When quirky theatrical producer David Merrick got bad reviews for his 1961 musical, he found 7 random denizens of New York with names identical to those of 7 top theatre critics. He asked the civilians to talk ecstatically of the musical, then published an ad with their praises and names.
The Vatican is accused by Serbs, Jews and Roma of laundering millions of dollars of stolen gold and jewelry, plundered from concentration camp prisoners in Croatia, immediately after WW2. It is also alleged that they helped several notorious Nazi leaders hide and escape.
A Danish company modified a version of thale cress (plant), that changes from green to red when being near landmines, because of the nitrogen dioxide gas released from landmines. This way you can detect landmines and save lives.
For 20 years Sila Sutharat, a roadside vendor in Phetchaburi, Thailand, has used a grill made of 1,000 mirrors to focus sunlight to cook chicken and pork. A chicken cooks in about 12 minutes.
The ambulance service in most towns used to be ran by the funeral home. So if you needed to be taken to the hospital, you called the funeral home, and they’d use their hearse to transport you to the hospital (until purpose built ambulances became available in the late ‘60s & ‘70s).
From the 1950s until the 1970s, vending machines were used at American airports to sell life insurance policies covering death, in the event that the buyer’s flight crashed.
A bizarre incident involving a fictitious write-in candidacy occurred in the small town of Picoazá, Ecuador in 1967. A company ran a series of campaign-themed advertisements for a foot powder called Pulvapies. Pulvapies ended up receiving the most votes in the election.
State laws for online gambling are not based on residence, but rather location, so many people cross state lines in their car, place a bet via their phones, and drive back home, and it is all completely legal.
150 meters below Naples, Italy, there is a vast multi-level underground stretching over a half kilometer, containing WWII cars, beds, conveniences, and other war relics.
An Italian banker, Gilberto Baschiera is considered a modern-day Robin Hood. Over the course of 7 years, he secretly diverted 1 million euros to poorer clients from the wealthy ones so they could qualify for loans. He made no profit and avoided jail in 2018 due to a plea bargain.