Currently scheduled for SYFY's Chiller TV (EST, subtract 3 hours for Pacific Time), see this month's schedule at bottom of page
(First broadcast 1/10/2001)
Darrin Carter will walk across a gorge thirty stories above the ground on a springy nylon cord -- with nothing to catch him if he falls!
Wardrobe in a Bottle
This entire wardrobe can fit into a one gallon bottle: yes, what she is wearing was nothing but liquid! Official website: www.deviantlatex.com
Brenda Fox loves worms so much that she has been eating them almost all her life!
Carey Hart made motorcycle history by doing the impossible... the world's only complete backflip on a 250 lb. motorcycle! He's going to do it again and Ripley's will be there as he prepares to do this truly amazing maneuver! His website: goodtimeswithcareyhart.com
Legless Football Hero
14-year-old Willie McQueen has no legs, but he plays starting defensive tackle for his school's football team -- without the aid of prosthetics!
A scientist in Darwin, Australia, has developed an unbelievable research method - he sticks his entire arm down the throats of man-eating crocodiles to pull data from their stomachs! Website: www.crocodyluspark.com His email: email@example.com
Five-legged cows, six legged steers, two-headed pigs and calves! Paul raises them.
Swimming with Crocs
A swim coach in Australia trains his team to swim faster...by putting a live crocodile in the pool!
Dr. Norman Gary can cover his entire naked body with 200,000 buzzing bees and he can get up to 130 more to enter and buzz around in his mouth! A few bees sting him every time, but their stings don't bother him.
Greg Gasson jumps from a plane and dangles from his parachute by one arm then -- changes position midair to hang by his feet without a safety chute!
This pool party will feature bathing suits and cover-ups that are not only the latest in fashion, but will act as life preservers if needed because -- they are made of clear bubble wrap!
Mark Tatum survived the removal of the top half of his face when his sinuses were attacked by flesh-eating bacteria!
This man invented a one-wheeled motorcycle which he drives from inside the wheel and, believe it or not, set a world land speed record!
Jail Bird Rodeo
This poker game is life-threatening because...believe it or not...it’s played with a 2000 pound Brahma bull. The last man to get up from a poker table while the bull charges wins, if he survives!
Ashes to Art
This self-taught painter preserves the memory of those who have passed away. No, she is not a portrait painter. Bettye Jane Brokl paints abstracts...with human ashes, starting with her own late mother. Believe it or not!
When Jose Lopez was born in Mexico with a third foot growing from his left ankle, doctors wanted to amputate his whole leg at the hip. Instead he kept it, lived with it and then, after he did have proper surgery in the U.S., he became a top horse trainer.
Believe it or not, this 73-year-old roller-skating man enters his house, turns on the lights, rotates his living room 180’ takes a shower, gets a drink and puts away his groceries -- all by pushing a few buttons!
This man swims with frenzied man-eating Tiger Sharks of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, wearing only a bathing suit. He is armed... with an underwater still camera!
Beautiful Tara Mead is obsessed with overcoming pain and, for Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, she will enter a controlled environment and lie in an uniquely constructed clear box while recycling center workers dump over a thousand pounds of razor-sharp, jagged glass all over her body!
"Spiderman" Alain Robert will take The Ripley’s Challenge. In less than an hour, he will climb the 33 story Sheraton Hotel in Brussels, without a net and using nothing more than his bare hands! He previously climbed the Sears Tower in Chicago, despite falling 50 feet in a French climb. Believe it or not!
This woman has created the ultimate in self-defense. Believe it or not, it’s a bra that is also a holster! Mace, Pepper Spray or a Stun-Gun, don't mess with the author of "Armed And Female!"
From The Vault
Supernatural beast? A white buffalo was born in 1933, said to be an omen
Believe it or not, Gordon Cates will kiss a snake that has enough venom to kill an elephant with one bite, a 14-foot King Cobra!
5 Year Old Marathoner
Kyneshi Jeter can run a marathon in under 4 hours and she’s only 5 years old!
For David Fisher, jumping rope is anything but child’s play. With his unique approach to this school yard activity, David can jump rope while sitting on the ground or while encased in a giant rubber ball.
