History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.
You may not have heard of Peter Freuchen, but in his day he was one of the world's most well-known polar explorers. He also wrote prolifically about his adventures, including his numerous brushes with death. And that's just the beginning of his story -- he later went to Hollywood, fought against the Nazis in Europe, had some brushes with celebrity scandal and more. Tune in to learn more about the amazing (and occasionally gruesome) adventures of Peter Freuchen.
If you read the international headlines in 1969, you'd think the Central American countries of Honduras and El Salvador loved football (soccer, for the US folks in the crowd) so much that they actually went to war over it. But does this story actually hold up? That's the question for today's episode, as the guys dive into the true events leading to the infamous, short-lived 'Football War.'
For many adults, the idea of 'summer camp' conjures up fond, nostalgic memories of childhood. And most folks see these outfits as great opportunities for children to learn, play and connect with their peers. Yet as the Nazi party rose to power in Germany, multiple communities in the US created their own kinds of summer camp -- camps dedicated entirely to indoctrinating children with Nazi propaganda, all under the guise of popularizing 'German virtues.' Tune in to learn more.
When San Franciscan businessman Joshua Norton lost his fortune in a Peruvian rice deal gone sour, he temporarily disappeared from the public eye. Not long after, he reemerged as Norton I, the self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States (and, later, Protector of Mexico). In today's episode, Ben and Noel explore the life and times of Norton, and the surprising legacy he left behind.
Most people haven't met an ostrich in person, but everyone knows what they are: the large, flightless birds have been around since before the rise of humanity, and throughout history people have admired their long, luxurious feathers...
War is ugly, horrific and, according to some, a necessary part of human civilization. Yet in the 1920s, world powers recovering from World War I sought to make the planet a safer (or, at least, less unsafe) place. Their solution? The Paris Peace Pact, which aimed to, through an international agreement, outlaw war. Spoiler: it didn't work.
Antarctica is home to one of the most brutal climates on the planet, and the few humans living on this continent face profound isolation and cramped quarters. Often, tension rises as the months between supply runs pile up -- so what happens when something goes wrong?
You've probably heard of the Ice Ages -- long periods of reduction in Earth's temperature, triggering massive expansion of glaciers and so on -- but you may not have heard of the "Little Ice Age," a time of regional cooling that, from the 14th to the 19th centuries, dramatically affected weather and society across Europe and abroad. Tune in to learn more.
As towns go, Vernon, Florida is pretty tiny -- it has a small population, has struggled with economic depression, and doesn't get a ton of tourists. But that all changed several decades ago, when Vernon became a subject of national interest as insurance investigators discovered a grisly scam. You may not have heard of Vernon, but you may know it by its other, unofficial name: Nub City.
By 1857, London's exotic animal trade was in full swing. Animals arrived at the city from across the world (often not surviving the journey), and Charles Jamrach was one of the most prominent animal dealers on the planet. At the height of his fame, he gained public attention by saving a child from a tiger. One problem: it was Jamrach's fault the tiger was in London in the first place. Learn more about London's exotic animal trade in part two of this two-part episode.