Do you enjoy history? Well, you’re in luck, because there is so much to discover. Close your eyes and dive into this bag of historical facts. Well, actually, don’t close your eyes. You will need them to read this list. Let’s start?
Truly Odd Historical Facts
10. In The 13th Century, Pope Gregory IX Declared War On The Cats Of The World
Gregory insisted that black cats in particular were associated with devil worship, leading to their elimination across Europe.
The shortage of cats is believed to have allowed the rat population to grow over time, which in turn helped spread the bubonic plague a few decades later.
9. In 1820, An Entire Town Held A Trial Against Tomatoes
The tangy red fruit was once considered ~evil~ (and poisonous) by much of the world! To dispel the rumors that the tomatoes were deadly, Robert Gibbon Johnson ate a basket full of the tomatoes in front of a crowd in Salem, New Jersey, who was surprised to see that he had not keeled over from one bite.
8. And While We Are Talking About Tomatoes, Ketchup Was Once Actually Sold As Medicine
In the 1830s, a doctor named Dr. John Cooke Bennett claimed that tomatoes could be used to treat diarrhea and indigestion – his tomato ketchup recipe was even concentrated into pill form and sold as medicine!
7. The Roman Emperor Caligula Planned To Make His Favorite Horse A Senator
He loved his horse Incitatus so much that he gave him an ivory manger to sleep in, and even a palace with his own servants!
When you hear some of the other absolutely bizarre things this short-lived emperor did during his reign, you will notice that Caligula’s bizarre relationship with his horse was one of the most normal things about him, TBH.
6. In Victorian England, People Used To Take Photos Of Their Dead Relatives In Royal Positions To Keep As Mementos
Since photography was so new and expensive at the time, this was the only time a person took a photo, especially for children and babies.
Sometimes even the eyes were painted on the photo after it was developed, to give the subject a more “realistic” appearance.
5. Before Alarm Clocks Became The Norm, There Were People Called Knockers Who Literally Knocked On People’s Windows To Wake Them Up In Time For Work
It was popular in some areas until the 1970s, while the standard tool of choice was a long stick, some knockers used soft hammers, rattles, or even pistols to reach client windows.
4. Lord Byron Kept A Pet Bear In His Dormitory While Studying At Cambridge
Byron loved animals and throughout his life, he had some unusual ones, including two monkeys, a fox, and two new mastiffs! But since he was not allowed to bring his favorite dog to college, he decided to bring a domestic bear to live with him on campus.
3. In 1923, A Jockey Died In The Middle Of A Race, But He Still Won!
Frank Hayes suffered a heart attack in the middle of the race, but managed to stay on the horse until he reached the finish line! It was the first race Hayes won, but unfortunately also the last.
2. The Ancient Romans Used To Use Obsolete Stale As A Mouthwash
Although this sounds quite unpleasant, the urine contains ammonia, which is actually one of the best natural cleansing agents on the market.
Liquid gold became so in-demand that the Romans who traded it had to pay a tax!
1. And The Wonders Of Stale Urine Never Seem To Stop, As It Was Later Used To Make Color Dyes Brighter And More Effective!
The ammonia in stale urine helps develop dye color while binding it to the cloth. Therefore, it is not surprising that in the 16th century England, pee was such a valuable asset to the textile industry that it was collected in special “urine containers” to be shipped nationwide for use in factories.