Discoveries That Will Change How You Look at History

If there’s one thing that science and history have proved over the years, it’s that we should never underestimate just how wrong we can be about the world. In this article, we’re going to share some of the world’s most recent findings.
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These uncovered truths will change the way you look at history, biology, anthropology and more. Get ready to dive into the cutting edge of human knowledge.

This 2,000-Year-old Green Stone Mask Was Found at the Base of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico

The green stone mask shown in the picture below dates back more than 2,000 years ago. It was discovered in 2011 by researchers in Mexico, who were investigating the base of a pyramid. The Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Mexico got its name from the Aztecs. This ancient civilization was a lot more advanced than we had originally believed.

 

The Aztecs had access to many technologies and rituals which have only been discovered in the last few centuries. These let them carve rock into beautiful sculptures like this unique mask, even before the tools for such creations were invented.

This 4.5 Billion Years Old Meteor Was Accidentally Found by a Tourist in Fukang, China

Some people occasionally stumble upon a $5 bill. What you don’t expect to find on the ground though, is a 4.5 billion year old meteor made out of pallasite. About two decades ago, an anonymous hitchhiker was traveling across Fukang in Xinjiang, China, when he suddenly stumbled upon this extraordinary mass from space.

 

This beautiful rock is now known as the Fukang Meteorite. It is covered with pieces of olivine crystals, and embedded in an iron-nickel matrix. Scientists aren’t exactly sure where this came from, but they do know that it’s extremely valuable. The meteorite weighs slightly over a ton, and just a few grams of its crystals are worth over $500.

This Fireman Bicycle Was Used at the Beginning of the 20th Century

Up until the ‘30s, whenever a fire broke out, firemen had to drive around on funny looking bicycles and use their legs to get around. These men used to patrol around the city and look for fires with the hope of catching them before they began spreading.

 

Firemen’s bicycles were equipped with a long hose that could attach to a water source. In addition, a small harness crowbar holster was also attached to allow quick entry into buildings by breaking down doors. According to relevant sources, this bike originates from the workshops of Birmingham Small Arms in Great Britain.

Petra is Jordan’s Most Famous Archaeological Site and Was Carved From Pure Sandstone

It’s hard to imagine that the entire wall of Petra was carved by hand on a wall of sandstone. It’s an archaeological site that’s matched by no other, and remains as one of Jordan’s key attractions for travelers. The area was inhabited as early as 7,000 BC, and the landmark was likely made around 2,000 BC. It was the home of the ancient settlers, the Nabataeans.

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The Nabataeans constructed Petra using their master skills in crafting and building. Their city was the epitome of architecture. Historians are baffled to this day regarding how exactly they pulled it off. Unfortunately, most of this area was destroyed during an earthquake in the 6th century. At least the most impressive architecture there survived, and can still be visited today.

This Butterfly Brooch Remains in Perfect Condition Since Its Creation During the Victorian Era

People have worn jewelry for as long as civilization has existed, and mostly used it as a symbol of royalty, wealth and status. Nowadays, jewelry is much more accessible and is worn by almost everybody. During the Victorian Era, enormous changes happened in the jewelry industry, as many aesthetic revolutions happened during this time.

 

Another major shift happened on the economic side, as factories were opening at rates never before seen, which caused the jewelry markets to boom. Brooches were all the rage during the Victorian Era, and featured everything from insects to flowers. This beautiful butterfly brooch is just one example of the careful art work present during these times.

A Downed WWII Fighter Plane Was Discovered More Than Five Decades After Crashing in the Sahara Desert

During the second world war, fighter planes were the most common for air invasions. However, these planes were usually easy to take down and were virtually guaranteed to crash at some point. Americans used Tomahawk fighting planes, while the British used the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk. These planes reached speeds of almost 400 miles per hour, and were able to fly up to 240 miles at a time.

 

The crashed Kittyhawk in the picture above was spotted accidentally in the Sahara Desert, after laying there for over five decades. The plane was discovered by a Polish oil company worker in early 2012, and is believed to belong to then 24-year-old Flt Sgt Dennis Copping. He crashed more than 200 miles from any human settlement, and unfortunately, probably died on the spot.

This Beautiful Boxwood Miniature Was Created More Than 500 Years Ago in the Netherlands

Some artists take a painstaking amount of time to perfect their artwork. This is impressive today, but even more so when speaking of artwork from over five centuries ago. This piece represents the crucifixion of Christ, and shows the brutality of the Romans’ treatment, as well as the religious leaders of the time.

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We can’t begin to fathom how long it must have taken to make this piece of art, as every little detail was meticulously honed to perfection. Researchers believe that this kind of art was a symbol of wealth back in the 16th century. Most box carvings were based on depictions of various religious events, which is why they were done with such passion and care.

Army Rations from World War II Contained an Interesting Choice of Items

World War II was one of the most brutal events of the 20th century, and is considered the most fatal war in history. Soldiers went through extremely rough climates, as they were not accustomed to the European cold.

 

In order to cope with the intense physical requirements, these soldiers used compact army rations, which included some surprising ingredients. Army K-rations included crackers, tinned meat, a small piece of chocolate and even contained a box of gum and cigarettes. Each ration contained up to 3,000 calories, which was a reasonable amount for men who spent their days fighting in freezing weather.

The Prague Astronomical Clock is One of the World’s Oldest Functional Clocks

Most historical monuments in Europe represent things that once were but are now just preserved. One monument in Prague is still fully functional. The Prague Astronomical Clock is one of the most beautiful and pristine landmarks in the entire Czech Republic. It was originally built in 1410, and has withstood many difficult and turbulent times.

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This medieval instrument was used to display astronomical information, such as the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and major planets. It can be found on the southern wall of Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square. Thankfully, it was perfectly preserved since its creation, and will most likely stay there for many more decades.

This 16th-Century Ring Can Turn Into a Beautiful Astronomical Sphere

Rings were a common piece of jewelry dating back more than 5,000 years ago. While they were mostly used as ornaments to symbolize wealth, some have used them as a way to conceal things.

