Sometimes it feels like nothing can ever really surprise us these days. These twisted facts, however, have slipped under the radar and have come from the deepest (and creepiest) depths of history and science. Here’s a collection of 42 facts that are totally twisted for those who love the bizarre.
41. Bacteria Munching On Your Corpse? Pass
When you die, your immune system stops, which gives the bacteria in your body free reign to basically eat you from the inside out. All those nasty microscopic organisms in your stomach start the decomposition process from the inside, while the bacteria on your skin starts consuming you from the top. By the time these bacteria meet, there’s little or nothing left of you but brittle bones. Sexy!
40. Rock Swallower
Tarrare was a famous showman and soldier in 18th century Paris, who would wow spectators by guzzling down whole apples, snakes, corks, live animals and even rocks. Believe it or not, he was of normal height and size. He was able to use this talent to become a military courier and smuggle secret documents. Yeah, he’d do it the hard way—swallow the document and recover it…on the other side. He didn’t just use this “talent” for fun and attention—Tarrare claimed he had an insatiable hunger and begged doctors to curb his appetite. While under the care of a doctor at a military hospital for this very hunger, he would be caught drinking blood from other patients undergoing bloodletting and eating scraps from cadavers in the mortuary. The final straw was when a 14-month-old infant went missing from the hospital and Tarrare was suspected and expelled.
39. The Graveyard on Everest
Mount Everest is considered the tallest mountain on Earth, and there are 200 plus bodies of climbers who have tried reaching the top and failed. No one really knows exactly how many bodies are up there, but they remain frozen in time, as recovering them could pose serious risks. Any altitude above 8,000 meters (26,000 feet), on Everest or any other mountain, is referred to as the “death zone,” which is both scary and cool as heck. On Everest, most deaths occur in the death zone, but more happen during descent than during summit. At least they made it to the top first, right?
38. What Grows Beneath
Nurses in Columbia were stunned when they noticed that a local woman had sprouted roots from her genitals back in 2014. While doctors may have expected a weird genetic disorder or a House-esque medical mystery, it turns out that the woman’s mom told her that placing a potato “down there” was a great contraceptive. It kind of was, because the pain kept her from having intercourse. Moo-ooom!
37. Flowers That Kill
Adenium obesum is an African flower which local tribes use to create a toxic compound for their poisoned spears. The chemical in the plant is called ouabain, and just a tiny bit can cause you to stop breathing, hence why it makes such a great hunting tool. Also referred to as a desert rose, it can actually be kept as a houseplant, and blooms with a gorgeous bright pink flower. A beautiful bloom AND it can be used to kill my enemies? Talk about a win-win situation.
36. Patient Zero
Edgar Hernandez was only 4 years old when he contracted the H1N1 virus, AKA swine flu, earning him the title of “patient zero,” as he was the first human to contract it. In just a few weeks, the people of La Gloria, Mexico, started dropping like flies. The locals blamed the outbreak on nearby US-owned industrial pigpens. While little Edgar survived, over 18,000 people died during the brief epidemic, and unfortunately, those industrial pig farms still operate in La Gloria.
35. Solitary Confinement
If you feel totally fed up by people, want to completely avoid humanity, and have a big ol’ yacht or other craft that could sustain itself in the middle of the ocean, then come to Point Nemo. It’s in the center of the South Pacific and is 2,688km (1,670 miles) from the nearest habitable islands. Many call it the loneliest place on Earth, and if you’re lucky enough to find it, the only thing you’ll find here is solitude. Spookily enough, it’s known as a “spacecraft cemetery” because decommissioned spacecraft gets deposited there upon re-entering the atmosphere.
34. Loneliness Kills Animals
Embedded in our DNA are telomeres, which keep our chromosomes in check. Generally, they become less effective as we age, but they can also be affected by chronic stress. A research study found that young parrots who were kept in isolation showed symptoms of advanced aging as a result of the stress from that isolation. Essentially, the lonelier you are, the sooner you’ll end up six feet under.