This man has a passion for cockroaches. He collects them, wears them, displays them and has agreed to cover himself with them!
From the archive
This dog had 18 healthy puppies, a record, breaking that of a Dalmation mother the same year
Believe it or not, some of the world’s greatest racecar drivers never go more than 60 mph. That’s because they race at world’s only raceway featuring backwards racing!
Modern Day Sword Walker
This man will walk barefoot on the razor sharp edge of a six foot long sword while juggling 3 more swords in his hands.
Taffy, the Holstein cow, is a world-class champion -- not for milk production, but for cow speed. She is the worlds fastest bovine!
Face of Death
This perfectly normal couple is so fascinated with death that they have assembled a huge collection of morbid artifacts: a yarn doll hand-crafted by Charles Manson, bunk beds from the Heaven’s Gate house, and a self-portrait by John Wayne Gacy. And then we visit a man whose beetles have a job: stripping flesh from bones and skulls for display
Paul Miller’s mustache takes an hour to groom and turns heads when he walks down the street because...it’s ten feet long!
Real-Life Siamese Twins
Doctors asked if the parents would consider abortion, but after 8 hours of surgery these conjoined twins have been seperated successfully. "God was looking out for us."
This Japanese designer wants women to dress from their bookshelves rather than their closets and these couture clothes come in books costing thousands of dollars. Yes, she is wearing paper!
Barracudas can devour a 25 pound tuna in seconds. But this couple feels so comfortable with these vicious fish they actually feed them by letting the Barracudas rip the food right from their own mouths. Believe It!
From The Vault
In the 1850s, a dentist brought this portable foot-powered drill for housecalls
Quickly spot someone lying to you. Website: www.liebusters.com
John Zweifel has spent 40 years and more than a million dollars creating an exact miniature replica of the White House--faithfully capturing everything from hand carved chairs and oil paintings to tiny, working TV sets!
This man has a high threshold for pain. To prove it he will drag a person across the floor with hooks that are latched onto his eye sockets!
Mother Daughter Lifters
When Collen Fisher and Kelly Nelson put on tiny bikinis and flex their muscles, it’s hard to believe that they’re mother and daughter, aged 73 and 44!
Believe it or not, modern-day trepanist Amanda Fielding drilled a hole in her own skull and is now encouraging others to get their heads drilled too. Ripley's will be there when a doctor performs this ancient operation on one of her followers.
Believe it or not, a specially trained fleet of falcons are keeping planes from crashing at JFK airport.
After 5 operations on his knees in the past year alone, Danny Way, one of the best skateboarders in the world, is now ready to get back on his board. To prove it, he will jump out of a helicopter! His website: www.DCshoes.com
Anti-Gravity Punk Band
This Japanese punk band can rock out 30 to 40 minute sets suspended from metal frames -- completely upside down!
This item is a noisemaker that some people use on New Year's Eve, but during WW1 it was a warning sound that Germans were using Mustard Gas and if doughboys didn't get their gas masks on quickly enough, it was the last sound they ever heard
It stands 40 feet tall, weighs 60,000 pounds, breathes twenty foot flames, and crushes cars with 24,000 pounds of force. One man controls this mechanical monster from the inside by driving with his feet and controlling over 20 functions with a keyboard! Website: www.robosaurus.com
A phenomenon has occured in the island lake of Palau, creating a species of jellyfish which are completely harmless to touch!
Ultimate Taxi Driver
Cabbie John Barnes offers a ride you'll never forget...complete with a disco ball, smoke machine, drum kit, gift shop in the trunk and an Internet camera that allows people to see what's going on in the Ultimate Taxi at all times.
Austin Richards will be jolted by 1,000,000 volts of electricity and the only thing protecting him is a homemade mesh steel suit. Watch the destruction he leaves as he redirects giant lethal bolts of lightening generated by a huge Tesla coil!
This artist regurgitates paint onto canvas in about an hour. What he calls "barf art" goes for big bucks!
World's Biggest Water-fight
In mid-April, Thailand welcomes in each New Year with a nation-wide water fight, with hoses and buckets of water!
