Here we have another unique selection for you. The History Key team invites you to leave a comment in the section below with the facts which were the most unbelievable for you.
1. Dentures were made using teeth from dead soldiers
During the 19th Century most of the dentures were made using teeth coming from dead soldiers. Here is a quote from Kate Tattersall “Adventures in China”
“The Battle of Waterloo (1815) saw about 43,500 men killed, most of who were buried in mass graves. Generally young and healthy, their teeth were pulled as part of the internment process. Barrels of teeth flooded the market and were shipped all over the world. British soldiers were expected to care for their teeth because they needed to be able to bite their cartridges open; every second soldier was issued a toothbrush and shared with their bunk mate. The earliest reference of the term Waterloo teeth I could find comes from February 1858, in the American Dental Review.”
2. Britons used human skulls as cups
Almost 15.000 year ago, the Ice Age Britons used human skulls as cups. Three skull-cups were found in the Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. Could have been cannibalism or ritual (or both?), but the ones who did the skull modification into a cup, were great anatomists. Considering that they were early humans, we can say with certainty that they knew very well how to manipulate the human body after death. After removing the bones from the face, the skull was broken and then shaped into a cup. They had great attention for details, considering that the edges were retouched and smoothed.
3. Urine was used as mouthwash
In ancient Rome, urine was the common mouthwash. Believe it or not, also dried deer urine, had a role in the early 1800s. It was used as leavening agent before the advent of the baking powder.
4. Austrian army attacked itself
In 1788 the Austrian army attacked itself, losing 10.000 men. On the 17 September 1788, during the Battle of Karansebes, the Austrian army mistook their troops as enemy Turks, opening artillery fire and producing the disaster. That was the moment in which the Turkish army took advantage, and occupied the city.
5. A Pope wrote an erotic book
Yes, that happened. The book’s title is ” The tale of two lovers”, and it was written by Pope Pius II, before becoming Pope.
6. People were buried alive very often
In the 19th century the medical practice didn’t have a certain method for make a clear difference between death and coma or paralysis. The fear regarding this issue escalated, so several coffin producer adapted their products in order to provide a solution. Here you have an example: a coffin with an alarm system that will trigger a bell if pulled from inside the coffin.
7. Animals were put on trial and sentenced
In Medieval times, animals were put on trial and sentenced. European animals were dragged in court in order to respond for their actions. Serpents, locusts or rodents were accused for damaging corps. Pigs were commonly accused of killing babies. In 1457 one such pig was hanged in human clothes.
8. 20-60 million people have been killed in the Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union dictatorship
Stalin’s policy provided all kind of criminal solution: forced displacements, labor camps or direct executions. Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich, published in February 1989 a report that directly attributed to Stalin the death of 20 million lives. Counting also the several other million perished during WW2 we reach the 60 million. Can you imagine that Stalin is responsible for 60 million lives?
9. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker was inspired by the story of the Romanian ruler Vlad III Dracula, or “Vlad the Impaler”
His enemies were killed through terrible methods, including beheading, boiled or skinned alive and impaled. After a big victory against the Ottoman Turks, Vlad formed on the Danube River a forest of impaled enemies. Beside the gruesome scene, that was also strategy, because he was incredibly feared by his enemies.
10. The perfectly preserved 36,000 years old bison
If you want to hear about an uncommon meal, you would like to hear about the 36.000 year steppe bison, found perfectly preserved in the Alaskan ice. Zoology professor R. Dale Guthrie together with his team, ate some of the bison’s flesh. The reported it as ”well aged but still a little tough”.