33. Being Rich Makes You Sick
Children who are born into a rich family—as in, making more than $150,000 a year—feel constantly pressured to be better, according to a study. This pressure can later lead to depression, substance abuse issues, and even eating disorders. But you know what? We’ll take the risk, ‘cause who doesn’t want to go home and cry about it in a huge McMansion?
32. Going Green Makes You Miserable
If you ever needed a good excuse to give up being a vegetarian and go back to eating Big Macs, here’s one. It turns out that vegetarians suffer from more mental illnesses, like body dysmorphia, anxiety, and depression. What’s worse is that no one has a clue why. You’d think avoiding cancer-causing meats would be a reason to celebrate!
31. Mysteries Of Two Lauras
In June 2001, a woman named Laura Buxton from Blurton, Staffordshire, UK, put a note with her name and address inside a helium balloon and let it go. The helium balloon traveled to Pewsey, Wiltshire, UK, where another Laura Buxton found it, and replied to her 10 days later. Oddly enough, the two Lauras are both 10 years old and have the same types of pets. Cue the X-Files music.
30. Pentagon’s Zombie Apocalypse Guide
Keep the file name, “CONOP 8888” embedded in your head. As it turns out, that’s the Defense Department’s guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse. The files were obtained by Foreign Policy. The plan is meant to “establish and maintain a vigilant defensive condition aimed at protecting humankind from zombies.” Considering that the idea of zombies is only a few centuries old, and is quite different from our modern conception of zombies, which comes from the middle of the 20th century, that seems a bit more paranoid, especially for the Defense Department.
29. Sound Deprived Concentration
Hugo Gernsback may have been the father of science fiction, but his inventions, like “The Isolator” never took off. Basically, if you wanted peace and quiet to work, you put this helmet on, and it would deprive you of any external sounds. To avoid dying from lack of oxygen, you needed a big old oxygen tank by your side. Sounds super convenient, Hugo.
28. World’s Most Boring Vlogger
In lieu of vlogging about useless makeup tips or relationship problems, Margaret Adams, aka Magibon, became a total viral hit when she posted a video of her essentially staring at her camera for 20 minutes straight. That’s it! Who knew being so boring could make you so famous?
27. The Nope
David Bawden put the “n” in Pope. Confused? The Oklahoma man from the Society of St. Pius claimed the election for a new pope in 1990 was messed up, so he elected himself. He only got six votes, but he continues telling people he’s the actual pope, and he’s got about 100 followers who believe him. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
26. Victory At The Pole
In 1924, Alvin Kelly promoted a Hollywood theater by climbing up a flagpole and just sitting there at the top for 13 hours and 13 minutes. Of course, he gained so much attention that he had no choice but to try doing it again and again. Each time, he beat his own record. He allegedly managed to stay on the pole for 49 days in 1930. Some people will do anything for Hollywood, I guess!
25. This Pepper Will Ghost You
In 2016, ghost peppers almost made a ghost out of one dude from California, who ate a hamburger full of pureed ghost pepper. The man was taken to the hospital, where it was found that one of his lungs had collapsed and his esophagus had torn from all the vomiting caused by the pepper. Ghost peppers can also be used in the creation of grenades, which totally explains what happened to the inside of this guy’s stomach. Ouch!
24. Never Too Old To Pop One Out
Daljinder Kaur from India used in-vitro fertilization to have a child. No big deal, right? Well, she was 72 years old. She wanted to have a child of her own for decades, but never had enough money for IVF. After receiving an inheritance she began the treatments. It took a couple years, but her doctor, Anurag Bishnoi, tried and tried again, until 2016, when Kaur gave birth to 4.4-pound baby boy. Move over Teen Mom, cause Geriatric Mom is taking over!
23. Blinded By Smartphones
In the UK, two women were blinded from one eye after looking at their smart phones in bed. Doctors believed it was caused by one eye adapting to the darkness, because it was covered by the pillow, while the other was looking at the light. The lesson here is, if you’re looking at your phone in the dark, make sure to use both eyes.