This artist helps people freeze a moment in time -- he casts parts of their bodies in latex, plaster or bronze. Website: bnglifecasting.com
From the vault: Asia
These toe rings were lethal when used in battle, the spikes contained poison
Believe it or not, Viktor Yazykov performed surgery on his own arm -- alone at sea, without anesthesia and...he videotaped his own surgery!
Roger Riddell is so confident when it comes to motorcross racing, he’s going to compete in his next race riding backwards!
This nature lover likes real live slugs in his shower, ants on his woodwork and spiders in his windows! Frogs & geckos keep the insect population under control
Motorized in-line skates with 100 mpg 2-stroke motors
A compact personal robot to monitor your home is controlled by you via the web! Website: www.Personalrobots.com
Most people enjoy flying in an airplane, but George Olsen prefers to pull one. Website: www.Charlesatlas.com
From the vault
Mortician's Cooling Table, used in the old West to display bodies of unidentified gunfight losers so their friends or family could recognize them and pay the undertaking bill
Skull of Steel
Nigel Bam’s face was smashed so badly in a boating accident no one could tell what he looked like, let alone if he would live. But 9 titanium plates, 20 bolts and 7 operations later, Nigel is alive and looks better than ever!
Mario Ros is one of the best goalies of his hockey league. Believe it or not, he’s completely blind!
From the vault
These people were human sacrifices between 2000 and 3000 years ago, preserved by the bog they were thrown in
Lockjaw opener, for 19th century people dying from tetanus
Bob Bishop built the world’s smallest jet. Believe it or not, it weights 432 lbs and flies at over 300 mph!
Roberto Ramirez was born in the Dominican Republic and as he grew the bones in his legs started to bend forward at a ninety degree angle causing him to have to walk like a horse. He was left walking on all fours! Doctors were able to operate and today Roberto walks upright.
Scuba Diving Dog
When Dwane Folsom goes scuba diving, his dog Shadow goes with him -- wearing his own doggy scuba gear!
Dave Barlia will rise 11,000 feet in a helicopter, attach himself to 1,800 feet of bungee cord and dive off . When the cord is fully stretched, it will extend longer than any bungee jump ever has -- one mile straight down!
Four women are anchoring a web-based newscast and while they’re reading the news they strip down to their birthday suits.
YouTube clip (no frontal nudity)
Believe It Or Not, Randy Finch and Derek Maxfield create miniature works of art like mechanical double ferris wheels and working merry-go-rounds -- out of ice. For Ripley’s they will use their chain saws to create a full-sized, working pool table complete with cues and balls! Website: www.IceSculpturesLtd.com
Believe it or not, Dr. Arthur Cotliar implanted a miniature periscope into the eye of patient Wlodzimierz Nazaruk, enabling him to see after being blind for 45 years!
Believe it or not Edd China has turned his motorcycle into a bath-cycle.
Believe it or not, people of the Dani Tribe in Indonesia draw strength and wisdom from the presence of their 300 year old mummyfied warrior ancestor who is brought out each day from the men’s hut and placed in an old wooden chair before the village people.
One Arm Bandits
Victor Rosario’s softball team competes and wins games with able-bodied teams from all over the world, even though his players are all missing limbs! Website: OneArmedBandits.com (original website no longer exists, this screencapture archived in 2001)
Believe it or not, Billy Copeland, wearing only the usual gear, will power his downhill luge with rockets, 24 of them, and attempt to reach a speed of over 100 miles an hour. He will stop the luge as he usually does...with his feet!
John Gardner has had over 9,584 women from all fifty states and over 70 countries sit on his lap.
Man With No Esophagus
Believe it or not, Jonas Scott's esophagus and stomach were so damaged he was unable to eat and doctors had to do a surgery to connect his small intestine to his throat, giving him the ability to eat again.
Believe It Or Not, Warren MacDonald will attempt to climb this sheer rock face - an impressive feat in itself, but what makes it truly unbelievable is the fact that Warren has no legs! Website (archived in December 2001) www.partanimal.com
This ring can actually fire up to 6 bullets! Developed for self-protection, it was confiscated from a gang using it to hold up banks
Texan Jackie Bibby will show his affinity for snakes by holding 15 in each hand, 8 in his mouth, and then lie in a clear casket filled with 109 poisonous rattler snakes. In the past he has been hospitalized 5 different times, let's hope for the best tonight!