 

This aesthetic 16th-century ring actually folds into a series of smaller rings. These rings create an astronomical sphere, which is a remarkable achievement considering it was made more than five centuries ago. The identity of the ring maker has not yet been discovered, but it’s believed that the ring was originally crafted in Asia.

Prolific Sculptor Chauncey Bradley Ives⁣ Portrayed a Famous Medieval Story in His Statue ‘Undine Rising’

‘Undine Rising from the Waters’ is a marble statue made by Chauncey Bradley Ives in the 1860s. The statue is based on the medieval story of Undine, a mortal but soulless sea spirit. The story became famous mostly through theater and opera during the 19th century, which prompted Chauncey to depict the story’s climax in his statue.

 

The statue portrays Undine rising from the water to take revenge on her unfaithful husband. It uniquely portrayed Undine as a soft and gentle victim, rather than an angry, vengeful wife. Ives went on to sculpt many more neoclassical works, and passed away towards the end of the 19th century. The statue can still be visited at Yale’s Art Gallery.

This Machine Was Made in 1920, and Was One of the World’s First Functional Toasters

If you’re a bread lover like us, you probably start your day with a great piece of toast. You’d think that toasts are a relatively recent invention, but this 1920’s toaster proves that we are far from the first ones to invent them.

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While the world’s first electric toaster was invented in 1893, by Scotsman Alan MacMasters, it was a huge flop due to lack of interest. The model shown above is one of the first commercially successful models, and shows just how far we’ve progressed during one century. It can only heat bread on one side at a time, and has to be manually flipped to finish the job. We’re definitely happy to have been born in this day and age!

This Futuristic Steam Line KJ Henderson Motorcycle Was Built Almost a Century Ago

The 1930 Henderson Model KJ Streamline is a bike so cool that it looks futuristic even by today’s standards. It was originally built in 1930 by Orley Ray Courtney, a revolutionary streamliner engineer. He believed that the motorcycle industry wasn’t up to par with current technology, so he built his own instead.

 

The bike features a complex curved body that was extremely hard to replicate. This futuristic masterpiece features a low, wide seat that fits a single rider. There’s nothing currently like the Henderson, and it is considered the pinnacle of art deco design in the motorcycle industry.

Gold Miner and Businessman, Bernhardt Otto Holtermann, Posed With Over $15 Million Worth of Gold in 1845

Gold has been used for ages as a hedge against inflation, and it helped keep the world’s currency from imploding. Gold prospectors made it their life’s work to look for rich veins of gold. These were often worth between a hundred thousand and a hundred million dollars.

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Bernhardt Otto Holtermann was a gold prospector and businessman who fled Germany and relocated to Australia to avoid being drafted by the military. He was quite unsuccessful at digging gold, until one day he hit a 1,000-pound piece of gold. Above you can see a famous photograph of Bernhardt with his discovery. In today’s money, the piece is worth about $15 million, which made him a quintessential American success story.

This Diving Suit Prototype Was Originally Created in 1882

This design was originally created during the Victorian Era, and was built as a deep-diving prototype. The diving suit was made entirely of metal, and weighed over 800 pounds, making it impossible to travel with. Initial diving tests were all unsuccessful, as the suit always ended up filling with water when submerged.

 

It’s easy to look back today and point out just how clumsy this invention was, but unfortunately for Victorians, this was the top of the line when it came to diving equipment at the time. This design was built by the Carmagnolle brothers of Marseilles, France. It took almost six more decades before the world’s first fully-functioning scuba gear was invented by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Émile Gagnan.

These Are the World’s Oldest Functional Sunglasses

Most people don’t know that the sun is actually a lot harsher on the eyes in snowy, cold areas, rather than scorching hot deserts. The Inuits were more than aware of this fact, as they trudged through snowy regions more than 4,000 years ago.

 

Back then, Inuits couldn’t just stroll into a Ray-Ban store and pick up a pair of sunglasses. So they carved their own out of various rocks and wooden objects. These sunglasses worked in principle, as they helped limit the sun’s exposure to their eyes. Unfortunately, they also severely limited the wearer’s line of sight, which often resulted in some very unfortunate accidents.

This Boot Was Perfectly Preserved for More Than 2,300 Years in the Altai Mountains

We can’t remember the last time a shoe lasted for more than one winter. However, keep in mind that today, most of us don’t walk for more than a mile or two on an average day. But imagine a boot that was used to track thousands of mountains in the winter snow, being preserved almost perfectly for over 2,300 years.

 

The boot in the picture dates back to 300 BCE, and was used by travelers in the Altai Mountains. It was preserved thanks to the freezing cold, which kept it in perfect condition for researchers to admire. The boot contains various materials, such as pewter, pyrite crystals, gold foil, and glass beads. While it doesn’t look like anything we’d ever wear, you can’t help but appreciate its beautiful craftsmanship.

This Roman Warrior’s Skull Dates Back to 52 BC – It Still Contains the Spear That Impaled and Killed Him

The Gallic Wars were a series of battles led by Romans on behalf of Julius Caesar. The Romans secured an easy victory over the Celtic tribes due to their vast military superiority. More than 30,000 Romans died during the wars, which doesn’t sound like such an astounding number after considering that over a million Celts died as well.

 

These victories paved the road for Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic. The skull showed in the picture above belongs to one of the fallen Roman soldiers who fought in the Gallic Wars. He was impaled by a spear through the brain, which was most certainly his cause of death. His skull remains perfectly preserved to this day, with the same spear still inside it.

This Victorian-Era Hearse is Still Fully Functional

This Victorian-Era hearse was found in Dresden, Germany and is still fully functional more than two centuries later. It featured gorgeous carved angels and an art style that is almost non-existent in this day and age. The identity of this hearse’s owner remains unknown, and will likely never be discovered.

 

It wasn’t until the ’20s and ’30s of the 20th century that Ford’s Model T began populating the roads, replacing horses and carriages. Despite how beautiful these hearses were, there were highly unhygienic. Imagine having hundreds of horses roaming around going to the bathroom all around your city. Luckily, the cars today don’t ever need the bathroom.

A Holy Roman Emperor Used to Wear These Gloves At All Times Until the Day He Died

You may notice that these gloves look almost exactly like the ones Sauron from ‘Lord of the Rings’ wore throughout the trilogy. However, these metal gloves were worn by Maximilian I, a Holy Roman Emperor. He received them in preparation for war, and kept them on for more than a decade.

