From Neolithic tablets containing the oldest known system of writing, to a series of letters scrawled on the back of a dead man’s book, some of the most legendary undeciphered codes and texts remain a challenge for even the world’s best cryptographers, code breakers, and linguists. Yet unravelling these mysterious puzzles remains as important as ever, since many of these enigmatic inscriptions could hold the keys to understanding civilizations that have long since faded into the pages of history. Here’s a look at 8 mysterious ancient scripts and languages that have yet to be deciphered.
Categories for History
History is a vast subject to be sure. Since this topic is so broad, there is absolutely no way you can cover it all, especially not in great detail. But sometimes those details — the little fun facts you can use to wow your friends — are the most interesting things of all. Here are 25 historical facts you may find surprising.
The discovery of the “New World” has been written about extensively, but what can sometimes be forgotten is how states and areas became known for what they are now. As it turns out, there are actual meanings behind all 50 US state names. Travel site Expedia recently published a map showing the literal translation for each state name. They offer a unique insight into the forgotten history of the continent and may teach something new about your home. Scroll through to see what your state name means. The full map by Expedia can be found at the end.
With millions of pictures taken every day we can easily get lost in the vast world of images. That’s why TIME magazine decided to create a list of 100 most influential pictures ever taken. They teamed up with curators, historians, and photo editors around the world for this task. The result they ended up with is not only a collection of superb images, but incredible human experiences as well. Here’s a look back at 30 iconic photographs that have helped define modern history.
Thanks to the work of several recolorization artists who have digitally colored some of the most important and eye-catching photos from history, we can now truly see into the past in ways we haven’t been able to before. Black and white photos remove us from what really happened. But when you see these in color, you’ll be shocked by how much you can identify with the images now that they have been brought to life in color. While you’ve probably seen most of these black and white photos before, you’ve almost certainly never seen them like this. So get ready for a blast from the past because these are 27 famous black and white photographs brought to life with color.
People have disappeared without a trace for centuries. And when people inexplicably vanish into thin air, the curiosity and mystery surrounding their disappearance makes people fixated on what really happened. Our fasciation with mysterious disappearances arises largely because of one of human’s most integral and innate characteristics: “closure” — our desire to find definite, clear answers to questions, and our corresponding discomfort with the unknown and the ambiguous. Not to mention, the circumstances surrounding these disappearances fuel our love of a good mystery. Here are some of the most enduring stories of mysterious disappearances (and presumed deaths) that still puzzle historians to this day.
We’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s famous line: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As it turns out, insanity might be crediting that quote to Einstein over and over again. He never said it. Misattributions like this happen pretty often. One person misquotes someone, and all of a sudden, they become the original speaker. Or we just decide a quote sounds like something some historical and memorable figure would say. Here are 10 surprising examples are credited to people who never really said them.
Government and military secrets can range from terrifying to amusing to downright absurd, but most are nothing short of intriguing. From a secret U.S. Air Force project to build a supersonic flying saucer, to a now-famous World War II-era research program that produced the first atomic bombs, to a plan to train domesticated cats to spy on the Soviet Union, here are 15 declassified military and CIA secrets.
Violent natural disasters have devastated humanity over the centuries, but because some of them struck long ago, scientists have been unable to estimate a death count. However, the 10 deadliest natural disasters for which historians can provide accurate death tolls for have killed an estimated total of 10 million people. Here are the 10 deadliest natural disasters, from fewest casualties to most, starting with an earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people in Syria.
It is hard to imagine that a word like “awful” once met something closer to “awesome” than “terrible,” but if you think about it and break it down, it kind of makes sense – awe/full or in other words “full of awe.” These are 25 original word meanings that will surprise you!
Some superstitions are so ingrained in modern English-speaking societies that many people tend to succumb to them (or, at least, feel slightly uneasy about not doing so). But why don’t we walk under ladders? Why, after voicing optimism, do we knock on wood? Why do nonreligious people “God bless” a sneeze? While some of these superstition origins come from religious thoughts, some come from a practical place. After all, it’s probably a good idea not to open an umbrella in cramped spaces, whether it’s bad luck or not. From the avoidance of black cats to the fear of the number 666, here are the surprising origins of 21 of the most common superstitions and customs.
“I have a dream.” These timeless words echoed from the mouth of Martin Luther King Jr. and pierced the heart of a nation. Now, on every third Monday of the year, hundreds of millions of people across the United States, Canada, and elsewhere celebrate the fact that the world is a better place because of MLK. And although most people are familiar with those four famous words, we would venture to say that there are at least a few things about King’s life you may not be aware of. So, as we honor one of the greatest civil rights leaders of our time, here are 30 surprising facts about the civil rights leader and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner.