History serves us in various ways. For instance, history offers a foundational part of the collective memory. Its narratives provide a historical dimension of meaning into who we are and what we do. Studying history is also a method to understand the present … at least, that’s what the wisest among us propose.
Rather than simply being the “study of the past” for its own sake, the “art” of history can also help us understand present-day human phenomena by investigating and clarifying their origins and development. However, there are some “tales” from the past that can make you really wonder about their authenticity.
If you don’t quite follow, read this list of 25 Odd and Bizarre Historical Events That Sound Fake but are 100% true.
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Caligula made his horse a priest
It’s no secret that Roman Emperor Gaius, better known as Caligula, was a ruthless nutcake. According to the ancient historian Suetonius, Caligula loved horses way more than he loved humans.
Incitatus was by far his favorite horse. He loved Incitatus so much that he gave the steed a marble stall, an ivory manger, a jeweled collar, and even a house.
Another chronicler, Cassius Dio, wrote that servants fed Incitatus oats mixed with gold flakes. At some point, Caligula tried to make his horse a senator of Rome as well, but he ended up making it a priest instead.
The sole survivor of Titanic and the Britannic
Also known as “Miss Unsinkable,” Violet Jessop was a stewardess and nurse on the White Star Line’s trio of Olympic-class passenger ships.
In addition to surviving the Titanic and Britannic disasters, Jessop was also aboard the trio’s third sister ship, the Olympic, when it collided with a British warship in 1911.
Turkeys were once worshiped like deities
Nowadays, turkeys are mainly known for being America’s favorite dish of the Thanksgiving meal. Back in 300 B.C. though, the fancy big birds were worshiped by the Mayan people as vessels of the gods and were honored as such.
They were symbols of power and prestige and can be found in Mayan iconography and archaeology.
Tesla was terrified of pearls
Nikola Tesla was, without a doubt, one of the greatest minds and inventors to ever walk on this planet. As a man, though, Tesla had some really weird phobias.
He could not stand the sight of pearls, to the extent that he refused to speak to women who were wearing them. When his secretary wore pearl jewelry, he sent her home for the day.
Tesla also wore white gloves to dinner every night and prided himself on being a “dapper dresser.”
Napoleon was almost assassinated by a horde of bunnies
Napoleon Bonaparte is considered one of the greatest generals and conquerors to ever live. He was so powerful on the battlefield that he forced the United Kingdom, Austrian Empire, Kingdom of Prussia, Kingdom of Spain, and various kingdoms of today’s Italy, Dutch Republic, Russian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Kingdom of Portugal, and the Kingdom of Sweden, to join forces in order to confront him.
However, bunnies weren’t as scared of him. Apparently, the emperor had requested that a rabbit hunt be arranged for himself and his men. His chief of staff set it up and had men round up 3,000 rabbits for the occasion.
When the rabbits were released from their cages, the hunt was ready to go. At least that was the plan! But the bunnies charged toward Bonaparte and his men in a vicious and unstoppable onslaught.
The only certain thing is that Napoleon knew how to survive!