 

Some speculate that the Holy Roman Emperor wore these gloves in battle, while others believe that they were on his hands at all times. Gauntlets were an important piece of armory back in the day, as sword-wielders had to defend themselves with them. Dismemberment would surely make a fight harder to win, which is why a pair of these was so important.

Archaeologists Found Two Dead Horses and Their Carriage, Which Belonged to the Thracians

Archaeologists have found these 2,500 year old remains of two horses and their chariot, along with perfectly preserved wheels, a seat and boot. These are believed to have belonged to Thracian nobility. This discovery was made in a Thracian tomb along with other expensive artifacts of the time. The tombs were located in northeast Bulgaria in the village of Sveshtari.

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These are the single most well-preserved remains of horses and a chariot, and it’s unlikely that a better one will ever be discovered. The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes that spread across Eastern Europe. It’s believed that the first Greek Thracian colonies were founded in 800 BC.

This Was the Costume Worn by Vivien Leigh in the 1939 Epic Film ‘Gone with the Wind’

‘Gone with the Wind’ was released in 1939, based on a novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell. This romantic, epic historical film was extremely popular when it was released, and quickly became the highest-grossing film in the world for over two decades. ‘Gone with the Wind’ is also considered one of the best films of all time.

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Part of what made the film stand out were its incredible costumes and outfits, which were made by Walter Plunkett. This man was responsible for more than 150 different Hollywood projects, and designed some of the most iconic film outfits at the time. The costume in this entry was worn by Vivien Leigh for her role in the film.

The ‘U-238 Atomic Energy Labs’ Kids Toy Came With Live Uranium and a Geiger Counter

The 1950s were filled with nuclear ideas for many historical reasons. Parents spent their days worrying about a potential nuclear war, while their children studied about the technology. One of the most bizarre and unique kids toys at the time was Gilbert’s nuclear physics “Atomic Energy Lab”, which contained three live uranium pieces and a Geiger counter.

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The toy allows kids to study nuclear energy in a safe and controlled matter, or at least that’s what the toymaker claimed. Everything about it screams “The American ‘50s”, from the cartoon art on the box to the regular disregard for safety standards. Unfortunately, we can’t really imagine this kind of toy working in today’s more environmentally conscious climate.

A Modified 1946 Tucker Torpedo Prototype II

The 1946 Tucker Torpedo Prototype II is often regarded as “one of the great what-if stories of automotive history”. It was built by Preston Tucker, an automobile entrepreneur, and was first known as the “Tucker Torpedo”. Like many entrepreneurs, Tucker was overly optimistic and believed he’d be able to sell it for just $1,000. The final price was closer to $4,000.

 

A 1988 film was made about his adventure relating to this car’s production called “Tucker: The Man and His Dream”. Unfortunately, Tucker was only able to create around 50 units of this car before his company had to close its doors in early 1949. Many regard it as one of the most advanced cars of the time, with the third directional headlight being the best addition to the car.

These Lace-Up Boots Were Used by Female Performers During the Late 19th Century

Female fashion has undergone more changes in recent decades than we can keep track of. Back in the late 19th century, various economical changes allowed people to trade clothes all across the westernized world. These shoes are just one example of the kinds of footwear that was made possible by this economic shift.

 

Female entertainers laced up every night and wore these stylish leather boots during their performances. They feature many stars, and a heel that would make even runway models cringe. The boots were preserved in an almost perfect state, and show the weird kinds of fashion that were acceptable back in the day.

This Triple Decker Bus Was Photographed During the ‘30s in Berlin, Germany

Just kidding. Double-decker buses have existed since around 1923, but triple-deckers were never adopted as a viable and widespread public transportation solution. This photo is actually a fake. It was created as an example for the business pitch supporting the creation of triple-decker buses.

 

We can only imagine how much more efficient public transport could be if you were to add 33% more carrying capacity to each vehicle. Either way, most of the traffic congestion nowadays is caused by private cars, which usually contain just one person in them. These triple-deckers look like an extremely unsafe solution, which is probably why they were never legalized.  

This Futuristic-Looking Dymaxion was Designed and Built by Buckminster Fuller in 1938

This is a Dymaxion prototype. Just three of these were ever made. The Dymaxion inventions were revolutionary in the vehicle industry, and were predicted by many to be the future of cars. When Buckminster Fuller, their inventor, was asked why he named it a “Dymaxion”, his answer was that the combination of dynamic, maximum, and tension sounded cool to him.

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This car was custom made by the designer, and was meant to be displayed at the 1934 Chicago World Fair. Unfortunately, it was involved in a car accident on the way there, which put a damper on the whole event. Fuller eventually passed in 1983 at 87 years old, but not before developing numerous inventions, including the geodesic dome and dymaxion house.

This Perfectly Preserved Wonderful Waterfuls Ring Toss Game Was Made by Tomy in the ‘70s

The premise behind this game was simple, you had to get the small floating rings to all stack up on the two poles in the box. This was easier said than done, as you had just a single pressure button for moving the rings. We would often shake the box in frustration when the last two or three rings got stuck on the side of the box, meaning that they couldn’t be moved.

 

With the limited attention span of kids today, we can hardly imagine them playing this for more than a few minutes before quitting in frustration. For children of the ’70s though, this was a game you could spend an entire day playing.

This Vietnamese Bridge is Held Under Two Massive Stone Hands

Vietnam is one of the most fascinating countries in Asia. The country is bustling with aromatic street foods, incredible trekking routes, a lively countryside and historical locations that will blow your mind. One of the most exciting landmarks in Vietnam is the famous Cau Vang Golden Bridge.

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The Cau Vang Golden Bridge is a 500-foot pedestrian bridge connecting the two locations in the area and providing an incredible view. What’s even more amazing about it, are the two enormous stone hands that appear to be holding the bridge. These are actually made of fiberglass and wire mesh, and were built in recent years. If you’re ever visiting this wonderful Asian country, make sure to cross the golden bridge and take a picture!

