Originally carrots were not orange, as they are today. The coulour was chosen by breeders for a special reason. And its not because of the vitamines...
Will ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence falsify our history?
AI, such as ChatGPT, reproduces and multiplies in a quite dreadful manner inaccuracies and biases. This may soonaffect the public's knowledge of history.
Did the ancient Romans share their toilet sponge?
The ancient Romans did not use toilet paper as we know it today. Instead, it was for a long time supposed that they used a sponge on a stick called a "tersorium" or a “xylospongium”, provided to clean themselves after using the toilet. But that may not be true.
Before the digital age: Sending a message in ancient Rome
If you were to travel back in time, you would see that already ancient Romans had a quite well functioning postal service.
Shocking: Do we fail in evolution?
Ancient populations venerated the Mother Goddess, as they realized that only reproduction ensures survival. Has our today's society something to learn from the past? And are we about to loose in the game of evolution?
Today’s bizarre fascination with castration is nothing new
While most will squirm, thinking of getting castrated, a new trend sees voluntaries 'nullify' their gender. That sounds like total-woke taking over, but there is history's proof that this not a new concept. Castration has been practiced for various reasons over history, including as a punishment for criminals, as a means of controlling the behavior... Continue Reading →
A tsunami destroyed the tomb of Alexander the Great
For at least 150 years, scientists have recognized that something unusual happened along western Crete and the surrounding shores of the Mediterranean. When Capt. Thomas Pratt mapped the Aegean Sea in the 1850s, he noticed an ancient Roman harbor on an island sitting high and dry, 6 meters above the sea. Archaeologists found skeletons in collapsed buildings with coins... Continue Reading →
How did Cleopatra die?
As is well known, Cleopatra VII was Queen of Egypt and last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Still today the public is impressed with the story, how she used her charm and intelligence to seduce powerful men and secure her throne as pharaoh - in particular Julius Caesar and after him Mark Antony. The end... Continue Reading →
The location of Cleopatra’s Tomb
You certainly saw the recent headlines in the press about the possible upcoming discovery of Cleopatra’s tomb. A good moment to debate the true location of that tomb. Despite extensive search, the place of the tomb of the famed Cleopatra remained until today a mystery. But we have quite reliable hints. Yet, these do not point to the place, in which one might be looking for it in this moment…
The surprising history of Ascetism – or what you didn’t yet know about Masochism
Ascets have gone to extremes in history. But was tehre indeed some benefit in ascetism?
Bending over and eating glass – Extreme body use in history
Over the course of history strange events happened and they also included some persons to begin to eat glas and metal and to bend to inimaginable snake forms.
The 11 most extreme body transformation practices in history
Humans have transformed their bodies in many strange ways throughout history. From body modifications such as tattoos, piercings, and scarification, to extreme bodybuilding, plastic surgery, and even the use of prosthetics, humans have found ways to alter their appearance and function in unique and sometimes unusual ways. While not everyone went as far as to remove the bridge of his nose, as Federico Montefeltro, many people modify their bodies for cultural or religious reasons, while others do it for personal expression or as a form of rebellion. here the most extreme...
The debate on the date of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 continues
There is ongoing debate on which date exactly the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD happened. Here are the pro and the con.
The six open questions about the Vesuvius Eruption of 79 AD
Six questions remain open about what happened when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. One of them is, if Pliny ever managed to safe some of the people from the coast. A shipwreck might give answers.
Deepest Middle Ages: The peculiar, yet true story of the royal fall into the loo
Ludwig Bechstein was a German writer, well known for his collection of tales in the German Saga Book. It was first published in 1853 and contains over 500 German folk tales, legends, and sagas that Bechstein collected from various sources. Many of them have a verifiable background. Two of the most well-known tales in the... Continue Reading →
Surprising mystery: Virgil, Klingsor and some very special witching powers
As most will know, Virgil (70-19 BCE) was a Roman poet reputed for his wonderful Bucolica, the enchanting Georgica and the Roman national epic, the Aeneid. While he is today only acknowledged as a singer of nature and heroes, in old times and especially in the Middle Ages he was above all considered a magician with a reputation for possessing a special knowledge of the mystical and the occult.
Mandylion: What became of the God-Created Image of Jesus Christ?
What became of one of the most holy relics of Christ - the veil with the imprint of his face, the Mandylion?
Sacred deformations: Caesar’s human-footed horse and the six-fingered saints
Sometimes nature plays strange tricks on its creations. Mutations, deformations, peculiarities are the material of which evolution is made. Often, however, the human being has attributed miraculous powers to these deformations. For instance, horses with cloven hooves were placed close to unicorns, and six-fingered humans had the makings of saints. The god Wotan even rode... Continue Reading →
Treasure hunting or archaeology: when did they start to make a difference?
When did the chase for treasure change into archaeological research?
Amazing Discoveries: A couloured image of antiquity?
"Noble simplicity and quiet grandeur" were the ideals proclaimed by J. J. Winkelmann as the beauty gospel of Greek art in his first publication on the subject in 1755. Today, however, it is generally accepted that sculpture in ancient Greece, and even in ancient Rome, was not quite as "simple" as first supposed. Sculptures were... Continue Reading →
The 5 best Christmas markets
The best Christmas Market in the World lies in Dresden.
Naples – Bizarre traditions venerating skulls
To this day thousands of years old rites and cults characterize Naples. They are of Greek, Roman and Christian origin, mixed with traditions and legends. One particularly bizarre ritual is that of venerating the souls in purgatory by tending to skulls - the cult of the Anime Pezentelle.While there has always been veneration of the... Continue Reading →
A sacrifice of Kings in Ancient Ireland?
