16 Weird Facts

weird facts

The world is full of absurd things, and Listerious is the best place to discover these weird facts.

Whenever we find something weird enough to be listed, we add it to what will become the ultimate list of weird facts below.

This list is constantly updated as we’ll never run out of weird things to share with you, so make sure to bookmark this page as well.

Weird Facts – The Ultimate List

16. This hill has the weirdest name in the world

There’s a hill in New Zealand that is named:

Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu.

The name of the hill, which is just 305 meters (1,001 ft) high and is located near Porangahau, south of Waipukurau in southern Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, is of Māori origin.

It consists of 85 characters and 40 syllables and is therefore listed as a world record for being the longest place name in the world.

The longest place name in the world in New Zealand. / Wiki Commons

15. Don’t get too close to that bug zapper!

Don’t you love spending a relaxing summer afternoon outdoors?

There’s just 1 problem: bugs!

Got to hate those annoying pests that keep on bugging you whenever you want to relax a bit.

Luckily, we are quite inventive and have found the solution: The bug zapper.

This tool attracts bugs with a bright light and electrocutes them the moment they get close enough. That bugger won’t bug you anymore, that’s for sure.

Keep this in mind though: Whenever a bug gets electrocuted it gets shredded into millions of tiny parts that can fly up to 2 meters (6 ft 7 in) from the device. This means you could be inhaling little bug particles if you sit too close.

Equally bad, these bug particles can also contaminate your food with bacteria and viruses if you sit too close to the device when eating a meal.

Don’t eat below one of these! / ZooFan / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

14. Climbing these mountains has a 1 in 3 chance of dying

So you have found yourself a new hobby, have you?

Climbing mountains is a popular hobby for many people, even though each and every climber is risking his life in order to reach the peak and safely return home.

The highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8,848 meters high), has a death rate of 4%. That means that on average, for every 100 people that attempt to reach the top and come back, 4 won’t make it.

Still, this is nothing compared to the second-highest mountain in the world, the K2 (8,611 meters high), which is located on the border of China and Pakistan.

This mountain has a terrifying death rate of 29%! That means that if you decide to try and reach the top of K2, there’s a nearly 1 in 3 chance you won’t come back alive.

But that’s not all.

The Annapurna in Nepal (8,091 meters high) is statistically the deadliest mountain in the world with a 34% death rate, but then again, it’s, not being climbed very often.

Mountain climbing proves to be a pretty dangerous hobby!

The Annapurna is the deadliest mountain in the world. / Pixabay

13. This airplane hijacking footage made it into a movie

On December 23, 2016, Afriqiyah Airways Flight 209 was flying from Sabha to Tripoli, both cities in Libya.

Among the 111 passengers on board were two hijackers with grenades who threatened to blow up the plane.

The weird fact is that the moment the hijacking was underway, a movie called “Entebbe” was being shot at the Malta International Airport, the same airport that the hijackers told the plane to land. Entebbe is a movie about another hostage situation that happened back in 1976.

Director José Padilha and his camera crew hurried to the scene as the hijackers were released from the plane, effectively capturing this moment on camera.

The images of the real hostage situations were later edited and inserted in the movie. Producer Melvin Rothenberg has referred to this moment as a “blessing from the sky on a day of bad acting.”

type of airplane that was hijacked
The type of airplane that was hijacked (real situation). / Source

12. This man’s eye color changed after a disaster

Vladimir Pravik was a Soviet firefighter who was supposed to have a relaxing day off from work on Saturday, April 26, 1986.

Then the unthinkable happened. Reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant got overheated during a safety drill and a large amount of energy was suddenly released. This caused a massive explosion.

It’s considered to be the worst nuclear accident in history and turned the entire area into a desolate wasteland.

Vladimir was called to help out and suffered from severe radiation wounds. The weirdest part is that shortly after the accident, his eye color changed from brown to blue.

He died 15 days later and was posthumously awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin, and the Ukrainian Star For Courage.

Vladimir Pravik
Vladimir Pravik’s eye color changed from brown to blue due to radiation. / Aym96 / CC BY-SA 4.0

11. This is how Viking Doctors examined warriors during battle

The Vikings have fought a lot of battles, that for sure. These fearless warriors didn’t mind invading many parts of Europe during the Dark and early Middle Ages.

If one of their warriors had a stomach wound after a battle, they fed him onions. The “doctor” would then smell the wound, and if it smelled like onion, that particular Viking was done for.

Why did they do this?

To save the herbal remedies that were available. Using them would just be a waste of time as the wound was deemed too deep to heal.

Let’s just be glad that medical diagnostics have improved tremendously over the centuries!

Viking Battle

10. Emperor Nero married a boy

A lot has been written about the infamous Roman Emperor Nero, and we fear that a lot of it is simply true.

One of the weirdest facts about Nero, however, is that he actually married a boy named Sporus after he had the boy castrated.

They had an official ceremony with all the bells and whistles and he presented his new “wife” publicly to the people of Rome.

Two weird facts to note are that the castration is referred to in contemporary accounts as “exsectis testibus” which translates to “having the testicles removed.” This doesn’t mean that the entire genitalia were removed though. He also married Sporus because he resembled his deceased wife Poppaea Sabina.

A weird fellow that Nero!

Emperor Nero had a boy castrated, married him and treated him as his wife
Emperor Nero had a boy castrated, married him and treated him as his wife. / Wiki Commons

9. This man received both the worst and weirdest news possible

It’s one of the most dreadful messages one can ever get, but unfortunately, many people receive this news every day. When you’re told that you have cancer, it most probably feels as if your life is soon to be over.