Marie Antoinette was Gifted a Watch That Was Worth Over $30 Million

You may recall Marie Antoinette as the last queen of France, but she was also notorious for suggesting her people eat cake when they ran out of bread. The queen was suited by many individuals, and they spared no expense when it came to getting her attention.

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One of Marie Antoinette’s suitors presented her with a watch that was arguably the most expensive and advanced ever built at the time. It had a full calendar, 23 different settings, and almost 1,000 parts. It’s considered to be the fifth most complicated watch ever made. Unfortunately, our lovely queen didn’t get to enjoy this watch as she was executed in 1793 and the watch arrived at her door more than three decades later.

The Statue of Liberty’s Face Viewed From the Inside

The statue of liberty was constructed in the late 19th century and delighted the world with its incredible inspirational message. It was built on top of Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York. The statue is actually a gift from France to the United States, and was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi.

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While the Statue of Liberty represents freedom, justice and opportunity, it is much less inspirational when you look at it from inside. This photo was taken from inside the statue, where it’s all hammered metals and beams. You can still see the features that make the statue from inside, but honestly it looks like a completely different piece.

These Cow Soles Were Used by Moonshiners During the Prohibition Era to Disguise Their Footprints

The prohibition was quite a notable time in American history. After a period of much alcoholism and family violence, the federal government instituted a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, which lasted from 1920 to 1933. This led to an unbelievable cat and mouse game between criminals and the FBI.

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The FBI was hot on moonshiners’ tails, and constantly found new ways to catch them. One of these was by using footprints as evidence, which got many moonshiners arrested and charged. These criminals found an original way to get around this problem, by using cow hoof imprints as false shoe bottoms, which completely masked their footprints.

This 16th Century Gold Ring Features a Sundial and Compass

If you wanted to know your location during the 20th century, Google Maps wasn’t an option. You had to either use a physical map, or politely ask someone for directions. If, however, you wanted to do that before the 20th century, you pretty much had to rely on a sundial and compass.

 

Getting from place to place before modern times was quite complicated and dangerous. This 16th-century gold ring was created for both style and navigation. It is made of gold and features a sundial and a compass. The ring has a latch which reveals both, and was quite the genius invention back when it was first made.

This is What Surgeon Kits Looked Like During the American Civil War

There weren’t many places as terrible to be in between 1861 and 1865 than the United States of America. Roughly 620,000 citizens lost their lives during the Civil War, which primarily centered around the rights of African-Americans and their release from slavery. This figure represents about half of the American casualties of war from the day the nation was founded.

 

The main firearms used during the Civil War were rifled muskets, while various cutting weapons were also used. Considering that medical technology was much less advanced back then, you can only imagine how terrible things could get on the battlefield. This picture of a fully-stocked medical kit shows just how scarce medical tools were back then, and many lives were lost as a consequence.

Ford Executives Select Colors For Their Automobiles From 76 Different Colors in 1953

Unless you’re planning on ordering a $200,000 custom-made Rolls Royce, chances are that you have a limited selection of colors to choose from for your new vehicle. While most of today’s cars are limited to a single color pattern, most automobiles contained a combination of two colors during the ‘50s. They usually had a primary body color and a secondary one for the roof.

 

In the picture, two Ford executives from Michigan are examining more than 70 of their vehicle’s scale models to see which color palettes look best on them. The chosen models would eventually turn into mass-production cars. Like many automakers, Ford has since ditched the two colors design in favor of a single metallic color for most of their vehicles.

This 1967 Corvette Stingray Was Turned Into a Boat Hybrid

The Corvette Stingray has been one of the most admired supercars on the road for a very long time. It represents the best when it comes to speed, aggressive design and raw engine power. In recent decades, a man chose to turn his ‘67 Stingray into a functional boat hybrid.

 

He did this by lifting the top off his stingray and putting it on a fiberglass boat bottom. This turned the car into both a supercar and a boat at the same time. Unfortunately, these things don’t always work as well as they look, and it’s usually preferable to have both a car and a boat instead of one that does both.

The Arm and Torch of the Statue of Liberty Were on Display in New York City’s Madison Square Park

As we mentioned earlier on, the Statue of Liberty was originally imported from France. Many people don’t know this but it took several pieces to make it work. This massive statue was designed in parts to be assembled later, as its French designer and metalworker knew that this kind of project couldn’t be done in one go.

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The statue’s hand lived on top of this building in New York City’s Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882, before moving on to its current iconic location. This was quite an expensive project to complete, as the actual cost to build the Statue of Liberty was the equivalent of $250,000, or about $6 million when adjusted for inflation.

A Restaurant Owner Offered to Open a $10,000 Bottle of Wine as a Prize for Osama Bin Laden’s Capture

Osama Bin Laden became the world’s most notorious and hunted man after the events of 9/11. He was blamed for over 3,000 deaths that occurred that day, and the entire U.S. Army was hot on his tail. A few years later, Ted Balestreri, a restaurant owner from California, made a very expensive joke that ended up turning into a reality.

 

He suggested that if Leon Panetta, the U.S. Defense Secretary, were to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, he would open a bottle of his 141-year-old Chateau Lafite Rothschild, estimated at roughly $10,000. Once Bin Laden was taken down in 2011, Panetta told his wife, ‘Tell Ted to get that bottle ready.’ The former Secretary of Defense enjoyed the bottle with several of his friends in CIA shot glasses, which they were allowed to keep.

The Elephant Gates in Copenhagen Were Adorned With Nazi Symbols That Remain to This Day

It’s impossible to call a tour of Copenhagen complete without visiting the famous Carlsberg Brewery and seeing its famous Elephant Gates. It has four life-sized elephant statues, and each one of them is adorned with a Nazi swastika. The elephants were originally built in 1901, back when Hitler was still a young boy.

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When the buildings were first sketched in 1882, their owner, Carl Jacobson, wanted to put a symbol of good luck and prosperity on his elephants. Unfortunately, he picked the swastika, years before it became a Nazi symbol. The brewery closed its doors a few decades later in 1940, but the swastika symbols remain to this day.