22. A Fishy Killer
If you love seafood, you might change your tune after you hear that it can actually kill you. Aside from the age-defying Omega-3 and Omega-9 fatty acids, some fish can contain traces of toxins like mercury, pesticides, and the dreaded PCB toxin, which can give you cancer. So you better kill your seafood cravings before the seafood kills you—or at least, choose less mercury-rich forms of seafood.
21. Don’t Lose Your Head
So, the brain can only operate because it receives oxygen from the heart pumping blood, that much we know. It’s kind of like the circulatory system is the power cord for the brain. But you know sometimes when you pull the plug on something and it still works for a second or two—could that also apply to the brain? It’s a subject that’s fascinated scientists, and not just the weird ones! Even Francis Crick, one of the men who discovered DNA, is known to have taken an interest in the subject. There have of course been experiments on rats to try and verify if the brain remains conscious after the head is removed from the body. In 1905, the same experiment was conducted on a criminal who was executed by beheading. According to stories, the criminal blinked his eyes seemed to be able to focus on people calling his name for up to 30 seconds after he was supposedly dead.
20. Shooters and Games Don’t Mix
You might assume that most mass shooters target practiced in the virtual world with violent games before doing their deeds. But Patrick Markey, a psychologist researching claims that violent shooter games are connected to mass shooters is saying no way, and that 80 percent of shooters did not show any kind of interest in violent video games. There’s “no connection between video games and violence” according to research.
19. Millennials Won’t Age Well
Millennials better start saving money fast, because statistics from the National Institute on Retirement Security suggest that 66% of them aren’t saving for their retirement and will likely have no savings by the time they retire. It may not be scary in the same way other facts on this list are, but it’s certainly giving me anxiety.
18. Hunger vs. Obesity
It turns out that the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization’s statistics show that while 925 million folks are starving to death, 1.5 billion others are eating way too much, as there are more folks suffering from obesity than from famine.
17. More Dangerous Than the Flu
Bullies cause more absences than the flu or a common cold. As many as 160,000 kids call in sick every day in the US alone. That’s because these kids are so terrified of going to school and being abused that they’ll do anything like faking an illness or cutting class.
16. Love Is Sickening
Next time you decide to pucker up and kiss someone on the lips, make sure to ask them to use an antiseptic mouthwash. While you’re at it, take a swig yourself, because two people can exchange anywhere from 10 million to 80 million bacteria every time they kiss. Yuck!
15. Oldest Divorcée
A 99-year-old Italian man divorced his 96-year-old wife in 2011 after being married to her for 77 years. What caused this trouble in paradise? It turns out that in the 1940s, the wife wrote some steamy love letters to her side guy, and decades later, her husband found them and realized his wife had betrayed him. Ever heard of letting go of the past?
14. 911 Casualties
Everyone remembers the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. There were 2,606 casualties and only 20 people were pulled out of the rubble alive. But, what few people remember is that the last survivor was pulled out 27 hours later—that’s more than a full day spent under the rubble.
13. Reviving The Dead
In the early 20th century, a Russian scientist named Aleksei Kuliabko filled the veins of a corpse that had been dead for only a day with a concoction that would supposedly revive his heart. And guess what? It worked! The now-living corpse began making an odd breathing sound that scared everyone, but after 20 minutes, Kuliabko terminated the experiment on his “human zombie.”
12. No Fun Zone
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because in the Bible, the two scriptures about birthday parties both end in tragedy and murder. One is about a Pharaoh’s birthday, who uses the celebration as an excuse to let two of his servants out of jail. Benevolent, right? Well, he was the one who put them there in the first place. Then, after releasing them, he hangs one. That’s one way to party! The other tale involves a The Godfather-esque request that was made of King Herod on his birthday. Someone had asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter, and he couldn’t refuse, so he delivered it. They couldn’t just settle for birthday cake, huh?
11. Trapped With a Fart
On a flight from Washington to Dallas, a plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Nashville after passengers reported smelling burning matches. Bomb-sniffing dogs found lit matches under a woman’s chair, who had been lighting them in order to hide the smell of her farts. What works in your own bathroom doesn’t work everywhere, lady! Especially not, say, gas stations or planes.
