History’s Hidden Gems: 45 Unbelievable Facts That Will Rewrite Your Understanding – Part 2

1Catarina Sforza-Riario

Catarina Sforza-Riario

In 1488, an Italian noblewoman named Catarina Sforza-Riario locked herself in a castle to save herself from her enemies. Her enemies managed to capture her children and threatened to kill them if she wouldn't surrender. She climbed on ramparts, lifted her skirt to expose her female parts, and shouted "Fools! Don't you see that I can make myself more children?"

2. A female Nazi doctor named Karin Magnussen collaborated with Josef Mengele to conduct experiments on hundreds of Jewish people to make them "Aryan." They injected blue dyes and other chemicals into their eyes to change their eye colors. No change of eye color ever took place during these experiments and many of the test subjects were blinded.

3. In the early 19th century, a doctor-in-training named Stubbins Firth tried to prove that yellow fever isn't contagious by smearing himself with the blood, urine, sweat, and vomit of yellow fever patients and even drank their vomit. He didn't get yellow fever because it is transmitted by mosquito bites.

4. Shi Pei Pu was a Chinese opera singer and a spy who obtained secrets from a French embassy worker for 20 years by masquerading as a woman during their sexual affair. He even took a child and pretended it was theirs.

5. When Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry VIII was taken from Syon Abbey to the Tower of London to prepare for her execution, she sailed in a barge down the River Thames. She passed under London Bridge, where the severed heads of her alleged lovers Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were waiting for her, displayed on spikes, rotting and picked at by birds.

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6Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

President Lyndon B. Johnson often peed in public, even during his presidency. One time, a gust of wind blew his urine onto the leg of one of his Secret Service agents. When the agent informed him he was being peed on, President Johnson replied, "I know. That's my prerogative."

7. The Royal Air Force and US Air Force dropped 3,316,000 magnesium incendiary bombs on Munich alone during World War 2. That’s 4 bombs for every inhabitant of the city. What’s even crazier is that USA dropped more bombs on Vietnam during the Vietnam War than they dropped in the entire World War 2.

8. Ilya Ivanov was a Soviet biologist who specialized in the field of artificial insemination and the interspecific hybridization of animals. He is famous for his controversial attempts to create a human-ape hybrid by inseminating three female chimpanzees with human sperm (with no results).

9. Drukpa Kunley is a famous 15th-century Tibetan monk and poet who was known for his crazy methods of enlightening people. Women sought his blessing in the name of sex, earning him the nickname "The Saint of 5,000 Women," and his penis is often referred to as, the "Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom."

10. Members of Mother Teresa's order would secretly baptize dying patients of other religions. Patients were asked if they wanted a 'ticket to heaven.' While pretending to cool the patient's forehead, words were quietly recited and the ceremony performed.

Part 2