The Statue of Liberty in All Its Glory When It Was Still in Paris and Covered in Copper

We’ve covered the Statue of Liberty in multiple entries already, as it is one of the most important monuments in American history. This landmark is a welcome sign to all new immigrants, and inspires values of freedom in everyone. It was originally built in Paris and sent as a gift to America in the late 19th century.

 

The statue can be seen here in its final form, back when it was still in Paris. Lady Liberty was originally made of copper and this can be quite clearly seen in the picture. It has since lost its glossiness and turned green due to oxidation. It took years to construct the structure, and many more years to transport and assemble it on Ellis Island.

The 1939 Duesenberg Coupe Simone Midnight Ghost Was One of the 20th Century’s Most Ambitious Vehicles

Duesenberg Motors Company closed its doors in 1937 after Cord’s financial empire went bankrupt. However, before retiring out of commission, it had one last project to complete. The 1939 Duesenberg Coupe Simone Midnight Ghost took a full three years to complete, and was entirely custom made. It’s considered by many as the most beautiful car ever made.

 

The Midnight Ghost was inspired by the Art Deco movement, and captures the romance and grandeur of that era. It was made by American car designer Emmet-Armand, and was based on the Duesenberg Type J. The car was ordered by the French cosmetics mogul Gui De LaRouche. Many believe the car was lost in World War II.

This Bat Lantern Was Made in the 1930s and Looks Better Than Most Modern Halloween Props

Up until the early 20th century, most people still believed in everything from ghosts to demons. This religious and faith-based nature made creatures such as bats a lot scarier than they are today, as they carried deep mythological significance at the time.

 

This hand-sculpted torch was created in honor of an older version of Halloween. It shows a bat spreading its wings and kind of looks like a Batman logo. Its torso is made to split open and light a fire inside before hanging it on a wall to illuminate a gloomy stairwell. They sure don’t make them like they used to.

This Victorian-Era Elevator Was Preserved Since First Being Built in 1890

Elevators give the appearance of a recent invention, but while today’s modern elevators are indeed quite recent, the concept of using a booth to go up and down has been around for decades. Elevators have basically existed even during medieval times in a very primitive form.

 

The first “true” elevators were created sometime around the late 19th century, during the Victorian Era. They used steam and hydraulic systems as a way to go up and down, and included beautiful architecture and designs from the period. The technology eventually progressed, as today’s elevators are almost entirely electrical. However, they have lost their artistic features along the way.

This Beautiful Axe Was Crafted in Germany During the Late 16th Century

One of the most respected professions that has nearly disappeared from earth is that of a blacksmith. Today’s advancements in technology make it impossible to make a living as a blacksmith, unless you’re willing to learn how to monetize your work online. Blacksmiths of the old days were taught by apprenticeship, and spent decades honing and mastering their craft.

 

If you’re looking for an example of the kind of skill performed by blacksmiths, look no further than this 16th century German axe. It’s quite perplexing how much time and talent went into a tool mainly used to cut down trees. This short axe is filled with beautiful carvings along its blade, and flowery ornaments all across its handle. It was most likely presented to a royal or socialite family to use as a weapon in battle.

This Ottoman Train is Still Abandoned in the Middle of the Desert After Being Ambushed by Lawrence of Arabia

You may be familiar with the 1962 ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ epic drama film, but what you probably don’t know is that many of the feats portrayed by the British archaeologist in the film, were not just real, but also understated.

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One example of this relates to the time Lawrence spent toppling Ottoman trains in the middle east. It’s believed that Lawrence and his gang managed to sabotage so many supply trains, that the Ottoman Empire was left without them. However, a recent discovery shows that a handful of Turkish trains found abandoned in the middle of the desert had actually been left there by the Ottomans, who had simply left them behind to rot.

These Ancient Egyptian Sandals Show How Far Royalty Will Go When Choosing Their Clothes

Ancient Egyptians wore almost exclusively sandals in the Egyptian hot deserts. These sandals were recently discovered, and they were attributed to the late King Tutankhamun, who presided over Egypt many centuries ago.

 

King Tut’s sandals featured incredible carvings and decorations in every which angle. If you’re ever in the market for new sandals, today you can search through eBay and get the same kind of shoes worn by King Tutankhamun. In his time, these took weeks to handcraft.

Waldsassen Abbey is the Closest Thing to a Fairy-Tale Library That You’ll Ever See

Waldsassen Abbey is neatly hidden and tucked away in a house in Bavaria, Germany. Inside the house is one of the world’s most beautiful and fantastical libraries. The abbey was originally founded in 1147, and was renovated in 1863 by a group of nuns. It features an incredible collection of books surrounded by stunning art and ornament plasters made by Karl Hofreiter.

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Everything from the sculptures to the magnificent painting on the ceiling was done masterfully, and represents some of the best artwork in human history. The books in this library are rare and unique, with many of them bound in pig and calf skin. You can visit Waldsassen Abbey next time you find yourself traveling to Europe, as this church and library are open for visitors.

London’s Natural History Museum Contains Over 80 Million Different Specimens

London’s Natural History Museum looks a lot like Hogwarts shifting staircases from the Harry Potter franchise. The place is gigantic, and could take you days to explore. It holds over 80 million specimens from its five main collections, which include botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology.

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You can find everything from dinosaur skeletons to various stuffed wildlife in every hall, and get lost for weeks at a time exploring each specimen in detail. Amazingly enough, you can visit London’s Natural History Museum for free, which makes this a must-see destination for anyone in the vicinity.

You’ve Never Seen a Vehicle Quite Like the 1951 Studebaker Woodie Concept Car

The Studebaker Woodie was an early ’50s vehicle made to revolutionize the design of cars at the time. However, it was never manufactured for mass consumption, which is a huge shame when you see how beautiful it was. The car featured a Ford Edsel V8 engine, which means it was powerful as well as great looking.

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The vehicle in this picture is the prototype version of the 1951 Studebaker Woodie, which is as far as the company got in terms of actually producing the car. Nowadays, the Woodie is a rare collectible vehicle that has never driven on the road for more than a short test drive, which is why it maintains its brand new look.

This 18th-Century Door Shows You Just How Artistic Everything Was in the Victorian Era

People were much more artistic back in the 19th century. Everything had to be made by hand, and a lot of craftsmen used this as an opportunity to create beautiful art. Even doors were often custom made to represent beautiful historical and biblical images.

