25 Real Historical People And Events That Almost Seem Fictional

Posted by , Updated on November 20, 2022

You’ve probably learned a bit of history in high school or college. Maybe you thought it was just too boring to pay attention, but today we’re going to change that. There are some things that happened in our not-so-distant past that are just hard to believe. These include everything from some of the bloodiest uprisings in history to the fact that ketchup was at one point used as medicine.

It’s true what they say, if you don’t know history, you’re doomed to repeat it, and if we were to really repeat some of what has happened in the last several thousand years, that would be a massive step backwards for mankind. Therefore, in order to become better educated citizens, we at List25 have decided to review the most unbelievable and ridiculous points in our history and share them with you, our readers. In doing so, we are performing our civic duty to create a better world.

Okay, that was a bit overblown. We’re really just trying to brighten your day a little bit and give you something interesting to read. So, whether you’re a history buff or not, these are 25 Real Historical People And Events That Seem Almost Fictional!


Featured Image: pixabay


Wilmer Mclean's Farm

Wilmer Mclean's FarmImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

The first battle of the American Civil War, Bull Run, started on Wilmer Mclean’s farm. To get away from the fighting, he moved his family over a hundred miles to Appomattox Court House in Virginia. On April 9, 1865, he got a knock on the door asking if the South’s surrender could be negotiated in his house, so the war both started and ended on his property.


Tycho Brahe

Tycho BraheImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This Danish nobleman was kidnapped by his uncle at a young age (his parents apparently didn’t care). He owned a pet elk until it got drunk, fell down a staircase, and died. And he allegedly died due to bladder issues after refusing to use the bathroom.


The Tulip Bubble

The Tulip BubbleImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

During the 17th Century, the price of tulips in the Netherlands skyrocketed with some costing more than an entire house. Needless to say, this was one of the first examples of a financial bubble that we have on record. And yes, the bubble eventually burst when people quit buying such ridiculously expensive tulips.


Washington DC (circa 1812)

Washington DCImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Right after the British burned it down in 1812, it was hit with a hurricane and a tornado…simultaneously.


Operation Mincemeat

Operation MincemeatImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

During World War II, the allies took a dead, homeless man out of the morgue, dressed him up as a high ranking military officer, and threw his body overboard off the coast of Spain. It was intended to mislead the Nazi’s about possible landing points for future invasions.


Napoleon vs Bunnies

Napoleon vs BunniesImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

One of Napoleon’s biggest defeats was at the hands of fuzzy wuzzy bunny rabbits. Napoleon had suggested a rabbit hunt for his court, but as soon as the game keepers released the rabbits, they all turned on Napoleon. He retreated to his coach, but the rabbits were relentless. Apparently, the rabbits had mistaken his coach for that of their keeper, and they thought Napoleon was bringing them food.


Jimmy Carter vs Bunny

Jimmy Carter vs BunnyImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

President Carter was another world leader who had a run-in with rabbits. Well, it was actually just one rabbit. While out on a fishing trip, a large hare came swimming towards his boat, and he apparently tried shooing it away. The next day, headlines read “President Attacked By Rabbit.”


Civil War Spectators

Civil War SpectatorsImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

During the early battles of the American Civil War, the Union thought they would win so decisively that rich northerners would bring lunches and picnic on nearby hills as they watched the fighting. Needless to say, it was a bad idea.



HannibalImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

He took an army of elephants across the Alps, and if you’ve ever seen the Alps, you know why that is impressive. Although many died, enough made it to Rome to scare the daylights out of the Romans.



OwyheeImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This is the original spelling of “Hawaii.” There are places in the Pacific Northwest with this name because they were explored by expeditions of which members were Hawaiian.


Christmas Truce of 1914

Christmas Truce of 1914Image: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

On Christmas Day, in the middle of World War I, there was a point on the front lines where both sides called a ceasefire, exchanged gifts, and even played a game of football. The next day they refused to shoot at each other, and the commanders had to replace all of their men.


Ernest Hemmingway

Ernest HemmingwayImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

When his plane crashed in Africa, newspapers printed obituaries for Ernest and his crew. A few days later, they were found in the jungle and flown out for medical attention. Their plane crashed again. Ernest and his crew survived again.


Adolf Hitler

Adolf HitlerImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

He was big on women’s and animals’ rights. In fact, he was even vegetarian. In some ways, Hitler would have been the charismatic hipster kid in your college class. Don’t trust that kid.

Note: we’re joking about not trusting the charismatic hipster kid in your class, we’re sure he’s a great guy.


The Children's Crusade

The Children's CrusadeImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This disastrous crusade was started by a boy that claimed to have a vision for a crusade. He rallied numerous other children to his cause, but as they marched towards the Holy Land, most of them were captured and sold in to slavery.

Note: this account is based largely on anecdotal evidence


John Tyler

John TylerImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

He was the 10th president of the US (1790-1862), and as of this writing, two of his grandsons are still alive.


Andrew Jackson's Parrot

Andrew Jackson's ParrotImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

He was removed from Jackson’s funeral because he swore too much.


Taiping Rebellion

Taiping RebellionImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This war that ended up killing tens of millions of Chinese was started by a peasant who believed he was the younger brother of Jesus. He even sent a letter to the British asking them questions like how tall Jesus was and how long had kept his beard. Some consider it to be one of history’s stranger diplomatic interactions.


The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of NantucketImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Written by Edgar Allen Poe in 1838, the book describes how the crew of a ship called the Grampus were adrift in the ocean. They caught a turtle and ate it, but they were going to need more food. By drawing straws, they decided to kill a crew member named Richard Parker and eat him. Edgar himself described the plot as silly. The crazy part? In 1884, a yacht called the Mignonette sank on its way from England to Australia. The crew was adrift in a raft when they caught a turtle and ate it. Also, one of the crew members was named Richard Parker. He was eaten, too.


Wreck of the Titan

Wreck of the TitanImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This book was about an unsinkable ship that hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sinks. It was published 10 years before the Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank.


The creation of the Secret Service

The Secret ServiceImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Ironically enough, it was created by Lincoln on the exact day that he was assassinated. It’s worth noting, however, that its original intention wasn’t to protect the president but rather to combat counterfeiting.


The singing Baltic countries

The Baltic CountriesImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania basically sang their way to freedom. In fact, it has even been called the Singing Revolution (1987-1991).


Lichtenstein invades Italy

Lichtentstein invades ItalyImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

During the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Lichtenstein invaded Italy with 80 men and ended up coming back with 81. Apparently they made a friend.


Ketchup medicine

KetchupImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

In the early 19th century, it was sold as medicine. Apparently a manufacture had started selling it as “Dr. Miles’ Compound Extract of Tomato” that could supposedly cure all sorts of ailments.



TamerlaneImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

One of the Mongols who conquered Asia, Tamarlane was buried in a tomb in Samarkand. The inscription on the tomb read “Whoever opens my tomb, shall unleash an invader more terrible than I.” Soviet archaeologists opened it on June 20, 1941. A few days later Germany invaded the USSR.


Anything Caligula did

Anything Caligula didImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

He once marched his army towards the English Channel because he wanted to invade Britain. When he got there, he changed his mind, so he had his men collect seashells and then march home. And he made a horse a senator. Weird guy…

Show Us Your Love
Join Over 2 Million+ List25 Fans