Dr. Gunther Von Hagen, injects corpses with silicon to isolate different body systems and take mummification to a new level of science and, according to his gallery, art.
Credit Card Camera
The world's thinnest digital camera. The size and shape of a credit card, you can hide it in your wallet and take up to 140 pictures downloadable to your computer! Website: SMALCAMERA.COM
Annika Ostberg will challenge Arctic Circle cold, snow and glaciers to defend her championship at the World Ice Golf Tournament.
When the lightbulb on the very top of the Empire State Building needs changing, there's only one man they call to climb the top-most antenna. Believe it or not, he climbs up some 1400 feet with a bulb and changes it! 16 stories above the tip of the roof, the ladder sways as much as 4 feet under him
The Dani people of the Baliem valley mourn the death of a close relative by cutting off their own fingers or the tip of their ear in order to honor their ancestral spirits.
Knife In The Back
A 62-year-old woman walks to the store, grocery shops then walks home 20 minutes each way---all while never realizing she has a knife in her back 4 inches deep.
Chris has a tongue almost twice as long as normal, and can do tricks with it including waving at you
This super dog can skip a rope 75 times in one minute, and will break his own world record tonight!
Lucy Pearson has dedicated her life to preserving hubcaps. She has over 200,000 in her collection and they're worth well over half a million dollars! Want a gold one for a 1957 DeSoto? Sorry, that one's not for sale
Wearing specially designed titanium shoes, Gary Rothwell will jump off his motorcycle grab onto the back and, while standing on his feet, be pulled along at 156 mph!
Wolfgang Manicke and his friends have an amazing hobby--they're a human demolition company able to knock down a house with their bare hands! On their first attempt, the karate master and his students demolished a house in world record time and today will do another one for our cameras even faster
Name your pig Napoleon in France and it will get you thrown in jail! The law passed by Napoleon himself is still enforced
From the vault
The Witch Catcher, placed around the neck of an accused witch, containing razor sharp spikes
This girl can limbo under 18 cars in India, on roller-skates...and she's only 4 years old!
Texas airline pilot Mike Zang set a world skydiving record by jumping out of an airplane 500 times in 24 hours: that's one dive every 3 minutes.
Man With Half A Brain
In 1987, fourteen year-old Ahad Israfil was shot in the head and lost half of his brain and skull. Believe it or not, the other half of his brain took over all functions and he graduated with honors from a local junior college! So if you have at least half a brain and are a dropout, what's your excuse?
This working cafe is built inside the world's largest baobab tree and holds up to 56 people! Over the past century, it has been used as a warehouse and even a blacksmith shop
Automobile manufacturer Honda has built a robot with arms and legs named Asimo that can walk and work among humans
From the archives: Tumor Tribe
Believe It or Not, the males of this tribe of nomadic Indians grow large tumors on their necks to cushion the weight of canoes they carry on them!
Bronco Lane successfully climbed Mount Everest in 1976, but on the way down his toes and five fingers got frostbite and had to be amputated. Nearly 30 years later, he visits those frostbitten toes and fingers in the London Army Museum!
Believe it or not, millions of these crabs invade a small remote island in the Indian Ocean. It happens every year on Christmas Island
Tough Guy Race
There are other eco-challenge races but many of the toughest athletes agree: Billy Wilson's 8-mile race in England requiring men and women to climb under barbed wire, scale electric fences, wade in 17 degree muddy water and crawl through rat-sized tunnels has been the most difficult race in the world since 1986, based by him on what WW1 soldiers had to endure!
Bikini Meter Maids
These bikini beauties patrol the streets of Australia putting money into expired parking meters sponsored by businessmen who were losing customers. Though technically illegal, police don't dare stop them!
In Georgia, if a chicken crosses the road, its owner is subject to fines
From the archive
Hundreds of contestants in England try to find a single needle in a haystack (1952)
The Plane Truth
Airplanes land and take off just over the heads of beach-goers at one end of the airstrip on St. Maarten!
