The Hartlepool Monkey Trial

The football team (soccer, to us Americans) in Hartlepool, England has a very strange name. Called the Hartlepool Monkey Hangers, the origin of this moniker is as strange as the name itself. Hartlepool, though small, was an important port on England’s North Sea coast during the Napoleonic Wars of the 1800s. Napoleon himself considered the…

The Curse of Buddy Holly

On February 3, 1959, a chartered plane took off from a small Iowa airport in less than ideal conditions. Onboard the aircraft that wintry were popular musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Jiles Perry Richardson (aka “The Big Bopper”), who had been traveling the country together under what was called the Winter Dance Party tour.…

Rare Ship Burials Discovered in Iceland

Archaeologists have recently discovered a series of Viking burials in a fjord in North Iceland. So far, a total of four burials have been uncovered, with two being ship burials. Boat burials are often associated with Viking funerals in the popular imagination, but they are actually quite rare. This is because they were reserved only…

The Mystery of the Mary Celeste

On December 5, 1872, the crew aboard the British ship Dei Gratia saw another ship floating in the water. No crew was visible on the other boat, which was recognized as the Mary Celeste, so the captain ordered that the Dei Gratia see if the people on the other ship needed help. What the boarding…

Conjoined Porpoise Twins Found in North Sea

The phenomenon of conjoined twins is well-known among humans and other animals. There are often news reports of life-saving surgeries undertaken to separate and save conjoined children. And oddity museums like Ripley’s usually contain pictures or models of conjoined animals like two-headed calves. A recent discovered instance of this condition is even more rare and…