In the 70’s, missionary Daniel Everett came to a Brazilian indigenous tribe to try to convert them. Instead, they “deconverted” him to atheism. He found that they were happier and more sincere than the Christians he knew.
Sarah Jessica Parker, who played a witch convicted in the Salem witch trials in the Disney movie “Hocus Pocus”, later discovered that one of her ancestors was a real woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.
In 2015, a journalist wanted to prove that the media will be quick to grab on any scientific claims to make news. He fabricated a study that claims chocolate helps in weight loss, got it published, then released it. He succeeded, fooling 20 countries.
Coca-Cola has been used effectively as a first line treatment for phytobezoars, a trapped mass in the stomach composed of indigestible plant material which can lead to serious symptoms. 93.1% cases were resolved.
In 1926, Poland sent the US a birthday card with over 5 million signatures. Polish citizen Leopold Kotnowski visited the White House to present the card for America’s 150th birthday. It has 30,000 pages full of art, photos, poems and pressed flowers.
In 1981 the Pentagon spent $6 million trying to determine whether or not burning a photograph of a Soviet missile would destroy the actual missile.
Sir Isaac Newton had a dog called “Diamond” who knocked over a candle and set fire to twenty years worth of his research.
The first Roman fire brigade was created to be very lucrative. Arriving at the scene the fire fighters did nothing while a price was negotiated. Failing to reach a deal, the structure was allowed to burn to the ground after which an offer was made to purchase it for a fraction of its value.
The forgery artist Wolfgang Beltracchi, rather than copying existing artwork, created brand new pieces in the style of famous artists. His forgeries have sold for over $45 million dollars. He signed his paintings in the famous artists’ names, came up with an elaborate backstory as to why the paintings had been hidden away so long, and even went to great lengths to use period appropriate materials. Beltracchi even forged labels from a legitimate German art dealer and stained them with coffee to make them look old and legitimate. Then he would attach them to the back of the canvases. He eventually got caught when he used a paint that contained the pigment “Titanium White”, which wasn’t available/used in the period the paintings would have been created.
In the 1980s, Frances Gabe built and patented the world’s only self-cleaning home. The patent contained 68 inventions. She died in obscurity last year at 101 years old.