From the vault
This 5 foot long whale penis was saved by a whaler in the 1800s
Just before his fifth try at breaking the world record for long distance car jumping, Ray Baumann takes a practice jump, finally breaking the record and, believe it or not, also breaks his back!
Believe it or not, the skeleton of a man is found in a chimney 15 years after he allegedly tried to rob a shop in Natchez.
These two men were skewered through their chests when their motorcycle collided with a truck carrying a metal pipe in Thailand. Believe it or not, they lived to tell about it!
Believe it or not, these people from Spain can form a human tower that's five stories tall. The place of honor on the top is reserved for the smallest, the youngest and the bravest...children of 7 or 8 years old!
Simon Montez was remodeling his house when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a nail gun and he survives extremely delicate surgery to remove the 3 1/2 inch nail without serious brain damage!
Tex Edmundson's house and grounds cover 16,500 square feet with a swimming pool, hot tub, guest house and hand-painted murals. The house is surrounded by an Astroturf lawn and fake trees and ...believe it or not...it is all completely underground!
Jeb Corliss base jumps off a waterfall, gets sucked into the water on the way down, crashes into the rocks 300 feet below, breaks his back in three places but...believe it or not... he is back base jumping again!
Jewelry designer Tina Marie Stoker creates dresses out of nothing but rhinestones!
Currently scheduled for SYFY's Chiller TV (EST, subtract 3 hours for Pacific Time)
Sunday Apr 7 02:00 P ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 308 - 311, 313
Tuesday Apr 9 09:00 A ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 314 - 321
Sunday Apr 14 02:00 P ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 322, 401 - 404
Sunday Apr 21 02:00 P ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 405 - 409
Friday Apr 26 09:00 A ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 410 - 417
Sunday Apr 28 02:00 P ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 418 - 421, 105
Sunday May 5 02:00 P ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 118,121,122,201 - 202
Sunday May 19 02:00 P ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 203 - 207
Thursday May 23 09:00 A ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 208 - 215
Sunday May 26 02:00 P ET Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Episode 216,218 - 221
Sony Pictures Television's weekly look at the world of strange and fascinating phenomena kicks into high gear this summer with all-new episodes of Ripley's Believe it or Not!, hosted by actor Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) and field correspondent, Kelly Packard (Baywatch). Ripley's Believe it or Not! originally aired Wednesdays at 9PM on TBS Superstation. It is now seen on the SCIFI channel and sister channel Chiller TV on weekends in 2012.
Ripley's Believe it or Not! takes viewers through a world of amazing feats, facts, and artifacts that stretch the limits of imagination. This season the series expands on that mission to include opening each show with an event performed before a live audience at such diverse locations as the Hollywood Boulevard, the Las Vegas Strip or stadiums across the country.
The show also features such regular elements as "Spot the Not," a weekly trivia segment in which viewers are challenged to pick the claim that isn't real and special "Ripley's Record" commemoration for people who break a World Record while appearing on the show.
Ripley's Believe it or Not! is produced by Sony Pictures Television, with Dan Jbara serving as executive producer. The series is produced in association with Dean Cain's production company, Angry Dragon Entertainment
Dean Cain, host of the original series, Ripley's Believe It or Not! starred for four seasons as Clark Kent/Superman in the TV series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman". Prior to that, he had spent a season playing "Rick" on the series Beverly Hills 90210. In addition to series, Cain has also starred on television in such movies as Things That Go Bump in the Night, Dogboys, Rag and Bone and Futuresport.
Kelly Packard (Baywatch, California Dreams) co-stars on the original series Ripley's Believe It or Not! as the series' live-event correspondent. She opens each episode of the show by hosting the outrageous feats taped before audiences at diverse locations. Packard starred for two seasons as the fashion-designing lifeguard "April" on the long-running series Baywatch. Prior to that, she starred for five seasons as "Tiffani" on NBC's popular teen comedy series California Dreams.
Packard began her career in television commercials at the age of eight before going on to win the title of "Miss California Pre-Teen" in 1988. In her early teens, she made the transition to series television with guest appearances in such series as The Wonder Years, Boy Meets World, Step by Step and Living Dolls. Most recently, Packard has been seen in the Sega video arcade game, "Kelly Packard's Golden Cue." She also recently hosted Secret Beaches, a special for The Travel Channel. She will soon be seen in Mind Wars.
