In Spain, people who are owed a debt can hire men in top hats and black suits to “haunt” the debtor into paying up. The men stand silently near the debtor (outside of his/her house, next to the table in a restaurant where the debtor is seated, etc.) until the debt is paid.
In the 1900s Argentina had a tax on unmarried men that included an exemption for single men who had proposed to a woman for marriage but were rejected. Women then started proposals rejection businesses where they would charge to turn down proposals from bachelors seeking to evade the tax.
In his youth, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great traveled around Western Europe. He worked incognito as a shipbuilder in the Dutch Republic; went binge drinking in England (trashed the house he was renting) and kept an English mistress. His journey ended when the English king asked him to leave.
Badgers and Coyotes hanging out together is well documented. Here is a rare video of a coyote and badger playing and hunting together in Northern California.
In the 1920s, a man convinced his wife to pull out all her teeth and then refused to buy her dentures because it was ‘cheaper to feed her soup than solid food’. The wife took him to court and the man was told to get her two new sets of teeth and at least a beef steak a week.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Lithuania could not afford to send its men’s basketball team to the 1992 Olympics, so the Grateful Dead sent the team colorful, free-flowing tie-dye warm-up jerseys with a flying, dunking skeleton, and the team took the bronze medal.
ABBA’s famous outfits were chosen because of Swedish tax law. If they bought cloths for performance they could get a tax deduction, but they had to prove they couldn’t be worn on the street. According to Björn “we looked like nuts […] Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were”.
King Louis the 14th of France had many bizarre rules in place at the palace of Versailles. One of these rules was that no person could knock on his door, instead they had to scratch the door with their left pinky finger. This lead to a large amount of nobles to grow out their left pinky nail.
Whales used to have four legs. Whales descend from giant legged land mammals that moved like otters.
The Icelandic language was kept isolated for so long that modern speakers can still read and understand texts written in Old Norse, the language of the original viking settlers from Scandinavia that settled the Island over 1000 years ago.