10. The Death of Judas
In 2000, actor Renato Di Paolo, who was playing Judas, died during the hanging scene of a live production of The Passion of the Christ. In 2012, Tiago Klimeck, another actor, also died during the hanging scene where Judas gets killed. Sounds almost as bad as the Macbeth curse!
9. Eating in the Bathroom
A restaurant in Taipei called “Modern Toilet” serves their food in mini toilet bowls and tubs. Drinks are served in mini urinals and customers sit on toilets. But what’s on the menu? Poop meatballs, stuffed brown sugar poop pancakes and chicken served in a toilet-shaped bowl. Finally, something for the germ-phobic coprophage.
8. Lightning Leaves a Mark
Lichtenberg figures are weird skin designs left on a person after being struck by lightning. They look like tree branches, and some people get them just by being near a lightning strike. It’s cheaper than a tattoo, I guess!
7. Goosebumps of the Dead
Dead bodies get goosebumps just like living bodies do. As the muscles in the body stiffen, the dead body ends up in rigor mortis. Hair follicles become stiff as well, which ends up causing goosebumps. But who wouldn’t get them if you were stiff in a grave?
6. Pass The Ashes on the Left Hand Side
After he died, there were rumors that the late rapper Tupac Shakur was smoked by his group The Young Outlawz. Allegedly, they went to the beach, mixed Tupac’s ashes with some weed, and lit it up. They each inhaled a bit of Tupac as they passed the joint around. That’s what I call…friendship, I guess. While some members of the group have stuck to this story, others have recanted the tale, leading to the question…what, or who, did they actually smoke?
5. People Bursting Into Flames
If you haven’t revisited the subject since the weird goth kid in your 7th grade class did an oral presentation on it, spontaneous human combustion is one of the most interesting phenomena out there. For those who don’t already know, it’s basically an unexplained phenomenon where a person suddenly bursts into flames for no apparent reason. In many cases, the person is the only thing that burns, meaning whatever is around is left behind, scorched but not consumed by flames the way the person was. There are many scientists who are skeptical and attribute the fires to external sources of ignition, but I prefer to think it’s poltergeists or aliens or something else spooky.
4. Horsing Around
For the past four years, streaks of bizarre horse murders have cropped up all across the English countryside. The murders are so gruesome that some of the locals believe it’s the work of a terrifying Satanic cult. Back in 2012, a stallion was discovered dead, and his teeth, eyes, and genitals had been mutilated. Soon after, a pregnant mare also turned up dead, and then after that a horse was beheaded and left on a beach. In 2016, three horses also died from foul play in Cambridgeshire.
3. Zombie for an Hour
In Brazil, a two-year-old boy tragically died from pneumonia. His grieving family made funeral arrangements over the next few days—and then received the shock of their lives when the boy suddenly sat upright and asked his father for water. Overjoyed and astonished, the parents were still in for another devastating heartbreak, as the boy then lost consciousness once more and couldn’t be revived, leading the coroner to proclaim him dead once more.
2. It’s Roasting in Here
One fall night in 2009, a restaurant chef snapped and brutally killed his wife—but police had no idea just how unhinged the man was until, years later, he finally confessed the whole truth to them: he disposed of her body by slow cooking it in a vat of boiling water over four days.
1. Foot Fetish
Canada has an incredibly bizarre and sinister problem: severed feet have been washing up on its shores for a decade—and no one knows why. But scientists have finally found evidence that points to a shocking answer: it’s probably not the work of some extremely smart serial killer. Instead, the people have killed themselves accidentally or in suicide, and the water patterns lead their feet to the Pacific Northwest in and around British Columbia and even in Seattle. As The Guardian reported in 2017, “In the past dozen cases, the provincial coroner’s office has ruled out foul play… All of the individuals either killed themselves or died accidentally, with their feet naturally coming apart from their bodies during decomposition, said the coroner. … The ubiquitous presence of running shoes might explain some of the mystery; made with light but durable materials, the shoes both protect the foot from decomposition and act as a flotation device that pulls it to the surface.” Mystery solved?