basically, young Spartans would train for years in camps, surrounded only by men. So, when the time came for marriage, the women would shave their heads and dress in men’s clothing, since the idea of having sex with anyone other than a man weirded out the grooms.”
” A poodle named Cachy, in Caballito, Buenos Aires, fell from 13 floors and fatally hit 75-year-old Marta Espina, killing both instantly.
In the course of the events, 46-year-old Edith Sola, who came to see the incident, was fatally hit by a bus.
An unidentified man, who witnessed Edith’s death, had an heart attack and also died, on his way to the hospital.”
“Mad Jack Churchill, the man with the only confirmed longbow kill in WWII.
Guy and his squad did a death march towards the Germans whole playing bagpipes, got captured and sent to a concentration camp. He then escaped, got caught again, and then escaped a different concentration camp. Also he always carried a scottish longsword with him.
Theres so much other weird shit he did after the war, and its amazing to me that he’s entirely real.”
7. Learned a lesson.
“The Emu War of 1932
Australia’s Emu population was getting out of hand. Australia decided to take military action.
8. The story of John Brown.
“When you read the real John Brown story, from Kansas to Harpers Ferry it just doesnt seem real. Fundraising, Canada, clandestine fundraising, religion, asking everyone to join, betrayal by friends, martyrdom, etc…
John Wilkes Booth was at his execution.”
9. Hard to kill.
“All of the assasination attempts on Fidel Castro.
Only 7 are confirmed, but there are 638 supposed ones. Basically they read like a comedy sketch. The CIA onced places a cool sea shell rugged with explosives in a place where they thought Castro would see it, go “oooh cool shell” and pick it up.
Despite this genius he died of natural causes.”
10. A true story.
“In 1985 Philadelphia police bombed a residential neighborhood. The resulting explosion destroyed two city blocks, killing 5 children and 6 adults.
I watched that fire from my house just outside of West Philly. I’m shocked at home many people have no knowledge of the fifth largest city dropping a bomb on itself that resulted in the deaths of 11 citizens and the destruction of 61 houses.”
11. Unsolved mystery.
“The “Tamam Shud case”. Shortly after WW2, a well-groomed, athletic man was found dead on an australian beach. There’s no apparent cause of death. It is impossible to identify the man.
Some mysterious clues are found. Among them, a book with a cryptic message written into it. Later, they bury his corpse compassionately. Even later, it turns out that he might have been searching for a child he possibly fathered some years ago. And that the mother possibly had been a spy, who had fallen in love with a spy from abroad – the unidentified man, who might have fathered said child with her, back then.
As he realized that the mother wouldn’t be meeting him anymore, he would have poisoned himself on the beach. And since he was a spy, he used a poison that doesn’t leave a trace.”
12. American hero.
“The life of Harriet Tubman, one of the rare examples of someone who is a household name for being a badass who was actually about ten times more badass than people know about.
Things she did other than the Underground Railroad:
She financed and recruited for John Brown’s Harper’s Ferry slabe revolt raid, and the only reason she didn’t fight in person was she was bedridden with malaria
During the Civil War, she joined the Union Army as a cook/nurse
She somehow class shifted into a spy/scout and helped Union leaders plan raids into Confederste territory, and she assassinated several Confederates
She rose in the ranks until she commanded a small raiding force of 300 Union troops from the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the second black US Army unit ever.
Her command, Company C, 54th, raided southern plantations, slaughtered slave drivers, and freed captive slaves
In the Combahee Ferry raid, where the 54th freed 700 slaves, she was also in command of three Union frigates, and when a Confederate division was advancing on them she fired broadsides from the three naval warships directly into the enemy troops.
She survived the war, and immediately turned around and started fighting for women’s suffrage.”
13. Let’s dance!
“In July 1518, residents of the city of Strasbourg (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) were struck by a sudden and seemingly uncontrollable urge to dance.
The hysteria kicked off when a woman known as Frau Troffea stepped into the street and began to silently twist, twirl and shake. She kept up her solo dance-a-thon for nearly a week, and before long, some three-dozen other Strasbourgeois had joined in. By August, the dancing epidemic had claimed as many as 400 victims.
The strange episode didn’t end until September, when the dancers were whisked away to a mountaintop shrine to pray for absolution.
The funny thing is that there is not really an explanation for what happened. Explanations range from a medical issues known as “hot blood”, to curses being place on people.”
“During the Cold War Americans wanted to intimidate the Russians so they dropped extra large condoms labeled “small” on the Russian army so the Russians would think all Americans had huge ass dicks and they would feel inadequate.”
“Violet Jessop, also known as Miss Unsinkable, was a nurse on the Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic ships and survived them all.
With such characters as “Go-By-The-Wall-And-Tickle-The-Bricks” and “Iceberg Charlie”. Wrote a giant memoir about it and died on May 5, 1971.
Side note I thought I should mention: during the sinking of the Britannic, Iceberg Charlie turned on the propeller thinking they can book it to the mainland, not realizing that life boats had already been let down.
The propeller started chopping up the lifeboats and the people inside them like a giant vitamix. Violet’s lifeboat was heading right towards the propeller and everyone else jumped into the water to swim a way.
Also, Violet couldn’t swim. So she had to jump in the water and get pulled around by the force of the propeller until she reached the surface once again.”
16. What a badass.
“Leo Major, a french Canadian soldier who among many other feats including capturing a German communications truck, losing an eye to a phosphorus grenade in the process, and capturing a hundred German soldiers while on a recon mission during the battle of Scheldt.
He single handedly liberated the town of Zwolle thereby saving it and it’s population from being shelled in an assault in the morning. During this liberation he captured ~90 more Germans, burned down the Gestapo HQ, and generally rampaged around shooting and throwing grenades so that the Germans thought they were being attacked in earnest
Dude was basically a Call of Duty protagonist.”
Now we want to hear from you.
Tell us about some crazy historical stories that are totally TRUE!
Share them with us in the comments!