In many ancient peoples it was customary to make sacrifices to the earth or the gods. Today we know that the ancient Germanic peoples offered sacrifices especially in lakes, crevices in the earth and bogs. Broken weapons, valuable musical objects and even human beings have been found. Especially in bogs, the low-oxygen environment and the... Continue Reading →
On the Relativity of Slaughter – Sacrificial Rites of the Maya, Aztecs and Toltecs
It is incomprehensible to us from today's point of view how a society could sacrifice people including children on a large scale, tear out their hearts, skin them and bathe in their blood and all that in public, daily. However, this is exactly what many of the Latin American peoples did in pre-Columbian times. They... Continue Reading →
Walled in alive in Antigua Guatemala
In Antigua Guatemala, the former capital of Guatemala, there are the ruins of numerous Spanish colonial buildings. The magnificent churches in particular still attract visitors today. One of them is particularly fascinating, due to its peculiar structure and goosebump-inducing history: the church and convent of the Capuchin nuns. The convent was consecrated in 1736 and... Continue Reading →
The Great Antrum: A mysterious tunnel in the crater wall – path to Hades or heating of the emperors?
If you drive along the coast in the north of Naples, you will see it dominated by factories, sunny beaches and crowded streets. In between, however, there are ancient brick walls, you see grottos in the tuff on the beach and the outlines of sunken structures appear in the azure water. Involuntarily, you ask yourself:... Continue Reading →
Who burned the ships of Caligula? or: When Rome was almost displaced to Egypt
Despite their extraordinary importance, the great public hardly knows the Nemi ships and their history. The reason is obvious: they no longer exist. Their story, however, is fascinating. These two ancient parade boats were gigantic constructions that Emperor Caligula had built in honour of the goddess Diana during his term of office, which lasted only... Continue Reading →
Did another Cleopatra die in the Villa of the Papyri?
The most famous Villa of the World lies still under the Lava of the Vesuvius. Who did die in its ruins?
Why is Castel del Monte octagonal?
Have you ever wondered why the famous Castel del Monte has eight corners? here is why.
The place to be
They exist, the bottlenecks of the world, the places where everyone passes through and which everyone knows. Today you would list Frankfurt Airport, Heathrow and Miami, in the past it was the Azores, Goree in Senegal, Madagascar or the Cape of Good Hope.
Of pirates and shallow reefs
There are strange places in the middle of the sea that lurk in front of the sailor like trapdoors in front of the wanderer. The Abrolohos Reef in Australia, the Goodwin Sands off England, the Skerki Banks off Tunis, the Bassa do Indias near Mozambique and Chinchorro Banks off Yucatan are just a few of... Continue Reading →
Who invented the wheel?
Who invented the wheel?
The begin of our globalized world
Increasingly globalized and interconnected world, it is interesting to ask the question - when did all this actually start? When did humanity first produce standardized consumer goods, created with standardized materials, ... When did we set out on the road to modernity?
As rich as a bag of pepper
Certain words in our language still show our seafaring history.
A story of thirst
For humans and animals, the Yucatan context has always meant that they had to search for water underground or use broken Cenotes as wells.
A history of lead
Great events are known to cast their shadows, even if sometimes they cast them behind. Whether the Emperor Nero was really the one who burned Rome in 64 A.D. or whether it burned due to carelessness is difficult to determine today, but it is clear that this event had consequences. Among others it resulted in... Continue Reading →
Survival of the fittest at sea
The history of the world is often based on coincidences, but sometimes human beings have a hand in them, and this is specifically true at sea.
Wandering in hidden places
In the middle of August last year, I stood in a grotto whose walls were grey with wetness and covered in stalactites. The light from the headlamps flickered eerily and my shoes slipped on the ancient steps of a sunken amphitheatre that the tuff had enclosed as tightly as hard stone. At one place a... Continue Reading →
What if, for once, a pandemic would make us happier?
The Corona pandemic might not have only negative effects. It taught us to better telework, and might improve our lifebalance and the wellbeing of our world.
The haunted lion of Venice
The story of a mysterious haunted lion statue in Venice leads to the traces of a peculiar theft of art.
The first European settlement on the American continent is threatened by deterioration – La Isabela
La Isabela, the first European settlement in the Americas, is threatened by erosion and decay.
The bizarre tradition of the deformed skulls
A particularly severe intervention was the deformation of the head of newborn babies. Despite its bizarre cruelty, it seems to have been a surprisingly widespread tradition.
El Dorado lies under water
In their quest for wealth, the European conquerors met with legends that made them penetrate ever further into the interior of the American continent. One of these legends was that of El Dorado, 'the Golden one'. While various cartoons and films today portray El Dorado as a mythical city, it was more likely a human being.
The pillaging of ancient shipwrecks does great damage
Pillaging of cultural artifacts from ancient shipwrecks causes enormous damage.
They cooked the emperor (really!)
In times of the crusade the dead kings that died in the Holy Land where often cooked, in order to be able to bring their bones back home.
Ritual Cannibalism in Europe – A female goddess of death might hide in German fairy tales
Fascinating finds were made in a mysterious cave on Kyffhäuser Mountain in Germany. They seem to contain sacrificial human offerings, victims of cannibalism, which were offered to an ancient goddess. Perhaps they are the starting point of the legend of someone lying asleep in the mountain and of today’s famous fairy-tales....
The tree of the dead children
The most touching burial is that of the dead babies of the Tana Toraja in a tree.
Getting the Water into the Museums – Latin-America and the Caribbean a Step ahead
Some of the most stunning museums on submerged cities and wrecks see the light in Latin-America.
Luring you into the swamps – Strange musical instruments found in the North
Bizarre giant musical instruments were found in Denmark's swamps.
The sleeping warrior of Panama
Among the burials found among the indigenous population of Panama is an astonishing grave, the burial of a young man who seems to have fallen asleep sitting.