Note: The above episode descriptions are based on TV scripts written in 2000/2001 and are subject to change at airtime. Corrections will be made above after broadcast
A baby born with two faces (craniofacial duplication) in India is otherwise normal: family of the baby has refused medical treatment for the infant, saying she is the incarnation of a Hindu goddess. Website: www.msnbc.com
In Bexley, Ohio, it is illegal to place a slot machine inside an outdoor toilet. The official IRS Manual is 38,000 pages. In 1931, Ripley reported that in Tontogany, Ohio, father and son electrical contractors were named A.C. Current and D.C. Current. And in California, he found a woman named "Cali Fornia" in San Pedro, near Inglewood where "California Poppe" lived, though Ripley reported that Deep C. Fisher of San Francisco hated fishing. You could find the Tuf Steak Market in Lexington, OK, owned by Mr. Tuf
Rare four-horned sheep are considered sacred by the Navajo of Arizona. In 1948, one was sent to Dairymen's Waialae Ranch and discovered a new favorite snack: women's hula skirts. In 1994, a white buffalo was born on a Wisconsin farm, considered sacred by many American tribes, drawing thousands of visitors from as far away as China. According to Ripley's, it was the first since 1933, at odds of at least 10,000,000 to one. According to the Sioux and Cheyenne, it would turn white, yellow, black & red to represent the 4 human races. As the buffalo calf grew up it changed gradually to dark yellow, charcoal black, and is now showing tinges of copper red, indicating a new era of world peace
Visiting Los Angeles? The original settlement's full name was El Pueblo De Nuestra Señora La Reina De Los Angeles De Porciuncula, believe it or not.
Friday is a bad day to be arrested or get a haircut, Monday is a good day to visit a pawnbroker but a bad day to go to a Chinese restuarant, and never check into a hospital on July 1. Why? If you can't see a Judge to set bail in time to arrange a bail bond you'll be in jail all weekend and Friday is a barber's busiest day so you'll get a hurried cut; pawnbrokers have an old superstition that making a customer happy on Monday will mean a good week, but Chinese custom is to give the regular cook Mondays off leaving a less experienced assistant in charge; medical internships usually start in July, so the trainees will have the most experience 11 months later.
900 years ago an Islamic army attacked Crusader-held Jerusalem, killing every man, woman & child there, then destroyed every building except the Wailing Wall, on a Friday the 13th...which is why the British consider Friday the 13th unlucky to this day.
The number 6 will face upwards the most often on ordinary dice because the 6 indentations make that side slightly lighter than the other sides. Prairie Dogs appear to be kissing because they identify each other by pressing teeth together. Refined oil is so slippery it doesn't even stick to itself--an oilslick floating on water is only one molecule thick, believe it or not!
Link to this page from your website or blog: http://www.angelfire.com/mn/nn/r201.html
The Chilas of Hindu Kush prize red butter, after it has been aged for 100 years!
Yucatan, Mexico, was named by early Spanish explorers who landed there in the 16th century. They asked the natives what the area was called but they didn't understand Spanish and answered "Yucatan," which means "What do you want?"
The Charlotte, NC, water company sent out a letter in March, 2008, thanking customers for conserving water and increasing rates due to the decreased demand for water. And the same month, YouTube hit the same amount of bandwidth as the entire internet had used in the year 2000.
20 years ago the Australian emu was promoted as the new lean meat. Easy to raise, little fat, and failing ranchers paid as much as $20,000 per breeding pair. By 1998 there were over 100 emu ranches in North Dakota alone. Now you can't give them away. There are only 3 emu ranches left and they're less popular than camels in Australia (another failed enterprise)
An urban legend says that dogs age 7 years every 12 months, which would make a 14-year-old dog 98 in dog years. But dogs actually age 15 years their 1st year, 10 their 2nd, 7 their 3rd, and only 3 each year after. So 14 would be only 65 in dog years.
Polar bears live only in or near the Arctic. The word Antarctic is Greek for "opposite of bear," Believe It or Not!