 

This door was created in Germany by a talented woodworker over 200 years ago. It probably took many hours to make, as it featured an incredible portrait of a young girl and her two parents. Many of these designs have migrated from Germany into America during the late colonial period, as Germans migrated to the United States in droves back then.

This Stone Head is a Portrayal of a Warrior From One of the Most Ancient Civilizations on Earth

The Olmec were a society of villagers that lived along the Gulf Coast of Mexico. These people were mostly known for the special statues they carved out of stone, often weighing around 20 tons each. These stone heads were carved to commemorate their rulers, and are still well preserved today.

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The boulders were brought by the Olmecs from the Sierra de los Tuxtlas mountains, in Veracruz. The heads they sculpted out of them were arranged in lines at important Olmec locations. Like many archaeological mysteries, it remains unknown just how they managed to move these massive boulders from one place to another.

The Château de Chantilly in France Contains Some of the Most Unique and Artistic Iron Rails in the World

The Château de Chantilly is a historical location in Chantilly, France that can be found just a few dozen miles from Paris. It was built around 1560 for Anne de Montmorency, an honorary British knight, and is currently owned by the Institut de France. The location is open to the public, and contains some of the most incredible railings you’ll ever see.

 

The château has hosted many famous and highly successful individuals and groups. It has recently received a complete makeover in 2008, thanks to a hefty donation from the World Monuments Fund. This picture contains just a small example of the beautiful art that’s hidden in plain sight there. If you’re even in the Paris area, make sure to give this one a visit.

This Sewing Machine Was Preserved Since 1867

Sewing machines were originally invented by American inventor Elias Howe Jr., back in 1790. They have been one of the leading revolutionary pieces of machinery in the clothing industry, and provided countless men and women with the ability to rapidly produce clothes.

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This machine is a rare remnant of the sewing machines that were used back in the late 19th century. It uses the original mechanism which was devised by Elias Howe less than eighty years prior. Sewing machines have since been greatly improved. With today’s technologies, clothing only costs mere cents to produce, but back in the day, this machine allowed the greatest reduction in clothing prices ever seen.

People Thought This Abandoned Piano Had a Tree Grow Through It…But It Didn’t

In 2008, a picture was uploaded online that showed this piano with a tree coming out of it. The picture gained a lot of traction online, as people were highly confused about what they were looking at. It was found in a forest near the California State University, in Monterey Bay, USA.

 

After much discussion and speculation online, the truth behind this strange landmark was discovered. It was found that the tree didn’t actually grow through the piano, but was actually there for many years before. A student named Jeff placed the piano there as an art experiment. The piano has since been destroyed, but luckily these pictures capture what a thought-provoking art piece it was.

These Were Actual Ice-Cream Spoons That Were Used During the Late 19th Century

Today’s favorite break-up food apparently dates back to the late 19th century. Ice cream was obviously a lot less prevalent back then, and was mostly reserved for royals and socialites. It only seemed fitting that people of such high-esteem would also eat using spoons that reflected their “elevated” status.

 

These spoons are perfectly preserved royal ice cream utensils used during the Victorian Era. They have beautiful shell carvings and were made to impress as well as delight. Think about that one friend of yours who has a beautifully designed tea spoon in the back of their silverware drawer, and try to stay on their good side. Their great grandparents may have been royal! Or at least very wealthy.

Hasbro’s Lite-Brite Toy Brought Joy to Millions of Kids During the ‘60s and ‘70s

Most concepts for toys were quite simple in the 20th century; they seemed like something anybody could think of, and yet, almost no one did. Hasbro was one of the unique companies at the time that managed to design, package and sell kids toys in bulk, and delighted millions of kids in the process.

 

The Lite-Brite was one of Hasbro’s most successful toys at the time, and consisted of a back-lit board with pins, and a bunch of colored plastic pegs. The point of the toy was to stick these pegs and assemble a low-resolution piece of art. Once the assembling was complete, you’d turn on the light and enjoy staring at your beautiful creation.

This 1947 Truck Was Mainly Used to Transport Beer Around Britain by Labatt Brewing Co.

Beer was mostly transported via railroads in the 20th century, but a few beer companies changed that and opted to use roads instead. This was a great way for them to advertise their brand, which is why their trucks were so glamorous and attention-grabbing. Labatt focused on truck transportation for their beers, and only stopped the practice in the ‘50s.

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Labatt’s trucks were discovered just a few decades ago in London, Ontario, and were patched up for display. Nowadays, beer is shipped in a variety of ways. As ineffective as these trucks were, we’d sure love it if truck companies put as much love in their designs as they used to back in the day.

This Nightmare-Inducing 1930’s Baby Rattle Was Actually Given to Children

When we look at cultural and societal differences between us and people from the early 20th century, it almost seems like they were of a different species. We often stumble upon pictures of old farmers with pitchforks and admire just how tough their lives were back then.

 

Many of these once-popular items now look like something straight out of a horror film, and many horror movies are actually based on these old toys. Just imagine that it was socially acceptable to give this nightmare-inducing toy to your kid back in the day. Never mind that its a serious choking hazard, how does a child willingly take this thing!?

These Pinball Machines Were One of the Hottest Things Back in the Late ‘60s

After World War II ended, arcades and bowling alleys became the place to be in America, and were the growth industries of the 20th century. Almost every American would go at least once a month to one of these, as they were the quintessential meeting place for families and friends.

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Manufacturers like Gottlieb began creating various pinball machines and other famous gaming stations which are still used today. Many collectors view Gottlieb’s pinball machines as the best ever made. These were much simpler times, and Americans were mostly unified, as their main focus was dedicated to preventing a nuclear war with Soviet Russia.

This Classical Keaton Typewriter Was Used to Notate Musical Sheets

The Keaton Music Typewriter was one of the most significant inventions for annotating on musical sheets. First invented and patented in 1936, this instrument had 14 keys and was sold for about $2,500 in today’s money. It got a huge upgrade in 1953, as the number of keys had gone up significantly, from 14 to 33.

