The universe is enigmatic and strange, and there are things living and walking on this Earth that we will never be able to completely explain. These twisted facts remind us that truth is not only stranger than fiction, it’s a whole lot more gruesome.
40. Drowning in Space
In 2013, water started leaking inside an astronaut’s spacesuit outside of the International Space Station. Water is used as a cooling agent for the suit, but something obviously went wrong and the poor astronaut almost ended up drowning. Fortunately, he made it back to the station just in time.
39. Annabelle Was Real
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (the inspirations behind films like The Conjuring) actually dealt with the real haunted Annabelle doll. The doll was bought as a gift and almost immediately started terrifying the family who got her. She would move places, then move rooms, and was even once found secreting blood. The Warrens believed that a malevolent entity was controlling the doll, and when they tried to confiscate it they felt its wrath; even the exorcist they hired to purify the doll got into a car accident. The Warrens eventually trapped the doll in a custom-made case to confine its powers.
38. Evolving Butthole
The anus is the first thing that develops when we’re conceived. So, yeah, it turns out that we’re all literally the butt of the joke. Ba dum tss!
37. Fishy Human Teeth
There’s a myth that the pacu fish like to eat testicles. This unfounded rumor is mostly based on the creepy fact that the fish have awful teeth that look quite human. Just in case, keep your junk safe because the pacu, while native to South America, has been found in the waters of New Jersey.
36. Craigslist Killer Date
Miranda Barbour claimed she used Craigslist to lure and kill at least 22 people, but that she didn’t feel any remorse about it because the people she killed were “bad.” She also said that she if she were released, she’d kill again.
35. Scorpions Survive Anything
Scorpions can go a year without eating and still survive. They do this by slowing down their metabolism, and can also deal with extreme temperature changes. To make things worse, they’re cannibals and will eat each other if necessary to survive.
34. Shake It Off
Humans will shed about half of their body weight in their lifetime in dead skin cells. Yes, we shed approximately 35 kilograms per person. So essentially by the time that you kick the bucket, you’ll be half the person you used to be.
33. Black Moon Rising
A “Black Moon,” though it sounds ominous, isn’t actually so bad: it happens when a second new moon shows up in the same month.
32. Russian Monster
Andrei Chikatilo assaulted, killed, and mutilated over 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990. He was a horrible man, but there was a (sort of) bright side: while Russian authorities investigated and questioned suspects involved in the case, they ended up solving over 1,000 unrelated cases.
31. AI Could Destroy Us
The late Stephen Hawking stated that artificial intelligence would be the worst event in the history of our civilization, and would wipe us out like Skynet in Terminator. Bill Gates, however, believes that AI technology will help humanity fight disease and improve the quality of our lives. We’ll see…
30. Dead People’s Holiday
Halloween was celebrated by the Celts thousands of years ago to honor the dead on November 1st. But since the veil between the living and the dead weakened on October 31st, the folks preferred to keep the dead away by offering food and wine, and wore masks to fool the ghosts into thinking they, the living people, were dead too.
29. Monster Jailer Jailed
Austrian Josef Fritzl trapped his daughter Elisabeth in a soundproof basement for years, even fathering seven children with her before she escaped and his perversions were revealed. All told, Elisabeth spent 24 years underground, and Fritzl was sentenced to life in prison in 2009. Reportedly, Fritzl has shown next to no remorse while incarcerated.
28. In the Driver’s Seat
Driverless cars may be the way of the future, but we’ve got a lot of thinking to do. A debate is currently raging over if it’s ethical for the car to swerve away from pedestrians before impact if doing so would actually harm the driver themselves.
27. A Haunted Amusement Park
The Takakonuma Greenland amusement park in Japan is now a ghost town after shutting down in the 1970s, reopening in 1986, and then closing again in 1999. No matter where you go in the park, it always seems surrounded by mist, and the forest continues to grow around the now-eerie rides.
26. Bloody Food
Chefs often use knives and other sharp objects, and sometimes they don’t even realize they’ve cut themselves; that’s how blood can and does end up in your food. Aside from the risk factor that comes from catching a blood-borne disease, there’s also the fact that it’s just downright gross.
25. Skeleton Museum
The bones from six million corpses, most of them from hundreds of years ago, sit deep underneath the city of Paris in winding subterranean passageways. The Catacombs of Paris are now a tourist hotspot, but good luck getting the chill out of your bones when you visit.
24. Matrix Meets a Ghost
The Matrix star Keanu Reeves claims that, as a child, he caught an eerie glimpse of a ghostly, flying jacket waving at him from the doorway of his family’s New York City apartment. It then vanished before his eyes, but he then realized that his nanny saw it too, and he knew it was real.
23. Moldy Steak
Next time you consider ordering a dry-aged steak, think again. To create the flavors, the chefs modify the ventilation, humidity, and temperature around the meat. This not only makes the steak decay, it also produces a crusty mold layer that gets cut off before the delicacy gets put on your plate.
22. Disney Corpses
It’s become a tradition for people to scatter the ashes of their loved ones at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. But perhaps even creepier, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride used to use real human bones for the pirate skeletons, and some employees allege that there are still a few of the original fixtures left.
21. Dog Eat Dog World
It might be difficult to accept, but 800,000 years ago it was a pretty regular occurrence for our human ancestors to eat each other, and not even as an act of desperation or starvation. Yikes.