Lynn Stechik of Philadelphia, PA, says her cat Abbey is fascinated by bubbles in the clear tubes of her dialysis machine and chases them Abraham Lincoln was once challenged to a duel but chose broadswords as his weapon knowing that his smaller challenger would not be able to wield one and negotiate a more peaceful solution. They remained friends for life after that.
Venetian public gondola boats have been painted black ever since a decree in 1562 banned all other colors. Great Britain abolished the death penalty in 1965 on land, though executions for piracy on the seas was not abolished until 1998
In the 1800s, the Saint Nicholas Nat. Bank of New York issued three-dollar bills featuring the image of Santa Clause. Thomas Edison invented the first string of electric Christmas tree lights just 3 year after perfecting the light bulb, to replace the dangerous practice of placing lit candles in the trees. If you've never seen Santa visit, it's because he moves so fast. To visit all 42,466,666 homes in North America and Europe in one night comes to 983 homes per second! In Australia, Santa's sled is pulled by eight kangaroos--it's too warm for reindeer. New Year's Day was celebrated on March 25th until 1752. After that, if you were still celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas on April 1st, you were an April Fool.
Over a century ago twelve sycamore trees were planted by the Grace Episcopal Church of Plymouth, NC. Each was named for one of Christ's apostles--the one named Judas was hit and killed by lightning. If a plane coated with tungsten landed on volcanic lava, it wouldn't melt. Tungsten's melting temperature is 6192 F, three times as hot as molten lava
The single distance run most often in American sports is 90 feet, the distance between 2 bases in baseball. In 1974, a "super outbreak" unleashed 148 tornadoes across 13 states. In 1999, there were only 75 tornadoes in the US, but they caused over a billion dollars damage. In 1755, Ben Franklin chased one on horseback and described "trunks and bodies of large trees enveloped in the passing whirl."
In New Delhi, India, cows are considered sacred by Hindus, but finally the government had to hire "cow catchers" to round up the cows causing traffic jams and move them out to the suburbs. Seven years later (2009) the chief veterinarian reported that 100,000 cows had been caught and moved out, with about 20,000 to go. Being crushed by an elephant was once used as a form of execution in India
Most meteors that hit the Earth's atmosphere burn up, but some make it to the ground. The average size of a meteorite found on Earth is the size of a pea. A meteor was once noted on the Eclipse's log as having hit the sailing ship in mid-Pacific, destroying its masts and killing 3, depicted in Ripley's column on 1/12/41. Thomas Jefferson refused to believe that "rocks fall from the sky." A dust storm of silica oxide in Australia blocked red & yellow light, making the full Moon appear to be blue. During WW2, Japan built 400 foot long submarines that could carry three folded-up bomber planes. In 1944, William Patrick Hitler (1911-1987) joined the U.S. Navy to help defeat his uncle, Adolf Hitler. The Tonga Islands involvement in WW2 was to contribute a single Spitfire fighter plane bearing the name of their Queen Salote, for which they are so proud the natives still use blankets bearing a crude image of the named plane. John Mattocks was elected Governor of Vermont in 1843 on the campaign promise to have Thanksgiving twice a year
Mark Noel of Hickory Corners (MICH) carved a 480' long 1,993-link wooden chain from a single piece of wood, though you won't find wooden chains listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Because nothing as effective as banned DDT has ever been invented, an average of two children a minute die of malaria somewhere in the world; the U.N. says that the common fly kills more humans each year than any other creature due to the diseases it carries from person to person.
Captain Thomas West Peyton served in the War of 1812. His son served in The Mexican War, his grandson served in the Civil War, and Captain Thomas West Peyton IV served in WW1. The Mosque of Sangar el Gawly in Cairo was built in 1304 yet not a single window pane has ever had to be replaced: locals believe that if a single glass in it is cracked or broken it will mean doom for Egypt. Andrew Hall (1722-1808), his father and grandfather served as parish gravediggers for 160 continuous years. Burning "Old Man Trouble" is a New Year's tradition by some in America, but in ancient times the giant wicker man was built by Druids on certain holidays and filled with criminals before it was set on fire. The Cecropia Trees of South America have hollow stems containing nests of ants which defend it ferociously
When the Turks were driven out of Saudi Arabia, the palace of the Turkish Governor in Riadh, to show scorn for the Turks, was converted into the capital city's prison. "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is the shortest sentence that uses every letter in the alphabet at least once Antonio Biancani (1699-1746) of Milan, Italy, was born in a prison cell and 47 years later, convicted of treason, he was sent to his death from the same prison cell.