 

The Keaton Music Typewriter’s design gave it a distinct look which made it very unique. It was used by many publishers, educators and musicians who produced music copies in quantity. The device can be purchased online for anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000. The Keaton Music Typewriter is supposedly quite comfortable to use, although today’s typing musicians would probably argue otherwise.

Benedictine Monastery of Admont, Austria Holds the Largest Library in the Entire World

Admont Abbey contains the largest library in the entire world, and is one of the most impressive creations in Europe. It was completed in 1776, the same year that the United States Declaration of Independence was first signed. There are about 200,000 books in the library, including 1,400 manuscripts and 530 incunabula.

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Admont Abbey was also the burial place for Anastasia of Kiev, the Queen of Hungary circa the 11th century. You can also find various incredible paintings on the ceiling, with most of them featuring beautiful renditions of angels and the sky. You can visit there anytime during the year, and you don’t even need a guide to get around.

This Necklace Was Made by One of the World’s Most Revered Jewelry Designers From the 20th Century

Georges Fouquet was a French jewelry designer that rose to legendary status at the age of 40, thanks to his Art Nouveau creations. He opened a shop with his father in 1891, and moved on to his own jewelry shop just nine years later. He designed jewelry for various famous and wealthy people, turning him into somewhat of a celebrity at the time.

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This piece is just one of Fouquet’s brilliant creations. It shows the immense love and care for detail that the artist had for his designs. His work can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, as well as in the Petit Palais in Paris. A recreation of Fouquet’s shop was put up in the Paris Carnavalet Museum, for those who want to visualize the man in action.

This Rare 1939 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe Looks Better Than Most of Today’s Luxury Vehicles

The Lincoln Zephyr was sold from 1936 to 1942 as one of the auto-makers’ cheaper midsize car models. They were highly aerodynamic, a benefit which was referenced in the car’s name. The car was extremely revolutionary at the time, and was a big shift from the non-aerodynamic cars back then, which encountered a lot of wind resistance.

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The car was created by Edsel Bryant Ford and featured a V-12 engine that was revolutionary at its time. Once the series began to die down and Lincoln was looking to replace the Zephyr, the automaker came up with the Lincoln Continental, which ended up becoming its longest-running model.

These Shoes Belonged to a Man From Damendorf, Germany Who Lived Almost 2,000 Years Ago

A body was discovered in 1900 of a man who originally hailed from Damendorf, Germany. The body was aptly referred to as the Damendorf Man, although what was left of it can’t exactly be called a man anymore. Almost everything was gone except for the man’s jewelry and garments.

 

The Damendorf Man’s shoes were preserved in perfect condition and they were clearly hand made from leather. These shoes show us what sandals might have looked like back then, as they attempt to cover the feet while still leaving air holes for breathability. They were studied by many researches and even helped historians make a few new discoveries.

This 1,000 Year Old Buddha Statue Hides an Actual Mummified Monk Inside

Monks have been known to perform near-superhuman feats of mind control on more than one occasion. In 2015, researchers in the Netherlands were stunned when they discovered what is perhaps the greatest monk prank of all time.

 

More than 1,000 years ago, one monk decided to drink a highly poisonous tea to appear as dead in a full lotus position. He was then turned into a real-life mummy. The dead monk was then cast into a statue and remained hidden inside it for almost twenty generations. If that’s not a true show of dedication, willpower, and commitment, we don’t know what is.

This Steamer Trunk From the 1800’s Turns Into a Fully Sized Stand-Up Dresser

Back in the 19th century, people had to take long trips on trains for various reasons. There was no internet or phones at the time, so the only way to do business and make money involved a lot of excessive traveling. Steamer trunks were extremely popular back then, as people would often find themselves on the road for months at a time.

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This brilliant steamer trunk was made in the 1800s, and had a revolutionary feature that saved you from having to unpack everything once you arrived at your destination. It basically extended into a fully sized stand-up dresser. Invention truly is the mother of necessity.

This 1936 Stout Scarab Was One of the World’s First Minivans – It Was Also Extremely Expensive

The Stout Scarab got much press coverage and attention during the ‘30s, due to its originality as the world’s first official minivan. Unfortunately, no amount of marketing and promotion could counter the fact that it cost $5,000, which was about five times the price of your average vehicle at the time. Each one was handmade, which makes every Scarab unique.

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It was designed by William Bushnell Stout, a pioneering American inventor and engineer who revolutionized the automotive and aviation fields. The first prototype for this minivan was completed in 1932, and by 1935, the car was fully functional. Only five of these remain today, with one being housed in The Detroit Historical Museum.

Buford John Schramm Designed a Single Person Helicopter in 1964

Buford John Schramm was a prolific businessman who dedicated his life to developing his own helicopters. He was born in 1938, and founded RotorWay Aircraft in 1961 to develop helicopters. One of his most famous inventions is the personal helicopter, which would eventually be called the Eagle Helicycle.

 

Schramm was obsessed with building an aircraft that would be affordable to anyone, and almost managed to do that during his lifetime. Unfortunately, the businessman’s life was cut short in 2004 when he crashed one of his own helicopters. After his passing, Schramm was inducted into the Experimental Aircraft Association Homebuilder’s Hall of Fame, in 2006.

This Breastplate Piece of Armor Shows Exactly What Happens When a Soldier Gets Hit With a Cannonball

Napoleon Bonaparte led the French revolutionary forces, until eventually being defeated at the famous Battle of Waterloo. Antoine Fraveau was one of the many young men who followed the distinguished military leader into combat, and he wore the standard metal breastplate armor.

 

Breastplate armor helped protect soldiers from blunt weapons, sword stabbings, gunshots, and other potentially-fatal methods of warfare. Unfortunately, no matter how thick the armor was, there was simply nothing that could protect a man from a heavy cannonball flying directly towards them. Fraveau was blasted in the chest during the famous 1815 fight, and as you can imagine from the picture, was undoubtedly killed on the spot.

This Futuristic-Looking Cassette Radio Was Sold During the Early ‘70s

If you wanted to listen to music back in the ’60s, your options were quite limited, as phones and iPods were non-existent back then. The only way to get access to songs was to manually purchase discs and cassettes at the store, after buying an extremely expensive radio disk player.