20. Tornado Survivor
Matt Suter was inside a mobile home in Missouri when a tornado surrounded it in 2006. Suter was carried and whipped around in the tornado an astonishing 1,300 feet before he was violently thrown into a field. This was the furthest anyone has been flung by a tornado and survived.
19. Dying for Fish
Some countries turn pufferfish into a meal called fugu. Although it’s a delicacy, it can also be deadly: pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, and the fish can be fatal if the dish isn’t properly prepared. In fact, between 2006 and 2015, 10 people died after eating ill-prepared pufferfish.
18. Got Raelism?
The UFO religion known as Raelism was created by Claude Vorilhon, a former test car driver, in 1974. The movement believes that thousands of years ago, extraterrestrial scientists created life on Earth.
17. Rate My Poo
If feces is the kind of thing you’re a fan of (no judgement) then you’re in luck: you can upload photos of your own poop on ratemypoo.com, or even rate other people’s poo.
16. International Calls Kill
In 2014, a North Korean citizen was executed for the horrifying offense of making an international call to South Korea. Ri Kyung-ho was put to death and his family was incarcerated for his crime.
15. Growing Doll
The Growing Up Skipper doll came out in 1975, and boy did she grow: she not only grew taller when you rotated her arm, her breast size grew too. Apparently Mattel thought that making a doll go through puberty was cool.
14. Save the Bees
When the bee population dwindled over the years, everyone assumed the world was coming to an end. Experts couldn’t figure out the likely reason why until recently, when they learned that a pesticide known as neonicotinoid might be poisoning the bees.
13. Lightning Inspired Music
In 1994, Tony Cicoria died for two minutes when he was struck by lightning while using a public pay phone at a lakeside pavilion in upstate New York. Days later, however, he revived—and with a newfound love for piano music.
12. Boring Job Suit
44-year-old Frédéric Desnard was so bored with his job that he decided to sue his company because he felt depressed after a demotion. Desnard, as you might have guessed, was later fired (after a car crash made him go on sick leave).
11. Hair Cavern
The Avanos Hair Museum in Turkey can be found in a small cave that contains hair from over 16,000 women from all over the globe; you’ll also find their contact information beside their hair sample.
10. Blood Thirst
Julia Caples of Pennsylvania is a real life vampire, and drinks almost two liters of blood each month from the necks of live, human donors. Caples says she first got the biting urge when she was only 15, and claims that drinking the blood makes her feel “stronger and healthier.” Despite the fact that medical experts warn against these practices (not the least because of the potential for disease), Caples says the blood keeps her looking young, and she makes sure to screen her donors. Safety first?
9. King’s Last Drops
Would you buy water allegedly left in a cup that Elvis Presley was drinking out of? Well, in December 2004, a few measly tablespoons of water from a cup that Presley may or may not have drank out of at a 1977 concert sold for $455.
8. Poop Transplant
To introduce much-needed bacteria into a patient’s digestive system, doctors will either feed the fecal bacteria to the individual by giving it to them in a pill, or they’ll stick an enema up their butt to get the job done.
7. Devil Took Her
After she disappeared for six entire days, eight-year-old Katherine Van Alst was found simply sitting in a cave at Devil’s Den State Park 30 miles from where she was last seen. No one understood how a little girl in a bathing suit could have made it that far, but she was also eerily calm. When they found her, she walked out of the cave and said, “here I am.”
6. Suicidal Dogs
There is a bridge in Scotland that mysteriously makes dogs leap to their death, tumbling over 50 feet downward. At least 50 dogs have jumped from the bridge to date, and although people have many theories about the phenomenon, ranging from the musky scent of minks to an aggressive ghost haunting the bridge, no explanation has been satisfactory.
5. Mystery of Amelia Earhart
In 1937, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, her navigator, set out on a trip around the globe by plane. Earhart suddenly vanished over the Pacific Ocean, though radio logs indicate that she may have made distress calls. Whatever really happened to her, however, remains a mystery.
4. Munchausen Mom
Dee Dee Blanchard made her daughter Gypsy Rose think she was sick her whole life, forcing her to live in a wheelchair. Blanchard suffered from the syndrome known as Munchausen by proxy, and she enjoyed the perverse control she had while constantly nursing Gypsy Rose back to “health.” Gypsy began to crack under Dee Dee’s surveillance, and eventually helped her boyfriend murder her own mother; Dee Dee was found dead, facedown in her own bedroom with multiple stab wounds.
3. Mime Stalker
While filming Bringing Out the Dead, Nicolas Cage was stalked by a French mime who would go wherever the actor went. Even so, Cage claims that as far as mime stalkers go, this one was pretty harmless, if unsettling.
2. Open Your Eyes
During a routine cataract surgery, the worst happened: Hector Alonso woke up in the middle of the procedure, and when he tried to alert doctors to the fact that he was awake inside of a nightmare scenario, they responded by taping his mouth shut. Alonso also claims the experience ended up blinding him in his eye, and he is now suing the hospital.
1. Disney Mystery
A Disney Wonder cruise crewmember named Rebecca Coriam vanished without a trace on March 22, 2011 while on the cruise off the coast of Mexico. She was allegedly seen very upset while talking on the phone just before her disappearance. Some believe she fell overboard, but her family thinks that Disney may be involved in some sort of cover up.