That’s probably what this 47-year old man in Preston in England was feeling as well when he was told he had lung cancer.

Full of hope and courage to get rid of this pesky cancer, he underwent surgery to remove the lump from his lungs that was giving him a bad cough for ages.

The result?

It turned out he had a toy Playmobil traffic cone in his lungs which he inhaled as a child 40 years earlier in the 1970s.

weird facts
A man thought he had lung cancer but it turned out to be a traffic cone he inhaled as a child.

8. Train crashes were once popular in America

Everybody loves to be entertained, and at the end of the 19th century up until the 1930s, Americans enjoyed watching 2 trains crashing into each other.

Yes, forget about baseball, train crashes were part of fairs and one of the most popular forms of entertainment in this period.

In 1896, however, the boilers of both trains exploded in a staged train crash in Waco, Texas, causing debris to fly around hundreds of yards in all directions. Two people died, multiple people lost limbs and one person lost an eye.

This didn’t stop this popular pastime though, next year they were back at it again!

train crash
The trains before they crashed into each other, was an amazing idea! / Wiki Commons

7. Ancient Rome had a peculiar taste of entertainment

We all know the story of the gladiators who fought each other to the death in ancient Rome’s most infamous arena, the Colosseum.

In the morning, it was time to kill some animals. Beast hunts were the first thing on the schedule of an ordinary day of games.

After a thrilling morning which ended with hundreds of wild animals slaughtered, it was time for executions at noon. Helpless criminals were pushed into the arena together with some more hungry wild animals in order to get ripped apart and devoured. This spectacle was called “damnatio ad bestias.”

Finally, it was time for gladiator fights who fought epic battles to the death, often based on real battles fought by the Roman army. And, of course, all sorts of wild animals were part of the show as well.

This was the highlight of the show. What an amusing day it was in ancient Rome.

gladiator and tiger
Ancient Romans had a weird sense of entertainment / Pixabay

6. Women and children were banned on these flights

Times have changed immensely since halfway the 20th century. An offer like this would be unthinkable right now, but back then, United Airlines offered a men-only flight from Chicago to New York, and from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and vice versa.

The offer ran between 1953 and 1970 and onboard, men were offered cigars, pipes, steak dinners, and cocktails. Women and children were strictly prohibited to board these flights.

The target audience were wealthy businessmen who wanted to become part of the “executive club in the sky.

men only flights
United Airlines offered a flight for men only between 1953 and 1970 / Wiki Commons

5. This doomsday cult ended up killing everybody who believed them

The “Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God” was a cult in the African country of Uganda. The adhered to strictly following the 10 commandments and preach the word of Jesus Christ.

They also predicted that the world would end on December 31, 1999, in an apocalyptic event that would only save the members of the cult.

When that date passed and nothing happened, the members, most of who had spent a lot of money to support the cult, were demanding to get their money back.

Instead, the leadership consisting of 5 people set another date that the world would end, this time March 17, 2000.

In reality, they just planned to kill all members, which they did in both a fire and by poisoning. A total of 924 people died.

The cult strictly followed the 10 Commandments but ended up violating the 6th
The cult strictly followed the 10 Commandments but ended up violating the 6th / Source

4. James Franco raised over $16,000 for a museum with invisible art

It’s perhaps one of the weirdest ideas ever, and perhaps even non-ethical, but James Franco in collaborations with Praxis once raised over $16,000 to create a museum of non-visible art (MONA).

Instead of actual physical art such as a painting or a sculpture, pledgers could only buy “ideas.” Remarkably, one of those ideas even sold for $10,000.

They did warn people who wanted to pledge though: “When you contribute to this Kickstarter project, you are not buying a visible piece of art!”

Well, thanks for the warning James!

invisible art
One of the masterpieces at the Museum of Non-Visible Art / Source

3. This museum has a dead clown on display

It’s hard to find something weirder than what you are about to discover now. The California Institute for Abnormalities, simply referred to as the CIA actually has a very unique treasure.

On display, behind glass and in full make-up, there’s a deceased French embalmed clown on display.

Come again?

Yes, a dead man dressed as a clown who died over 100 years ago, on display in a “museum” somewhere in North Hollywood.

The owner, a peculiar man named “Carl Crew” assures that exhibiting this weird artifact is totally fine by saying: “they’re pre-1925 human remains so we don’t need a permit.”

freak show museum
Car Crew giving a tour in his CIA / Skibz777/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

2. The Romans praised their sewer

Living in Roman times was completely different than the life we know today. Apart from being entertained by gladiators smashing each other in the head with a variety of weapons, or enjoying seeing people getting devoured by wild animals (they couldn’t get enough of this), they were so proud of one of their greatest inventions.

Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about the sewer, which was named the “Cloaca Maxima“!

They were so proud of the level of dignity that the sewer brought to Rome that they actually had a Goddess to worship their creation and her name was Cloacina which simply meant “The Cleanser.”

cloaca maxima
The mouth of the Cloaca Maxima / Source

1. This plant looks like a monkey

There’s a plant called the “Dracula Simia,” and apart from its weird sounding name, it has an even weirder appearance.

This type of orchid grows in native to Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru and actually looks like a monkey!

Just see for yourself and tell us we’re wrong:

This plant named Dracula looks like a monkey
This plant named Dracula looks like a monkey / Source

This concludes what will become the ultimate list of weird facts. Make sure to follow Listerious as the list grows!

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