 

This 8-track cartridge player was originally made by the Ford Motor Company in 1965. It allowed music fans to buy cartridges and listen to music on their own time, rather than having to wait for songs to show up on the radio. Funnily enough, it actually looks like something from the future, and would have made a great prop in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

‘Winnie the Pooh’ Books Were Based on the Author’s Son’s Dolls, Which Are Still on Display Today

A. A. Milne is best known for writing the prolific children’s books about the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Milne found his muse in his son’s various toy animals, which include almost the entire cast of Winnie the Pooh. The toys include Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger. Only two characters were created from his imagination – Owl and Rabbit.

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Milne’s son was featured as the lead character in the books, as Christopher Robin is based on his son’s personality and name. Robin’s toys are on display at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library in New York City. Despite being almost 100 years old, they are still in near-perfect condition.

This Safe Killed Jack Daniel After He Kicked It Because He Forgot Its Combination

Legendary business titan and American distiller, Jack Daniel, is the founder of the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey distillery. While many don’t know that the drink is based on a real man, his effects on the wine and alcohol industry have been of great proportion.

 

It is said that Daniel died in late 1911 due to blood poisoning. His cousin, Lem Motlow, inherited and became the owner of the brand shortly after his death. However, there’s an alternative story behind Jack Daniel’s death: Jack kicked his safe in anger after he couldn’t remember the combination to unlock it. Although the validity of the story is highly debated, it certainly helped turn the man into a real-life myth.

This Amazing Wooden Dragon Bench Was Carved by an Estonian Artist Using a Chainsaw

Chainsaws are primarily used for cutting down trees and terrifying people in horror films. They are not exactly known as art tools. Estonian artist Igor Loskutow chose to take this powerful tool and used it to create one of his very best pieces. The sculptor has been using a chainsaw since 2002 to carve various artistic creations.

 

Igor Loskutow carved this wooden bench using just a chainsaw, and managed to create a beautifully detailed dragon on it. The bench received top honors at the 2015 Huskycup World Title, and we can’t really imagine the award going to anyone else. This is just one of many of Loskutow’s creations.

This Was One of the First Fire Trucks That Provided Assistance at the September 11 Attacks

The entire world was drawn into chaos when the twin towers fell on September 11, 2001. As the towers were about to collapse, quick reaction teams were sent to rescue as many people as they could. Many of these brave firefighters lost their lives while charging into the smoke-filled towers.

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Ladder 3 was one of the first trucks to arrive at the scene. It was led by Captain Patrick Brown, who lost his and his men’s lives when the North Tower toppled on top of them and their truck. The truck was memorialized at the JFK International Airport for a full decade after the disaster. Since then, it has been moved into the Memorial Museum, where its remains serve as a reminder of the men’s courage and bravery .

These Shoes Were Used By Allied Spies During World War II to Trick the Nazis Into Tracking the Opposite Direction

World War II was rife with intelligence operations, murder plots, and more. There was no internet back then, which meant that wars were still fought among enemy lines using various tricks. One of the most impressive and creative tactics employed by the Allies to counter the Nazis were these reversed sole shoes.

 

These shoes were absolutely brilliant, as they basically left tracks that led in the opposite direction. This is just one of many incredible ploys that were carried out during World War II, and show how creative people can get in survival situations. Allied spies used them to trick the Nazis and make them lose their tracks.

Spirographs Were Initially Created For a Very Different Reason Than Their Main Popular Use

Many kids have fond memories of playing around with Spirographs. These tools allowed even the most artistically deprived kids to create incredible and scientific-looking drawings. Although this 1960’s toy looks like something invented to help children draw, it was actually created for a very different purpose.

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This geometric drawing device was first invented by Peter Hubert Desvignes, an English architect and engineer, and these were used to help prevent banknote forgeries. How, you ask? Because Spirograph drawings were extremely hard to recreate, as each one was based on the luck of the draw thanks to the device’s roulette-based pattern.

These Are The Various Designs of Pepsi Cans Over the Years – Starting in 1948

Everyone knows Pepsi, the carbonated soft drink manufacturer that was founded in the late 19th century. The company is estimated to be worth almost $20 billion, and is Coca Cola’s largest rival to date. There is perhaps no better example of the changes that have occurred throughout the history of design than the modifications done to the Pepsi can’s appearance.

 

Back in the 50’s, the beverage company’s designs included various patterns and designs, but these were clearly ditched over the last two decades in favor of a solid color and logo. Like the cars of the ’50s, people were once a lot more attracted to two-color designs with complex patterns. But much less so today.

This Skeleton Rocking Chair Was Made in Russia More Than 250 Years Ago

Handcrafted rocking chairs have been selling for hefty prices over the centuries, but we can’t really see ourselves buying this one for any price.

 

This macabre rocking chair is shaped like a human skeleton. It was originally carved in Russia during the late 19th century, and remains intact to this day. Various replicas of the skeleton rocking chair are made and sold today at highly affordable prices. We only hope these have not been sold to anyone we know.

This Mysterious Tibetan Skull Was Carved More Than Three Decades Ago

Millions of people are fascinated with the idea of looking for bargains at markets and antique shops. The allure of finding a truly unique historical specimen and selling it for a massive profit is a huge trend that developed in recent decades. One such story of success happened in Vienna back in 2011, when a 300-year-old skull was found in a small antique shop.

 

According to the Austrian store owner, this skull belonged to a man who provided medical assistance to Tibetan monks. The man’s teeth and skull were perfectly preserved, and his head was carved with various depictions of the macabre. The true origins of the skull remain a mystery, but it is still considered a precious and rare piece of history.

These Giant Japanese Crabs Are Real and Extremely Terrifying

Few newly discovered animals look as terrifying as this one. The Japanese spider crab can reach up to eighteen feet in length, and weigh more than forty pounds. They quickly became a delicacy after being discovered by the nation that brought us sushi and anime.

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The Japanese spider crabs have the longest leg span of any arthropod currently discovered on Earth. These creatures are far from extinct and tend to spend most of their time in underwater holes. Although it’s hard to have sympathy for something that looks like a horror movie monster, we’d like to note that their population is dwindling due to over-fishing.