A huge Banyan tree in the Marquesas Islands contains bones & skulls in its branches as it serves as the tribal cemetery. Things are tough all over: owners of pet and work horses in the EU (European Union) have to sign a pledge not to eat their horses In 1296, Allah-ud-din Khilji invaded India and laid seige to Delhi. When they ran out of rocks for the catapults Khilji had 100 pound sacks of gold loaded in them and continued the bombardment. After several hundred were launched, the city surrendered. Dorothy Catherine Draper, the subject of a daguerreotype made by her father in 1840, was the first photograph ever taken of a person with their eyes open.
Only four of ten newborn hyenas survive birth. The first toy advertised on TV in America (1952) was Mr. Potato Head, which required the use of an actual potato. Each year the dates of 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, and 12/12 fall on the same day of the week: in 2010 it was Sunday and in 2011 it was Monday. The 13th falls on Friday more often than any other day each year. The 500 foot high Pyramid of Ichang in China is almost identical to Egypt's Pyramid of Cheops yet was created of sandstone by nature. The Basilica of St. Clement in Rome was built in the 12th century over an older church from the 4th century that itself rested on the ruins of a pagan temple. Urns in the Marriage Chapel of the Hapburgs in Vienna preserve the hearts of 54 members of the Imperial family, each of whom was married in the chapel. Almost half the 1100 violins made by Stradivarius have been lost or destroyed over time; just one of them recently sold for $16,000,000.
Torpedoes were not self-powered until WW1. During the Civil War, they were moored in harbors by Confederates who made them by filling beer barrels with gunpowder. Horatio Alger wrote 119 books inspiring boys to labor diligently and save their pennies, yet died in poverty as a spendthrift himself. Barstow, California, was named for the president of Santa Fe Railroad (now BNSF). After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee was president of Virginia's Valley Railroad, but died before its ground-breaking. Hays, Alberta, was named for the president of the Grand Trunk railway (now CN) before he died on the RMS Titanic. And Ripley, California, was named for another president of Santa Fe Railroad, Edward P. Ripley, believe it or not
After the sudden death of Margaret Mitchell, it came out that she had used some of the proceeds from her novel "Gone With The Wind" to put several black-American doctors through medical school. Mary Bruns lived her first 13 years above a Milwaukee Road train station. Born in 1944, her father was the station agent for over 20 years starting in 1938, except for serving in the war 1944-46, when his wife served as station agent. The world's largest silver nugget at 1840 pounds was found in 1894 near Aspen, Colorado
In 1791, a big new tax on whiskey made "moonshine" popular, and it became far more popular during Prohibition, sold from California to Washington D.C. including the White House (President Harding said he was no hypocrite since Prohibition had been passed by Congress over his veto.) In ancient times, making candles from tallow took so much time, they cost about $20 each in the marketplace. Unable to find gold or silver, Columbus sent 500 natives to Spain for use as slaves, but Queen Isabella refused to consider slavery and ordered them returned. Replaced by Conquistadors who did find gold, Spain eventually got rich without Columbus or slavery
On 6/11/27, Charles A. Lindbergh was congratulated at the White House for his New York-Paris flight on May 20. A newsreel company chartered a special train to rush footage of the event from Washington D.C. to New York while the film was developed in a baggage car enroute in just 3 hours 7 minutes, beating a competitor's airplane by a full hour. A rigid airship (zeppelin) had previously made the non-stop trip, but Lucky Lindy was the first to fly it solo
Thomas Edison and his assistants failed 1000 times before inventing the first successful light bulb. Early light bulbs had such a thick filament, they put out very dim light but lasted practically forever. One in a California firehouse has been burning constantly since 1901, Official webcam site