True life is often far stranger than fiction. History, alternatively known as humanity’s trial-and-error period, is chock-full of scenarios bizarre enough to render your favorite movies, TV shows, and books obsolete.
Assembled below are historical photos of the astonishing things people have done throughout time, some of which aren’t more than 30 years old. Thought you’d seen it all? Wait ’til you see kids “swimming” on dry land.
Photography is a form of art that can freeze the emotions of the moment in time. The development of art has influenced the world in remarkable ways and it provided people with power to define the eras they lived in.
However, to really feel the influence and true impact of a photo, we should know the context behind it.
Here, we have compiled a list of thirty, seemingly mundane and not-that-spectacular-visually photographs with remarkable, unforgettable, strange and sad backstories!
A new book by Los Angeles Times journalist Annie Jacobsen, “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base” (Little Brown), tells the story of the famous site that has spurred tales and rumors of intrigue and cover-ups.
Jacobsen dove through thousands of recently-declassified documents to reveal what happened in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s at the government-restricted area near Groom Lake, Nevada. She also interviewed a number of military veterans who worked there at the time. They were doing amazing things.
This article features several photos from her book. Jacobsen writes of the picture at left, “A rare perspective on Area 51 looking northeast in 1955. The triangular mountain peak (just right of center in the far distance) is Tikaboo Peak, the single remaining location from where the curious can catch a faraway glimpse of Area 51.”
The 20th century was full of inventions that shaped the modern world: television, computers, airplanes, to name just a few. However, for every revolutionary discovery there were countless bizarre ideas that for various reasons didn’t take root.
Today we present you twenty of the most weird, funny and downright crazy inventions from the past. Who knows, maybe it’s time to give some of them another chance?
These were called Blizzard Cones. Before waterproof mascara was invented, women were offered these special masks as a way to protect their make-up from the elements.
Do you know who we have to thank for the expiration dates on Milk bottles? Surprisingly enough, it was the Notorious American Gangster, Al Capone. After his niece had become extremely ill due to drinking bad milk, the powerful Chicago gangster lobbied aggressively for expiration dates to be put on milk for the safety of children and pregnant women.
Circa 1920s, a picnic at Los Angeles’ California Alligator Farm, where patrons were allowed to mingle freely among trained alligators from 1907 to 1953.
This photo doesn’t have a date because sometimes abhorrent things still happen today. It’s actually from the 21st century and was taken in a modern mental institution in Sierra Leone. Many children suffer from serious mental health issues caused by years of civil wars and sadly end up in asylums.
It’s estimated that over 500,000 people in Sierra Leone suffer from serious mental illnesses such as PTSD, but most will never seek treatment. For those who do, their options are limited. Take a look at the video below to see what it’s really like inside of a mental asylum in Sierra Leone.